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How Important is Organic Food to you?

edited April 2012 in Being Raw

I'm just trying to gather a selection of opinions on the importance of organic food especially in terms of a raw food diet.

Do you eat all organic, mostly organic, no organic and what are your reasons?

I have tried doing my own research on the internet but it is very confusing and so many articles seem to state that it makes no difference whether a food is or is not pesticide free. I even read one which proclaimed organic food to be a ''tax on the gullible.''

I buy organic food where I can, I might tend to buy more non-organic if I'm trying to save money. My gut feeling is that it seems quite obvious that organic food is the better option but then again I don't like to believe and do things without knowing why I believe in them. Does anybody have evidence to prove that it is better for you? Do the chemicals sprayed on food affect the enzymes or the structure of the food? Does non-organic food put stress on the body? I want to know the facts.

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  • I don't eat all organic because of my budget, but I do all organic greens, bananas, apples, and oranges since those are the majority of what I eat. Also all seeds I buy are organic. Not nuts though, that is too expensive. And often celery I will buy organic, or various other vegetables, but I will also buy those conventional if they look alright. However, I just watched "The Future of Food" and it left me with such a disdain for GMO (genetically modified) foods that I greatly desire to eat more organic. Now I care more if its GMO than its chemical content. I never want to eat GMO foods again.

  • Non-organic means that there are pesticides (they can seep into the food so just washing is not enough to eliminate this issue), food may be genetically modified (yikes!), food may be irradiated (zaps the life right out of it) and the soil that the food is grown in is very inferior (which results in food with a much lower level of nutrients).

    Also, all of the chemicals and pesticides are not good for our beautiful world. The less we support this way the better off the earth will be.

    I know that all of the information out there on the lovely internet can be very misleading and contradicting. You just have to look at the source of the information and go with your gut.

    I buy organic whenever possible. Often it is more expensive but I have been buying it for awhile now and I do see some of the prices coming down. I believe that the more we buy the more the prices will come down.

    To specifically address your questions:

    "Does anybody have evidence to prove that it is better for you?" ~What is evidence? Is there really PROOF of anything? Just go with your gut.

    "Do the chemicals sprayed on food affect the enzymes or the structure of the food?" ~I am not really sure that the chemicals sprayed on affect the enzymes or structure of the food, however they do poison it. Also, conventional produce is grown in inadequate soil and therefore does not develop how it is truly supposed to.

    "Does non-organic food put stress on the body?" Absolutely. The more crap (chemicals, inferior food, etc.) you put into your body, the more crap your body has to work to clean out. More strain on your cleaning organs and your body as a whole.

    All of this information is my truth. We all have to decide what our own truth is. This is what I believe and therefore it is true in my life. If you choose to believe something else then you may have a different experience.

    Hope this helps! :)

  • I don't eat all organic, either, but I buy organic for those containing a lot of pestisides and also try to buy affordable organic veggies and fruits such as bananas because organic food contains more nutrients and higher vibration. I rely on the following lists:

    http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=163759642722

    http://www.foodnews.org/fulllist.php

  • I oÑly shop at my farmers market idk if there stuff is organic? Are farmers markets better than like grocery stores? I go to whole foods once in a while but I'm basically a broke college student!

  • i go to farmer's markets in the summer/fall and buy their produce, but during the winter, i don't buy organic. it's just too expensive since i eat so many fruit and veggies.

  • Organic is really expensive and I doubt I would be able to eat much fresh fruits and veggies if I did rely on them. Though I think there are "true" organic farmers, I do question what gets classified as organic. Unfortunately I think sometimes organic just ends up being more expensive and not always that much better for the environment. You would almost have to find out what qualifies as organic in the state you live in. I believe it's a state certification? I was surprised once to learn that where I live it is common to fertilize fields with blood from slauderhouses, though I guess that would be organic. I think it's for the nitrogen.

    Anyways, organic may not be what you think it is.

  • Thank you all for the wealth of responses and especially to Happy Raw Girl for you long and insightful reply. I really do still feel that organic food will be better for my body (although my boyfriend disputes this) so I will continue to buy organic as much as I am able to.

  • I eat organic where its available but raw vegan takes priority.

  • I dont eat all organic. It is way too impossible on my budget. When I can I do, but I dont stress out about it.

    http://lilearthmuffin.wordpress.com/

  • i eat organic what i can, where i can. if that means compromising variety then i tend to eat unorganic- variety as opposed to all organic- same ol' same ol'.

    http://www.vabeachraw.wordpress.com

  • I only buy organic or pesticide free. I support farmers without the paperwork if I trust that they dont spray.

    I hope for a future with no need for paperwork and organic stamps but untill we get there WE HaVe To show the way, vote with our money - what kind of world are we fighting for.

    so buy organic, support the small business everytime ---make your money count.

