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Does your family dig organic foods?

According to a latest study, it's debatable whether

According to a latest study, it's debatable whether the health benefits of organic produce are better compared to conventional ones. (April 11, 2006) Credit: Newsday / Ken Spencer

A growing trend among a crop of health-minded parents is to buy organic when possible: organic apples, cage-free eggs and hormone-free chicken, to name a few. We pore over labels and weed out products with ingredients we can’t pronounce lest we feed our kids foods laced with chemicals.

So a recent study by Stanford University scientists — whose research comparing organic and conventional foods found that the health benefits of organic produce are not significantly better compared to their counterparts — makes us wonder if our labors are worth the effort and 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.”

Sure, there are those who think the organic craze is just that, but Jones says that, for her clients and her family,  "controlling toxins in our food is vital.”

Registered dietitian Melissa Rifkin at Montefiore Medical Center, in the Bronx, says she's "definitely  an advocate for organic food for children." 

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

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

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

EWG’s 2012 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides

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