And does it really make difference. You pay so much more for organic, like organic cherries in my neighborhood are 14 bucks a freaking pound.
I used to try but I gave up. It got too expensive. I can't do it even if I want to. I can hardly afford non organic produce it got so expensive and how do we really know that organic things really are organic.
Most organic companies are now owed by big companies like Kraft and General Mills. I doubt they don't cut every corner to be cut and companies like Horizon Dairy have cows living under the most horrible conditions.
I found out that Natural by Nature supposed grass fed dairy is grain fed for months out of the year so they too are frauds.
Too expensive for me too. I just wash regular produce. Organic is probably nicer though. I don't eat meat or dairy though, so no concerns there.
I do eat eggs sometimes though - only free-range. No taste difference that I can detect but yolks are yellower and shells are harder.. neways, I do it for the ethics.
Somethings you should always eat organic.
Greens for instance.
Citrus fruit, bananas skip it. Their rinds are adequate to spare you. Apples are thin skinned get them organic.
Grow your own lettuce even if it's in a window box or under a grow light. It's fool proof except in the hottest weather. Growing a food garden has been the best choice I have made recently. I'm moving up to berry bushes. With heirloom tomatoes now at 5.99 a pound I'm growing money.
I've been slowly making the switch over the past year and a half. I will never buy all organic produce (the cherries cited by a previous poster is a good example), but I started by buying organic produce for items on the "dirty dozen" (or whatever it's called) list.
Where the switch has made the most noticeable difference in how I feel is for dairy and meat. One of my doctors recommended I try buying them hormone- and antibiotic-free since I am very sensitive to many things. I didn't believe such a change would make a difference anywhere except in my wallet, but I was wrong. I feel much better and quite honestly, the milk and meat taste better, which really surprised me.
[quote]I found out that Natural by Nature supposed grass fed dairy is grain fed for months out of the year so they too are frauds.
FUCK ME! Are you kidding???
I buy that shit. So sick of the lies.
I assume grass fed means only during the grass-growing months. Realistically, there's not enough space in the areas with weather where grass can grow year-round. I still go for grass fed as available, but more important are living conditions and humane treatment.
Organic dairy products taste completely different than other dairy products. I'm willing to pay for the taste as far as that's concerned.
Oh yes. I eat organic pizza followed by organic ice cream, then an organic cigarette.
I assume grass fed means only during the grass-growing months.
You know what happens when we assume... No dear, there is this fabulous product called hay. You know.. grass hay?
[quote]since I am very sensitive to many things
Oh, I am sure you are!
by the way, free-range eggs can also mean that the chickens are "free" for only a few hours a day, it depends on company.
[quote]by the way, free-range eggs can also mean that the chickens are "free" for only a few hours a day, it depends on company.
This, and the grass fed example above are two of many reasons why the organics industry is so dicey. It's poorly regulated, and although there are guidelines, they're interpreted and implemented differently by all of the companies -- many of which are owned by huge, parent corporate entities. Then, there are those that are flat out misleading and fraudulent.
R11, I don't know about USA, but here in my country free-range doesn't mean what you think it means. Free-range chickens just get more space (to walk around inside a building). Organic eggs are from chickens that actually get to go outside in daylight. It also has to do with the chicken's food in itself. They are not fed antibiotics and other chemicals/poisons.
Organic produce seemed to explode onto the market about 10years ago. It was always there of course, but over a stretch of a year or two, it seemed every supermarket and produce stand was selling it.Did they suddenly find thousands of extra acres of land, on which to grow food organically? I'd trust a co-op or a market that catered to vegetarian/vegans folks, as opposed to a big box store or mega-conglomerate supermarket chain.I'd like to see the regulations for what qualifies and what doesn't though. I buy organic lemons if I'm making lemonade, since using the zest is important for taste.
[quote]This, and the grass fed example above are two of many reasons why the organics industry is so dicey.
Grass-fed beef and the "organics industry" have nothing to do with each other.
