Tuesday, October 7, 2014

To Be, or Not to Be Organic

I have been wanting to talk about the expense of organic food for awhile, and I always wimp out because I want to be part of the organic movement, and I try to buy as much organic as I can afford, but I certainly am not a member of the organic team. I was doing some research on this issue, you know since I can't post pics yet, I like to at least have accurate facts ha ha! What I first discovered were some of the reasons organic is more expensive, such as no chemicals=more labor, organic food grows more slowly, organic certification costs a lot of moolah, higher cost of fertilizer for organic crops, better living conditions for livestock, and that is just the top five, there are many more reasons. And of course I understand, but it doesn't stop me from feeling pissed off because I want all of my food to be organic, but it is just not in my budget.
I was really surprised that when I was reading up on this subject, there is a ton of judgment on both the pro organic, and why bother with organic sides of the fence. I didn't realize this, but there are people who believe organic is no better, gives no more nutrition, so you are throwing you're throwing your money away if you buy organic. I never thought organic food had more nutrients, I always thought the main issue was pesticides and other weird gmo type shenanigans. And the pro organic side feels that everything should be organic, and there is a sense of if you aren't willing to sell everything you own to buy organic, well, you just don't care about your health, anyone you love's health, and you certainly don't care about the health of the earth. I was shocked as I was reading these articles at the judgment. I can only imagine the judgment parents go through, I was a nanny and wow, the judgment some moms make on each other is pretty intense.
All the judgment got me thinking about an article I read way back in the day, I'm talking years and years ago, when  organic first started to become a "thing", and this article was encouraging consumers to keep buying organics, as that would help bring down the cost. Well, that hasn't happened yet. And as someone who used to have the luxury of farmer's markets as a way to save money, well those don't exist everywhere. And another kick ass, vegan , organic money saving heaven, Trader Joe's, well ditto. I wonder if instead of judging, we tried demanding a change in the cost if that would help, because the judgment is really just mean on both sides of the argument.
I don't know about where anyone else lives, but where I live there was not one time that a measly pint of organic blueberries was less than six dollars this past summer.  I did not have fresh blueberries this summer, I found a sale on organic frozen. I'm sure I would be judged on not buying local. Ha. Like a lot of people, I do the best that I can do. I try to stick to the dirty dozen/clean fifteen, buy from bulk bins, and go without certain fruit or veg that is not in my budget for that week. I am a firm believer in all natural all the time. I don't like chemicals or toxins anymore than the next person. But I also don't like feeling judged for my financial limitations. And I am very surprised to have found a lot of judgment in the vegan community about organics. Of course we want to promote organics, but we have to remember that we want to save animals. I would hate for someone who is interested in veganism be turned off because of the fear of an out of control food budget.
I do think organic is the best way, but until the cost becomes realistic, I have to be okay with doing my best to be as natural as possible. Hopefully people who are vegan, organic curious will do their own research, and not get scared off.

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