Organic food purchases on the rise in Rapid City

Organic produce at Breadroots Natural Food Co-Op.

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - "That extra cost of a dollar at the store, where does that lead clear down the road in the cost of our health," said Dietitian Cindy Gates.

When grocery shopping, organic and non-organic foods may look the exact same... So what's the difference between the two?

"So organic and non-organic. So organic produce would be not using pesticides and chemicals," said Gates. "Where as when you spray your crops with herbicides, pesticides can have detrimental side effects on your health."

Some experts say long term exposure can lead to Parkinson's disease, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and different types of cancers when eating the wrong foods.

With technology, eating healthier is easier. A really great way is to get the Healthy Living app that will search through its database after scanning an item and give you a score on how healthy the item is.

Another way to check is by looking at "the clean fifteen" and "the dirty dozen," two lists from the Environmental Working Group.

Scientists test each fruit and vegetable every year to see how many pesticides they contain.

If cost is an issue, this a great way to buy non-organic foods.

"So if strawberries, spinach, and kale are on the dirty dozen. So if you're going to buy kale, you should be buying organic kale," said Gates. "Where like you are buying sweet corn, it's ok if you are buying non organic sweet corn."

Jeffrey Thouron who is a general manager at Breadroots Co-op thinks the nationwide trend of shopping organically has made its way to Rapid City.

"There is a trend in Rapid City, more organic. I have been at the Co-op for seven years and it's just exploding," said Thouron. "There's several local stores that focus on organic and all the major stores like Family Fare and Safeway."

Knowing what you put in your body now can affect your future.