The "organics industry" is very well regulated, much more so than conventional food producers. Start-up costs for an organic farm are enormous, much more than you have for a conventional farm. Plus, organic farms need to be recertified every few years, paid for by the farm. Conventional farms don't pay those costs.
Grass-fed beef is indeed dicey. There are no regulations governing what "grass-fed beef" really means. Most grass-fed beef in the US is grain-finished for about a week (maybe two) before slaughter. This is mainly because the cattle are moved to feed lots where there just isn't enough grass available to sustain them. Also, most Americans like the sweeter, less gamey taste of grain-finished beef.
When in doubt about your grass-fed beef, talk to your butcher. If you insist on 100% grass-fed beef, however, it is available, but be prepared to pay a premium.
farmers market -- not the fancy type
Most organic dairy is from ultra pasteurized milk. The high heat kills all the nutrition. Sure they add some back but that's like taking a vitamin pill. The actual milk is worthless. I just buy milk at Costco. It has no hormones. Sure it has the antibiotics but it's not ultra pasteurized (their organic milk is) so at least along with the antibiotics it has some actual nutrients. I almost never take actual antibiotics so hopefully it balances out.
The grass fed beef from Uruguay is relatively inexpensive at my local grocer, but I feel guilty about eating beef that has to be transported so far. My partner went fishing in Alaska last month, and brought home 70 pounds of halibut and salmon. I would eat it every day if I wasn't concerned about mercury. You really can't win. Our grandparents didn't spend this much time questioning everything that they ate. I realize that our food supply is worse, but I often wonder if our generation obsesses too much.
We got so tired of feeling the effects of chemicals and poisons in our food that we bought an acreage. We have all our vegetables grown there, and have some poultry and other livestock kept there for eggs, milk (goat), and meats (lambs, hogs, and occasionally a steer for beef). There's a small pond but you can't live on catfish and perch, so we also buy our fish and shellfish. It's a relief to know that everything is raised happy and healthy, and that the produce is completely organic. We do have some fruit raised there (berries, grapes, melons) but we have to buy our orchard fruit - and all our citrus. When it came down to it, we preferred having nut trees to trying to deal with apples and pears - too many issues.
I know most people wouldn't make this commitment, but it's really the way to go if you care about your and your family's health. It's called priorities. And the way it all tastes makes it even more of a good choice.
Organic fruit and vegetables taste better.
Well smell you, R19.
It's easy if you live in an upmarket area - the organic choice is made for you. Elysium exists here on Earth. Chemicals laced food is for the poor.
I do think once all those fracking chemicals leach into the water table organic is going to explode in demand.
"I often wonder if our generation obsesses too much."
I screwed that up.
Buy as local as possible. the longer it takes to travel, the more it needs preservatives and GMO toxins.
Also, all red meat will give you colon cancer and heart disease in regular amounts, even if you kill the cow yourself.
I try to buy mostly organic veggies but, sometimes they're just too expensive and look sickly. I just make sure I wash non organic thoroughly.
R26 you also need to wash organic thoroughly, actually it should be more thoroughly for organic veggies. Since the growers cannot use chemicals, as a result the contamination like Ecoli is not unusual in organic farms.
me, whenever I can.
Buying organic food is a joke.
No one gets out of here alive, and how you going to prove that paying for organic food today is really going to prolong your life?
"Oh I'm going to spend $80 on these here organic fruits and vegetables so that I can spend another 18 months at the back end of my life in a nursing home not knowing what my name is. Yay!"
Dream on, brother or sister!
Can anyone tell me why organic milk lasts so much longer than non-organic? I bought a half gallon of organic milk about 6 weeks ago that has a sell by date of August 19. Sell by, not use by. You're lucky to get a week-long use window with non-organic milk. Seems backwards to me.
R30, it's because of the ultra-pasteurization process mentioned by R17.
Lactaid brand milk is also ultra-pasteurized and that usually lasts well past the sell-by date if it's unopened.
