Originally Posted by karika
Organic is not the same thing as non GMO necessarily. The peaches that are not organic have not been genetically modified that we know of. The only produce that has been genetically modified that I know of is papaya (as melissa mentioned) tomatoes, corn and pineapple (mostly the hawaii pineapple). The danger of produce that is not organic is the pesticide load. The dirty dozen refers to the pesticide load. If there are only conventionally grown peaches available, I would not buy peaches. The 'cheapness' of the corn is deceptive. You will pay now for organic corn (frozen if that is all they have) or later in health costs for the conventional GM corn that was ingested (most of the time in the form of HFCS which is ALL produced from GMO corn). I mostly avoid corn altogether as much of it has been compromised by GMO. I also avoid soy, canola, wheat, (new)cotton (I have many old cotton things). Those crops have been overtaken by GMO at about 98% or higher.
I feel so strongly about making sure what we eat is safe that I would move if alternatives where not available. There are shipping companies like Azure Standard that do drops all over the US. However, by changing what I eat I have made a large impact. By eating very little meat, I have extra money for the organic produce. I buy organic dried beans in bulk, nuts and seeds for my protein intake. I am still eating eggs (mostly in baked goods like pancakes) and ethically, organically raised chicken breast was still on menu last week, but I may be done with that too. I have been gluten/ casein (dairy) and soy free for a few months now and that really limits the possibility of ingesting GMO there. I am also canola free. This means I have no 'spread' for potatoes or rice, but I have learned to like them with coconut oil.
After watching the documentary I quoted yesterday I realize this- the future depends on us not eating animals or their byproducts and learning what 'wild' plants are edible. By learning to ecoharvest and teaching it to our children, we can ensure they will have a means to feed themselves when the bottom falls out for the foods consumed in today's world. By returning to the roots of our nomadic ways we can find a way to adapt to what has been unleashed. I still have an organic garden and still shop at the store. This is a new ideal I have to learn to eat from the wild. I do make pine needle tea in the winter already though for extra vitamin c (one cup has more vitamin c than 5 cups of orange juice)
okay i am rambling now. have a lovely day! learn about indigenous edible plants and educate us all
i don't think it is good advice to say "if it's not labeled organic, don't buy it." Most local producers can't afford to get certified organic by the FDA, and the FDA has watered down their organic standard so much that it doesn't mean what it used to anyway. It is more important to *ask the farmer* about his/her growing practices. Easier to do, of course, at the farmer's market than at the grocery store, but not impossible - the store should be able to tell you where the produce comes from if it is, indeed, local. and then you call the farm and you ask. Where I live, just as an example, there is not a single farmer who sells at the farmer's market who uses any chemical fertilizers or pesticides. but not a single farmer has anything certified organic either. Many, many small farmers do things sustainably and naturally and do not use pesticides or chemical fertilizers. You just have to ask. Most farmers will be thrilled to talk your ear off about how they grow their food, and if they don't want to tell you, then assume they use chemical fertilizers and pesticides and move to the next farmer.
I would personally *much* rather buy local produce that isn't certified (but raised naturally/sustainably) than to buy organic produce from a foreign country - especially because organic doesn't mean the same thing in all countries, and while it would be nice to think that the US polices other countries to make sure they are conforming to our standard, they don't. and that's to say nothing of the amount of fossil fuel required to transport those organic grapes or whatever from Argentina to your super market.
as for consuming meat, it's the same thing. meat itself is not problematic, IMO - we are omnivores and we are meant to consume meat. what we are not meant to consume is meat from animals eating a biologically inappropriate diet (ie ruminants eating corn, chickens eating a vegetarian diet, etc) living in cages on concrete floors with no access to sunlight, fresh air or exercise. these meats are nutritionally void, from animals that would have dropped dead from a litany of diseases had they not been slaughtered for our consumption. and whether you believe in the transfer of energy or karma or not, i personally don't have any desire to eat something that spent its entire life suffering. but depending on where you live, there are often lots of options for buying pastured meat from happy animals eating biologically appropriate diet who spend their lives outdoors where animals should be. and i have absolutely no problem whatsoever eating meat like that. in fact i happily do so on a regular basis.
If you haven't read it, I highly recommend The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan. He talks a lot about how unsustainable industrial agriculture is, and visits Joel Salatin's Polyface farms - a sustainable farm that uses all natural practices, and which is probably the most productive farm by-the-acre in the entire country (if not the world). Salatin's model is what we're trying to do on a smaller scale here on our homestead, and it feels fantastic to slowly but surely become more and more self-sufficient, and to be able to feel completely comfortable eating the meat, eggs, dairy and produce because we grow it ourselves. obviously not everyone can do it themselves, but finding a family farm like ours and supporting it not only speaks loudly against the industrial food chain, it nourishes your family and helps keep local, sustainable agriculture alive and nourishes our planet so that future generations will be able to thrive here too.
for local sources of safe, nourishing food, check out www.eatwild.com www.localharvest.org