    That is the only way organic will be the ordinary

    I am broke and live of a really small salary, and it IS possible to still buy 100% organic food if you want.

    its prioritizing.

    this month i havent had any work and still bought organic. and yes it is more expensive. but come on, you support what you buy. make it count!

  • Home growing and foraging are important for keeping good-quality - and cheap! - food in easy reach. I've grown some good parsnips and jerusalem artichokes this winter with practically no work, and once the spring gets going the area will be full of lovely nettle, dandelion, burdock, chickweed, dock, and so on. Of course I buy organic food too, but where I am it's not often readily available. Besides, half of it is flown all the way from fuckin' South Africa or New Zealand!

  • oh, and i grow as much of my own food that i can; i am working towards transitioning (and this poss. might be facilitated in the summer with more local variety), but i am transitioning towards:

    50-50: 50% local/ organic, 50% homegrown. (i live in an apartment, and i successfully had *a* fresh tomato. hopefully this summer/ fall, it will be fresh tomato(es). but i 'grow'/ ferment the following in my own apartment/ townhouse:

    -sprouts of all varieties

    -kombucha

    -sauerkraut

    -sunflowers (in progress)

    -ginger (in progress)

    -wheatgrass

    -speltgrass

    -rejuvelac

    with more to come...so eating well and having fresh, locally, and homegrown goods--- is completely do-able on a small budget (i pay $1200/mo living expenses and i only work a temp job).

  • I believe there was an EU study that showed organic foods to be up to 50% more nutritious - especially in some categories like antioxidants and minerals. You'd have to google it. Minerals come into the plant directly from the soil. Conventional food is often grown in depleted soil, so the nutrients aren't available to the roots thus the edible parts too.

    In addition to pesticides for bugs, conventional produce uses fungicides (for fungus), herbicides (for weed control), and chemical/petroleum-based fertilizers and soil treatments. Bad for the body, bad for the planet, bad for the farmworkers and communities. Like Indigo Moon I want to support sustainable farming practices. I know the regulations about being certified can be oppressive and onerous, but that's not my fault.

    I find organic foods taste way better, especially stone fruits and citrus, and that's reason enough for me. There's a list of the "dirty dozen" foods all over the net - the food crops where pesticides and other chemicals are most heavily used. Bell peppers and strawberries are two examples that come to mind. If I can't find them organic, I won't buy them. Then there are other foods like bananas that have little to no discernable pesticide residue. In the case of bananas, according to VegNews magazine, it's best to look for fair trade labels versus organic or conventional because of how the workers are treated.

    I have heard that raw eaters need to be much more conscientious about choosing organic foods because those nutrients and chemical compounds are so much more absorbable from raw foods (in most cases). I don't know if she's still around but Zinfandel, one of the old-timers here, developed some real sensitivities to chemicals in conventional produce. Frankly if you're not largely raw, you may not even notice the reactions you can have from certain foods.

    To Pastelpudding, yes, Farmers' Markets are preferable to grocery stores, even Whole Foods. Cheaper too. I like to support the farm-to-consumer model versus the corporate food system. You might have to ask each individual farmer if they grow their crops organically. Since many of them are small farmers, they may not be organic certified (it's a lot of paperwork), but they will tell you if they use any sprays.

  • Thank you Suasoria. I always enjoy reading what you have to say.

  • As of now I am not consuming much organic, but next time I go grocery shopping I will be buying as much organic as possible. I will be able to buy organic romain, spinach, celery, apples, bananas, carrots, cauliflower, and sometimes pears. Also, I can grow my own organic sprouts to substitute for non-organic food. The only food that I but that isn't certified organic is the foods that are known to be least sprayed by pesticides (http://www.foodnews.org/fulllist-print.html). I will start buying non organic cantaloupe, kiwi, pineapple, tomato, grapefruit, tangarines, honeydew melon, and possibly oranges. If these fruits were available organic I would buy organic and just eat less. Personally I think it is better to just eat less and buy more organic, so you end up spending the same and you are doing a good thing for your health and the world. Eating less can also be easier on your digestion.

  • I try to eat all organic foods that you eat the skins of likes apples and plums. When it comes to oranges i still try to eat organic but i dont care as much.

  • the problem with conventional produce is you have no idea whether it is irradiated or not. plus it is shipped super huge distances, fumes, etc etc

    All my food is organic

  • The only time I don't eat organic is if I eat at a restaurant (unless they offer organic choices!). When I'm shopping at the market I only buy organic - if what I want isn't organic, I skip it! I don't actually think it's much more expensive to buy organic; especially because of what your getting (more nutrition and a healthier earth). Plus, I don't have health insurance so I think of it as a preventative measure :)

  • The pesticides and fertilizers used in organic farming *must* be biodegradable to qualify as organic, so the effects on the environment are significantly different than conventionally grown foods.

