There's nothing like fresh, homegrown veggies from the Farmers' Market.
"I'm going to buy a pail of cucumbers," June Richetto said to a local vendor. For the Wausau mom, she also tries to shop organic when she cooks for the family.
"It's healthier, free from chemicals and pesticides," Richetto said. "And it tastes amazing."
But is she just feeding into the hype surrounding the organic food craze?
A study out this week from Stanford Univ. finds no significant health benefits between organic and conventional foods. So if it's not more nutritious, what's the main difference between between an organic squash at the Farmers' Market and a non-organic one in the grocery store? Besides the label, all organic food should be pesticide-free.
"Here's your organic herb blend," Debbie Klug points out in the first aisle at Trig's. "It's $4.59 for 5 oz." She also points out the extra green you'll have to pay, for a lack of packaged green you'll receive. "There are 16 oz. to a pound. And if you multiply that by three, you're paying $12-13 for a pound of lettuce."
The price difference and minimal nutrition difference isn't necessarily the point, though for organic advocates.
"It's just that you don't have the potential of chemicals being used on some of the farms [if it's organic]," said Wausau shopper Mike Jilleck.
In the Stanford report, researchers only looked at the short-term effects. Nutritionists say that lack of chemicals could have a significant impact over a lifetime. But without any evidence for one over the other, they advise for now, do what you're used to.
"What we do know, is that regular food can be just as healthy (and less expensive)," said Aspirus Hospital dietician Samantha Bulgrin. "My recommendation to people would be that if you are choosing organic foods because you feel strongly about avoiding pesticides, or if you are supportive of environmental conservation activities, or if you like the taste, then I would say stick to the organic. However, if you have been choosing organic foods just because you thought they were healthier, I would say save your money and opt for non-organic, you will be getting just as nutritious of a product."
Stanford study for more information