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10 Organic Foods More Expensive but Not Healthier Than Non-Organic Versions

10 Organic Foods More Expensive but Not Healthier Than Non-Organic Versions

By    |   Wednesday, 05 June 2019 10:22 AM

Until recently, organic food was just something that "new-age hippies" ate. Like veganism, it was a concept that most people heard of but had no intention of making part of their lives.

Now, organic is one of the fastest growing sectors in the U.S. food industry. According to the Organic Trade Association, the organic market broke the $50 billion mark for the first time in 2018.

The industry is booming but its customers are paying top dollar for the products. And while organic food has health and environmental benefits, the food is not always superior to non-organic items.

Organic foods have a major health advantage over non-organic foods in terms of whether certain chemicals and pesticides have been applied at various stages of growing or harvesting. But there are times, when that advantage doesn’t exist, making the cheaper, non-organic purchase the better one.

Reader's Digest explored the topic and came up with a list of organic foods that nutritionists say isn’t worth the extra money. We look at 10 of those foods that don't have to be organic to be healthy.

1. Mac and cheese. An organic version of this all-time favorite has hit the shelves but the truth is that white pasta does not need to be organic. Registered dietician Jodi Greebel explained that the outer layers of the wheat used for pasta is stripped off during processing so any concerns over pesticides in the food are unfounded.

2. Seed butters.  Organic always sounds healthier, especially when it comes to nut and seed butters. In certain cases, like for peanut butter, it is valid but when it comes to seeds, like sunflower seeds, concerns over pesticides are disproportionate as they generally don't have much pesticide residue.

3. Pineapples. Fruits that have thick skins, like pineapple, have less pesticide residue. You also are not eating the skin, so save your money and opt for regular pineapples.

4. Olive oil. Rather than fixate on whether or not the olive oil is organic, pay attention to the quality. "You want extra-virgin olive oil because it is the first press of the olives and has not been refined or treated chemically," said registered dietician Jennifer Lease. "Pay attention to the packaging and label of the oil, as well. It should be in a dark or opaque bottle to avoid contact with light, and the label should identify the country of origin, harvest date, and ensure that it is truly extra virgin."

5. Fish. Lease believes that the "organic" label on fish is meaningless. "The aquatic environment where wild fish live cannot be controlled and therefore we simply don’t know their feed or potential contact with environmental toxins and debris," she noted. She suggested  choosing local fish that are sustainably sourced.

6. Cookies.  Slapping an organic label on cookies is not going to make them better for you! They are processed foods regardless of whether they are organic or not. "In general, organic or not, we want to limit our intake of processed foods," said Lease. If you are buying a snack rather save your money and opt for the regular kind.

7. Cauliflower. If concerns over pesticides are influencing your decision to buy organic cauliflower you may as well opt for the cheaper, regular kind. "This cruciferous vegetable typically contains little to no pesticide residue, so you don’t need to break the bank buying organic,” said nutritionist Josh Axe.

8. Quinoa. While most health-conscious people know that quinoa is a great source of protein, what many do not realize is that it contains saponins, a compound that acts as a natural repellent for pests. "So, in this case, you can save a bit of money by going conventional instead of organic," Axe said.

9. Candy. Advertisers have latched onto the concept that more people will be fooled into spending if a food labeled organic. Don't buy into the marketing hype by thinking that the organic candy you are eating is any healthier than normal sweets.

10. Avocados. Rest assured, your non-organic avocado is just as good as the organic version that is triple the price. "I worked with an avocado company that grew both conventional and organic and learned that avocados are only sprayed every seven years, and even then, the pesticide for organic versus conventional is similar — it’s just the application method that’s different," explained nutritionist Ariane Resnick.

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Until recently, organic food was just something that "new-age hippies" ate. Like veganism, it was a concept that most people heard of but had no intention of making part of their lives.
organic, food, expensive, healthier
Wednesday, 05 June 2019 10:22 AM
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