Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Making Wise Organic Choices

I have a long-time disagreement going on with a friend of ours (ladaisi's husband) about what "organic" means.  He is days away from his Doctorate in Physics - so he brings much scientific lingo to this discussion.  His point is, "everything is organic!" Wikipedia puts it this way, "Of or relating to an organism, a living entity"  Of course, when I am talking about organic I'm always using it in reference to food. :)  I am sure to use the word "organic" to describe food whenever I see him - which always results in a speech from him about how this word is used incorrectly. Regardless.

The latest craze is organic food. Organic produce, organic dairy products, organic cereals, etc.  Now it has turned into organic bedding, organic clothes, organic bath and body products and the like.    When you look up "organic food" on wikipedia, this is the definition you get: "Organic foods are foods that are produced using methods that do not involve modern synthetic inputs such as synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers, do not contain genetically modified organisms, and are not processed using irradiation, industrial solvents, or chemical food additives." So when I am talking about organic foods that is the definition in my head.

A few days ago I was at our local indoor farmers market.  They specialize in offering organic products, local products, natural products and international products.  I typically go there to buy organic and local produce and meat.  I finished picking up ten or so items and got in line.  The lady in front of me had a loaded shopping cart.  I watched her unload her purchases and I noticed that every single item she bought was labeled organic, but ironically every single thing she bought was processed.  She had organic marshmallow puff cereal, organic microwavable meals, organic cereal bars, organic cookies, and the list goes on.  She had just shopped at a store full of an amazing selection of meats, vegetables, whole wheat breads and gourmet dairy products and the only things she had bought were highly processed organic foods.

The point I am trying to make here is this: do not assume that you are eating "healthy" because it says organic in the product's name.  You'd be much better off eating a regular store bought apple then you are eating an organic apple cereal bar loaded with sugar.  Let's not all get so caught up in buying organic products - let's focus on getting the best nutritional value our money can buy.  If that means buying some food organic, some local, and some at Wal-Mart then so be it.  And word to the wise, if you are going to buy highly processed organic food, just buy it at Wal-Mart - it's cheaper there. :)

See this list that rates produce on least important to most important to buy organic.


  1. yeah, i've heard his argument over organic before.

    we could just call it "pesticide free" and maybe he'd let it go?

    your organic at walmart comment made me smile. :] people are so weird.

  2. Hahahahahaha.

    "Organic means CARBON BASED! All food is CARBON BASED!"

  3. I try to eat food that is pesticide free aka organic!