No matter which way you choose — organic or non-organic — ideally, you will avoid the supermarket altogether. Deep-fried organic potato chips are not good for you, nor is organic soda. Avoid letting labels confuse or distract you from making smart choices, and instead look carefully at all the facts on labels, including the nutrition panel, when purchasing food. Some individuals prefer to buy organic at every opportunity based on principles related to factors such as the environment and animal welfare. But since research has not proven that organic is always better for us, Nelson says, consumers who can’t or don’t want to always buy organic might want to decide on a case-bycase basis. They might, for example, consider buying organic strawberries, grapes and apples rather than their non-organic counterparts, because those foods routinely make the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” list of pesticide-laden fruits and vegetables. No matter which way you choose — organic or non-organic — ideally, you will avoid the supermarket altogether, Nelson says, and instead buy from a grower close to home. “I would rather buy from a local farmer because they are probably using integrated pest management [and] minimal pesticides, which is the most common practice New England.” Many local farmers use sound farming principles, she says, “regardless of whether they are organic or not.” And Nelson urges consumers to remember that their buying habits have implications beyond nutrition. “I hope people when they’re thinking about this [know that] it’s not only about their own health, but it’s also about keeping open spaces, and thinking about the people that are growing this food,” Nelson says. “The upstream and downstream piece of this is really important to be conscious about. It’s our rivers and everything else. It’s not just about us, but also about the environment.” SHNH
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A savvy consumer's guide to medical services, doctors and hospitals in New Hampshire.