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Old 06-10-2013, 09:16 PM   #31  
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Hubby and I have friends who recently switched to organic-only and because of their tight budget, are eating fewer fruits and vegetables, than before they made the switch.

I think moving to all-organic is not a good choice if it forces one to eat fewer or a lesser variety of fruits and vegetables.

I believe that the benefits of plentiful and varied produce also trumps organic. If you have the choice between varied and plentiful produce and limited amount and variety of organic, plentiful and varied should win out. I think plenty of nonorganic mega-farm produce is probably better than eating little produce because you can't afford to buy organic or because local is too expensive. Buy the best that you can afford plenty of. If you can't afford plenty of small, local, organic, buy whatever allows you to eat a healthy quantity and variety of produce.
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:35 PM   #32  
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I haven't read through the whole thread but organic here, especially local, is insanely expensive....I often go to farmer's markets here when I have the money because I want to support local growers and I love the produce but holy cow!

last weekend I spent $22 at the market and came home with a tiny bag of cherries, 3 peaches, 2 apples and 2 oranges....the cherries were $9-something per pound
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:47 PM   #33  
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Pick a link.

I'd really like to learn more about this so a good science based links are always appreciated. It's like any subject - people have their own strong biases and tend not to be fair in their assessments because of it and being fair minded doesn't get web hits. Poloarizing views get ranked higher on searches...

I think that Kaplod's says it best (again) that it's more about large scale vs local and sustainable than organic vs synthetic materials used.
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Old 06-10-2013, 10:08 PM   #34  
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I've done a lot of reading and thinking about this issue. I came to the same conclusion as John -- that are biases on either side drive so much of it and it is VERY difficult to get good information. It's the same for GMO foods if you ask me...

When I first got into gardening I wanted to go organic and began looking at organic pesicides/fungicides. It was hard to get the kind of information I wanted about the dangers of each type. I eventually decided that for my own garden I would use NO pesticides of any kind because the organic pesticides do have consequences. Let the bugs have some!

And I don't buy only organic produce. I'm just not convinced that the value outweighs the costs in many ways.

But I do look more and more toward humanely raised chickens for my eggs, and cows for my milk and moving more toward buying meat that is raised more humanely. Here I think I might get more value for my money. For instance, I don't want to eat chickens raised their whole lives in a stressful environment...

I also agree that local and known sources of food may be better in the long run than a label like "organic" that doesn't necessarily mean I know how the food was actually treated.
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Old 06-11-2013, 08:26 AM   #35  
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Here in NY farmers markets can get expensive. Even in the summer I cannot afford tomatoes from the farmers market. I mean, 4 tomatoes for $10????

People will end up doing what's important to them and if I can afford to buy organic then why not?
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Old 06-11-2013, 12:27 PM   #36  
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I buy as much locally grown food as I can in the summer at farmers markets. I don't know if this is really so much about my own health as it is about family tradition and supporting my community, however. Farmers markets are just a way of life around here. I also get a lot of produce from the gardens of my family. I'm working on one for myself next year.

Also, luckily, one of the local supermarkets here sells some locally grown produce. My other produce, however? I don't buy it organic at the supermarket. I've not found what I feel is a very clear answer to the question of its health benefits, and I feel like some of it may be some hype. So, I just don't do it. Plus, I want to be able to afford an array of fruits and veggies.

I do believe in buying some typically processed foods that are organic. For example - tortilla chips. I regularly buy blue corn organic tortilla chips. They're not much more money, and I feel much better looking at the ingredients list.

Last edited by Song of Surly; 06-11-2013 at 12:30 PM.
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Old 06-11-2013, 01:32 PM   #37  
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I try to support local, small companies. To me personally, the economic and political issues of big business v small outweigh other considerations. I have not been in a Walmart in well over 10 years. We grow, can and freeze a lot of produce, hit the local farmers' markets weekly, and grocery shop at locally owned markets (the main one is an 8 store local chain). The decisions on what we buy and where we shop are probably as varied as everyone on this forum!
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Old 06-12-2013, 04:47 PM   #38  
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Originally Posted by JohnP View Post
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.
All of this. Too much in life to worry about and not enough budget for it to make sense for us. We all die of something, and if pesticides do me in they can put on my tombstone that I died of salad overdose
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Old 06-12-2013, 04:52 PM   #39  
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You should look up actual pesticides. The difference between a pesticide such as agent orange (which is so poisoness it was used as a weapon during the Vietnam war, and the few veterans still alive are consistently suffering from a drawn out death), and a natural pesticide like pyrethrin which is derived from the pyrethrum plant IS the difference between non organic and organic when it comes to produce. Agent orange is not used by ANY farmers in the US today but we still import from countries that do. I didn't mean that natural pesticides cannot be harmful but there aren't really any conclusive studies. And when given the option between the two, it's obvious that natural is far better for the human body.
Last I checked ricin, cyanide, and hemlock are all plant based, too. Doesn't make them less toxic. Logical fallacies abound here - the poison is the dose, not the substance, and that goes for ALL substances including water and oxygen.

