Food Production & Health

Should I buy organic foods?

A Answers (3)

  • AMichael Roizen, MD, Internal Medicine, answered
    Some organic foods are worth the extra money, including veggies and fruits. Pesticides used in agriculture -- and on lawns and in homes -- can increase the risk for everything from Parkinson's disease to childhood cancers and diabetes. Limit your family's exposure by choosing organic versions of the Dirty Dozen (the Environmental Working Group's annual list of produce with the highest levels of pesticides): apples, celery, bell peppers, peaches, strawberries, spinach, imported nectarines and grapes, U.S.-grown blueberries, lettuce, cucumbers, and potatoes.
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  • If you are concerned about pesticide exposure, it is a good idea to buy organic produce whenever possible. Also, buying organic supports environmentally friendly farming practices that can minimize soil erosion, safeguard workers and protect water quality and wildlife. However, organic produce is not always accessible or affordable. You can limit your pesticide exposure by avoiding conventionally grown versions of the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen,” an annual list of produce with the highest pesticide levels.
  • AJoan Salge Blake, MS, RD, Nutrition & Dietetics, answered on behalf of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

    Organic foods have not been shown to be healthier or more nutritious than conventionally grown/raised foods. 

    Studies have shown that organic farming can help the environment by reducing pesticide use, energy use, greenhouse emissions, and by increasing biodiversity in fields. Unfortunately, organic foods tend to cost more. For example, organic produce can cost around five to about 70 percent more than conventional grown/raised foods.

    The choice is yours!

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What should I know before I try organic food?