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Curious Whether Buying Organic Food Is Worth It

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Organic Food
WBZ-TV's David Wade David Wade
Multiple award-winning journalist David Wade co-anchors WBZ-TV News at...
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Good Eats

BOSTON (CBS) – For some people, eating better means buying organic, but how do you know what you’re really getting?

Dan from Hudson Declared his Curiosity:

“I spend a fair amount of extra money on organic groceries. How can I be certain that what I’m consuming is truly organic?”

Across the country, the number of farms, like Barnstable’s Cape Cod Organic Farm, is growing.

You can also buy organic eggs and soon, organic pork.

‘Organic’ means crops are grown without synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, and no artificial hormones or antibiotics for animals.

SEE: The USDA’s National Organic Program

You know they’re doing it right because strict organic standards, set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, are enforced through yearly inspections and certification.

Farmer Tim Friary said that USDA officials will go through how much his farm harvested, where they sold their food, and what the price was.

WBZ-TV’s David Wade reports.

All that scrutiny earns the food the USDA organic seal. That’s what to look for when you shop.

“If it says organic, it’s organic,” said Joan Salge Blake, a registered dietitian.

Blake said that sounds simple, but you have to know about the different levels. If you buy fruits and vegetables labeled organic, you can be sure they’re 100 percent organic.

For products made with multiple ingredients, the seal means they’re at least 95 percent organic.

But, if a package just says it contains ‘organic ingredients,’ it could be as little as 70 percent organic and it won’t get the USDA seal.

Here’s another bit of insider information: traditionally grown fruits and vegetables are just as nutritious as organically grown.

Of course, a lot of people feel organic foods are just healthier. But, you still have to choose wisely.

So, look for the seal and remember the organic levels, and you’ll get your money’s worth.

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