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What goes first: free range meats or organic vegetables?

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  • What goes first: free range meats or organic vegetables?



    It's weird to consider myself somewhat primal, but I have so many bad things to say about meat production. I try to never eat meat that isn't grass fed/free range. Ever. It's so terrible for the environment, it's so destructive to our bodies, and I hate the idea of giving my money to those bastards. Plus, animal cruelty in factory farms is no joke, and I believe in metabolic typing/biochemical individuality - some people just shouldn't eat that much meat. It makes them ill (others are the opposite)


    So I say organic meats first, organic vegetables second. Not that I ever eat any nonorganic vegetables haha


  • #2
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    Yeah, as soon as we're in a place where we can get grass-finished/pastured meat we will do so. I HATE eating "regular" meat, knowing what those animals go through and what goes into their bodies (and into my body).


    The non-organic veggies I can deal with, but will try to switch over as much as I can, again, when I'm in a place with a good farmer's market... not a lot of choices where I currently live.

    Eating lots but still hungry? Eat more fat. Mid-day sluggishness? Eat more fat. Feeling depressed or irritable? Eat more fat. People think you've developed an eating disorder? Eat more fat... in front of them.

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    • #3
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      That's a tough choice. . .hopefully, we're working towards a day when caring, informed people raise the demand for grass fed/pastured animal products AND organic fruits and vegetables.


      Here's a list of the worst to the best on pesticides to help know when it's most important to choose organic (although, for me, organic is also about the flavor and nutrients!)


      http://foodnews.org/fulllist.php

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      • #4
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        Catalina, a list like that is next to worthless. First, they don't define what the load is. Amounts applied during growing? On the fruit at the store? And to compare any old pesticide to any other old pesticide can't be done. Different crops use different pesticides.


        And then there's the matter of nation or even farm of origin. Generally, imported foodstuffs have higher amounts of pesticides, there is less regulation and oversight of the chemicals.


        There are just way too many variables to think that they can list them, even to an exact number. Junk science.

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        • #5
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          Thanks for the info, OTB. I know that even when imports are organic, I don't feel too good about it. I try to get everything as local as I can.


          Do you know if it's true that organic is safer for things with thinner skins (strawberries, peaches, lettuce) and not QUITE as important with things like oranges, avocados, etc. Or is that another area where it just depends on the grower?

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          • #6
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            I think that the list is totally useful actually. Due to the way certain crops are cultured, more or less pesticides may be needed, more or less pesticides may be absorbed. It's not specific, but this general information can be helpful to people strapped for cash and wondering where they should spend their organic dollars.


            Catalina; I wouldn't go by skins. Go by your list.

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            • #7
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              Very interesting indeed. I imagine that this list would be different in a country like France but it is difficult to make conjectures. Normally, the use of hormones is forbidden here but the pesticides are very frequent, except for organic veg and fruits of course. I have really a lot of difficulties to find organic vegetables and fruits where I live and I try to go as local as I can (and free range for the meat and poultry), when I cannot get organic food, but I am afraid that I continue to stock a nasty pile of pesticides in my organism... I feel quite helpless in respect with this problem since non-organic production is really the massive part in France, especially in the city where I live half of the week (Marseille).

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              • #8
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                Junk science, Sam. But have at it.


                One bit of "good news" in the pesticide use on crops is that far, far less is used than a generation ago. I'm not trying to say, "It's OK." but at least it is better.


                Some of it is regulatory, some is the removal of certain pesticides from the market (BTW, Alar was never a problem, a political fiasco if there ever was.) Some of it is that growers want to reduce costs, so they spray less. Some use natural controls as much as possible but still rely on pesticides on occasion. They obviously can't be certified organic, yet in the big picture their intentions are good.


                BTW, rereading this thread, I realized that I am perfectly unclear about what the OP means, "Goes first." "Going" would generally imply a riddance of. But I sense the opposite.

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                • #9
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                  It's a priority question, right? Which should one switch over to fully first, the cleaner meats or organic fruits/veggies?


                  I tend to think of it as a volume thing -- is your diet based primarily on meat or primarily on vegetable/fruit? Shift the base first, then step up the rest.


                  PB pathway here would be veggies first, then work on the meats.

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                  • #10
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                    That's what I sort of presumed Sam was saying, but concurrently he said he is already eating all the right stuff as much as possible. So my linear thinking brain exploded.


                    Personally, I would reverse that order, and mostly on grounds of animal treatment. Of course, free range/natural beef and chicken tends to be several times the price of conventional factory meat, but organic veggies are sometimes very competitive and even the same price as conventional. OTOH, I just look for opportunities in either category, not all or nothing.

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                    • #11
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                      I thought I'd just throw in that some farmers do NOT use pesticides, garden organically and use sustainable gardening methods but simply can't afford the organic "Certification" process.


                      Organic isn't always best. I supplement my garden produce (which isn't certified organic ;o) ) with local produce that isn't certified, but has the same health benefits.


                      I also wanted to mention that the cruelty in factory farms is also a HUMAN issue. The factory workers must function in the country's most dangerous job for next to little compensation.


                      "Migrant" workers are often solicited from their countries with promise of jobs and apartments - when they arrive they're stuffed in inhumane living conditions & provided few basic human necessities.


                      The meatpacking companies have also been known to not only provide INS with their worker's information (which might be considered normal/legal), but also to make arrangements with the INS regarding how many workers may be raided at a time to diffuse the impact on effeciency.


                      "Migrant" workers might work at a meatpacking company for 10 years only to be surrendered by the hand that barely feeds them.


                      It's disgusting. More disgusting to me than the "poor animals." It's really unfortunate PETA has more exposure than Human Rights and Union organizations.

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                      • #12
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                        You raise some VERY good points, both the certification process being expensive, and the toll of meat production on humans.


                        I remember driving through the heartland back in 1971 and every so often, you just knew there was a pig farm to appear soon! Now they are raised in those huge operations that spill pigpoop into rivers and require inputs of antibiotics, etc. to keep them alive. Then they go off to the meatpacking plant, which once upon a time was a decent middle class job for people with few skills.


                        But unskilled labor is a commodity and capital will always seek the cheapest it can. Those jobs back in the 70's were mostly union and wages of $19/hr were typical after some time. Then came the cheap labor (and BTW, usually with fraudulent documentation)and although the unions still exist, the members are now getting $8-12/hr. That's not in 1970's dollars, but inflated ones.


                        Meatpacking is hard, dangerous, and dirty. And probably bad for the spirit, too. To not pay a decent wage, no matter who the workers are, is a disgrace.

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                        • #13
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                          Does anyone else have links/resources with respect to rankings of pesticide in non organic fruits/veggies?


                          OTB - yes, its junk science, but at least it provides a guideline, of sorts, for people who are trying to budget their finances and eat the healthiest foods for the least impact financially.


                          You can't fault someone for trying to eat what they can, within their means. For instance, where I live non organic avocados cost $2.50 each, where as organic costs $4-5 each.

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                          • #14
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                            Totally - it's really horrible that unprocessed natural foods are more expensive than processed (and poisonous!) "food"


                            One suggestion - that's admittedly really difficult to accomplish in full - is to eat seasonally for the supply/demand effect on your food budget.


                            When kale is in season it's probably cheap, even if it's organic.


                            Avocados are a pretty niche crop. Unless you're in southern california, your probably eating something imported = $


                            On that note avocados are delicious. I just bought an organic avocado for $3 & savored it like fine chocolate. It's a luxury, for sure... & I can't afford luxuries every day!


                            The meat stuff... that's seriously complicated. I heard through the grapevine Costco now carries grass fed beef - can anyone confirm?


                            We get ours from a local farm & farmer's market. If I'm ever short I can pop over to my co-op & pay and arm and a leg for grass fed/finished beef from California.


                            That pretty much makes me be organic grass-fed bourgeoise pig.

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                            • #15
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                              its not totally junk science. the trouble with this study is that they do not make any claims to the pesticide load in terms of weight or toxicity, but to the number of different pesticides used on each piece of produce tested. they provided a rundown of their methods here:


                              foodnews.org/methodology.php

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