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Are Organic Foods Really Healthier?

A new study questions whether organic foods will keep you healthier than conventionally grown ones. What does it mean for you?

Guidelines You Can Live By

Organic, sustainable, eco-friendly, or just plain food … still wondering what to look for when you buy lunch or pick produce at the supermarket—or even buy beer?

The experts we spoke to helped us break down this complex (and always changing, it seems) issue into a few rules, which will help you do what’s best for your body and the planet.

  • Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. It is one of the easiest ways to improve your health, period. So if you are concerned about pesticides, check out the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list of produce with high amounts of pesticides—those are the organic varieties you might want to spend the extra money on.
     
  • Buy local whenever possible. Miller suggests that people "buy from local farmers, that they get to know their farmers and find out how they’re treating their land." Not only does this support the local economy, but it’s better for you and the environment. Local food only has to travel a few miles—rather than hundreds—which means it will be fresher, have more flavor, and have less of a carbon footprint.
     
  • Grow your own food. This is not just for off-the-grid types. Growing your own food “actually requires a lot less time than a lot of other things that we waste our time with in our life,” said Miller. “All you need is a balcony" (or a backyard). By growing your own food, you can save money, have a ready supply of fresh produce—and know exactly what’s gone into it.

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