Organic vs. Conventional Foods? Count Your Blessings

April 24th, 2008

I consider myself a lucky blogger. There’s so much to say about organics, going green, raising kids, and trying to make sense of healthy green living. And here at OrganicMania, we’ve had some great discussions about organics versus conventional foods, like this one and this one.

As I look through some of the nearly 300 comments (!) you’ve left on OrganicMania, I’m struck by how many of us, particularly the Mothers, are struggling to make sense of our options in order to provide what’s best for our children. This morning I was struggling a bit, too, trying to choose from a myriad of possibilities for today’s post.

But my mind kept wandering back to this story in yesterday’s Washington Post about the terrible impact of rising food prices on the world’s poor. Did you know that the UN’s World Food Program being forced to cut back on feeding programs that serve 20 million children?

Diane MacEachern, Mary Hunt, and other prominent writers and bloggers are proponents of shifting some of women’s purchasing power to green purchases. I’ve been really focused on that movement and believe it can make a huge difference.

Maybe the current crisis is an opportunity to expand our focus beyond raising green kids. It’s time to look at all the world’s children as part of the human family. When we’re so focused on organics versus conventional foods, are we at risk of thinking only of our own nuclear families? Are we losing sight of the fact that more children than ever before are starving? Did you know that one child dies every five seconds from hunger-related causes? In 2008. It’s incredible, isn’t it?

So are you struggling to make sense of organics vs. conventional foods? Count your blessings. Maybe it’s time to think about what share of money to keep for the family food budget versus donating to the starving millions.

Here’s a link to donate to the UN Food Program.

Don’t like the UN? What’s your favorite hunger charity? Leave a comment and share!

— Lynn

Copyright 2008 OrganicMania

12 Responses to “Organic vs. Conventional Foods? Count Your Blessings”

  1. Alana on April 24, 2008 6:11 pm

    I feel very fortunate to be able to offer our family organic foods. What really causes me a great amount of guilt is the food we waste. I have been trying so hard to only buy what we need and use up everything we have but there are times when my children won’t eat anything on their plates. I am definitely going to look into organizations to help feed children in need – maybe as my children see us donating to such a cause they will realize how fortunate we are, too. Great post – thanks for the info.

    Alana, I know you’re somewhere in Maryland…if you are in Montgomery County, you might want to check out Manna. It’s a great food bank. You can go and bring your kids. Most of their clients are actually working families. And they draw a lot from MC college too. — Lynn

  2. Mary on April 24, 2008 6:18 pm

    I like to promote kitchen gardens like those found on

    Cool! Thanks for sharing, Mary! — Lynn

  3. Mother Earth on April 24, 2008 6:45 pm

    I donate to, my very dear friend margaret started this remarkable org. She has made amazing strides with i. Locally we have 2 places to give to, food drives occur in many ways and I am always creating a bagfulfor others

    I currently have a very very tight budget for my groceries – feeding a family of 2 who actually eat 3 square is a challenge, i buy carefully and buy organic as I want to fuel that economy – i have been in worse fiscal situations and still bought organics – just ate lots of beans and rice!!

    yes, and lentils, too, right?!! Thanks, Mother Earth! — Lynn

  4. Annie on April 24, 2008 6:46 pm

    Thanks for posting on this Lynn, it’s something that has been on my mind a lot too. I think it is really important to support programs that help promote local solutions to hunger and environmental issues, such as permaculture. Permaculture helps to teach people how to be more self-sufficient, and efficient in the use of resources, ie building healthy soils by composting, worm-farming and mulching, capturing and using rainfall on site, companion planting, keeping chickens and other animals, etc. If anyone knows a good group helping to promote permaculture in developing countries please let me know, as I would love to donate a percentage of a the profits from my organic business to such a group.

    Thanks for this interesting response, Annie. I don’t know much about permaculture, but I’ll have to learn more! — Lynn

  5. Amy @ The Q Family on April 25, 2008 7:54 am

    Thank you for reminding us how fortunate and rich we are. I consider myself rich. Not by anyone’s standard but by my own standard. We have a house, cars and food. We can afford some organic items on our budget but not all. Thank you for sharing other great organizations that we can involve to help others who are less fortunate.

    Amy @ The Q Family

  6. Rejin/Urban Botany on April 25, 2008 8:24 am

    Thanks for putting the problems of American families in a broader context.
    “Think globally, act locally” doesn’t let us off the hook when it comes to what is going on in the rest of the world, does it. I hope we can learn to care for our families without forgetting about how our choices (and our government’s trade policies) affect people in the developing world.

  7. Janice Thomas on April 25, 2008 8:31 am


    This has been weighing heavily on me as well and I applaud your sense of justice and the reminder that it is not ” all about me”. Thank you. My husband and I are moving in June and will donate all of our canned goods to the local food bank as well as making a financial contribution. We are blessed indeed. Thanks for the reminder.


  8. Equa Yona on April 25, 2008 8:51 am

    I would suggest Oxfam as an excellent hunger and development organization.
    Bread For The World is a lobbying organization that involves people in churches, colleges etc in letter writing campaigns
    Greenpa at
    has a hunger campaign going. And I have written about how eating meat impacts the environment and world hunger

  9. matt on April 25, 2008 4:57 pm

    Strong post! And very true. Just yesterday I was pondering some things we have to deal with financially, and had a lightbulb go off that we are so extremely fortunate to have what we have, eat what we eat, etc.

    And then I read your post (especially after catching up on the news from the week). Very good stuff.

    Thanks so much, Matt! — Lynn

  10. Farmers Market Fare 3 : Eat. Drink. Better. on April 28, 2008 2:11 pm

    […] in mind, this week’s carnival entries follow. Lynn at Organic Mania contemplates the terrible news about the food crisis has really been weighing on me. We who have […]

  11. Dagny McKinley on April 29, 2008 2:27 pm

    Thanks for opening my eyes back up. It’s so easy to get caught up in the small day to day details of our lives that I forget how many starving, sick and dying people there are in the world without food, medical aid and love. I am so lucky. Thank you for reminding me.

    Dagny McKinley
    organic apparel

  12. Michele Khurana on May 1, 2008 9:28 am

    Check out the Akshaya Patra Foundation at They are distributing 800,000 nutritious, delicious, vegetarian meals daily (six days a week) to “under served” children in various states in India; their goal is 1 million per day by 2010.

    The food is great (I’ve tasted it)and is cooked in very clean, state of the art facilities. Funds are audited. Has been operating for years. Great people too! $28 feeds a child for a whole year!

    That’s amazing…what a great way to contribute…$28 for a year. I belong to a group called TIE that has a lot of Indian members …I’m going to mention it to them…what a great charity for that group to support! — Lynn

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply

Name (required)

Email (required)


Speak your mind

CommentLuv badge