There are so many variables with diet that it may be hard to tell what truly is best. When I was younger, my mother had a "health-food", near-vegan diet, so I ate a lot of organic produce back then, but on the other hand I doubt I had enough iron and protein in my diet and I probably didn't consume enough calories either.
R27 - that just isn't true. A University of Minnesota study found no difference in contamination rates between organic and non-organic produce.
Most contamination occurs late in processing. During the growing process herbicides and pesticides are used. Neither of which prevent food born illnesses such as E.coli.
There are some questions about the different nutritional value of organic vs. non-organic food. The difference between produce grown in nutrient depleted soil with the use of chemical fertilizer to increase yields and produce grown in nutrient rich soil.
For me organic produce just tastes better.
I can't notice a difference in the taste of eggs from free range chickens.
But I do notice a difference in the taste of fresh eggs bought directly from the farm and eggs from the grocery store.
I notice a huge difference in the taste of factory farmed chickens and the chickens raised on small farms. The chickens I get from small local farmers actually have flavor.
There are some things I only buy organic, like eggs. I figure they contain some of everything the hen has been fed. The organic eggs I buy from the farmer at the farmers market taste better than supermarket eggs.
The flavor of organic butter is so much better than non-organic, there's no comparison. I picked up a pound of non-organic butter recently when I was in a hurry and it was horrible. Into the freezer it went. I'll use it when flavor doesn't matter. That's the only dairy product I eat and not much of it. I usually make ghee from it; I use coconut oil instead of butter most of the time.
I buy organic fruits and vegetables when it's obvious the outside of the item can't be easily cleaned of pesticides, like berries. I know the list of things not to buy non-organic, like potatoes and apples.
I'm not interested in eating GMO food, so I've not only cut down on my grain consumption, I only buy organic grains. I bake my own bread and make my own pasta.
What meat I eat is organic. Beef is longhorn that's grass-fed and grass-finished because it's healthier. I usually buy all of my meat directly from the rancher or farmer.
[quote]A study by researchers at California State University in Chico examined three decades of research and found that beef from pasture-raised cows fits more closely into goals for a diet lower in saturated fat and higher in "good fats" and other beneficial nutrients.
[quote]Grass-fed beef is lower in calories, contains more healthy omega-3 fats, more vitamins A and E, higher levels of antioxidants, and up to seven times the beta-carotene.
I do most of my shopping at the farmers market, the rest at a food co-op and Trader Joe's.
If it were only about adding a few months to my life I might not bother. The way I eat enhances the quality of my life.
The more you learn what the codes really mean, the more discouraged you are.
Food listed as natural means nothing at all. It is willfully misleading the consumer. This food is conventional and most likely GMO as well. Natural has zero regulation.
You don't even want to know how they "make" commercial orange juice. It's appalling what is allowed, and nothing you should consume, if you care about ingesting synthetic chemicals.
Cage-free means hundreds are crammed in a large building with cement floors and perches, but they are not separated by cages.
Free-range has its downsides too, and might mean hundreds of chickens have access to a door to a small space outside that is just dirt, but nothing to graze upon.
Vegetarian fed hens could still include GMO feed. And I wonder why the big deal about vegetarian fed anyway? Chickens love eating snails, and that's the proper circle of life anyway if you want your garden to grow. Snails eat gardens, but chickens eat snails, and then we can eat their eggs.
Although corn is on the Clean Fifteen list, and therefore okay to buy conventional, ALL corn that is not organic is GMO corn (has to do with cross-pollination).
Pasteurized dairy is bad enough in terms of removing important health-giving qualities, but UHT milk (high heat processed) makes this milk bad for you. It doesn't offer a thing for your health. Oh, but it does seem to last a couple months in the fridge, even after opened.
Despite how regulated the one poster said organic food is, there are still plenty of problems with it. That said, it's still safer to buy organic, which will definitely be ahead of conventionally grown food. Whenever possible, buy directly from farmers (ask questions at farmers' markets - some have conventional food, and some are big corps setting up a stand without signage and allowing you to assume it's just a small organic farmer).
