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Who eats organically?

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Old 01-08-2010, 09:09 PM   #1
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Default Who eats organically?

Today my boyfriend and I went to the all natural grocery store here and I realized two things:

1. They have EVERYTHING you could ever want there!

and

2. Organic doesn't mean low calorie.



I didn't really notice TOO big of a price jump from the regular store, but it was a little more expensive. My question is, have any of you gone organic? Does it make you feel any better? I just wanted to know what you're experiences/opinions are on switching to a completely organic diet.
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Old 01-08-2010, 10:35 PM   #2
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We do organic fruits and vegetables. There is a local organic food delivery service here. We pay $43.00 for a BIG box of assorted organic fruits and veggies.

My husband hunts so we have a lot of deer, elk, moose, and grouse. Of course that's organic too!

My youngest son and I drink organic almond milk.

The only thing we don't do that is organic is milk and cheese. We can't afford it. My son and husband are the only ones who consume those, and it's not a whole lot.

ETA I haven't noticed a difference in terms of health just from the organics, but because it's home delivery for the fruit and veggies, it saves us a lot of money because I only have to grocery shop once every two weeks for milk, cheese, crackers, bread.
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Old 01-08-2010, 10:55 PM   #3
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I get nearly all of my produce at the farmers market, where most of it is organic, and all of it is local. I do notice a big flavor difference on foods that are grown locally, and have less travel (nutrients degrade over time, so shipping veggies can make them less nutritious, and definitely negatively effects flavor). I don't eat a lot of processed foods and opt for organic when I have the choice. Given the choice between organic I go local every time.

That being said, I do feel a lot better since we moved to a local/mostly organic way of eating. I don't know if that's because it's local and more nutritious (which I suspect is the case) or if it's the mostly-organic part.
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Old 01-08-2010, 11:39 PM   #4
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I eat quite a few organics. I get my beans and whole grains from the bulk bins and they are organic. The price is usually cheaper because its bulk. I get veggies from the farmer's markets (when they are open) or from the stores that specialize in organics. Often, I find the prices cheaper or the same as the regular grocery store.

I do also buy from the asian market and although they aren't officially organic, I've actually seen enough bugs to give me hope (I know it sounds funny).
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Old 01-09-2010, 12:09 AM   #5
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Old 01-09-2010, 08:53 AM   #6
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I eat organic as much as I can afford. Some conventional produce is much less contaminated than others.The really bad ones use "systemics" which means that the poisons are inside and can't be washed off.
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Old 01-09-2010, 08:49 PM   #7
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I'd love to go completely organic but its out of my price range just yet. I visited a store about 2 hours away from me while visiting a friend called Jungle Jim's they had so much affordable organic stuff I was in heaven. I buy some of my veggies organic and frozen from the 365 brand and I always purchase milk and tomato products (ketchup especially as it seems to taste so much better) and usually I pick up a fruits when they are in season so i can afford the organic version..I would like to do more.
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Old 01-12-2010, 08:33 AM   #8
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I agree w/ Mandalinn that eating local is a bigger priority for me than eating organic. Getting the proper "organic" certification is an expensive & time-consuming process, and a lot of small farmers can't really do that. I am a member of a food co-op in the summer, and buy as much as I can (not just veggies, but also meat, eggs, etc.) from the farmer's market or from the roadside stands operated by local Mennonites.

As far as processed foods, I avoid them entirely as much as I can, and when I can't, I don't much worry about "organic" or not. I do try to buy those with minimal ingredients that I can't pronounce!
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:19 AM   #9
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I live in an area, where most of the organic produce looks barely edible (and is still marked at a price twice that of the non-organics).

In the summer and fall, we get most of our produce from the local farmer's market. Our favorite vendors are Hmong family-owned farms, most of which could probably be certified organic. Especially the farms where the older folks are still in charge, you can see the difference in their food. To be honest, even just by looking at it, you can tell the produce is more naturally cultivated than the few certified organic vendors at the market.

For one thing, they waste less of the plant. They eat (and therefore sell) parts of the plant that most non-Asian Americans don't even realize are edible.

On on occasion, I saw a woman ask the Hmong lady running the stall, what some greens were (they were pea tendrils), and in her rather thickly accented English explained that they were "pea leaves." They were being sold ridiculously cheaply - $1 for a huge bunch. They sell out quickly because the people who know they're good (like hubby and I), get there early.

The white woman turned her nose up, and rudely said "You can't eat those."

I laughed and told her they tasted wonderful, and that the fancy french restaurants served them in salads and sauteed (which I had read, but had no first hand knowledge of), and in front of her I bought 2 of the 3 remaining bundles. The lady running the stall smiled at me, and threw in the third bundle free. She's always doing that for us, in part I think because we're very chatty and sometimes act as translator for her (her english is excellent, but thickly accented, and many of the white shoppers don't listen carefully and assume they can't understand her. I understand her just fine).

