ORGANIC, NATURAL OR CONVENTIONAL?

SN queried shoppers in the Upper Midwest last week to get informal views of natural and organic foods, and why -- or why not -- consumers seek them out in their favorite store. One prime motivator seems to be price, which industry experts say will likely become more compatible with conventional food prices as the category matures.en organic foods, but I really don't know much about them, so I don't

SN queried shoppers in the Upper Midwest last week to get informal views of natural and organic foods, and why -- or why not -- consumers seek them out in their favorite store. One prime motivator seems to be price, which industry experts say will likely become more compatible with conventional food prices as the category matures.

en organic foods, but I really don't know much about them, so I don't pay attention to how much they cost. I just buy the foods that I know I like already.

Leah Wade, 19,

waitress, Detroit I didn't realize that there were organic foods other than fruits and vegetables. I haven't tried any of them yet, but I would try them only if someone else had them. I probably wouldn't buy them myself, though, because I'm a very picky eater.

Chris Slater, 25, charter captain, Muskegon, Mich.

I've never tried organic foods that I know of. If I thought something was healthier, I'd buy it, but not if it didn't taste as good and was more expensive.

Susette Koulentis, 46, daycare manager, Chicago

Organics are very expensive from what I've noticed, but it doesn't bother me that I don't eat them because I'm a healthy woman at 46, and I'm that way from eating other types of foods my entire life.

Rebecca Taylor, 20, student, Detroit

I've never tried organic foods and don't know what they are. My mom's bought some Simply Orange orange juice that isn't supposed to have anything in it, but oranges and that was good, but if I were buying orange juice, I'd probably buy one of the other brand names like Tropicana.

Phil Rutherford, 20, charter captain, Muskegon, Mich.

I've seen organic meats and produce in stores and would definitely buy them depending mostly on the price comparisons vs. regular foods. If they're more expensive, that would probably be a hindrance. Depending on the product, I might not want to buy organic foods if they didn't have the flavor that other foods have.

Thomas Koulentis, 50, convenience store manager, Chicago

I know organics are there, but I don't look for them. I've seen the fresh fruits and vegetables and the canned fruits and vegetables that are all organic, but also the organic flowers that can be used in cooking, too. I don't buy them, though, because they don't tend to taste as good as the others that have sugar and salt added, and the produce is too expensive.

Mary Conran, 42, hotel owner, North Muskegon, Mich.

've tried organic lettuce and broccoli, mostly fresh vegetables. I used to garden myself and never put pesticides on my food and like to know that they're not in the foods I eat now. But they're more expensive, so I don't buy organic foods most of the time. I like the flavor of organic lettuce better because bagged lettuce has that chemical smell and taste to it.

Debora Tompkins, 36, stay-at-home mother, Peoria, Ill.

I've never tried organic foods. We have a limited budget as it is, so I would never buy anything that's more expensive even if it was supposed to be more nutritious or didn't have pesticides or additives. I try to give my family well-rounded meals and feel that I do a pretty good job without having to buy organic things.