Wednesday, March 9, 2011
I've never been a big "believer" in organic foods.
In reading about them, I kept turning my back on organic for a few reasons:
1) It's always been my understanding that the word "organic" is largely unregulated, meaning that just about anyone can choose to put it on their packaging. It's a "buzz word"--a trend--that people are buying into. Therefore, food manufacturers and suppliers are all trying to compete in this market, and who knows what kind of shenanigans they're pulling in order to do so.
2) Because of the whole unregulated factor, I'm distrustful. How do you really know something is organic? For instance, when I'm in my grocery store, and I see organic pears, they look the same as regular pears. They have an organic sticker on them, but how do I really know? Someone could just be slapping an organic sticker on a piece of regular ol' fruit and charging me a premium for it. I mean, seriously. How do you know?
3) The cost. For crying out loud, THE COST. A regular gallon of milk = $1.89. An organic gallon of milk = $5.99. A quart of regular strawberries (in season) = $1.50. A quart of organic strawberries (in season) = $5.99. I really don't know what else to say about that, except OUCH.
4) Related to the cost, it's like I almost can't bring myself to buy organic because I'm just against the principle of the whole thing. If organic farming is that much better for all of us, WHY ISN'T IT THE STANDARD? If that's truly the case, don't even offer me tainted, hormone-laced milk for $1.89. Honestly. And I know we're in America and it's all about being able to make our own choices, but DAMN. If we don't make it cheaper for people to eat healthy in this country, we are never going to combat the issues we have with our healthcare system. Period.
I will totally admit to not being very educated on this subject. That's kind of the point of this post. I've willingly kept myself in the dark about a lot of this stuff, because truthfully, there is part of me that just doesn't even want to know. To date, I have refused to watch Food Inc. because LA-LA-LA-LA! I'd rather stay here in my little bubble where I do not have to think about how the "healthy" food I'm eating is actually poisoning me.
So, as I said, I've never been a big believer in organics.
But then I had Nora.
And now I'm terrified of hormones and pesticides and antibiotics in food. I guess it's the parental line of thinking that is kicking in--I want the best for my baby. I want her to be healthy. I don't want her to start puberty at the age of 8. I'm interested in knowing why there seems to be this huge increase in the prevalence of cancer, and I want to do my part to FIX it.
Lately, I've found myself in the organic sections at the grocery store. I've found myself prioritizing, figuring out which organic things we can afford, and which we'll have to do without. I've been reading up on the "Dirty Dozen" and "Clean 15." I've been talking to my coworker (a fellow mommy) about the types of organic snack foods she feeds her kids.
Have I made a complete lifestyle change? No. At least not yet. Because I'm still struggling to see how it will be possible with the sky-high prices of organic foods. But I'm interested to check out our local farmer's markets this summer to see what kind of organic treasures we can uncover.
What say you, readers? Are organics a must in your house, or do you still believe it's all hype? Does anyone have any great resources they would recommend for me (and others) to get better educated on the subject?