Pros and cons of eating organic - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Pros and cons of eating organic

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BOTETOURT COUNTY -

Organic or not? Reasons vary why many do or don't but if you go organic because you think it's healthier than it's non-organic counterparts, know the evidence isn't as clear cut.

"Studies are really funny things," explained Carilion Registered Dietician Don Mankie. He says one study can show organic is up to 30% more nutrient dense and yet another show the opposite. "They found it really did seem to be significantly different but then recent find there's really not that much of a difference," he said.

Brooke Mercedes who is a registered dietician and mother of two girls, gives her family organic because of what she says is not in the food that makes it more healthful. To be labeled organic, produce is made without the use of pesticides, not genetically engineered or exposed to irradiation, synthetic fertilizers or sewage sludge. "It's doesn't change the nutritional value," she said. "You're not adding anything to it. It going to change the quality because you take things like the hormones, the steroids out but it's not going to make it have more Calcium or more Vitamin C."

Mercedes says she's noticed the impact on the health of her daughters through her own research, experience. "We started with regular milk and she ended up with breast buds. They call it Thelarche," Mercedes said. "They're large, premature breast budding and she was two. They say it's the steroids and hormones in the milk. Just by changing that, they went away.

Mercedes chooses to go organic where she says it really counts. She'll buy organic milk; however, she does not pay extra for things like oranges where she and Mankie say there's less chance of chemicals penetrating the skin. "There's a whole list of vegetables and fruits where even if they're sprayed, pesticides probably won't penetrate," he said. "The produce, things like bananas with a thick skin."

Mercedes doesn't skimp on berries. "We do a lot of berries in our house and so we're eating the whole entire berry so that would be something I would do organic." She also goes organic when it comes to eggs, meat and poultry. It costs more but she says there's savings elsewhere. "Just by changing my milk, my eggs, my fruits, my vegetables, we can also in the long run be saving myself medical expenses."

Food for thought when you choose to pay more at checkout and if you do, there are more options when it comes to find it. Local grocery stores have large organic sections. Mercedes uses a new specialty grocer, All Things Healthy, Daleville.

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