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Thread: Can't decide whether to go organic page

  1. #1
    Pezerinno's Avatar
    Pezerinno is offline Senior Member
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    Can't decide whether to go organic

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    Hi everyone,

    I'm having a hard time deciding whether to go organic or not?

    I have just priced up a weekly shop using a local box scheme for meat, dairy and vegetables and it is pricey, I mean more so than I was expecting. I would have to make big sacrifices if I go organic however I'm recovering from cancer so maybe it is worth it? On the other hand I have read here and elsewhere that organic produce isn't necessarily better and can sometimes be worse with regular organic spraying required so now I don't know what to think!

    Also what is the deal with vinegar solutions to wash fruit and vegetables in?

    Any advice would be appreciated!

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    Nion's Avatar
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    Get the best you can reasonably afford. Buy organic where you can but don't run yourself broke.
    I'm a paleo foodie, come check out my recipes: http://strangekitty.ca/

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    I'd compromise and go organic on certain things that are most likely to be GMO/or have pesticides like produce. For fruits and vegetables this is a good list of what to buy organic and what is not necessary: EWG's Shopper's Guide to Pesticides | Environmental Working Group | EWG.org For the vinegar wash I usually spray fruits and vegetables with a 50/50 water/white vinegar mixture, let sit for a few minutes, and rinse thoroughly.

    For meat and dairy, I'd try to find a local grass-fed/pastured source for them. The quality from a good farm can be beyond organic and the price may be cheaper. Organic dairy I would particularly avoid because it is usually ultra-pasteurized, and basically dead.

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    Pezerinno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nion View Post
    Get the best you can reasonably afford. Buy organic where you can but don't run yourself broke.
    The problem I'm having at the moment is I don't know if organic is better or not?

  5. #5
    Pezerinno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by awm8604 View Post
    I'd compromise and go organic on certain things that are most likely to be GMO/or have pesticides like produce. For fruits and vegetables this is a good list of what to buy organic and what is not necessary: EWG's Shopper's Guide to Pesticides | Environmental Working Group | EWG.org For the vinegar wash I usually spray fruits and vegetables with a 50/50 water/white vinegar mixture, let sit for a few minutes, and rinse thoroughly.

    For meat and dairy, I'd try to find a local grass-fed/pastured source for them. The quality from a good farm can be beyond organic and the price may be cheaper. Organic dairy I would particularly avoid because it is usually ultra-pasteurized, and basically dead.
    I thought organic milk was better because it wasn't homogenised at least the ones I was planning on buying weren't.

    I swear sometimes the stress of understanding what is best to eat outways the benefits...

  6. #6
    DaisyEater's Avatar
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    I prefer organic, pastured dairy. As for stuff that's just organic, the larger producers tend to ultra-pasteurize so it's good to look for a source that doesn't. I've seen organic dairy that's not ultra-pasteurized. (I'd love to get raw milk but it's illegal here.) You can look around at the brands in your local stores and check out their websites. You can email them if it's not clear how they feed their cattle. Most producers are happy to tell you if they're doing stuff like pasturing, though, so it's likely to be on the site. If you're lucky to live near farm country, you may be able to buy direct.

    As for whether to emphasize the veg or the animal products when it comes to clean sourcing, I am more persnickety about my animal products since many toxins concentrate in the fat. I spend a great deal more than most folks on that. I'm lucky that I can do that right now. There have been plenty of times in my life where I ate whatever was cheapest.

    I don't know what you're working with and what things cost in your area so it's hard for me to say what you should do. Buying grass-fed critter is a much bigger jump in my budget than having all local organics versus conventional produce. It may be that it's too splurgey. If so, you can try for cheaper cuts, cowpool, or just eat the conventional critter but buy leaner cuts and trim the fat. Maybe it's reasonable for you to spend more on butter, cream and eggs given the fat content. Save money on produce by buying conventional for the ones that don't carry as much pesticide load. The EWG link is a good resource.

