Eating organic healthier, pricier for college students

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The USDA organic certification means less harmful hormones and additions, but is the price tag worth the benefit? Emma LeGault of The College Veggie investigates.

The College Veggie: The USDA defines “organic” as products made without excluded methods, like genetic engineering.

There are strict certification requirements, and most often, that means the organic product price is higher. Kelsey Fortin, a health educator at KU, said the price difference is partly because of a more careful farming process.

Kelsey Fortin: If people are growing it the more organic way, it  may be more labor strenuous and they may not come out as cost-effective.

TCV: Fortin said beef is an organic must-have.

KF: Research has found links between the hormones that they put in cows and those hormones causing cancer in humans.

TCV: When it comes to organic fruits and veggies, there are some to save on and splurge on.

KF: Things like bananas or oranges, where you take the peels off, that way you’re taking off that outside layer and that barrier too, so those aren’t going to be as important as things like strawberries. Even with washing they still have the little pits and crevices, too, that make it harder to get that stuff off.

TCV: Sierra Upton, a KU junior, said she only buys organic products she needs within her budget.

Sierra Upton: Sometimes I will buy non-organic just because they’re cheaper, but you just have to make sure that you wash them really well, kind of disinfect and get the gross chemicals off.

TCV: Although there is an obvious price difference at grocery stores, Fortin said there are other low-cost options.

KF: Farmer’s Markets, you know, when they’re open all summer long, those are gonna be a direct source that you’re getting stuff from, and you can actually meet the person who’s growing your food.

TCV: For Upton and Fortin, it comes down to smart budgeting with organic options.

SU: I also don’t do grocery shopping just kind of on a whim.

KF: You know, if you’re on a budget, prioritize.

TCV: This has been Emma LeGault with The College Veggie.

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