The Truth About Buying Organic

To buy organic or not buy organic, that is the question. Is it worth it? Here’s the skinny on how a food earns its “organic” label and what it all means.

  • Simply stated, organic produce and other ingredients are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms or ionizing radiation. Animals that produce meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products do not take antibiotics or growth hormones.
  •  The USDA is responsible for regulating organic foods. If a package says “100% Organic,” it must contain all organically-produced ingredients and processing aids (salt and water excluded). Products labeled “Organic” must have at least 95% organic ingredients, and “Made with Organic Ingredients” at least 70%.
  • Generally, the more water something absorbs, the more pesticides it may contain. Every year, the Environmental Working Group lists the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15—produce with the most and least pesticides. Apples, celery and strawberry are leaders of the Dirty Dozen while onions, sweet corn and pineapples top the Clean 15.
  • You can save money when you buy locally grown, in-season organic foods. Visit Local Harvest to find farmers’ markets, grass-fed meats and other sustainably grown foods near you.
  • Check out Mambo Sprouts (powered by, which offers coupons for organic and healthy foods.

Final Word: Based on this information, you decide what’s worth buying organic and what’s not. Incorporating fruits, vegetables, dairy and essential nutrients into your diet is what matters most.


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