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Does Organic Matter?

Posted by on Apr. 26, 2013 at 12:00 AM
  • 32 Replies


Organic food has been gaining in popularity over the last several years, as concerns over pesticides in our food increase and organic foods get easier to find, higher in quality and sometimes cheaper.

But it's still more expensive, sometimes considerably so. Is it really worth it? That depends entirely on what you are trying to accomplish.

Unfortunately, some people think "organic" automatically means "healthy."  A quick stroll through the organic section of the store will put that to rest; if there's a conventional version of a food, there is probably an organic version, no matter how junky the food actually is.

Organic food is not more nutritious, some recent studies have found...vitamin and mineral levels are the same in organic versus conventionally grown produce, while milk and meat have almost the same nutritional content as well.

The advantage to eating organic is that you will be exposed to fewer pesticide residues (which don't wash off food easily) and animal products are far less  likely to contain drug-resistant bacteria. For lots of people, that's more than enough to justify the added expense.

If you can't afford to go organic for all your food, it helps to know which foods are most contaminated by pesticides and which are relatively okay, and use that to guide your choices. A simple rule I have heard is "buy organic if you eat the peel." The Environmental Working Group puts out a list every year of the "dirty dozen" (the most contaminated foods) and the "clean 15" which have lower levels or pesticides. You can find this year's list here, and it's also available as a smart phone app


Do you eat organic exclusively? If not, which foods do you prefer in their organic form?

Image ŠIStockPhoto/Cristian Baitg

by on Apr. 26, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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Replies (1-10):
michiganmom116
by Rhonda on Apr. 26, 2013 at 6:38 AM
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I used to think organic wasn't important.  We'd get the same vitamins and minerals/nutrition from food whether it was organic or not.  I learned differently, from one of the most successful organic farmers in our area (he had his produce tested.)

Organic produce IS more nutritious than conventionally grown...IF and only IF the organic produce is grown in a living soil i.e. the soil itself is not depleted of the nutrients and is a living community even at the microorganism level.  Recent studies didn't take THAT into account.  You can't grow extra-nutritious foods if the soil itself is void of all nutrients.

Organic PASTURED animals produce more nutritious products.  Eggs from pastured hens have more nutrition; milk from a pastured cow has more nutrition; meat from pastured animals is more lean and has more nutrition than meat from CAFO animals.

I purchase grass-fed beef and pork (bacon and hams are smoked, not chemically cured), eggs from pastured hens, and I raise 100+ chickens on organic feed/pasture every year for our freezer.  We also have 2000 sq. ft. of garden that we eat fresh and preserve every summer.  Otherwise, I'll buy organic if I can afford it.

batjmom
by Sarah on Apr. 26, 2013 at 6:51 AM
I buy a lot of organic.
lillucky8
by Bronze Member on Apr. 26, 2013 at 9:15 AM
I dont usually buy organic due to the prices in my area. I wish they were less, and i wish i lived closer to rhonda lol
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SarahSuzyQ
by Bronze Member on Apr. 26, 2013 at 9:21 AM
We don't make it a priority to eat organic due to the high cost. I try to eat local for produce and so on, and much of that is better quality than the agribusiness farms... But I am going to check out that app thank you. It would be good to see if there are a few small changes we can make.
michiganmom116
by Rhonda on Apr. 26, 2013 at 9:23 AM

Me too!  Oh, the FUN we could have!

Quoting lillucky8:

I dont usually buy organic due to the prices in my area. I wish they were less, and i wish i lived closer to rhonda lol


TerriC
by Bronze Member on Apr. 26, 2013 at 1:17 PM

I eat as much organic as I can get.  There isn't much available in my area, so what I can get organic, I do.

megandwade
by Silver Member on Apr. 26, 2013 at 1:40 PM
1 mom liked this

Photo: Even birds won't eat Genetically Modified corn.

This picture has been floating around facebook lately.. it does make you think... but honestly we don't make it a priority to purchase organic.

audreyannasmom
by on Apr. 26, 2013 at 1:45 PM
1 mom liked this

i have a friend who works produce at giant eagle. she said most of the time with popular/quick selling items you get organic even if you don't purposly because they run out of stuff like bananas/ apples etc quicklly and just replace it with the organic because its there.

on certain items it is important tho. if the skin of the fruit/veg isn't thick it will absorb chemicals spayed on it. like stawberries - never eat unless organic - i choose to grow my own due to price. i was told bananas, apples, grapes are fine. anything with a thick skin - just clean will in sink, fill half full, add 1/2 cup vinegar - swirl around and add produce - this also keeps produce fresh much longer.

balagan_imma
by Member on Apr. 26, 2013 at 4:19 PM
2 moms liked this


Quoting audreyannasmom:

i have a friend who works produce at giant eagle. she said most of the time with popular/quick selling items you get organic even if you don't purposly because they run out of stuff like bananas/ apples etc quicklly and just replace it with the organic because its there.

on certain items it is important tho. if the skin of the fruit/veg isn't thick it will absorb chemicals spayed on it. like stawberries - never eat unless organic - i choose to grow my own due to price. i was told bananas, apples, grapes (see the dirty dozen list) are fine. anything with a thick skin - just clean will in sink, fill half full, add 1/2 cup vinegar - swirl around and add produce - this also keeps produce fresh much longer.


ChancesMommy07
by on Apr. 26, 2013 at 5:05 PM

We eat organic but not from the store. We grow our own vegetables and some fruits. Not only do I feel like its healthier because I know what is used on them but its cheaper and that is always a plus!

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