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Thread: Difference between pesticide free and organic? page

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    sakura_girl's Avatar
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    Difference between pesticide free and organic?

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    I'm specifically deciding between frozen pesticide-free spinach for $1.49 and frozen organic spinach for $1.99, each at 16oz from TJ's. Is the 50 cent premium worth it? What is even the real difference between the two? I eat a crap-ton of spinach (at least go through 3 or 4 frozen bags a week), which makes a difference in my budget, so I'd like to know

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    Spinach is one of those veggies you should choose organic, as they are really heavy in pesticides. Same w strawberries and mushrooms. I would happily pay the extra!

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    In this case the non- organic probably uses coventional chemical fertilzers. The most dangerous are the pesticides, whereas fertilizers are objectionable because they use lots of petrocemicals to produce them and also leach into groundwaters.

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    organic is always a good way to go where possible. great thing is as more and more people eat organic they are becoming cheaper and cheaper. as organic becomes more price competitive i think people will all convert over to a better way of eating. whole foods is another great healthy eating guide line that i tell everyone about. superfood greens are always great organic of course. spirulina is a great whole food - some times costly but neverthe less great for you. to find out about why check out spirulina benefits if your interested.
    otherwise always try to eat whole foods
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrianag View Post
    In this case the non- organic probably uses coventional chemical fertilzers. The most dangerous are the pesticides, whereas fertilizers are objectionable because they use lots of petrocemicals to produce them and also leach into groundwaters.
    Uhhhh but wouldn't pesticide-free imply that they didn't use the chemical fertilizers?

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    They probably use fertilizers to inject nitrogen into the soil. Then they can reuse the soil over and over..and eventually the soil will be void of all other nutrients...which won't matter to the growing plant much since they continue to inject the nitrogen. Organic growers rotate their crops a LOT more because they have to. They have to use the natural land/sources to grow the plants which in terms will make them more nutrient dense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by activia View Post
    They probably use fertilizers to inject nitrogen into the soil. Then they can reuse the soil over and over..and eventually the soil will be void of all other nutrients...which won't matter to the growing plant much since they continue to inject the nitrogen. Organic growers rotate their crops a LOT more because they have to. They have to use the natural land/sources to grow the plants which in terms will make them more nutrient dense.
    Got it. Organic it is then! Thank you for the helpful comments.

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    I don't know about frozen spinach at Trader Joe's, but I did ask once at my local food coop what the difference was between "unsprayed" vs. certified organic and the answer surprised me. Unsprayed, they told me, was what they could use for produce that didn't have a certification and generally for this store, it meant that it was often backyard fruit. I know that I don't have a California certification for organic produce but my backyard avocados are as organically grown as you can get. They also explained what "transitional" meant, which was that it was a farmer on the way to getting an organic certification. They have to go a number of years without using pesticides or chemical fertilizers so even though they are doing all the same stuff as organic farmers, they can't yet call their produce organic. I actually opt for unsprayed and transitional FRESH produce over organic when available. Anything that comes in a package I figure is all lies unless it's certified.
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    That is very possible! However, there is no way to know for sure unless you know exactly what farm the produce is coming from. There are lots of local farmers that use organic practices that are not certified because of the expense.

    I would say the best to buy is local organic, then local, then commerical organic, then pestiside free (unless you happen to know what farm its coming from and can find out what growing practices they use).

    One reason for local over commericial organic is because commercial organic are still picked before they are fresh, and they ripen them unnaturally with some sort of gas (I cant remember at the moment) during transit. Most local growers tend use organic methods, but you can always ask them
    Last edited by activia; 11-14-2011 at 07:32 AM.

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    in addition to what sbhikes says, it could very well be hydroponically grown. This is usually in a greenhouse, where the pests can be controlled without spraying. I don't think any hydroponic operation could be certified organic because compost tea also has lots of regulations surrounding it. It used to be that people used the term "transitional organic" for stuff that came from a farm that hasn't been using 100% organic practices for three years. It is very expensive to get organic certification for packaged/processed food, and very unlikely that a small backyard farm would go to the bother of getting certified, or even finding its way into packaged material. More likely to see it at the farmer's market with a "no spray" sign, which is legal. It could also be that the food is naturally grown in a country that uses different practices than the US standard. Just one banned input and the stuff can't be sold as organic.

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