The Checkout

Vitamins and Organic Food

Be wary of super cheap multivitamins that are for sale in dollar stores and other super discounters. That's the conclusion of the latest Consumer Reports after the magazine tested 18 multivitamin brands from such stores as The Dollar Store, Family Dollar and Big Lots. The magazine tested for vitamin/mineral content and dissolvability to determine if the pills break down fast enough to be absorbed. Its results: Nearly half of the 18 tested brands failed to contain the labeled amount of at least one nutrient and several did not dissolve adequately. Over the years, the magazine has tested major multivitamin brands and they have always proved reliable. "We recommend sticking to those better-known brands of multivitamins," Consumer Reports said.

Also this month:

The magazine has tips on when it pays to buy organic food. The magazine recommends that you buy organic apples, bell peppers, celery, cherries, imported grapes, nectarines, peaches, pears, potatoes, red raspberries, spinach and strawberries because when conventionally grown, these fruits and vegetables tend to be laden with pesticides. On the other hand, it's not worth spending extra to buy organic asparagus, avocados, bananas, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet corn, kiwi, mangos, onions, papaya, pineapples and sweet peas because multiple pesticide residues are generally rarely found on these items.

And never spend extra on organic seafood, because whether caught in the wild or farm-raised, fish can be labeled organic even if it contains mercury and PCBs.

By  |  January 10, 2006; 9:30 AM ET Consumer Tips
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Comments

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Hi: One word on vitamines is: B-Balanced Complex. There in B-50,B-100,B-150 doseages.Balanced means all B vitamines are in correct porportion. Real secret here is that 250 mgm of B-1 (thiamine) forces renewed nural growth. Big factor in staying healther & younger in heart. Although not easy to obtain, thiamine hcl is prefered over thiamine mononitrate.This knowledge is greatest breakthru in long term prevention.Signed:Physician Thomas Stewart Von Drashek M.D.

Posted by: Thomas Stewart Von Drashek M.D. | January 10, 2006 11:22 AM

Well, people should pay more attention to the store brands as well...the one-a-day vitamins so many people take are shams. Think of all the stuff the lable claims is in there, then ask yourself if it makes sense that all of it is contained within that dinky little pill. Also, a lot of those vitamins contacin fillers like chalk and yeast that affect their potency and can affect people with sensitivities. I switched to a different brand of vitamins several years ago, and it made all the difference in the world. I noticed a definite spike in my energy and overall health, and even though I now take eight pills a day instead of one it's worth it. People who are looking for serious health benefits from their supplements should look into vitamins made from high-quality ingredients without fillers or preservatives.

Posted by: look at your pills | January 10, 2006 11:27 AM

When I read, "And never spend extra on organic seafood, because whether caught in the wild or farm-raised, fish..." alarms went of in my head. There are big reasons not to buy most farm-raised fish. Farm raised fish have higher levels of carcinogenic toxins and they are decimating our wild salmon runs here on the northwest coast. I realize you were merely discussing the organic labeling question but often people equate organic fish with wild caught.

Posted by: Scott in Seattle | January 10, 2006 11:41 AM

I appreciate the Consumer Reports analysis of when to buy organic but they seem to have taken the limited viewpoint of direct health benefits to consumers. Another major reason to buy organic is because of the release of toxins to the environment, so it still may be worth purchasing organic even if there are no pesticide residues in the final product.

Posted by: Robert Buschbacher | January 10, 2006 12:16 PM

Best source of these things is 'Fantastic Voyage' by Kurzweil and Grossman and 'Fantastic-Voyage.net,' because they are scientists and use both natural and artificial means toward health, and don't turn it into some religion. Main thing is people ought to start using Stevia instead of table sugar, as it's much sweeter and causes none of the harm. Expensive, but not publicized much, probably because sugar industry is powerful.

Posted by: Patrick J. | January 10, 2006 12:45 PM

If you really want "bang for your buck," buy "food based" vitamins...not made of all the synthetic junk found in most commercialized varieties...

Posted by: Mark Arcusa | January 10, 2006 7:21 PM

To add to Robert Buschbacher's post, some studies also claim that organic foods have higher levels of vitamins and/or other nutrients than their conventional counterparts, so that could be another reason to choose organic.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 11, 2006 3:34 PM

Customer Service in so many realms has taken a true plunge since I last seriously needed to purchase big ticket items. I am astounded that companies like KitchenAid, Sears pay so little mind to disgruntled customers. KitchenAid responds to complaints with form letters, or if talking to a purchaser in person blames the purchaser for lemon appliances. What makes it harder is that it seems that all the customer service courses out there have only provided customer service reps with a new way to be passive aggressive in responding to consumers (reps responding appropriately, and then nothing happens as promised.

Would love to see a consumer rebellion that would alert firms to their need to provide the services that are promised in their insistant advertising or else realized that consumers would boycott their company. It is really amazing to review the complaints posted about the various companies and note that one's own complaint has already been posted - and is still happening. Eg. A KitchenAid stove I ordered from a local appliance store (well-rated) was delivered by some temporary help that severely scratched my floor and broke two counters! The store was disrespectful to my calls of distres till their insurance company paid a hefty fee several months later.
The electric stove itself had knobs that easily turned on the range, and the stove could not be shut off without turning it off from the fuse box in the basement! There are several complaints over the past two years with the same complaint, and yet KitchenAid has continued (yes, their most recent model comes with a repair kit to be placed on the machine at the time of purchase!!!) to produce the same defective model.

thanks for letting me rail on - but it is mighty frustrating to be involved in these fiascos.

Gail

Posted by: Gail Fisher | January 17, 2006 3:57 PM

I have just realized that the one-a-day Bugs Bunny vitamins I have been giving my kids CONTAIN ASPERTAME!!!!!!! THis is noted in small print, not facing the same way as the nutritional info. I cannot believe that they are marketing this to kids with phenylalanine!!!! SHAME ON BAYER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!PLEASE DO NOT BUY THESE!!!!!!!!!!!!TELL YOUR FRIENDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Melissa Eydenberg | January 28, 2006 11:31 AM

Sedentary and increasing obesity in the United States caused by the fatty and unhealthy eating habits,

cholesterol is becoming a major issue for Health Agencies - Read More: http://cholesterol.health-resources.org

Posted by: jonathan Oberman | February 3, 2006 2:38 PM

Last September I was diagnosed with diabetes. At the beginning I thought my life was going to turned boring and annoying as I am a really good fan of sweets and chocolates. However I began using Stevia in my recipes and surprisingly the flavor of them didn’t change. I have been losing weight ever since and I have been feeling better each day.

Posted by: Catherine Cox | February 24, 2006 10:28 AM

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Posted by: Brian | March 2, 2006 7:40 PM

The concept of healthy eating is primarily a problem in rich countries where the lifestyle includes little physical exercise, a large food intake, and a trend towards factory-processed foods instead of home-cooked meals. A healthy and rich resource for organic foods: http://www.realfreshfood.com/natural-food/nggfood.htm

Posted by: wendy | August 4, 2006 3:54 PM

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