Last edited by Arctic Mama; 06-12-2013 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 06-12-2013, 04:58 PM   #40  
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I get all my produce from a "beyond organic" farm. I know the farming practices of the people that run the operation (they are a client of mine, as well as good friends now), and I trust them the most. I want my food to be non-GMO and pesticide-free, and that's what they do at the farm. They do some companion planting and grow things that are more pest-resistant. I also share in a communal garden with some other friends so I can have more veggies to preserve as much of my share as I can for off-season meals. Additionally, there are a lot of fruit trees on my parents' property that I can have. The rest of my produce I buy with at least the organic label. Yes, I'm spending more, but I don't care to support big-Agra if I can support it.

I am blessed to live in Central California. I can source all sorts of organic stuff fairly locally: nuts, dairy, soy-free eggs and poultry, grass-fed meats, fruits.

I do have wild-caught fish plus grass-fed meats and fats shipped to me. This is where I spend more money for my family's diet. I don't spend money on a lot of other stuff. I live simply but eat well.
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Old 06-12-2013, 05:13 PM   #41  
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Originally Posted by BrittBit View Post
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!
Agent Orange was not a pesticide. It was a herbicide meant to defoliate. (i.e. designed to kill plants and crops).

Wannabeskinny: Either way one falls on whether it is worth while to buy organic / non-gmo foods, I don't see why anybody would find it appropriate to criticize the other person's choice. Although, I can see someone thinking that they are trying to do you a favor (i.e., a disapproving parent trying to convince you that you are wasting your money by buying organic).

Last edited by joefla70; 06-12-2013 at 05:16 PM.
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Old 06-12-2013, 05:41 PM   #42  
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I have a friend that owns a "beyond organic" farm, their standards are as good as it gets. It's so inspiring the effort these folks put into caring for their customers, the land, and the people they employ. Restores faith in humanity.
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Old 06-12-2013, 06:59 PM   #43  
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I love the fact that I have many food-sourcing opportunities and choices, but many people don't. And in some ways, the organic/local/free-range/grass-fed/flexitarian movement has a deleterious effect on those with very limited choices - making people afraid of the food they can afford, and often that fear can lead to a fatalistic, learned-helplessness situation. Instead of learning to identify and choose the best food they can afford, they decide they're doomed to an unhealthy diet, so it doesn't matter what they eat, because it's all crap.

I know people who justify their avoidance of all vegetables because they can't afford organic, and they're afraid of non-organic.

Eating plenty of non-starchy vegetables even those with a bit of pesticide residue is better than not eating them out of fear.

I think many folks assume that organic/local food is healthier BECAUSE it's organic/local, when that's not a guarantee. Broccoli is generally more nutritious than pale lettuce. So organic pale lettuce isn't inherently healthier than non-organically raised broccoli.

If the only way you can afford a wide variety and plentiful quantity of fruit and vegetables is to buy mega-farm frozen and canned vegetables, then buy those rather than eating such foods rarely because one can't acford to buy organic.

That concerns me the most, people avoiding many healthy foods entirely, because they can't afford organic, local, free-range, grass-fed, heirloom-variety farm and dairy products.

It's too bad that nutrition isn't more commonly studied in all levels of basic education. Even doctors get very little training in the subject.
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Old 06-12-2013, 09:27 PM   #44  
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I think if you can peel it, there is no need to go organic. Maybe salad is worth it since that gets doused with pesticides. I generally watch out more for added hormones and antibiotics and try to avoid them. I also do not buy imports from China due to possible contamination with heavy metals.

I found just recently that many farmers around where I live will sell veggies, meat and milk directly. Most of these are really small farms. So, one knows how the food was produced. I cannot get organic in the shops close by and Whole Foods is too expensive to shop exclusively.

But talking about pesticides, I still remember a period where I purchased a specific kind of Italian imported coffee. I got very interesting neurological symptoms. I discovered by chance it was the coffee. I had to go organic for quite a while and if I could purchase organic coffee where I live, I would continue to do so.
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Old 06-13-2013, 03:18 PM   #45  
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What I always get organic:
apples, leafy greens
~ Because I eat tons of these and they're ranked high on the dirty list

What I get organic 90% of the time:
chicken, beef, milk

Other foods I get organic when there's a good deal, or if it's one of the "dirty" foods and I've been on a kick with eating it, or I have some extra cash.
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