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Transcript: Organic or not? Getting what you pay for

Anchor Intro: We all know food prices are rising, and organic foods were already generally more expensive. So how can health-conscious shoppers know they're getting true "green" groceries before they part with their green? Bankrate.com looks into all those labels.

Voice over 1: Organic. All Natural. Cage-free. Green. Consumers are bombarded with foods claiming to be the healthiest option, so how do you sort fresh fact from fiction? We asked shoppers the difference between organic and natural:

SOT: "Natural doesn't have a lot of insecticides (it's confusing)..."

SOT: "I think when it says organic, it means without all the pesticides..."

Voice over 2: They're on the right track. "Organic foods" are produced without pesticides, chemical fertilizers or antibiotics and grown using renewable resources while conserving soil and water.

Voice over 3: This label means the U.S. Department of Agriculture says you're getting what you pay for! Look for it with wording like "Certified Organic" or "100-percent organic." That's worth your extra money.

Voice over 4: The terms "natural" or "all natural" are not USDA regulated, so natural food is only as reliable as the company producing it. If you know and trust the supplier, it's probably OK. If not, beware.

Voice over 5: Don't pay extra for eggs labeled as "cage-free" or "free-roaming" because those terms aren't tightly regulated by anyone either.

Voice over 6: Things can get fishy in the seafood section. The government has not set up rules to certify organic fish yet, so unless you trust the supplier, you could be wasting food dollars.

Standup: The government says they're working to create more rules and regulations for organic, but they've been saying that for years. For now, if you've got an appetite for healthy eating, make sure you're getting what you pay for. For Bankrate.com, I'm Kristin Arnold.

Bankrate.com's corrections policy
-- Posted: Dec. 31, 2008
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