Information on reasons for eating organic? — The Bump
Food & Nutrition

Information on reasons for eating organic?

So, I've come to a point where I'm thinking I want to start eating organic. I would like some more research-based information about what goes into processed food and what the effects on one's health can be. Any good books, documentaries, and/or websites? My husband thinks I've been "drinking the liberal Kool-Aid" to quote him directly (he is a moderate), so anything that would be convincing to a more moderate audience would be wonderful. Thanks so much.
Anniversary
White Knot
Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Re: Information on reasons for eating organic?

  • FWIW you are talking about two different things - eating organic is different than avoiding processed foods although IMO both are good ideas.

    We eat some things organic, the dirty dozen and meat/dairy. We actually buy our meat locally through CSA with an area farm. But we also buy some conventional items. With regard to organic, it's not that the items are nutritionally different, it's that they are not covered in pesticides. And unlike some label claims, having a USDA Organic label actually means they met standards.  Link to info on label. Here's the link to the list of fruit/veg to buy organic vs. conventional.

    We also avoid processed foods and, well I thought everyone agreed they aren't as healthy as whole foods. Processed foods are high in sodium and typically have lots of added ingredients/chemicals/etc to make them taste half way edible and shelf-stable. And the low-fat varieties typically have tons of added sugar. There's controversy about the lining in many cans (it has BPA). And quite frankly, I don't find premade processed foods taste very good compared to a home cooked meal made with fresh ingredients.

    There are TONS of food documentaries out there, Food Inc, King Corn, Forks over Knives are three off the top of my head. I actually didn't care for Super Size Me.

    This was an eyeopening article in NY Times this year Link. It's long, but worth the read.

    HTH! Good luck!



    imageimage
  • DH just took a class last year in college about Sociology and Food.  Just google that and get reading.

    Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation is a GREAT read.  I couldn't put it down.

    I also read a book called You Can Farm.  Had a ton of good information about food, growing food, how to make a sustainable farm, what a farm should look and smell like.  These are important to us as we get our produce from a CSA where we help work the land, and we get our meat and eggs from a local farmer who keeps pasture-raised chickens, hogs and cows.   We spend time at these places (mostly because we like being outdoors), and we want to know what we're looking at and what it all means in the grand scheme of how it goes from fieldpasture to our table.

     

    Prudence
    Lilypie First Birthday tickers
    Otis
     Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
    Hank 
     
    Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers
  • Loading the player...
  • Food Babe, Food Renegade and 100 Days of Real Food are a few blogs that I love for this. They have lots of links to reputable articles/books/resources. I also like how they are from a mom & real life perspective so they address a lot of relevant issues.  In Defense of Food by Michael Pollen is a good book & I love Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon (kind of heavy but loads of good information and suggested reading). 
    BFP 4/3/07 EDD 11/23/07 MC 7/20/07 Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers Lilypie Pregnancy tickers
  • imageBooger+Bear:

    With regard to organic, it's not that the items are nutritionally different, it's that they are not covered in pesticides. 

    That's wrong.  Organic is not the same as pesticide-free.  Organic just means that it's covered in "organic" pesticides.  Some are worse than the conventional ones and are used in heavier quantities.  Some are not.  Unfortunately, "organic" does not automatically mean your fruits and vegetables are healthier.  You really have to know how your food is grown and what they used while growing it.  A lot of "organic" food sold here is grown in Mexico.  Yeah.  Thankfully, stores almost always label food origin here, so it's easier to spot.  

    You should look for local farmer's markets that requires their farmers to grow the food sold (rather than be middle men) and to be within a certain distance of the market.  The food there has been picked usually that day or the day before, not weeks before and transmitted long distances.  Fruits and vegetables lose nutritional value the longer they sit, so you'll get more nutrition out of fresher items.  The items in your grocery store have often been picked weeks before they reach the store.  

