Organic food sales on the rise

AUSTIN, Minn. – A new survey by the Organic Trade Association shows that more people are buying organic.

Sales of those products in the U.S. have grown by nearly $4 billion from 2012 to 2013 and that is only expected to rise.

Good Earth Natural Foods has called Austin home for more than three decades. Owner Caron Jagodzinski said people do seem to be seeking out her product.

“As they continue to catch on to the hazards, they’ll find that they have to go back to the non-packaged, organic items,” Jagodzinski said.

She said getting those pre-packaged items may be convenient, but it is not the healthier option.

“If you’re looking at solid nutrition, natural foods, which mean they have not been prepared previously, you have to prepare them yourself, are the most nutritious,” Jagodzinski said.

People are still going the organic route even if that means it is already prepared.

Those at the Austin Hy-Vee say it is a section of the store seeing more traffic.

“People are a lot more aware of what they’re buying and definitely want to know more of the story of what’s in their food, where it comes from, how it was grown, so I do think that’s becoming more popular,” said Hy-Vee Dietitian Jen Haugen.

As far as health benefits go from organic to conventional, she said many studies show that there is not much of a difference.

“Conventional grown produce, they can apply pesticide and some things like that, that are more synthetic or man-made types of things, but organics also can have pesticides applied to it as well, as long as they’re naturally made,” Haugen said.

She said there is also talk out there about the chemicals causing early puberty, but there just is not enough information to back that up yet, but hitting puberty early can come from being overweight.

“The important thing is that we just eat enough fruit and vegetables, no matter if they’re organic or conventional grown, it’s still really important to get those nutrients from fruits and vegetables,” Haugen said.

She said going the organic route is your choice as the consumer. If you want to know a little bit more about how your food was made, organic is the way to go.

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