Are no vegetable or fruits better than non-organic? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 28 Old 07-17-2012, 01:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know this is a crazy question! But I can't help but think this way. I know it is warped but I need some convincing. The thing is that organic fruits and vegetable are so expensive for us that I buy for DD and find I don't eat much. I can buy more inexpensive veg and fruit at farmers markets but they are not organic (nor local a lot of the time).

 

convince me something good for my health...

 

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#2 of 28 Old 07-17-2012, 02:04 PM
 
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If in doubt, eat onions wink1.gif

 

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#3 of 28 Old 07-17-2012, 02:24 PM
 
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No way!!!

 

If you were to get all of your fruits and vegetable from conventional farms, this would still be far better for your health than no vegetables at all. I can see giving up meat because you can not afford or do not have access to grassfed/pastured/organic (in fact, I did this myself...I only started eating beef again when I moved to an area that I could find grassfed and finished beef).

 

If you can't afford to go all organic, can you pick one or two that you eat in large amounts? Apples are one that comes to mind, especially if your family eats a lot of them. They are at the top of the dirty dozen list, and if you happen to have a Trader Joe's nearby, you can get them for a decent price in 5 lb bags.
 


 

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#4 of 28 Old 07-17-2012, 03:06 PM
 
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I've totally had this same thought. We now live in an area where organic produce is affordable, which is lucky. But in previous years, I'd try to stick to the dirty dozen for must have organic produce, and would buy conventional for everything else.


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#5 of 28 Old 07-17-2012, 03:18 PM
 
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Eat veggies. Wash them super well, but eat them. Try to buy stuff that has low pesticide rates, and buy your organic stuff from the fruits/veggies that have high pesticide rates.
http://www.organicconsumers.org/organic/pesticide-residues.cfm

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#6 of 28 Old 07-17-2012, 03:33 PM
 
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No... the higher up the food chain, the more concentrated pesticides become. So pork and seafood would be the worst offenders. We do cheap fruits and veggies and get the cleanest animal food sources we can afford. 


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#7 of 28 Old 07-17-2012, 04:11 PM
 
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I'd say that would be throwing the baby out with the bathwater.  I have a few suggestions about organic/conventional and costs:  First of all why not eat them only buy a little less to make of for the higher cost?  If you could afford the conventional version, check the math and ration the amounts a little to make up for the higher cost.

 

I would go for more vegetables and less fruit to get the best nutrition for your money.  I tend to also purchase from local farmers in preference over supermarket organic, but if it's a "fake farm stand" importing non-local items I wouldn't shop there at all.  I also never buy juices at all.  I think they are a poor value.  If organic juices are competing for any part of your grocery budget, you might reconsider them.

 

I think the best values on fruits are cleaner ones that are less sugary.  For instance, frozen blueberries are excellent--even conventionally grown.  Blueberry growers use few pesticides and they have more nutrients with less sugar than most fruit, and frozen you can use them gradually without any spoilage.  But I'd drastically reduce apples, pears, peaches, strawberries, oranges due to combination of cost and pesticide concerns.  I am fine with buying bananas organic or not, they are at least protected by a peel and the prices here are always under $1/lb which beats other fruits.  Watch for fruit on sale, here sometimes the organic apples are nearly the same price as conventional and there's not a huge price difference.   Buy them every other week, instead of every week, or something comparable for you.

 

In vegetables I'd focus on a few that are a good value for the nutrients and keeping qualities.  I always keep organic greens on hand.  Organic carrots are not expensive, onions are usually a good value and conventional onions are helped by the fact that they get peeled, I think peas rarely use pesticides at all, even conventionally grown, and conventional squash is a good choice as it's another that you don't eat the peel.  (Corn and tomatoes are in my opinion lower in nutrition and I only get them for recipes that need them.) 

 

If I'm really seriously skimping my total fruit and veggie shopping can be reduced to only organic spinach greens, conventional onions, and conventional peeled baby carrots.  Each of these is easily eaten raw, so that's a plus.  I don't believe that we need a lot of different vegetables to eat healthy so it is okay to have a narrow range sometimes.   


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#8 of 28 Old 07-17-2012, 04:28 PM
 
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Fans of organics don't like to hear this but conventionally grown fruits and veggies are perfectly safe to eat. It's important to eat your fruits and veggies no matter how they're grown. You and your family need them!

When it comes to buying organic fruits and veggies, health of the consumer is not the real issue. The real reasons to buy organics are environmental. It's not your health at stake when you're choosing what to buy, it's the health of farm workers who are directly exposed to large quantities of pesticides as well as the health of the planet.