    Here, the farmers themselves usually man their booths, so you can ask them how they grow their food.  They're usually very willing to talk about it.  Here, not all of the farmers grow organically.  They usually post a sign about it on their booth if they do.  They also all take preorders here, so you can show up at any time during the market and pick up your order.  That makes it easier than getting there when it opens and waiting in line.   

    BFP#1 4/17/10...EDD 1/6/11...M/C 5/28/10 BFP#2 11/19/10...EDD 8/4/11 Squeaker born 7/30.
  • Here is a short video from Consumer Reports:

    https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/video-hub/food/diet--health/when-it-pays-to-buy-organic/16817885001/207604689001/

    When DH does the shopping anything he can find Organic he buys.  I am just starting to buy a little less, like onions for example because it's one of the lesser contaminated foods.  Our meats, dairy and eggs are always Organic.  We recently joined a CSA which is great because it's all locally grown food, so we get a lot of our veggies from there as well as our eggs. 

  • Organic does not mean healthier, depending on your perspective. I look at it this way. Organic is not covered in the same pesticides as non-organic food. Organic has an actual definition, so you know you are getting organic if it says so. However, through almost 60 years of research, they have not been able to link pesticides to known ailments/diseases. So you can take this information and make the best decision for yourself. 

    Of course organic sounds better, I agree, but when the difference between regular strawberries (3$) and organic strawberries (7$) is more than double...it is not always possible for me.

    There is a lot of good advice on here, farmers markets are great ways to improve your diet. I try to buy organic for things that matter more, such as vegetables, eggs, milk etc..instead of cracker or cereal. That is just me. Food is complicated, there are a lot of things to consider but don't forget to enjoy it.

    Good luck!  

  • Thanks for the info/resources! Looks like I have more research to do!
    Anniversary
    White Knot
    Lilypie First Birthday tickers
  • Avoiding GMOs would be another reason to eat organic/local.  
    Baby Birthday Ticker TickerBaby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • imageKaren1998:
    imageBooger+Bear:

    With regard to organic, it's not that the items are nutritionally different, it's that they are not covered in pesticides. 

    That's wrong.  Organic is not the same as pesticide-free.  Organic just means that it's covered in "organic" pesticides.  Some are worse than the conventional ones and are used in heavier quantities.  Some are not.  Unfortunately, "organic" does not automatically mean your fruits and vegetables are healthier.  You really have to know how your food is grown and what they used while growing it.  A lot of "organic" food sold here is grown in Mexico.  Yeah.  Thankfully, stores almost always label food origin here, so it's easier to spot.  

    You should look for local farmer's markets that requires their farmers to grow the food sold (rather than be middle men) and to be within a certain distance of the market.  The food there has been picked usually that day or the day before, not weeks before and transmitted long distances.  Fruits and vegetables lose nutritional value the longer they sit, so you'll get more nutrition out of fresher items.  The items in your grocery store have often been picked weeks before they reach the store.  

    Here, the farmers themselves usually man their booths, so you can ask them how they grow their food.  They're usually very willing to talk about it.  Here, not all of the farmers grow organically.  They usually post a sign about it on their booth if they do.  They also all take preorders here, so you can show up at any time during the market and pick up your order.  That makes it easier than getting there when it opens and waiting in line.   

    Admittedly I was being simplistic. I used pesticide to mean synthetic chemical.  And it depends on the fruit/veg whether it makes sense to look at organic vs. conventional products.  I mostly wanted to point out that a LOT of marketing goes in to labeling foods "good" with things like all-natural, fresh, natural, etc. and those have zero meaning whereas organic actually is regulated (albeit not well).  But you are correct, organic growers use naturally occurring pesticides, not all of which are well regulated or researched. 

    And ITA that local is ideal. Unfortunately that's not possible in many places, or for all people, or year round. So sometimes we have to do the best we can. Love shopping at farmers markets - best thing about summer!



    imageimage
  • There is a lot of information out there and you should do your own research (for a variety of sites), get educated and make decisions that are best for your family.

