Yesterday I had a comment on my post Thinking about Paleo regarding organics. The comment asked why I choose to buy organic. At first, I thought it was an obvious answer but when I sat down to write it out, I realized it’s probably one of the best questions I’ve been asked in a long time. Here was my answer:
Personally, I’m focusing on organics because it doesn’t make sense to me to eat chemicals if I don’t have to. There are so many “trending” buzzwords to this overall conversation, like organic, non-organic, GMO, artificial ingredients, free-range, cage-free, grass-fed, etc., etc., but if I take all that away, eating organic is still important to me, always has been, and I think that makes all the difference.
There’s a really simple explanation for what Jason and I are trying to accomplish: we want to be healthier and happier. To us, that means everything from buying healthier food to composting to using natural health and beauty products. Buying organic foods is part of that process. With that said, we don’t buy everything organic and we shop at the farmer’s market as much as possible because it’s local and so cheap! We follow the Clean 15 and the Dirty Dozen lists and we also don’t bother buying organic thick skinned fruits and veggies. This is because the pesticides can’t get through to the inside part of the food we eat so they should be safe. We began shopping at Trader Joe’s because they make it super easy to meet our goals. As they state on their website: “When you see our name on a label, you can be assured that the product contains: NO artificial flavors or preservatives, NO synthetic colors, NO MSG, NO genetically modified ingredients, NO partially hydrogenated oils (artificial trans-fats), and NO ‘marketing’ costs” (they really are the cheapest we’ve found but with some sacrifice. I’ll explain more in an upcoming post about shopping for paleo-friendly ingredients). In order to be smart and financially savvy, you have to understand where you’re willing to compromise and I believe that’s a personal choice.
Not only did the question prompt me to revisit my healthy-living decisions, it also opened some communication between Jason and I on the subject. He said that he is set on us buying cleaner foods because that is how he thinks we, as a family, should be eating. Eating clean during pregnancy (in the future) is very important to both of us and teaching our kids about healthy food is a big deal. I also plan to make most of our baby food in an effort to save some costs so that definitely means only organic. It was refreshing to hear his side of the story and know our goals are aligned.
Overall, I love the idea of knowing where your food comes from and knowing the producers of your food have the same ideas. I feel connected to growing food in an organic way and know that it comes from how I was brought up which is how I want to bring my kids up. I wish, on a regular basis, that I was able to grow a garden and possibly go as far as to homestead but I was not given that incredible gift so I put that trust into the hands that can grow great food and support them however I can. It has nothing to do with big business and government, trends and buzzwords. It’s living the most natural way I know how and taking advantage of the ability to do so.
What foods to you choose to buy naturally or organically? Is that a conscience decision or something you’ve just always done? Does it matter to you? Why?