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Organic Products- Are they worth it?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Since I started becoming more health conscious and trying to cut out as much processed food as possible, I'm constantly doing research and reading up on foods; what to eat, when to eat it, what kind to choose, etc. I was convinced before that eating healthy was too expensive and spent very little of my grocery budget on perishable items. Now, I spend the majority of my time at the grocery store in the peripheral areas - produce, dairy, etc - everything but the middle aisles where all of the processed items are generally located.

Something that I'm reading more and more about are organic products. Sometimes, when I find organic products on sale for a good price I'll give them a try and compare them to what I'm used to (brown rice, canned pumpkin, nuts are a few examples of organic items I've tried). I've come across lists that detail the "dirty dozen" produce items that contain the most pesticides (I can remember celery, spinach, kale, apples, blueberries all being on that last). On the other hand, I've read that some produce items that have in inedible outer layer are safe to buy unorganic (avocados, grapefruit, kiwi, banana) because the pesticides are not coming in contact with the actual edible parts of the plant.

When you grow up never hearing of what organic food is and never thinking twice about it, it's a lot to take in! It's difficult to know what choices are the right ones, and which ones are really worth it. I'm still processing a lot of this new information and trying to make the best decisions for my health.

Do you buy organic items? I'm really interested in what others think and what products you think are absolutely worth going organic for. When I bought the organic canned pumpkin, it was a beautiful bright orange color and bursting with a clean, pure 'pumpkin' flavor; I could totally tell the difference from just buying a can of regular old pumpkin. What products can you tell a noticeable difference in buying unorganic/organic?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I used to be a farmer and we used plenty of herbicides and pesticides so we wouldn't lose our crops to two other environmental causes. Farming is tough. I know that being more organic is more than likely better and safer than not. But whether or not it is as bad as some folks make it out to be, I'm not sure. That being said, I try to find farmer markets and such that may have a happy median. Otherwise, I just wash off my foods and enjoy.
    2168 days ago
    I've been reading a lot of those things too. My favorite thing I've read is that when spending your money, you're paying for the world you want to live in. What I take from this is that if you buy McD's you keep the mass production and chemically processed food companies thinking this is what consumers want, but if you buy organic or locally, you are telling those corporations that you want healthy food not crap!!

    I haven't made the complete change yet because I'm still really addicted to the chemicals and refined sugars/flours, but I'm trying my hardest to buy the world that I want to live it!!

    Good Luck! emoticon

    Also it may be more expensive, but I read that if you eat organic, you get more nutrients from those foods, and therefore your body needs less food to be at optimal health, which in turns means less money even though you're buying more expensive food!!

    Another bonus, is that when you get more nutrients you have better skin, hair, nails, and less weight fluctuations, so you are more likely to spend less money on make-up, weigth pills/weight stuff, pedicures/manicures, haircut/colors, and any other beauty supplies that women think will make them more beautiful. Healthy food means beauty inside and out!!!
    2171 days ago
    There are a lot of factors to consider, first among them would be, why do you want to go organic? There are some good reasons to do it and some erroneous reasons to do it. You are less likely to ingest pesticides, for example.

    If you are thinking about the environment and sustainability, that's a much more problematic area. While fewer chemicals into the environment would be a good thing, the fact of the matter is that some of those chemicals dramatically increase crop yields. If all farming were organic farming, there is not enough arable land on the planet to feed all the people (and the animals people feed) that already exist, let alone those that are yet to be born as the population grows.

    That's the main reason why organic foods are more expensive than more mass produced foods -- they produce fewer crops per acre and have to recoup the cost of cultivating that acre. If it costs $100 to cultivate the acre (farming equipment, seed, water, whatever) and you only produce 10 bushels of product, you have to charge $10 a bushel just to break even. If you produce 100 bushels, you only need to charge $1 to break even.

    As Frenchifal said, there are also countless ways to define 'organic', and so even if you do buy organic you can't be sure what it means is or is not in your foods.

    2171 days ago
    Hey there...for me, going organic was a gradual process, and now there are very few items I buy that are non-organic, down to garlic and kiwis, grapefruit, everything really.
    Reason for this is because everything organic is very different from it's non-organic counterpart...fruit and veggies are usually smaller (due to no growth hormones, yep, they're in produce too!); the skins are much thinner; and they're tastier (I find conventional produce has a bitterness that organic doesn't) and juicier...
    Price wise, everything seems to work out to about 1.00 per serving, excluding Brussels Sprouts, which come out to about 2.50 per serving...As far as organics being too expensive, I don't think so lol...and I'm not working...
    I read also that pesticides keep your body from losing weight...that was my biggest motivation for going organic in the first place. Now, I just feel better about eating organic and ingesting less pesticides than I have too...and as far as meat goes, I won't eat it unless it's organic, grass fed, no exceptions...All the best to you on your journey...Spark On!

    2171 days ago
    Great blog!!

    I usually try to buy local before I buy organic. You can find local farmers who don't use chemicals but don't have organic certification at every farmers market, and you'll get even better food for a much better price! If you're like me, there isn't a farmers market in the winter, but you can join a CSA or even order directly from farmers. I just found out about a farm that sells through the winter in my area this last year, and all my lettuce, spinach, squash, and potatoes came from them!

    I have a key chain with the dirty dozen on it, and I try to buy those organic when I can't get them locally, but it's not always possible. Being honest, it IS more expensive, and I don't know what organic really means for that food without talking to the farmers!

    2171 days ago
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