Organic: Is it really worth the price?

By Jessie Leventhal

It’s scary to think that chemicals used to grow non-organic produce can end up in your body (err, your colon, more precisely), stay there (forever?!) and maybe even cause disease, but, let’s be honest, it’s also scary to watch your wallet empty out at the grocery store when you’re just trying to eat more veggies.

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So, what does organic actually mean? Well, it means that the product was grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms or ionizing radiation. With regard to meat, dairy products and eggs, it means that the animals have not been given antibiotics or growth hormones. All of which sound like things we’d like to avoid.

And why, exactly, is it more expensive? It’s not just a supply and demand problem – although it is that, since more people want organic produce but there is a limited quantity available. Rather, organic produce actually costs more to grow since the chemical-free growth of crops requires a more labor and time consuming process as well as more expensive fertilizer.

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But, here’s the deal: while organic is almost always the safer-bet, there are times when it’s not really worth the extra dough. But if you’re confused as to when “organic” is really worth the extra cost at the grocery store, you’re not alone.

So, here’s what you need to know about buying organic…

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