    Eating 'organic' can be healthier in the sense that there are a lot of studies done (some bias, others not) that discuss linking the chemicals, etc. to behavioral issues, as well as health issues. If you are new to it, take a look at the dirty dozen. They are typically produce that is sprayed more than others b/c they are attractive for bugs to munch on.

    In considering eating organic, farmer's markets tend to be local (and very fresh), they are typically cheaper and you can often get a relationship going - it is nice knowing where your food comes from. They often allow visitors.

    It is arguable that eating organic isn't all that it is cracked up to be. There are USDA organic standards but ask any real farmer (my husband grew up on one) and there are always circumstances that can prevent full organic from seedling to finished product. Additionally, when considering organic, I recommend looking into grass-fed (from start to finished) meats, pastured, soy-free eggs (over organic) from local farms, and pastured hens/pigs from local sources, if possible.

    I understand that eating organic can be very expensive but I also believe, in the long run, people feel better and end up at the doctor's less often (in combination with other healthy lifestyle decisions).

    One step further, even if you can't go organic - and you will also pay a premium, try and avoid refined sugars, HFCS (it is evil and in everything from ketchup and manwich sauce to your favorite packaged cookies) and hydrogenated oils. Instead, choose coconut oil. It is a full fat but a very healthy fat. It also works well for those going gluten-free, paleo, etc. There are a zillion recipes for granola bars, nutrigrain bars, even cheez its that contain NONE of the above.

    I realize that some people get all high and mighty about organic - but there are really good reasons for moving in that direction.

    GL!

  • Oh yeah..and GMOs like the PP.
  • Def the benefit of avoiding GMOs. I has terrible health issues from headaches, cycts, ulcers, and rashes once GMOs were cut out for a couple weeks I felt better. More energy now than ever. It made a big difference for me. I never thought to avoid them until I did my own research and many countries banned them due to health hazards. Right now China is rejecting imported wheat from the US because it was found to be GMO. Also Target plans to put out a store brand of Organic by the end of 2014 that has all GMO free foods. Also a lot of baby formula companies are taking a lot heat since it has been found that they also use GMO in thier products.

    Lilypie Trying to Conceive 21 to 37 day cycle tickers
    photo 50cfc577-1b09-4c85-b0a9-ea904c8d0796_zpsfd35b703.jpgphoto 892f2b5f-7a42-4be7-93f7-9f564015cfb5_zps7935d4e0.jpg
  • I recommend The Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food both by Michael Pollan as great books to introduce you to the topics of organic, GMO, and locovore. he really does give a balanced and interesting perspective.

    I do all organics, primarily to avoid GMO's. The fact is no one can say if GMO's are safe in the long term - simply because they haven't been in existence for a long time. GMO foods were first made in the early 1990's - we have absolutely no way to know the long term effects. I personally believe there are shorter term negatives as well, although some people will argue that. but no one can argue the long term point.

    When it comes to food, IMO, the order of importance should be:

    1. Unprocessed foods (whole fruits & vegetables, whole grains, unprocessed meat, etc).
    2. Local. Vegetables that have traveled thousands of miles are probably 1-4 weeks old by the time they are in your hand. Often they are not vine ripened, but rather ripened artificially as they were transported. Plus what standards do other countries have?
    3. Organic. Certified organic is easiest, but if you know your local farmer you might find they use organic practices but can't afford the certification.

    For ease for myself, I joined (actually started with some neighbors) a CSA in my neighborhood. The farm we work with is certified organic and less then 70 miles away. I have visited the farm and met my farmers. All our produce is picked less then 24 hours before its delivered to us, so its always seasonal and vine ripened.

  • My family has been avoiding GMOs and eating organic for about a year now.  The things I learn about GmOs and pre-packaged "foods" are just over the top and scary!

     

    Two documentaries I really enjoyed we're Food, inc. and Genetic Roulette. 

This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards