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To go organic or not to go?

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  • To go organic or not to go?

    Recently i've been wanting to go fully organic. I've read that sometimes organic foods use natural fertilisers and pesticides which might actually be more harmful than the chemical ones, but i can't really imagine thats true. Is it worth the extra price? Does the benefit of Organic food really outweigh the negative of commercially grown produce? I live in the UK, so if anybody could give me an idea of what our organic produce is like that would help.

  • #2
    I use the EWG "Dirty Dozen/Clean 15" list to help me decide what to buy organic and what to buy conventional. Executive Summary: Eat your fruits and vegetables! | EWG's 2012 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce

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    • #3
      But do those apply to the UK grown foods? also that website has Sweet corn in the low pesticides section, even though corn is a GMO? surely it's one to avoid?

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      • #4
        I live in Belgium but know the UK market fairly well, so here is my experience. I think that not all produce/meat I buy has to be labelled organic - it's just not worth it. Fruit&veg - I try buy organic if the produce is included in so called "dirty dozen". Google it - it is a list of most "polluted" fruit and veg. It's from the US but I think the general idea applies anywhere. I also try to get bio leafy veg and most veg I want to eat whole, not peel. If I can't find organic, I go for local conventional.
        Meat - I try to buy organic chicken and pork but not beef - for that I buy only Irish grass-fed. I might be wrong but most of British beef is grass fed. In the UK I would also look for "heritage" meats, like pork from "heritage" pigs, they will be better even if not marked organic. I think meat in the UK in general is quite good quality. Just watch out when/if buying processed stuff, like bacon, sausages etc.
        Fats - I buy Kerrygold butter or local from raw dairy producers, coconut - organic because only bio shops stock it over here. Olive oil - just good, small producers, not necessarily bio.
        I try to eat mostly raw dairy if I can get it. I don't know if you can get much of it over there though, as far as I know in Scotland it's not allowed to sell raw milk.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Lukey View Post
          But do those apply to the UK grown foods? also that website has Sweet corn in the low pesticides section, even though corn is a GMO? surely it's one to avoid?
          As I mentioned in my previous post, I think that list still applies quite well - a lot of growing methods are the same. Btw, sweet corn is not the most primal choice but if you eat it, I think there is no worries about GMOs because it's a different species of corn that has been GMO-ed, as far as I know.
          You can always try to look for some more local reports about the level of toxines/pesticides in fruit&veg, I haven't bothered with it, to be honest.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by inesenite View Post
            I live in Belgium but know the UK market fairly well, so here is my experience. I think that not all produce/meat I buy has to be labelled organic - it's just not worth it. Fruit&veg - I try buy organic if the produce is included in so called "dirty dozen". Google it - it is a list of most "polluted" fruit and veg. It's from the US but I think the general idea applies anywhere. I also try to get bio leafy veg and most veg I want to eat whole, not peel. If I can't find organic, I go for local conventional.
            Meat - I try to buy organic chicken and pork but not beef - for that I buy only Irish grass-fed. I might be wrong but most of British beef is grass fed. In the UK I would also look for "heritage" meats, like pork from "heritage" pigs, they will be better even if not marked organic. I think meat in the UK in general is quite good quality. Just watch out when/if buying processed stuff, like bacon, sausages etc.
            Fats - I buy Kerrygold butter or local from raw dairy producers, coconut - organic because only bio shops stock it over here. Olive oil - just good, small producers, not necessarily bio.
            I try to eat mostly raw dairy if I can get it. I don't know if you can get much of it over there though, as far as I know in Scotland it's not allowed to sell raw milk.
            Thanks for the reply. I live in Belfast, Northern Ireland (the part of Ireland which is in the UK) so all my beef and dairy is grass fed. And as for the raw milk, i myself have never seen raw milk here in Ireland.
            Last edited by Lukey; 09-26-2012, 07:15 AM.

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            • #7
              I buy whatever tastes better. If organic makes a difference to the flavor of the produce, I pay surcharge. If not --> nah. Too much thinking and nit-picking and uncertainty is involved in any other approach imo.
              My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
              When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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              • #8
                I try to buy organic as much as possible. The top of the food chain is more important to me than produce, so I emphasize that, but if I need something small like mushrooms, for example, I'll buy the traditional at the corner store rather than make a special trip.
                "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

                B*tch-lite

                Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.

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                • #9
                  If you eat the skin (apples, yams), buy organic. If you don't (avocados, bananas), go conventional to save cash.

                  With meat, fish, eggs, dairy, it's non-negotiable: go organic/grass-fed. Though Europe's meat situation isn't as dire as America's, I'm sure there are still unsavory practices going on re: the treatment and nourishment of animals.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 2ndChance View Post
                    If you eat the skin (apples, yams), buy organic. If you don't (avocados, bananas), go conventional to save cash.

                    With meat, fish, eggs, dairy, it's non-negotiable: go organic/grass-fed. Though Europe's meat situation isn't as dire as America's, I'm sure there are still unsavory practices going on re: the treatment and nourishment of animals.
                    Yea thats a good call, but i mostly eat things with the skin eg. potatoes, berries, and vegetables. So i think i'll try to get all of those at least organic.

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                    • #11
                      I would go organic for the things were it matters and not bother for the things where it doesn't always bearing in mind that for some things, "organic" isn't even the thing you should be worrying about. You want your eggs to be pastured, for example. If they are organic too that's all well and good but organic non-pastured is just a more expensive unhealthy egg.

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                      • #12
                        In the US, the "organic" label is not what it once was. Now it seems that it's just a government stamp of approval... I raise my own chickens for meat and eggs. I grow alot of my own veggies. I use compost for fertilizer, I use "organic" methods, for the most part... and yes the veggies, eggs, chickens taste better than commercially grown stuff at the local grocer.

                        That being said, just because a product has "organic" on the label doesn't make it necessarily healthier. As an example... a Twinkie made with organic ingredients (sugar, flour, eggs etc) is really healthier than a regular Twinkie???

                        In addition, because the "organic" movement has grown and the demand for organic produce is on the rise, many organic farms are now using the same monoculture "industrial" agriculture practices that are used to grow non-organic produce. A chicken raised on organic feed in an industrial hot house and processed in an industrial slaughter house that processes 10K birds a day can't possible be much better quality than a regular chicken, yet it still costs twice as much.

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                        • #13
                          As someone mentioned already, if I'm eating the skin then I try to go organic if not then I buy conventional. At times I can't get to a grocery store that sells organic fruits and veggies so I just buy my usual staple.

                          I recently switched to hormone free meat so for me I would rather spend the money on these since I eat more of it. I figured eating conventional fruits and veggies once in a while is not that harmful considering i live in a city and your exposed to environmental pollution anyway. I eat far better with a paleo diet than the rest of the population.

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