Does your family like organic food?

A growing trend among a generation of health-conscious parents is to buy organic produce when possible: organic apples, cage-free eggs, and hormone-free chicken, to name a few. We examine labels carefully and weed out products with ingredients we can’t pronounce for fear of feeding our children foods containing chemicals.

So a recent study by scientists at Stanford University – whose research comparing organic and conventional foods found that the health benefits of organic products are not significantly better compared to their counterparts – leads us to ask ourselves if our efforts are worth it and the cost.

For MaryAnn Jones of Manhasset, mother of daughters EJ, 15, and Cate, 11, going organic is a “priority” and worth the extra cost. A certified health coach for Thrive Naturally, she says, “We live in a toxic world, and if I can spare my family even a marginal difference by feeding them organic choices, then I will.

Of course, there are those who think the organic craze is just that, but Jones says that, for her clients and family, “controlling toxins in our diets is vital.”

Registered dietitian Melissa Rifkin of Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx says she’s “definitely an advocate for organic food for kids.”

“It is imperative to buy organic foods, especially with the amount of chemicals, including pesticides, parasites and hormones, that are used on foods today, causing antibiotic resistance and potentially causing diseases and symptoms that we are not even aware of,” says Rifkin.

The so-called dirty dozen, which has the most pesticide residue, she says, is worth buying organic. (For the list, see the link below). “I would also encourage dairy, cheese, meat and fish to be purchased organic, free-range or wild-caught.”

To avoid extra charges, Rifkin suggests, “With all things in life, moderation. I don’t think you need every food to be organic.

EWG’s 2012 Pesticide Buyer’s Guide

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