    That said, there are lots of people here enjoying great health while not eating organic/grass-fed/sustainable/hippie-approved foods. I get wanting to be more cautious, though. I have an autoimmune thing and there are so many things that might or might not make that worse. I tend to err on the side of caution with my food.

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    Lewis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pezerinno View Post
    I'm having a hard time deciding whether to go organic or not?
    Disadvantage: cost
    Advantage: just about everything else.

    Of course, how "organic" the produce is will depend on who has certified it and how rigorous they are about enforcing their standards on producers.

    Properly done, at the least you should be ensured no pesticide residues in your food. That's obviously desirable. However, the levels may not be very high in some non-organically grown food. Depends on the type of plant and how much of what is generally sprayed on it.

    Other than that the food should be richer in nutrients, because a decent standard of certification should ensure that manure and compost have been used to grow it. With artificial fertlizers that only supply a narrow range of nutrients, the food grows fast but will not, for example, have the full range of minerals in it that it should have—because they'll soon get depleted from the soil unless they're replaced.

    Here in the UK the Soil Association is a major certifier of organic produce. There are now EU regulations for produce to be allowed to be called organic:

    Council Regulation (EC) 834/2007, implemented by Commission Regulation (EC) 889/2008 and Commission Regulation (EC) 1235/2008, organic imports implementing regulation. Council Regulation (EC) 834/2007 replaces Council Regulation (EEC) 2092/1991

    (Just about everything in our lives is decided for Britons by the EU these days, since our politicians sold our souls to them.)

    However, the Soil Association demands higher standards than the minimum legal ones under EU regulations before its mark may be displayed on produce for sale to the public. The Soil Association says to its certified growers, for example:

    You should monitor the levels of organic matter, available plant nutrients and nutrient reserves in your soil by analysing them and nutrient budgeting. You should try to do this at the same time each year. ...

    You must manage your soil with the aim of developing and protecting an optimum soil structure, biological activity and fertility. To do this you must:
     maintain humus levels, biological activity and plant nutrients for instance by regularly applying organic manure or compost and plant remains
     make sure your soil has enough microbial activity to start the dec ay of organic materials
     make sure your soil has enough microbial activity to breakdown non-soluble minerals to make them available to plant roots, and
     make sure your soil conditions encourage the continual activity of soil fauna and other soil stabilising agents. They will improve and stabilise soil structure by producing granular casts, deep burrows and mixing the organic matter. ...

    You may use:
     organically produced straw, farmyard manure (FYM) and poultry manure, preferably after composting it properly
     organically produced slurry, urine and dirty water, preferably after aerating  plant waste materials and by-products from organic food processing, preferably after
    treating, and sawdust, shavings and bark from untreated timber.
    Much more here:

    http://www.soilassociation.org/LinkC...M%3d&tabid=353

    Some of the Soil Association standards are aimed at animal welfare and some at keeping care of the land, preventing soil erosion and suchlike, so it's not all about maximizing nutrients in the crop and minimizing toxic residues in them. But it's all good stuff and responsible farming.

    Big producers don't like it of course and every now and then there's an attempt to get someone to say in the media that there's no difference between organic and non-organic produce and that will be "proved" by pointing to some narrow and unimportant measure as the be-all and end-all. But everyone here must already be used to these games when it comes to pharmaceuticals, soy products, HFCS, and just about everything else that very rich organizations want to bang out as cheap as possible and sell to us without conscience or qualms about quality getting in the way.

  8. #8
    Pezerinno's Avatar
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    Thanks for your replies; sorry if my last one was a bit short I think I'm feeling the pressure of needing to get this right as I'm getting over cancer. Lewis what are your thoughts on riverford company?

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    PrimalCon New York
    From everything I've read I'm under the impression that the most important thing regarding cancer is diet. Not organic vs non-organic but what types of food you are eating. Having a good omega 3 to omega 6 ratio and eating primal even without the organic meat and vegetables should help a good deal. If you can afford organic without feeling like you have no money for other things you want that are important to you than go for it. Stressing over it certainly doesn't help so buy what you can afford and eat primal and it should all work out.

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