Are organic foods worth the extra cost?

Dr. Jill Roberts of the University of South Florida College of Public Health said that for a food to be labeled organic, “it is not allowed to be genetically modified. There are no synthetic pesticides.

Roberts said conventionally grown produce often contains traces of pesticides, but told ABC Action News that scientific research shows that “at a very small level, pesticides are not harmful.”

While organics are great for the environment, there’s no added benefit to shelling out the extra money if you’re buying organics strictly for health reasons, according to Roberts.

Organic meats cost more because the animals are usually free-range and have no growth hormones or antibiotics.

“When we talk about health, there is no difference between conventional (and organic) product,” Roberts said.

Buyers are also faced with a plethora of choices – organic, all-natural, and non-GMO – but not all of these labels are USDA-verified for accuracy and honesty. Only products bearing the USDA Organic seal are certified organic foods.

But Roberts advises shoppers to look beyond the organic label and pay close attention to the nutrition label — looking for foods low in sugar and carbs.

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