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Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska

Are Organic Foods Worth the Extra Cost?

December 9, 2014Food

The choice between organic and conventional foods has always been a hot topic for individuals striving to live a healthy lifestyle. One limiting factor for some is the cost of organic food, and Best Food Facts recently received a question on whether organic food is worth the extra cost. We've addressed the topic of organic and conventional foods from several angles. Read on to see what our experts have to say.

Many of us choose organic foods because they are nutritious and delicious, but whether they're healthier than conventionally-grown foods is a matter of debate. A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine by Stanford University found that fruits and veggies labeled organic were no more nutritious than conventionally-grown fruits and veggies, on average. Check out our previous post on the study here.

Dr. Ruth MacDonald has also answered a question pertaining to the chemical use in non-organic food. According to Dr. MacDonald, "There is a widely held thought that conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables are loaded with pesticide and herbicide (chemical) residue. This is simply not supported by facts. The FDA and USDA routinely monitor the food supply for chemical residues and post results on their websites."

Best Food Facts created a post about the Environmental Working Group's Dirty Dozen and Clean 15, providing a visual to help you understand the use of pesticides on crops and what our experts say. Drs. Carl Winter and Francisco Diez-Gonzalez rated whether organic food is better for human health here.

In short, studies have shown that organic food is not any more nutritious than conventionally-grown fruits and veggies, and concerns about chemical residue on conventionally-grown fruits and veggies is unwarranted. So whether organic food is worth the extra cost is entirely up to you!

Regardless of whether you choose to eat organic or conventionally-grown fruits and veggies, Dr. Julie Albrecht says the most important thing to remember is this: "Always rinse all fruits and veggies, no matter whether they are organic or not!"

*Original post from Best Food Facts.