Choosing when to buy organic food
ating healthy sounds like a relatively simple task. We know that we should swap pizza for salad or lasagna for lean protein and vegetables, but not everything is so easy. Things can get complicated when a stop at the supermarket to grab chicken finds you standing before an array of packaged poultry bearing labels that trumpet products as antibiotic-free, hormone- and steroid-free, pasture-raised, GMOfree or organic. You hesitate, wondering whether the organic chicken will pretty much cover all the bases and therefore amount to the best choice — and whether the organic item is worth its higher price.
Food labeled as organic is not, in fact, always the best choice, but it can be the right choice for a variety of reasons. In deciding whether it makes sense to dig into your wallet to buy organic food, experts say, let the labels and your values be your guide. First of all, consumers should know that they can trust the “USDA organic” seal. “If [food] is labeled ‘USDA organic,’ it follows a very certain, very rigorous set of standards that are related to how the food is grown and the practices of the farm,” says Miriam E. Nelson, PhD, director of the Sustainability Institute at the University of New Hampshire. In contrast,
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>> SMART HEALTH NH 2018 | NEW HAMPSHIRE MAGAZINE 29
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