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Going Green!

Going Green!

The 411 on buying organic food

We are living in an organic revolution! But with so many more options out there, it can be overwhelming. Do you know what you need and what you don’t? What can you spend more on, and what is a waste of your money? Read and find out.

Organic produce is not more nutritious. Contrary to popular belief, a 2012 study confirmed that organic fruits and vegetables are not any more nutritious than conventional produce. But what organic produce does offer you are less pesticides and chemicals, which is important, too.

Organics are more expensive. Although it’s unfair, on average, organic fruits and veggies can cost 50 percent more than conventional ones, and organic meats and milk can be 100 percent more expensive. So keep that in mind when deciding what you are willing to spend extra on.

Splurge on milk and dairy. Organic milk, yogurt, creamer and other daily products are worth the money. These products have less hormones in them because the cows they come from were fed a healthier diet. Plus, they have higher levels of omega-3s.

Skip fruits and veggies with thicker skin. Thick skin on produce protects the inner layers (what we usually eat) from the pesticides sprayed on veggies. So if you can’t afford it, it’s OK to skip on bananas, avocados, oranges and grapefruits.

Splurge on meats and poultry. This is one thing to spend extra cash on. Organic chicken and pork are 33 percent less likely than their conventional counterparts to have antibiotic-resistant bacteria living within them.

Skip condiments. Unless you can afford it or your local store offers it at a low price, you don’t need organic ketchup, mayo, mustard, spaghetti sauce, salad dressing, etc. Sometimes, even the organic brands still have unhealthy ingredients like corn syrup and are high in sodium. Read the labels first!

Splurge on eggs. Organic eggs are void of pesticides, hormones, arsenic and other chemicals. They, too, have more omega-3 acids in them as well.

Skip seafood. Here’s the thing: Organic seafood doesn’t really exist. The USDA has no real guidelines set up for them. So instead, opt for low-mercury seafood such as salmon (wild), tuna, scallops, catfish and tilapia for healthier seafood options.

Splurge on thin-skinned foods. Non-organic, thinner-skinned fruits and vegetables are more likely to have pesticides absorbed in what you are actually digesting. So splurge on organic apples, cherries, strawberries, grapes, spinach, kale, etc.

Think outside the box. When shopping for affordable organics, you might have to go to several stores to get what you want; do your research ahead of time and stock up. Also, Whole Foods isn’t the only place to get organic foods. Kroger, Aldi, Target, Trader Joe’s, Walmart and other stories all have affordable organic foods, too!

For more about healthy shopping, go to BET.

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Kellee Terrell