In love with your organic pretzels? You're not alone.
In 2004, the country spent about $15 billion on organic food. By 2009, that figure is expected to double to $30 billion.
But buying organic, like anything else that's considered a luxury, carries a premium; in fact, on average organic foods can cost 50% to 100% more than conventional products, according to Consumer Reports. But not all organic food has health benefits, which somewhat defeats the purpose.
Here are some tips to get the most value from organic shopping next time you're at the grocer.
First, know that just because a package says "organic," it doesn't necessarily mean it's completely organic. Items labeled "natural" or "all natural" can also be misleading. Only foods cited as "100% organic" contain all organic ingredients, according to The U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The general rule of thumb is to buy organic fruits and vegetables that otherwise contain more residual pesticide levels than others. That includes apples, bell peppers, celery, cherries, peaches, pears, spinach and strawberries.
Nutrition experts say milk and meat are also, more often than not, worth the organic price tag.
On the flip side, you don't need to spend the extra bucks on organic asparagus. Same for other produce like bananas and corn, which are rarely sprayed with pesticides.
And lastly, what about those organic wheat pretzels you love?
Nutrition experts say think twice before splurging on organic breads. Most companies refortify the grain in bread, and therefore, you're not likely to miss out any health benefits.
To view Farnoosh Torabi's video take of today's segment, click here.
Farnoosh Torabi joined TheStreet.com TV in July 2006 as the site's first official video correspondent. Previously, Farnoosh was a business producer and on-air reporter for NY1 News, Time Warner's 24-hour news channel in New York City. Farnoosh is a regular columnist for AM New York and has written for Money, Time, New York Daily News and Newsday. Farnoosh is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University, with a degree in Finance and International Business and holds a M.A. from the Columbia School of Journalism.