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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – With spring here and the farmer’s market season just around the corner, many may be faced with the question, is buying organic food worth the extra cost?

Registered Dietitian for SSM St. Joseph Health center, Shital Mehta says there isn’t any definite studies that show that organic foods are more nutrient dense than conventionally grown produce.

However she says, “You also have to keep in mind they are lower in pesticides and they are lower in the amount of chemicals used like food additives, the synthetic ones or synthetic fertilizers. They have kept in mind some eco-friendly stuff, more things that are environmentally friendly.”

Because organic farmers are unable to use traditional chemicals to fight insects and disease, factors like natural pest treatments and more labor intensive work hike up the cost of organic produce.

Mehta says the prices have come down in the past five years and suggests buying organic food if possible.

“If you can make it as part of your food budget and you can find enough variety of organic produce, then by all means.” Mehta says.

It is recommended that if consumers are going to pick and choose which items you buy organic, they should focus on the dirty dozen. The dirty dozen includes strawberries, blueberries, kale, and potatoes.

“They are basically twelve fruits and vegetables that the Environmental Working Group has determined use the most pesticides.” Mehta explains.

One way St. Louis residence can get locally grown organic products is through Green Bean Delivery. The organic food company considers themselves personal shoppers, who will deliver high quality, produce to the customer’s home.

Director of Purchasing and Procurement, Nick Brown says the company is dedicated to producing a healthier product while improving the environment.

“We deal a lot with organic, but 100% we are natural. So if you just kind of take out those preservatives and those hydrogenated oils and those additional sugars you don’t need, you’re automatically going to feel better.” Brown says.

Bottom line, eating organically is ideal, but one set of guidelines doesn’t work for everyone. Mehta says consumers must do what fits best with in their budget and schedule.

By Jessica Hartman

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