Higher prices for organically grown food may lead consumers to assume that the organic-food trend is just one more retailing gimmick. However, this is not the case. Organic food actually is healthier and more beneficial than food grown with synthetic pesticides and artificial fertilizers. USDA regulations stipulate that organic foods must be grown free of these substances. For meat to be considered organic, the animals must be raised on organically grown feed, and they do not receive antibiotics or synthetic growth hormones. According to some research, organic foods have greater nutritional value because their production of vitamins and antioxidants is boosted by the absence of synthetic chemicals. Whether or not this is true, a major health benefit derived from organic food is the absence of chemicals that have been identified as possible causes for a variety of health problems, from headaches to birth defects. Various forms of cancer have been associated with exposure to pesticides, and studies have shown that even low-level exposure to pesticides is toxic to fetuses and children. Farmers’ markets feature locally grown organic foods that frequently are reasonably priced. It may still be priced more than conventionally grown food but the health benefits are well worth the extra cost.