I can get organic beef that is grass-fed and grass-finished for $4.29/lb delivered to my home, and that includes the most expensive cuts of steak. How? I go in on half a cow with a few friends and buy direct from the farmer. Everything is packaged well. We freeze it and have tasty meat with superb texture for some months (depending how often we eat beef, of course). Before doing this, we never bought steak, because it is many times more per pound at the store. Feel free to contact this farm at the link. If you want to make healthy delicious broths, the bones are only $0.75/lb. Also, even if you aren't in Oregon, maybe they could give you a referral to a trustworthy ranch / farm where you live.
[quote]Vegetarian fed hens could still include GMO feed. And I wonder why the big deal about vegetarian fed anyway?
Chickens may eat snails, but they are not known as big beef eaters. When we were made aware that untested beef by-products were being fed to hens, eggs from vegetarian fed chickens became popular. During the mad cow disease scare, that was certainly an issue.
Also, it's likely from the studies I've read that eggs from vegetarian hens are lower in cholesterol.
Whoops. Emerald Hills in Oregon does not have a website. The Emerald Hills grass-fed beef website is for a place in Sydney, Oz!
So if you want Oregon gf/gf organic beef, call Kathy Panner at Emerald Hills: (541) 874-2618
Some interesting comments from reddit -
"As a farmer. I can say that organic means almost nothing. It doesn't mean spray free. (As you are allowed to use organic pesticides) it doesn't mean it's healthier for you. It doesn't mean that an organic grower will even sell you only their product. (I know lots of organic farmers that buy from non organic places and then label it organic). And food for thought to you vegetarian or vegans out there who only eat organic. The main organic fertilizer that gets used. Is bone and blood meal. Which is a by-product of the animal slaughter industry. So... You're eating the meat."
"Probably going to get buried but the Organic Industry is not as pure as it seems. Organic farms can use the exact same chemicals and fertilizers and pesticides as the worst conventional farms as long as their chemicals are "derived naturally" if you don't know what that means its ok, as of now it's a huge grey area.
Tl;dr: organic is not grown pesticide or fertilizer free
People are asking for a source: I'm a crops science major at Cal Poly SLO which has a reputable ag program"
R38, the reason several of us in this thread have suggested buying from farmers and ranchers you know is to keep from being defrauded by farmers like the one you quoted. I know how my rancher raises his longhorns and I know how the organic farmers from whom I buy raise their crops.
Your non-organic farmer quotation and your field of study that means you are likely to be employed in agribusiness is not going to make me eat GMO or unsafe food.
R40 - lets see a crop science major at a major university (an agribusiness school) using reddit as a source to attack organic farming.
I see the crops science person as sharing true info - true at least some of the time. Let's face it, we live in a society rife with corruption on all levels. But that doesn't mean you should skip organic food. It is still healthier and tastier, and closest to pure. It is not perfect, but it's the better option. Anyone who has eaten organic for awhile and then "slums it" for a meal at a cheap restaurant, or has to buy conventional food while traveling, does not have to be convinced that organic is best! We can tell what is inferior by taste and texture. Over time, having adjusted to higher quality food, you instantly know the difference when you eat nutrient-missing food.
But I agree that someone involved in agri-business is less likely to be looking out for my interests. I met someone who was going to school studying logging. His family was a wealthy, clear-cutting, pro-logging family, and he was able to use his schooling to say that clear-cut is actually the best environmentally. He was using bad science to justify his profit agenda. There are scores of reasons and animal / insect / fungi populations who are decimated and thrown into turmoil with clear-cut logging. I also knew a guy who had to come up with nearly $20k for repairs from a huge landslide on his property caused by clear-cut land above his property owned by the government. Things are generally more complex than we realize. It's best to be thoughtful and think it through.
This thread is full of MARY!
Seriously if you're all SO concerned about getting "real" organic food, move to a 3rd world shithole that relies on subsistence farming and where malnutrition and famine are rampant.
