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Palestrina 06-10-2013 08:48 AM

Organic or not?
 
I'm wondering if anyone else is buying a lot of organic food and produce like I am? I buy organic anything that I consume raw (lettuce, spinach, fruits) unless it has a thick skin like banana or avocado. I don't touch apples or strawberries unless they are organic. Something about watching people harvest strawberries in hazmat suits really scared me and it's on the top of the top 10 list to buy organic. Organic dairy of course like eggs and milk I only buy organic. I buy organic frozen vegetables too and keep lots of frozen peas and green beans around at all times.

Also anything that grows in the ground I buy organic so potatoes, onions, carrots, celery must be organic. Other things are hard to find organic like tomatoes and most everything else is too expensive to buy organic but I try when I can.

Most things I buy for my toddler are organic too like his cereals and oatmeal and legumes. I cook from scratch at home and we don't do processed foods.

I never buy farm raised fish and when I can afford it I buy grass-fed beef. I only buy organic chicken because the non-organic chicken smells funny to me. I'm really lucky that I live in a neighborhood where I can walk to the grocery, farmers market, several vegetable markets, fish monger, italian specialty store, butcher, since I boycott large super mega stores.

I also walk to the market every day after reading the book "French Women Don't Get Fat" and it keeps me active and buying fresh food every day. Yes it's a little more expensive to shop like this but it keeps me eating fresh food and being active every day. I also like to cut spending in other areas.

It's kind of the norm around my area and within my circle of friends but I have gotten criticism from some that I waste my money on organic. I don't know, I figure I spend the money where I think it's important and cut back from things I don't need. A lot of this has to do with having a kid and wanting him to get full nutrition out of the small amount of food he eats. Any other organic freaks like me out there?

luckymommy 06-10-2013 10:44 AM

Count me into the organic freak club! ;) Hehehehe! I do my best to buy organic and it gets super pricey but I think that with food, you either pay now for healthy food or later for medical bills. I've read that organic produce contains more nutrition so aside from the pesticides, that's another advantage.
Another reason to buy organic is to avoid GMO's. We were not intended to mess with nature but companies like Monsanto have and do and they get away with it because of their power and mega $.

I get not doing it if you can't afford it. Hey, we all do the best we can. What baffles me are friends that I have who buy handbags for thousands of dollars (each!!!) and refuse to buy organic, even just for their kids.

My parents think organic foods are all a complete scam and maybe it is, but unless someone gives me some evidence of that fact, I'll keep wasting my money. ;)

Rosalitta 06-10-2013 10:59 AM

I'm the same :) I buy organic everything when I can! Sometimes money doesn't let me get everything but I do my best. The hubby and I made a garden this year too so we're going to have lots of veggies this summer plus leftovers I'm sure that I'll be able to cook up and freeze!

I have a lot of criticism too about what I buy but too bad :P You're the one eating it and as long as you're happy with the choice then that's all that matters :)

newleaf123 06-10-2013 11:02 AM

I belong to an organic CSA which supplies me with fruit & vegetables 9 months out of the year. I love it!! This week was organic rhubarb, spinach, salad greens, basil, thyme, mushrooms, and rainbow chard.

ICUwishing 06-10-2013 11:22 AM

Mostly organic here too, and working toward growing a lot of our own from heirloom seed. I am a bit of a food activist (kook, conspiracist, tinfoil hat, etc) and am pursuing a raw-milk source and evaluating the idea of raising chickens. Criticism doesn't bug me at all; people are entitled to have their own thoughts and some even learn eventually. ;)

Like you, I'm trying to raise a healthy kid with healthy skepticism for our advertisement- and profit-driven Standard American Diet and to appreciate time spent getting his hands dirty in the garden, and the glorious simplicity of whole foods.

Desiderata 06-10-2013 11:38 AM

Organic here, but with an understanding that "Big Agra" organic sometimes means very little. Grocery store organic eggs are a really good example - "cage free" usually doesn't mean what it sounds like it should. But we're loving our beyond-organic CSA share so far this year, even if I've got more radishes than I know what to do with. :)

Lately I'm more concerned with how what we put on our skin and what we live around can be much, much more toxic and dangerous than eating some non-organic food. No artificial perfumes in this house, most cleaners and things are the baking soda/vinegar-type homemade variety, and very minimal/carefully chosen cosmetics or other things that go on the skin. But trying to avoid chemicals can feel like such a battle.

Our biggest eye-opener lately has been how toxic most furniture is, due to very poorly written flame re*tardant requirements that the tobacco industry of course mucked up. Some pretty nasty chemicals can be measured in your blood at really high levels - just from sitting on furniture!! And it's almost impossible to buy something like a couch that hasn't been doused in the stuff. It's so scary and so awful that a) these poisons are so pervasive and b) it feels almost futile/impossible to try to be an informed consumer and avoid them. The safe options are extremely rare and very expensive. Gah.