It was funny to see the woman disappointed that I had gotten the last bundle. I smiled at her, and told her "you've got to get here early, if you want the pea tendrils (I used the fancier name to goad her a bit)." I have to admit I got a bit of smug satisfaction, that the woman had been punished for her rudeness - to be honest, I think it's why the elderly Hmong lady gave me the third bundle. Normally when she gives us free stuff, it's something new for us to try, or something we didn't ask for that she knows we like.

But back to organics, our certified organic vendors offerings never look as fresh (the Hmong vendors tell us that they pick their vegetables in the morning of the day they sell them - which means they're up at 3am to harvest the food they're selling that day). We've talked to the caucasian vendors too, and they usually pick their fruits and vegetables the day before). There's also less signs of insect damage on the organic farms' produce, which always makes me suspcious.

Don't get me wrong, I don't want to buy produce that the bugs have eaten as much as I'm planning on - but when there's not so much as a trace that the veggie leaf has been tasted by the insects makes me think pesticide (I also notice that the Hmong vendors always leave the stems on their veggies - mostly because they're edible and their loyal customers know that), whereas the caucasian certified vendors often cut them off and wash the fruits and veggies (washing fruits and veggies before selling makes them look nice, but it also shortens their shelf-life).

I don't really look for organics in the grocery store, because I don't think there's a lot of difference between big-farm organics and big-farm non-organics. They choose varietes of plants that have been bred for pretty, uniform fruits and vegetables, natural pest-resistance, ease of harvesting, and thick skins (so they don't bruise easily during harvesting and transport).

When all those things take priority, flavor gets sacrificed.

I love that the local vendors (of all nationalities) choose to cultivate for flavor. They're all farms small enough, that they're eating what they're selling, so they make sure it's good.

Now that hubby and I have a small chest freezer (a Christmas gift from hubby's family), I'm looking forward to freezing fresh, local produce for the winter. And with our new larger kitchen, I may even try to pickle some.
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:59 AM   #10
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Neither of my CSA's are certified organic. Both of them practice more organic and more sustainable farming than any of the big organics, the varieties are not bred for mass production and therefore have more flavor and nutrition than the mass organics.

Now in the winter I am back to buying produce from a store (I have some other veggies put up but I NEED my peppers and cukes and carrots year round) and I tend to buy a mix of organic and non organic. Depending on where I am shopping.

I eat a lot of red peppers and those are on the high pesticide list, but the organic ones are usually half withered in the store. I tend to buy costco veggies in the winter.

I would love to do more organic meat, but it just isnt in the budget right now. I do organic dairy...even my mainstream pediatrician pushes organic dairy for kids.
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Old 01-12-2010, 12:40 PM   #11
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Although its a bit different with winter about, there is a grocery store near me that has mostly organic food, all organic produce and they strive to have local produce. In summer, mostly everything is marked as local but with winter, its only a few items. The Whole Foods near me does the same thing although they don't strive to have all organic and lots of time something will be labeled local but not organic.

I was enjoying early winter because we have 2 apple/squash farms near us but the last one closed up for the season a couple weeks ago. So I definitely try to go with local foods and a lot of them happen to be organic as well but without the label.
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Old 01-12-2010, 01:52 PM   #12
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Going mostly-completely organic is very important to me when i hit those last 10-20lbs because i want my hormones to be working as good as they can with out and outside hormone disruptors
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Old 01-26-2010, 10:50 PM   #13
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My partner and I try to buy as many organic items as we can, although we're not purists. Oddly enough, we do it as much because we believe it's better for the earth as we do for personal health reasons. I was extremely healthy even when I was eating nothing but junk food, so I didn't switch to semi-vegetarian and organic for that reason. But still, I don't like the idea of putting pesticides into my body -- or into the soil.

It think we can get the food industry to change only if we support organic growing techniques. Yet, I have a number of non-organic favorites that are my guilty pleasures!
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Old 01-27-2010, 01:33 AM   #14
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We eat about 90% organic. Most of our food is local, as well. We've found ways to go organic/local on a budget. I am vegan and my husband only eats meat 2-3x a week. Our son eats meat/dairy daily, but it's in small quantities. It's amazing how far the dollars stretch when you're not buying meat/dairy for every meal.

We buy most of our veggies through a local organic CSA and the rest through a farmer's market. We eat seasonally, which keeps prices down as well. For example, since tomatoes are out of season right now, we use dried tomatoes from last summer. They taste fantastic!

Even through organic dairy is expensive, it's a top priority when it comes to my son. I refuse to load him up with the hormones and other additives that are found in non-organic dairy.

We maintain a garden and that also helps keep prices down. We hope to eventually add chickens as well!
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Old 01-27-2010, 02:09 AM   #15
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Encelia - I am so jealous of your plan to have chickens! My wife says she draws the line at farm animals...but I do have a garden. Tomorrow's dinner veggie is 100% organic chard right from my backyard.

This week, I was out of town for my farmers market timeslot, and it's amazing how different these grocery store veggies (organics, mostly) taste. You just can't beat in-season produce grown close to you (I did get stuff that was seasonal, just not grown nearby for most things).
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