R43, nobody is telling you what you should eat, so mind your own business.
r35 I'm wondering WHY there's a Safe List and a Deadly List, so to speak? What is the difference in growing,say, asparagus, as opposed to cherry tomatoes, that makes the former safer?
Honey, that's why you buy RAW Organic Milk.
"Organic" is such a fraud! Yes, it may be MARGINALLY better.....for the SOIL, but NOT for you! There is zero nutritional difference between organic and non-organic produce! If the soil was so "depleted", your cucumbers would certainly be fewer and smaller, but identical in nutrition! It's mostly a way to get Nervous Nellies to spend a fortune on produce.
R45, not R35, but it's my understanding that most of it has to do with what kind and how much pesticides and herbicides are used and when.
The deadly list are crops where the grower uses a substantial amount of products like Round-up, and it ends up in you.
R47, you're welcome to continue eating as you choose.
Please accept that the rest of us will do the same thing.
They don't serve organic at the Y.
My partner's mother makes blueberry jam every year, and brags that the berries are organic because they are picked from her mothers bushes. When I visited the grandparents last summer, they told me that they have to spray the bushes with weed killer all of the time, because the weeds get so bad. I won't eat that jam again. I would rather take my chances with grocery store berries.
You are right to do that, R51. The largest chemical residues come from backyard gardeners. Conventional farmers havbe it down to a science and use not a drop more than they need to get the results. It comes down to profits vs. costs, so they're tight with it. Backyard gardeners dump way more chemicals than are needed. The crops from regular people who use chemicals are much less safe to consume.
And there are other things too. I know someone who only buys organic, grows an 'organic' garden, but recently sanded away lead paint from inside his old house. He did it all 'the right way', by using a huge hose to blow all the lead dust out the back window right over the, you guessed it, organic garden. Lead poisoning is no joke. Another silent killer.
R43, I'm R42, and you are so right. haha I forgot to sign my name before.
Check out the results from the analysis a Stanford physician did after she reviewed more than 250 studies on organic food when she was repeatedly asked by her patients if they should switch to organic foods. It was released last September. Basically, it said there was no nutritional benefit from eating organic food. If you want to pay a lot more money for your food because you perceive it's better for you, go ahead. It's really just comes down to effect marketing.
I think you and many other reactionaries misunderstand why people reach for organic, r53. It's not so much that people think it's more nutritious, but people believe that it's less HARMFUL to eat food that hasn't been dowsed in toxic chemicals.
Ok, maybe this is a dumb question, but I don't get why people use weedkillers so much. Yes, the weeds are annoying, but why not just let the weeds grow and pick the fruit or vegetable from the plant and not worry about weeds surrounding it? Is it really necessary to have them weed-free?
Don't bother r49, she's doing a cold-pressed juice fast to get rid of all her "toxins"!
It sounds like s/he's got a lot of them, R56.
r55 Weeds grow much faster that the good plants they spring up around. They siphon off water and nutrients that should be going into the tomatoes and squash and whatever else people grow. Good old-fashioned hand pulling of weeds can be a chore, but at least it isn't toxic. If folks mulched more, weeds would be suppressed.
R55, the answer is it depends. Most everyone has dandelions and dislikes these heartily nutritious plants, which can be eaten from flower all the way down to the root (dandy root as tea is good for organs - liver, I think).
Like R58 said, frequently weeds compete over the water and soil nutrients with the plant you want to grow, either making that plant smaller, or killing it altogether. But there are some weeds, and some plants, that can grow together, no problem.
Hand-pulling is the way to go for the home gardener, along with mulch. You can call arborists and get their truckload of bark mulch for anywhere from free to way less than you'd pay for bagged mulch. Thick mulch interferes with weed growth, and it's easy to pull them out through thick mulch as they are leggy and thin on their path to get to sunlight from deep in where their roots are. I use a layer of old cardboard box as a simple, free, physical barrier (that composts over time) on the soil around my prized plants, and then cover with bark mulch. Not a single weed.