The Olive Oil post really led to some interesting reader comments about when to buy organic and what motivates us to buy organic – or not. Price and convenience surely come into play, but the main reasons for buying organic boil down to what OrganicMania calls “Organics’ Four Factors.” Your decision to go organic – or not – will in large part depend on how important each of these four factors are to you, and how much the particular item is affected by these four factors.
1. Health Benefits
2. Protecting the Environment
3. Animal Rights
Let’s take a quick look at each of the four factors.
1. Health Benefits – While some dispute the notion that organic food is healthier, we do know from the Environmental Working Group’s research that certain conventional fruits and vegetables – aka the “Dirty Dozen” – retain a high amount of pesticides. Efforts should be made to buy organic versions of the “Dirty Dozen.” (Peaches, apples, sweet bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, lettuce, imported grapes, pears, spinach, and potatoes). OrganicMania adds carrots to the list because they follow potatoes at #13 on the list, and they’re one of the few vegetables kids are likely to eat often. Many people also opt to purchase organic milk to avoid exposure to bovine growth hormone (BGH) and antibiotics, among other benefits. Add to this the fact that organic foods are produced without the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), which some countries (notably our European and Japanese friends) have banned from their own food supplies.
2. Protecting the Environment – The elimination or near-reduction of pesticides in organic farming has direct environmental benefits to the earth and to the farm workers. Many consider these to be the most important reasons to buy organic.
3. Animal Rights – Organic standards mandate that cattle have access to pasture and are grass-fed, unlike the way they are treated on mass market “factory farms.”
4. Taste – To most people, organic simply tastes better. And isn’t that the joy of food anyway?
Copyright 2008, OrganicManiaFiled under Food, Organics vs. Conventional Foods, Product Recommendations | Wordpress Comments (3) |
DH’s question was ever more insistent: “Are you sure you want the organic olive oil?”
It wasn’t until I visited Whole Foods that I realized why he was asking. Organic olive oil is $12.99 a bottle versus $7.99 for the conventional, store brand 365 Everyday Value line of olive oil. At the rate we plow through olive oil (close to two bottles per month), that’s a price premium of $120 per year for organic versus conventional olive oil. And with recent price increases pushing the price of just a half gallon of organic milk to $4.19 at our local Giant grocery store, it’s important to make sure we’re spending money on the right types of organic foods.
That’s when I was reminded of a fantastic resource: the Environmental Working Group’s list of the “dirty dozen” most pesticide-laden fruits and vegetables – the ones you should always buy organic. Olives don’t even make the broader list of 43 fruits and veggies surveyed. That made my decision easy – pass on the organic olive oil and save the money for our ever increasing organic milk bill!
Check out the “dirty dozen” and the “cleanest 12” lists here – you can download a wallet card to carry with you to the market.
— LynnFiled under Food, Organic Prices, Organic Product Needs, Organics vs. Conventional Foods | Wordpress Comments (12) |