Are you purchasing organic foods today? Do you buy organic but are not really sure which are the best choices to make?

Food Dollars Spent On Organics

According to the Organic Trade Association's (OTA's) 2013 U.S. Families Organic Attitudes and Beliefs 81% of families report that they purchase organic foods at least some of the time. That is a big number! Organics often cost more and I am sure families are wondering if it is worth the extra cost.

Comparing Organic to Conventional

To get a better understanding of what the difference between organic and conventionally grown foods, here are a few things to understand about organic foods:

• may apply natural fertilizers - compost or manure.

• may use alternative methods to reduce pests - birds or insects.

• may rotate crops or hand weed or mulch to manage weeds.

• may give animals organic feed, give them access to the outdoors and use a balanced diet and clean housing to help minimize disease.

Why Choose Organic

There are many reasons that someone might choose to purchase organic foods. For each of us we weigh the benefits versus the costs. Consider those that are most important to you.

1. Taste

2. Nutrient content - some research has shown some types of organic produce to contain higher nutrient levels than conventionally grown.

3. Pesticide use - organic foods do not use pesticides to protect crops from disease or insects, but may use alternative methods such as birds or insects.

4. Additives - certified organic foods are banned or severely restricted from using food additives, some other components commonly used in nonorganic foods such as preservatives, artificial sweeteners, colorings and flavorings.

5. Antibiotic or hormone use - organic practices prohibit the use of hormones, antibiotics or other animal drugs for the purpose of stimulating the growth or production of livestock.

6. Environment - organic farming practices are designed to reduce pollution and conserve water and soil quality.

What Choices Will You Make

When budgeting for food expenses, consider where you would like to choose organic. And perhaps, where you can save money on food (i.e. decreasing eating out, preparing meals from scratch rather than packaged foods) so you can invest more in organic foods. Think about the food products that you or your family eats the most. For example if you are milk drinkers, perhaps choosing organic dairy might be a good choice because of the quantity of that food you may consume. If you eat an apple a day, organic apples would be a great choice. I choose organic foods as much as possible and as much as makes sense in my food budget, for all of the reasons listed above. Consider where your food dollars are spent, if you would like to make a change and where would be areas to spend your food dollars on organics.

Author's Bio: 

Lynda Enright, MS, RD, CLT is certified as a Wellness Coach and LEAP Therapist who partners with women who want to look and feel amazing by helping them lose weight and reduce inflammation which can cause fatigue, bloating, acid reflux, congestion, brain fog or achy joints. For FREE meal planning ideas to help you eat well, lose weight and reduce inflammation - click here to get Ten Meals In A Bag