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Are Organic Foods Worth the Extra Cost?

Reviewed by
Dt. Divya Gandhi 91% (132 ratings)
Diploma In Diet & Nutrition, Diploma In Dietitics, Health & Nutrition
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Delhi  •  7 years experience
Are Organic Foods Worth the Extra Cost?

To increase food production to match the growing population, chemicals are used to accelerate the amount of produce obtained from the land. However, the chemicals soon show their harmful effects. Though used in very minor quantities, over a period of time, their cumulative effect has detrimental effects on the consumers. Especially in homes with children, the aged, and the health conscious people, the concern about the harmful effects of conventional foods has grown quite a bit over time. So that is where the concept of organic foods gained momentum.

Organic foods are produced by using approved techniques, promoting recycling of resources, which are not harmful to the environment and preserve biodiversity. These are foods which are grown without the use of chemicals - be it synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, hormones, or prophylactic antibiotics. 
There are permissible levels of chemicals defined by food agencies whose limits when exceeded can cause harmful effects with prolonged use - such as, birth defects, respiratory problems, reproductive issue, etc. So the question you need to ask is - if pesticides are used to kill insects, can the same do any good to the human body? Also, you must consider the quantity and if it is within the permitted limits.

Organic foods have been proven to be more beneficial relatively, since they are more nutritious, reduce allergies, digestive infections, reduce the risk of cancer, etc. However, bear a word of caution in mind.  There are no long-term studies to prove this aspect. 

Also, be advised not to overdo on the 'organic' part. A lot of time, there are organic junk foods available also.  And then there are the organic foods which are produced in one part of the world and are shipped over long distances. Do they really retain their nutrients and benefits over this duration? That needs to be answered.

Another thing to consider is the cost-effectiveness of buying organic products. Because they take their natural cycle time to grow, the growth rate is slower and therefore they are expensive. Affordability becomes a question again, and you may think if such foods can be conveniently purchased by all? 

The trick is to use locally grown, seasonal fruits which are easily available and grown without using many chemicals. You can be assured of their freshness and the reduced use of chemicals in this case.

Use organic for sure, but please be careful not to fall for it all the time with all the products. 

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
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