By Amanda Hill

Is organic food healthier? That’s a question I hear a lot these days.

Pop culture touts that organic food is healthier. With magazine articles cursing the “12 dirtiest foods” and talk shows highlighting food extremists, it’s easy to think that organic is the only healthy choice for you and your family.

That’s not true, according to a study from Stanford University’s Center for Health Policy.

The study, published this week in the Annals of Internal Medicine, found that organic produce, meat and milk do not provide any notable health benefits over the same products grown through conventional agricultural practices.

Organic foods are no more nutritious than foods grown by conventional farmers. And, when it comes to food safety, organic and conventional products are at risk for the same contaminants. Organic products are just as susceptible to bacteria like E. coli and salmonella. Fortunately, the bacteria will be killed with proper preparation and cooking.

Those who are passionate about buying organic products will continue to evangelize the benefits they see.

They certainly will bring up concerns with pesticide residue on conventionally grown fruits and vegetables. Pesticide residue is found on organic produce, too. Whether conventional or organic, Stanford researchers found that all samples fell within the safe levels set by the Environmental Protection Agency.

They also will point out that antibiotic-resistant bacteria are less likely in organic chicken and pork. Again, the bacteria will be eliminated during cooking. But, if you feel more comfortable buying organic meat, that is your choice.

That’s the beauty of America. We have the luxury of choice. Shoppers vote with their wallets, and organic is big business.

But you shouldn’t feel guilty if you aren’t willing—or able—to pay more for organic milk, peaches or ground beef. Conventional food is just as nutritious.

Don’t let pop culture convince you otherwise.