Is organic really organic? If it means no use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, or genetically modified organisms purposely placed on the crops that year, then yes. If your meat, eggs, and dairy products don’t have antibiotics or growth hormones and that is your standard for organic, then yes. But don’t think that it means pesticide free. Organic does not include water used for irrigation or water used in the manufacture of the food item. It would be impossible because where would they get their water for the crops? You can’t say, ‘organic farmers step to the front of the irrigation line’. They’d all have to have their fields next to each other. Or you can’t say you can’t get your water from the state above you where pesticides flowed in to the rivers and streams and down to your fields. It’s simply impossible.
This makes common sense but I never thought that farmers would grow organic every other year. Our son was talking to a organic grower and he told him that is just what he did. He said he could not keep the weeds from taking over his fields without hoeing so he sprayed to kill them one year and not the following when it was his organic year. Farming is about profit just like any other business.
This makes me feel uneasy. Not only is the water they are using full of chemicals but the fields themselves have chemical residue. I can’t help but wonder what else is done as a standard practice in the organic world? And if you think organic farmers are just mom and pop operations, think again. Most are huge commercial operations. It’s big money.
It makes me long for the good ole days. I’m old enough to remember when fields were weeded by hand, sugar beets and beans in the area I grew up. It was summer jobs for lots of high-schoolers and I worked one summer weeding beet fields. I grew rather fond of the short handled beet hoe. I have several in my garden shed.
So maybe organic labeled foods aren’t quite what you thought. Especially the ones where water is the main ingredient or at least water is used in the manufacture of. It isn’t what I’d label as organic. So when someone turns up their nose and says, ‘I buy organic!’ like they are superior. I think, good for you. Your family must be small and do you really know what you are buying? How superior is it? To a degree you are buying a good feeling. You don’t know what you’ve bought unless your food has a face. Meaning a farmer whom you know and how they operate their farm.
The scary truth is, the dominoes are stacked against our health. Our food isn’t nearly as safe as it once was. Four recalls in just the last little while and some are becoming a common thing like the recall of Romaine lettuce. Where can we turn?
Many turn to organic labeled foods hoping or believing that it is better. But if your budget is like mine, strained with all the mouths to feed, then maybe the best solution is a combination.
Figure out what foods would make the most impact if you bought them organic and buy the rest non organic.
Strawberries come in number one place for high in chemical residue (buy organic). Spinach is easy to grow indoors or out so if you can grow at least part of what you eat and organic the rest. They are number two. Nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery, potatoes, and sweet bell peppers completes the dirty dozen. Romaine lettuce is not on the list but it has to be put on it. Not for chemical residue maybe, (I havn’t looked) but for contaminants. Recalls come in a mile a minute on it. The main problem with the recalls is it encompasses millions of people because it is grown on MEGA farms.
The good guys that are the cleanest crops for chemical residue are avocados, onions, pineapple, corn on the cob, cabbage, frozen peas, papayas, asparagus, mangoes, eggplant, honeydew melon, kiwi, cantaloupe, cauliflower, and broccoli. Eat up and you can save a bit by not buying organic.
It would be wise to look up your other favorite vegetables and check. I did for carrots and buy them organic now. I figured since they are a root crop…. and I was right.
So what should you do?
Buy organic or some organic – it helps.
Buy your food with a face – even better.
Grow it yourself – best of all.
Or like me, a combination of all of the above.