But if you can't afford it then you can't afford it. You still need to eat a diet that contains fruits and veggies. So buy conventional if you have to!
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#9 of 28 Old 07-17-2012, 05:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by marsupial-mom View Post

Fans of organics don't like to hear this but conventionally grown fruits and veggies are perfectly safe to eat. It's important to eat your fruits and veggies no matter how they're grown. You and your family need them!
When it comes to buying organic fruits and veggies, health of the consumer is not the real issue. The real reasons to buy organics are environmental. It's not your health at stake when you're choosing what to buy, it's the health of farm workers who are directly exposed to large quantities of pesticides as well as the health of the planet.
But if you can't afford it then you can't afford it. You still need to eat a diet that contains fruits and veggies. So buy conventional if you have to!

This simply is not true. Pesticides are full of known carcinogens. They are all over most of the food that is conventionally grown. Hell, you can taste the poison on the apples at Walmart.

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#10 of 28 Old 07-17-2012, 06:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by marsupial-mom View Post

Fans of organics don't like to hear this but conventionally grown fruits and veggies are perfectly safe to eat. It's important to eat your fruits and veggies no matter how they're grown. You and your family need them!

 

That's not true, and rather rude. I eat mostly local and organic, but I would never, ever tell someone to not eat any fruits and veggies just because they can't eat organic.


 

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#11 of 28 Old 07-18-2012, 07:52 AM
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This simply is not true. Pesticides are full of known carcinogens. They are all over most of the food that is conventionally grown. Hell, you can taste the poison on the apples at Walmart.


I think what you're tasting on a Wal-mart apple is the wax they use to make the apples look shiny. 

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#12 of 28 Old 07-18-2012, 10:23 AM
 
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Originally Posted by marsupial-mom View Post

Fans of organics don't like to hear this but conventionally grown fruits and veggies are perfectly safe to eat. It's important to eat your fruits and veggies no matter how they're grown. You and your family need them!

Right.....so why is it that some conventionally grown fruits make me barf or give me eczema (and have done so since before I was old enough to know what pesticides were), but their organicly grown counterparts don't bother me at all?

 

eta: I don't think it's necessary to buy ALL veg and fruit organic, but there are some that I just don't consider worth buying if they're grown conventionally.

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#13 of 28 Old 07-18-2012, 12:28 PM
 
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I've totally had this same thought. We now live in an area where organic produce is affordable, which is lucky. But in previous years, I'd try to stick to the dirty dozen for must have organic produce, and would buy conventional for everything else.

 

I buy a mix of organic, and non-organic.  As a rule, I only buy organic "dirty dozen" fruits and veg. Generally, I buy conventional "clean 15" fruit and veg.  The rest is dependent on what it is. (root vegtables, I try to buy organic, berries, I try to buy organic, things with a thick skin that does not get eaten, I buy conventional most of the time depending on the cost difference.

 

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No... the higher up the food chain, the more concentrated pesticides become. So pork and seafood would be the worst offenders. We do cheap fruits and veggies and get the cleanest animal food sources we can afford. 

 

Not all seafood is a bad choice.  Small, oily fish such as sardines are safter than say, tuna.

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Fans of organics don't like to hear this but conventionally grown fruits and veggies are perfectly safe to eat. It's important to eat your fruits and veggies no matter how they're grown. You and your family need them!
When it comes to buying organic fruits and veggies, health of the consumer is not the real issue. The real reasons to buy organics are environmental. It's not your health at stake when you're choosing what to buy, it's the health of farm workers who are directly exposed to large quantities of pesticides as well as the health of the planet.
But if you can't afford it then you can't afford it. You still need to eat a diet that contains fruits and veggies. So buy conventional if you have to!

I agree that eating conventional fruit and veg is better than no fruit or veg, but I disagree that pesticide and herbicide residue are not a health concern.  Small quantities build up in your body over a lifetime.


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#14 of 28 Old 07-18-2012, 01:31 PM
 
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Not all seafood is a bad choice. 

so true! you also have to weight your zinc vs getting synthetically - I still favor seafood over synthetic any day - that doesn't mean you eat it everyday!


