Is organic really the better supermarket choice? - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Is organic really the better supermarket choice?

Are organics worth the extra cost? (©iStockphoto.com/Heinz Linke) Are organics worth the extra cost? (©iStockphoto.com/Heinz Linke)
  • RecipesMore>>

  • Tomato Basil Pasta, 9/1/14

    Tomato Basil Pasta, 9/1/14

    Monday, September 1 2014 12:26 PM EDT2014-09-01 16:26:50 GMT
    Serge KrikorianDinner's Ready2 Servings2 Tbls. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided5 Tbls. Unsalted Butter, divided (NOT margarine)1 tsp. Minced Garlic1 Shallot, minced1 Pt. Grape or Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise8-10 Leaves Fresh Basil, cut into ribbonsSalt Ground Black Pepper, to tasteGrated Parmigiano reggiano cheese, for garnish4 oz. Penne Pasta (or pasta of your choice), cooked according to package directionsOption Add-Ins: Diced Grilled Chicken, Sauteed Shrimp, sauteed sliced fresh...More >>
    Serge KrikorianDinner's Ready2 Servings2 Tbls. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided5 Tbls. Unsalted Butter, divided (NOT margarine)1 tsp. Minced Garlic1 Shallot, minced1 Pt. Grape or Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise8-10 Leaves Fresh Basil, cut into ribbonsSalt Ground Black Pepper, to tasteGrated Parmigiano reggiano cheese, for garnish4 oz. Penne Pasta (or pasta of your choice), cooked according to package directionsOption Add-Ins: Diced Grilled Chicken, Sauteed Shrimp, sauteed sliced fresh...More >>
  • Spicy Poached Eggs in Tomato Sauce, 8/27/14

    Spicy Poached Eggs in Tomato Sauce, 8/27/14

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 11:49 AM EDT2014-08-27 15:49:39 GMT
    Gary DukeAlley Oops4 tomatoes, chopped2 tablespoon olive oil1/2 onion, sliced thinlysalt, black pepper, crushed red pepper and garlic to taste4 eggsfresh mozzarella cheese, cubedparmesan cheesefresh basilbread slices1. In a sauce pan, cook the onions in the olive oil for a few minutes, add the tomatoes and seasoning to mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover, simmer for an additional 15 or 20 minutes.2. Uncover sauce and gentle crack the eggs evenly around your tomato sauce. Place ...More >>
    Gary DukeAlley Oops4 tomatoes, chopped2 tablespoon olive oil1/2 onion, sliced thinlysalt, black pepper, crushed red pepper and garlic to taste4 eggsfresh mozzarella cheese, cubedparmesan cheesefresh basilbread slices1. In a sauce pan, cook the onions in the olive oil for a few minutes, add the tomatoes and seasoning to mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover, simmer for an additional 15 or 20 minutes.2. Uncover sauce and gentle crack the eggs evenly around your tomato sauce. Place ...More >>
  • Summer Shrimp Salad, 8/25/14

    Summer Shrimp Salad, 8/25/14

    Monday, August 25 2014 8:49 AM EDT2014-08-25 12:49:13 GMT
    Capi PeckTrio'sServes 41 1/4 lbs. large Gulf shrimp in the shell2 ears corn on the cobs, steamed, grilled or roasted/ kernels removedFor the dressing:2 cloves garlic, smashed1 1/2 t. cumin1 t. paprika1/2 t. cayenne pepper1/2 c. lime juice1c. olive oil1/2 c. cilantro leavessalt to tasteCombine all dressing ingredients in bowl or jar. Whisk or shake well to combine. Set aside.2 Haas avocados, sliced1/2 c. cilantro leaves8 cups arugula or other greens of your choice?1 half Vidalia or sweet onion...More >>
    Capi PeckTrio'sServes 41 1/4 lbs. large Gulf shrimp in the shell2 ears corn on the cobs, steamed, grilled or roasted/ kernels removedFor the dressing:2 cloves garlic, smashed1 1/2 t. cumin1 t. paprika1/2 t. cayenne pepper1/2 c. lime juice1c. olive oil1/2 c. cilantro leavessalt to tasteCombine all dressing ingredients in bowl or jar. Whisk or shake well to combine. Set aside.2 Haas avocados, sliced1/2 c. cilantro leaves8 cups arugula or other greens of your choice?1 half Vidalia or sweet onion...More >>

By Jessica Goldbogen Harlan
 

Ever since my toddler started eating table food, I've fallen prey to the dilemma with which so many modern moms struggle: whether or not to buy organic.

