Save your dollar bills: organic food is not better for you

Everyone experiences that moment of pure disappointment when swinging open the fridge and finding no groceries, let alone something edible. Yet, when you venture out to the store, is your attention caught by sale items, the tempting junk food aisle or popular organic foods?

Well, here is a little tip for you shoppers: organic food is not necessarily the healthiest route to go.

Organic products have steadily increased within the past years and are now not only offered just in the produce section of mainstream grocery stores, but at independent manufacturers and farmers markets. Dairy, meat, cereals, side dishes, snacks and desserts are also gaining organic exposure and popularity.

What makes organic products and dieting so desirable? According to livestrong.com, organic foods contain fewer chemicals, including hormone stimulants, pesticides and fertilizers. Organic products also aid the environment by eliminating chemicals to help save soil and water in order to reduce pollution.

Alana Voldman, DePaul’s Oxfam Club president, is a firm believer in organic products.

“Eating organic is amazing for your body and your mind especially if the food you are eating is local,” said Voldman.

“I normally buy my vegetables at the farmer’s market because I know that it is grown naturally.”

While the presence of chemical removal and environmental benefits appeal to many consumers, what shoppers may not be fully aware of are the negatives of an organic based diet.

Livestrong.com discusses the downfalls of the organic food market that many tend to overlook or are ill informed of.

One negative aspect of organic food that is certainly noticeable is their high price: this high price is because there is a slower output rate of a given food items due to farmers growing products completely naturally.

Perhaps the most shocking disadvantage related to organic food is the nutrition value and overall quality.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Organic Program states organic food is not any more nutritional and spoils at faster rates due to the lack of chemical preservatives. Xu Susan, 24, of Chicago has become aware of this when grocery shopping.

“I enjoy eating more organically grown products so I can do my part in helping out the environment, but the presence of unequal distribution and minimum nutrition gain is for sure upsetting,” said Susan.

Unhealthy food is still out of the question, but what is considered to be the more nutritious way of eating organically is also becoming questionable. The best way to attack this confusing cycle of “eating right” is by adapting a new found attitude of moderation when it comes to food, organic or not.

Rush Medical Center doctor, Vijaya Reddy, supports the notion of being food conscious.

“You should always be aware of what types of food you are fueling your body with. Organic foods are not something to shy away from, and should not consume your entire diet either,” said Reddy.

“It is all about finding a balance that your body responds positively to. Don’t fall into fads and popular trends.