 

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#15 of 28 Old 07-18-2012, 01:54 PM
 
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I another one that buys the Dirty Dozen (duhn duhn duuuuuuuhhhhhn) organic, and the Clean Fifteen conventional.  I also consider the type and thickness of the skin.  I always try to eat the skin.  I recently at edamame pods and got some really funny looks.  Oops.  I buy my chicken organic because we eat a LOT of it.  I buy my beef grass-fed, but we eat very little, so I can absorb that cost.  I will buy conventional turkey because we rarely eat it, but I do seek out the "anti-biotic free" turkeys and limit myself to those.  Pork... pork is a work in progress.  I have not found a good source of affordable, convenient pastured pork at this time.  I continue to keep my eyes peeled.  I don't bother trying to afford the top-o-the-food-chain fishes, and stick with wild Pacific salmon, canned tuna (Troll caught! YAY dolphins!), mahi, very occasional cod, scallops, shrimp if you're cleaning it...  you get the idea.  I hate sardines, oh man do I hate sardines.  We used to eat this little fish called porgy, in NJ - I haven't seen it in TX, but it was smaller, and very, very, very tasty.  And you could catch it by the garbage bag full not too far out to sea.  We eat lots and lots of beans and lentils, which we buy conventional, and sausage I buy conventional but I do look for good quality.

My view, with food and with most things, generally, is "common sense and moderation should prevail on most days of the week", because I struggle to be pithy, but of course, what this means varies from me to you and so forth.

 

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#16 of 28 Old 07-18-2012, 01:56 PM
 
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The first time I bit into a celery stick and it had a nasty, chemically taste was the *last* time our family ever bought conventional celery. I hadn't realized it was on the dirty dozen, but right after tasting it I looked it up and sure enough.. right near the top of the list. One thing I've been thinking about lately, is my brother likes to argue that he is against organic produce because they still use pesticides but they're organic and not necessarily tested/approved/safe but the conventional ones are tested to be safe. In googling, I was able to find an article that confirmed his opinion (maybe he saw it and its why he feels that way) My personal thoughts in response to him is that its really not that simple. products used will vary from farm to farm and crop to crop. And I don't have quite that much faith in the FDA that those chemicals are "tested and proven safe". I'd put a bit more trust in the organic farmers simply because, though there might be some more greedy farmers who are going to exploit every loophole they can find and still be certified, I think as a whole, organic farmers really do give a damn about what they produce and are going to be a little bit more thoughtful. But all this is "my feelings" and "philosophy" and not fact. Is there any good response to this? Oh, and we have a pretty good relationship and they're the kind of people I could have some lively banter with ;) Its just a topic that comes up from time to time at get togethers and I really wish I had some facts to refute his opinion with rather than just like, "umm, well, I can't argue my way out of a paper bag but I disagree" 


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#17 of 28 Old 07-18-2012, 02:23 PM
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  Pork... pork is a work in progress.  I have not found a good source of affordable, convenient pastured pork at this time.  I continue to keep my eyes peeled. 
 

If you ever do, spread the word!  Pigs aren't ruminants, so while I see a couple web sites offering "pastured" or "grass-fed" pork products, the pigs are actually foraging or being fed alfalfa, and the sellers are cashing in on the "grass-fed" craze by giving the pigs access to grass.

 

http://soursaltybittersweet.com/content/myth-grass-fed-pig

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If you ever do, spread the word!  Pigs aren't ruminants, so while I see a couple web sites offering "pastured" or "grass-fed" pork products, the pigs are actually foraging or being fed alfalfa, and the sellers are cashing in on the "grass-fed" craze by giving the pigs access to grass.

 

http://soursaltybittersweet.com/content/myth-grass-fed-pig

I think that what is important about the idea of "pastured" pigs (for me) is that they aren't raised crated in small crates which is not humane. 


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#19 of 28 Old 07-19-2012, 09:20 AM
 
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Indeed, when I think "pastured pork", I think of a pig, happily rummaging through a meadow, eating mushrooms and apples, and romping and frolicking and having a grand life before some jerk comes along and eats him.


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IMO (of course) - Better to be eating lots of fruit & veggies than not doing so because you can't get organic ones.  While it's nicer to support organic quality for various reasons, so many fruits/veggies/herbs also support your body being able to handle toxins in your environment in the first place.  And they can get peeled and washed.  I think the benefits to eating lots of fruit & veggies are more important than the benefits of only eating organic fruits & veggies.

 

Yes, if organic is cheaper, the same price, or only 10-20 cents more I buy that.  If I find it cheaper, I buy more.  I don't pay attention to 'the dirty dozen' (I wouldn't be able to afford to).  I research the various places I buy my food (we get most summer produce from our local CSA which isn't technically organic).  I do buy a few things organic consistantly (carrots, often celery, spinach) because there are reasonably priced ones I can find and we also like the way they taste better than non-organic.  

