I get asked about this everyone now and then…
Yep, I eat organic food. No, I’m not a dirty hippie. The food tastes better (which generally indicates better nutritional value!) and it isn’t covered in pesticide residue. I like my food better that way. And no, it doesn’t have to be expensive if you put some thought into where you’re buying your groceries.
I get a delivery of fresh organic fruit and vegetables every week for around $50 (puny Australian dollars), which lasts us (2 adults who rockclimb (high energy/food requirement) and/or overeat) 1-2 weeks – there’s some overlap, and we usually use up the excess when we have friends around for meals. I don’t buy all my food organic. I usually prefer to get mushrooms and avocados non-organic, as avos seem to be particularly expensive, and we use a heck of a lot of ‘shrooms! I buy most of my dry lentils and beans in bulk, and most of these aren’t organic, however soy beans grown in Australia are all organic (last time I checked! We’re lucky). My homemade soy milk is made from organic beans – I make it myself in a nifty little Chinese milk machine, which costs us about 25 cents per week in beans for as much milk as we need for cereal, tea, coffee, and other cooking. Tofu and tempeh is always organic, as far as our local stores/suppliers go, including Asian imports and locally made stuff. I buy organic canned baked beans when I can, simply because they taste better!… I’d say about 75%+ of my food at home is organic. The gluten-free flours I buy for making bread are half-organic, half-conventional. Sometimes we buy gluten-free breads from a local bakery, and their stuff is all organic.
Between cheap local markets, local stores, and delivery services, it’s no more expensive than when I bought conventional foods. The fresh produce also lasts much longer, and usually tastes a truckload better. I avoid buying organic produce and products from supermarkets and certain health food stores – it can be a rip off if you shop in those places (particularly in the big chain stores, I find). There are far better deals out there – usually involving local growers and small businesses that are worth supporting – they have the freshest produce, and there isn’t such a big transportation cost for you or the environment.
I have these lists stuck on my fridge door – I don’t know who to credit them to, but they seem to turn up everywhere. They are handy if you can’t buy all organic food every week.
The top foods you should buy organic because they have the greatest levels of pesticide residue – are (starting with the most contaminated):
3. Capsicum / Bell Peppers
The top foods to buy conventional if you can’t get all organic food, eg. if you live out in the sticks and there are no decent or cheap suppliers in your area. The conventional foods with the least amount of pesticide residue are (starting with the cleanest):
3. Sweet corn
7. Sweet peas
8. Kiwi fruit*
[*Note: these foods taste loads better organic than conventional!]
So there you go. Make of it what you will. Organics aren’t for everyone. Personally I think the food tastes better and I felt health improvements, so it’s worth the little bit of extra thinking I had to put in when I made the switch. In conclusion: OMNOMNOM. Wholefoods rule. Eat well, be well, be awesome… and recover from wisdom teeth extraction procedures twice as fast as expected… w00!
Friendly tip: watch out for organic garlic… it can be pretty darn strong! Organic garlic breath can be pretty toxic, so use less garlic if you’re using organic!