Back to the original question - no, I don't think spending money on organic is necessarily wasteful. Sounds like you're doing it right, OP! Sometimes people just automatically buy something that says "organic" and assume it's good, regardless of processed or whatever it is. You sound like a discerning mom!

nelie 06-10-2013 12:03 PM

Well I'm lucky in that we have a few grocery stores that specialize in organic produce (that is all they carry) and their prices aren't too much different than a normal grocery store non-organic. The prices are way above the asian grocery stores but I haven't been happy with produce in the past there so that is ok. I buy organic mostly because I like the grocery store and it may be a little pricier but it isn't outrageous.

Do you need to buy all organic produce? Not really. Does it hurt to do so? Not really. I don't buy any animal products so that isn't a concern of mine.

JohnP 06-10-2013 01:10 PM

We don't buy organic.

I don't believe that organic offers much if any benefit over non organic. Granted I haven't spent a lot of time researching but the two big differences seem to be that organic means non GMO and that the pesticides used are not synthetic.

I think GMO is bad for several reasons but how it affects my health is not one of them.

I don't know that natural pesticides are any less dangerous than synthetic pesticides.

My friend eats only organic and one of his favorite products recently has been frozen organic berries from Costco. He is a little freaked out right now.

Missy Krissy 06-10-2013 02:21 PM

I'm not sure how much stock I put into the whole organic movement, but I generally don't buy it because I seriously can not afford to. I'd rather get a good amount of non-organic fresh produce so that I can eat fresh fruits and veggies every day than a small amount of organic produce and be stuck with starchy foods for the rest of the week.

As an aside, DH is a firm believer that organic foods taste better. We did a double blind taste test using organic vs non-organic bananas of the same ripeness, and we actually both picked the non-organic bananas as the better tasting ones. I've got to admit, I gave him a little bit of a hard time about it, but now we aren't spending as much on bananas ;)

Palestrina 06-10-2013 03:34 PM

Taste does have a lot to do with it and like you say, there is little difference in bananas because their thick skin does protect them somewhat. But you can't get me to drink non organic milk or berries, sorry. I definitely understand if people can't afford it. I can, but not because I'm rich - but because that's what I slate for good nutritious food and I do curb my spending in other areas. I don't give too much credence to brand name labels in clothes for example.

Palestrina 06-10-2013 03:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JohnP (Post 4768481)
My friend eats only organic and one of his favorite products recently has been frozen organic berries from Costco. He is a little freaked out right now.

Let's be fair now, just because of this does not mean that ALL organic products are not safe. Lots of outbreaks have occured in things like melons, lettuce, spinach, peanut butter, all non-organic. A contamination has nothing to do with whether or not something is organic?

I only eat fresh berries, to tell the truth I'm not a fan of frozen berries but my son sure is. I put them in his oatmeal all the time.

TripSwitch 06-10-2013 04:02 PM

Have you seen the documentary "In Organic We Trust"? It addresses the idea as to whether or not "organic" is healthier or not and also how it's used often as marketing technique among other issues... Definitely might be worth taking a look at... I found it pretty interesting...

Munchy 06-10-2013 04:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JohnP (Post 4768481)
We don't buy organic.

I don't believe that organic offers much if any benefit over non organic. Granted I haven't spent a lot of time researching but the two big differences seem to be that organic means non GMO and that the pesticides used are not synthetic.

I think GMO is bad for several reasons but how it affects my health is not one of them.

I don't know that natural pesticides are any less dangerous than synthetic pesticides.

Same here.

I also can't afford to buy organic. I have to cut corners ANYWAY just to afford the amount of fresh food we like to eat, which includes shopping at Aldi, PriceRite, Asian grocers, etc. Whenever I get a single item at Stop and Shop or another big name grocery, I'm shocked at the prices. A head of non-organic cabbage for $2.50? :?:

BrittBit 06-10-2013 04:24 PM

I am personally an organic, non gmo eater. I think the people that give you hassle over spending your money on organic may not be well educated on the subject. I have my research and my beliefs but I would suggest doing your own research on the matter. So when someone is trying to dispute your decision you will have knowledge on your side. There are many accredited studies and research groups dedicated to the effects of being organic. I think you will find that with research, you are making a good choice for yourself.
I would also research possible side effects caused by pesticides ... I'm sure you have heard of agent orange, which isn't used in the US anymore but it doesn't mean that it isn't being used on produce being imported from other countries.

Hope this helps! :)

BrittBit 06-10-2013 04:30 PM

Also, if you are shopping locally, sometimes it's a good idea to research why a farm may not be organic. Even if the farm doesn't use pesticides but they are within a certain distance from a farm that does use pesticides, they cannot be qualified to be organic. But if this is the case, the produce would not be absorbing the pesticides through the soil.
...just an additional thought for you.


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