    There have been some studies showing organically grown produce is more nutritious, and some showing no difference. Here are some links for those on the organic side: http://www.ota.com/organic/benefits/nutrition.html

    I find organic food usually tastes much, much better--especially fruits. But what really convinced me to buy (nearly) all organic was my involvement with Student Action with Farmworkers--they had so many stories of farmworkers getting cancer from pesticides (strawberry farmers seeming to fare the worst with brain tumors), that I resolved that it was worth my money to buy organic. I spend far more of my income on food than anything else.

    I had a friend that was so sensitive to pesticides that she rarely ate fresh fruit or vegetables--she didn't want to eat organically grown produce because it sometimes had bugs in it. For some reason, canned/frozen foods didn't give her a problem. I look carefully for bugs before eating, and put the bugs outside when I find them.

    vabeachcg--I am so impressed that you're growing ginger in your apartment! I can't wait to hear how it turns out!

  • Do you think local trumps organic at times?

    Something like apples are very prone to insect infestations in wetter climates like where I live (Indiana). I spoke with a apple grower at a farmers market about what pesticides they use and they said they would like to not use pesticides but with the wet climate here and some bugs I forget the names of are common here so its nearly impossible to grow organic apples here and it is probably the same with other fruits too like plums and pears. I am not sure about melons though. At farmer's markets only one or two vendors pride themselves with organic signs so organic is pretty hard in this area.

    I feel better supporting a family business than who knows who by buying it at the store. I am going to try this year to stay away from conventional food as much as possible when spring rolls around by attempting to grow organic melons, greens, and veggies and also forage for greens and berries.

  • PS - Buying organic produce that's on sale can help save lots of money. It's often cheaper than non-sale conventional stuff, at least in my experience.

    And I will buy non-organic produce from local farmers--though I'm (so) lucky to have three certified organic farms selling at my little local farmers' market.

  • After eating only organic vegetables and fruits for 2 years straight, I noticed a significant difference of tastes and colors between organic and conventionally grown produce. I mostly do my shopping at the farmers market because it is much cheaper than the grocery store. A lot of conventionally grown produce soak up the pesticides and chemicals that they are treated in and a good rinse will do little good. They are grown from inferior soils and end up lacking nutrients, minerals, and color. When it comes to consuming fruits and vegetables, especially raw, I think it would be best to shop organic. That way you can enjoy raw foods to the fullest.

  • I read that irradiation of produce kills the enzymes so it's no longer "alive." I notice when I buy produce in a few stores by my place-even if the produce is "fresh"- it doesn't have much of a scent or color on the inside. It also has much less flavor. When I go to WF the organic produce is very fragrant. I am guessing that's partly because it wasn't irradiated. Also, I read that they actually put food coloring on nonorganic produce.

  • white apple - I recently read that apples are one of the items sprayed with the most pesticides out of all produce , so organic is more important in that case. Supporting local business is another issue, so it depends on what's more important to you of course.

  • that's right leafygreen. and if we want to be like the hunzas with the freshest, most nutrient rich produce possible we have to eat produce from the cleanest, soil, water, and zero treatments except natural nontoxic ones. and get from farms whenever possible, but make sure to ask them if they use any pescticides because sometimes they do.

  • leafygreen and RawKidChef,

    I know that apples have a lot of pesticides used on them but because of money I sort of let it slide. I am an unemployed student and depend upon my grandma and mother for money for food. I went to the orchard with my grandma and we had such a fun time picking apples. At $0.69 a pound I couldn't beat it (got like 30-50 pounds each time I went). I saw a barn with some pesticides but I didn't really inspect it or ask questions because that was back when I hated unneeded conversing but now that I am more raw I don't mind conversing so I think I will ask questions and find out for myself what's going on.

  • I feel people should do what makes the most economical and ecological sense when it comes to buying food.

    I'm on the fence about organic, because organic farming does use pesticides and fungicides, and even though they are labeled organic, not all of them are regulated.

    Also, I can't see the value in spending money on organic produce that traveled more than 500 miles to get to me, so I will usually go local over organic.

    85-90% of my produce purchases are local, with the other 10-15% being foods that don't grow in my region, and then I try to buy fair trade and organic. If I find myself short of certain vegetables I like in the winter months, then I'll buy frozen, because it's a better value (price and ripeness) over fresh.

    @whiteapple - apples are very hard to grow organically; there are lots of pests and fungi farmers have to contend with.

  • I get almost all fruits and veggies organic. I do eat those frozen TJ's mangoes and sometimes bananas or pineapple that are not organic. I have read that there is more nutrition in organic at least for greens (in victoria boutenko's green for life she has stats). For nuts and seeds, I can go either way, depending on what's cheaper. I do find a lot of good deals on organic at my local coop and even at traditional grocery stores.

  • that's cool whiteapple.

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