Friday, September 12

When to Buy Organic

I've known of some foods that one should try to buy organic, because of how heavily they receive pesticides (raspberries, peanuts/peanut butter). I've known of other foods where it isn't as much of a concern, because there is an outer skin (oranges, bananas). I read a helpful post on Whole Food nation summarizing what types of you should try to buy organic and which are ok being non organic. I summarized the info below but there is additional helpful info in the original post, including why certain foods should be bought organic and how many pesticides are sprayed on the foods (most are 25 or more).

Non organic is ok:
Sweet corn
Sweet peas

Organic is safer:
Beef, Pork and Poultry
Milk, Cheese and Butter
Strawberries, Raspberries and Cherries
Apples and Pears
Spinach and Other Greens
Peaches and Nectarines
Red and Green Bell Peppers

I would like to add that I believe buying local produce when you know how it is grown (like from a CSA) can provide a happy middle ground to the expense of organic and the lack of quality and nutrients of the non organic, conventionally grown items above. Cost is unfortunately prohibitive of our buying more organic.

Are there particular foods you regularly buy organic? There are some for Ryan and I, though I don't think there are any foods we always buy organic. I prefer organic raspberries, for the lack of chemicals and because I have found them to taste immensely better. We have never bought organic meat. By the way, don't be fooled by "all natural" or "100% natural" labels on chicken - there are no established guidelines for what constitutes natural.


Anonymous said...

You've never bought organic meat? It's great and much fuller in flavor. I usually buy a turkey each Thanksgiving from a local, certified organic farm, and occasional chickens from them too (I also try to get some deer meat each year from my hunting friends). I don't think it matters so much whether the farm is certified organic because for a lot of small farms the cost and silly impossibilities (like turning all of your compost piles every 15 days) are just not feasible! I guess just talking to the farmers, and/or visiting them, is the most important thing to do.

I totally agree with you you about the false advertising on "natural" meats in the grocery store! I was just at Giant Eagle and saw the Tyson chicken without antibiotics, and the hamburgers without added hormones (which doesn't mean that the cow had no hormones added to it, just the finished product).
I could go on and on, but I'll spare your readers:)
-erin w.

Alaina said...

Great post and the list is helpful! We try to do buy as much organic as we can - I regularly buy organic greens, organic peanut butter, and organic meat. I buy organic beef almost exclusively (though it is not all certified organic). I'm not crazy about whole chicken so I do the best I can...usually I buy chicken breasts at Costco which claims they have no antiobiotics...I'm not sure what that means. :)

Anyway, we definitely agree with the middle ground and try to buy locally even though it is not always organic. Cost is definitely a factor and we seek to be good stewards of our health and finances.

Alicia said...

Nope, we've never bought meat. However, I just heard from a friend at church about a new store in Cranberry that I think carries grass fed beef. I need to get more details on it though. I would really like to eat it!

I agree with you, Erin about the certified organic farms. Sometimes the cost precludes them from getting the certification, but they are great farms.

As for peanut butter, I got some unsalted organic PB from Giant Eagle a few weeks ago and don't like it quite as much as salted PB.