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#21 of 28 Old 07-19-2012, 10:25 AM
 
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Indeed, when I think "pastured pork", I think of a pig, happily rummaging through a meadow, eating mushrooms and apples, and romping and frolicking and having a grand life before some jerk comes along and eats him.

 

There are lots of pigs and boars happily rummaging through meadows and forests, decimating the ecosystem. Wild pigs are actually an invasive species, and are a huge problem in certain areas of the country. The Ossabaw Island feral pigs are one example. Right now, the only thing keeping them from going extinct is a dedicated group of farmers off-island who breed them for heritage pork. The state of Georgia wants to eradicate the wild Ossabaw pigs on the island completely, since they disrupt the nests and eat the eggs of loggerhead turtles on the island, another endangered species.


 

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#22 of 28 Old 07-22-2012, 06:47 PM
 
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I know nothing about raising pork.  I do know that I'm not picturing wild pigs ravaging entire communities when I am searching for a healthier, more humanely sourced pork product. 
 


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#23 of 28 Old 07-22-2012, 08:03 PM
 
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Indeed, when I think "pastured pork", I think of a pig, happily rummaging through a meadow, eating mushrooms and apples, and romping and frolicking and having a grand life before some jerk comes along and eats him.


FYI unlike the label "organic" which has a legal definition and is regulated by the USDA, the labels "pastured" or "pasture-raised" are not regulated labels. Although "pastured" implies that the animals were raised outdoors on pasture, since the term is not regulated or certified, there is no way to ensure if any claim is accurate. You would have to actually visit the farm to see for yourself. I encourage anyone curious about animal welfare or the safety of meat to visit the sources of their animal products in person and see it firsthand.

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#24 of 28 Old 07-22-2012, 09:07 PM
 
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Exactly.

 

This is the big hold up.  I like the idea of visiting farms... I've identified several farms in the area that sell all week and have most of what I'm looking for. 

(I'm limited also by the fact that I am a NYer in Texas.  We cook differently, to put it mildly.)

 

I just haven't saddled up the Subaru and headed to those farms yet. 

 

What's the hold up, you ask?

 

Funny, I was just mentioning in the accomplishment thread... 

 

I have grown more and more terrified of the rural areas.

 

I'm not looking forward to embarrassing myself when a pig squeal unexpectedly on my tour and I scream and jump and run for my car.  So... no ethical pork just yet.

 

I'm working up to it.


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#25 of 28 Old 07-22-2012, 10:14 PM
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I just moved out of AZ, and my limited experience with Javelinas has not made me feel more comfortable around pigs.  I should probably put some time and effort into ethically sourcing bacon, since we eat it so rarely we can afford to pay a premium when we do, but we otherwise avoid both pigs and pork. 

 

I was intrigued by the notion that the ecologically correct thing to do with pigs is exploit their ability to turn garbage into food.  I'm not super-keen on eating garbage-fed pigs, but the potential for managing waste-disposal and hunger at the same time makes me want to find a good way to get over that psychological hurdle.
 

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#26 of 28 Old 07-24-2012, 06:13 AM
 
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MrsGregory, pigs are scary. They're big. And not at all shy.

I used to work for a company that owned vineyards. Feral big control was a huge issue - unless intensively herded, pastured pigs get away. They barrel right through fences, and they are a menace to agriculture. The company I worked for dealt, to the extent that they could, by supplying farm workers with ammo and tell them they could do what they liked with the pork. I'm sure some of it was sold to high-end establishments, but I think the methodology doesn't constitute ethical slaughter.
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#27 of 28 Old 07-24-2012, 07:48 AM
 
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But the pig in Charlotte's Web was so sweet and cuddly!

 

 

...

 

 

So, what is the alternative to the commonly available sardine-pigs that are slaughtered horribly?  Aside from forgoing pork products, that is? 

I'm glad I'm learning about pigs here, and not within 5 feet of a pig on some farm.


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#28 of 28 Old 07-24-2012, 08:06 AM
 
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Eat a combo of organic and non-organic, based on pesticide ratings!

 

ALSO: you know there's a cheap way to get pesticide-free, locally-grown produce: grow your own!

 

I know what the excuses are. You don't have a garden, you're really busy, etc. But there's a middle ground between turning your backyard into a farm and no veggies at all. For instance: sprouts! Everyone has time to have a sprouter on their kitchen counter! Kids love doing the sprouting. I got a sprouter and some organic sprouting seeds at my local health food store. It took me months to get through a five dollar bag of seeds, and each crop of sprouts is great in salads, sandwiches, or just to munch on. Recommended!

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