health: To Go Organic or Not To Go Organic… That Is The Question

Ever at the grocery store staring at $4.00 avocado wondering if you buy the severely cheaper non-organic version you will really keel over and die?  Well maybe not die (and maybe the avocado is really only $2.00), but wonder if buying exclusively organic is the ONLY way to go?

I have.  And after hearing the actual nutritional benefits of eating organic are still up for debate, I find myself wondering even more.  Don’t get me wrong, the idea of ingesting pesticides – studies inconclusive or not – totally freaks me out but even still, there has been the occasion where I’ve wondered if it’s really an all or nothing deal.

I recently read an article that helped me with my conundrum.  It was all about how organics are pricey and interviewed a few mothers with differing opinions on how they do their shopping for their families.  One woman, appalled by the prices, took the tact that she wasn’t raised on ’em, and she was fine, so what’s the fuss?  Another  said she couldn’t imagine not serving her children organics exclusively, while another had come up with a clever 50/50 approach based on a survey done by The Environmental Working Group’s 2o12 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides AKA The Dirty Dozen.  The list rates fruits and vegetables from cleanest to dirtiest, making it easier to choose some fruit and vegetables exclusively from the organic section and others not.

Here’s an example:

I found this quite helpful and think I might start referring to this list next time I’m having a little buyers remorse at the grocery store.  Who knew it translated to food and not just shoes and bags?!?!

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p.s. a great tip on saving money and eating local is to shop seasonally.  Stay tuned for our next Health post where we explore more.


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4 thoughts on “health: To Go Organic or Not To Go Organic… That Is The Question

  1. Great article!

    You should definitely read this piece from the NY Times:

    I think that organic has steadily been losing meaning especially as the organic industry continues to grow… particularly with packaged goods. I’m concerned about the foods that I consume, where they are grown and how they get to me etc. but I rarely eat organic. I think it’s scarier to eat an organic apple grown in California or Mexico than to eat a non-organic apple grown in Niagara. I’m probably a bigger fan of local and small producers than of organic. Often local growers employ organic growing standards but just aren’t officially blessed by the government gods who deem them actually organic.

    1. Thanks, Tonya and thanks for the reference. Going to read it now. The ‘buy local’ thing has really piqued my interest as of late (hence the upcoming post) and since you’ve also given it the thumbs up, it clearly makes more sense!


  2. I agree with Tonya regarding the quality of standards often used by local producers. I feel I’m getting a quality product whenever I shop farmer’s markets, considering how strict the vetting process is here in Chicago.

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