Scary headlines about toxins in our food (not to mention the environment) are everywhere I turn, and each time I go grocery shopping -- whether it's at my neighborhood farmer's market or the Wal-Mart across town -- organic offerings beckon. But is organic really better? And can I afford it on my already overstretched grocery budget?

If you've asked yourself these same questions, here are five important insights I've learned about going organic:

1. Organic means no questionable chemicals. A lot of hard work goes into food that earns those "certified organic" stickers you see at the supermarket. To earn the "organic" label, farms must pass USDA inspections certifying that their produce is grown without the use of conventional pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge fertilizers, bioengineering and other chemical interventions; and that their meat, poultry, eggs and dairy have not been given antibiotics or growth hormones. As for whether this makes organic foods better, the jury's still out. The USDA makes no claim that organic foods are safer or more nutritious than conventional edibles; however, organic proponents say otherwise. "Study after study has shown that organic foods have higher levels of vitamins, as well as trace minerals that are literally absent in many conventional foods," says Ronnie Cummins, national director of the Organic Consumers Association, a nonprofit public interest organization that polices organic standards.

2. Organic foods are better for the environment. Because organic farmers don't use synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, it means those chemicals aren't contaminating our air and water. What's more, organic farmers are required to use techniques like crop rotation and water conservation, which help protect our natural resources.

3. Organic foods may not be as "pretty," but they'll probably taste better. Many conventionally grown fruits and vegetables are cultivated to look beautiful and shiny at the supermarket. They're also grown to withstand the long journey from farms to warehouses, then warehouses to supermarkets all across the country. Organic produce, on the other hand, is "not grown for shelf life or transportability," says Cummins, but rather, for flavor. "Taste a conventional tomato and an organic tomato," he says, "and you'll never buy another conventional tomato again."            

4. Organics cost a little more. The biggest disadvantage of organic foods is that they're often more expensive. To keep costs down, Cummins recommends seeking out local growers at farmers' markets or through community-supported agricultural programs; buying organic grains and other goods in bulk at your local natural foods store; and shopping in season (for example, strawberries are cheapest when they're bountiful in the spring, rather than when shipped from warm climates during the winter). Another growing trend is urban buying clubs, where groups of families get together to take advantage of wholesale prices on large quantities of organic goods.

5. Not all conventionally grown produce is suspect. If you're concerned about toxins but can't afford going all-organic (or if organic offerings in your area are limited), take heart. The Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit organization whose goal is to protect consumers from health problems attributed to toxic chemicals, has developed a ranked list of 44 fruits and vegetables according to their pesticide levels. "Not everyone has access to organic foods on a daily basis," says EWG spokesperson Jovana Ruzicic. This list is intended to help consumers "make better choices when they're purchasing foods -- what they should buy organic and [what] they can go ahead and buy conventional," she says.

If you're having difficulty finding or affording organics, spend your time and money procuring organic varieties of the EWG's "Dirty Dozen" -- the 12 conventionally grown fruits and vegetables found to have the highest levels of pesticides: peaches, apples, sweet bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, lettuce, imported grapes, pears, spinach and potatoes. Then, feel reassured purchasing conventional varieties of the EWG's "Cleanest 12": onions, avocados, frozen sweet corn, pineapples, mangoes, frozen sweet peas, asparagus, kiwi, bananas, cabbage, broccoli and eggplant. Bon Appetit!

 

 

Copyright (c) 2010 Studio One Networks. All rights reserved.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.