When people read the word “organic” on a label, they automatically assume it means healthy and clean. Why wouldn’t you? That’s kinda how it has been publicized. The definition of Organic is “related to, or derived from living organisms“. So, technically, if it was alive at one point it was “organic”. Yes, a hyena is organic, but would you want to eat it? To each there own…moving on…
The biggest assumption is that organic also means pesticide free, which is NOT always the case. Most states actually allow organic farmers to use some sort of pesticide which is “derived from living organisms”, but it is still a pesticide. Unless you know the farmer, you can’t always be 100% sure that your produce is completely “clean”.
If you aren’t able to make a local grower into your new bestie and, like myself, forced to hit the local markets, you’re going to want to know a few additional things.
1. Be aware of the PLU (Price Look-Up) codes on your produce
- 0 Conventionally grown produce and is generally presented without the leading “zero” (i.e. small lemon 4033)
- 8 Genetically modified
- 9 Organic (i.e. small lemon 9053)
2. Use the Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen when shopping
3. Read your labels and use your brain (aka Don’t be a lazy ass)
Organic does not mean healthy, in some cases it might be a better choice then another product, but read your labels and see what other chemicals are in the product. If it’s made with organic produce, but other chemicals that even spell check doesn’t recognize, then is there a reason to buy the organic vs non? Totally up to you, save your $2 and buy the non-organic version or better yet, put it down and think of an alternative that isn’t chemical laden.
I know budget is an issue, trust me…I know. I’ve made adjustments and been able to purchase organic fruit by down sizing my grocery list, it comes down to WANT vs NEED. You just need to figure out that part for yourself. Believe me I tried justifying my want AND need for a giant jar of $8 almond butter, but think long term and what’s best for the family as well.
Once again it’s going to come down to you doing your own research, finding your local growers, asking the question and hopping onto the internet and researching programs for yourself.
If you’re in the USA and want to find a local grower check out www.localharvest.org and in CANADA www.cog.ca. Also, ShopOrganic has items that can be delivered straight to your home, if finding items in local markets isn’t easy.