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Old 11-19-2009, 09:07 AM   #1
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How bad is it to not eat organic?

I am 100% for organic, free-range, heirloom and heritage varieties, locally-grown...BUT we're spending SO much money on food! We need money for other things, so I'm considering cutting organic food except:

animal products
oils
the dirty dozen produce list

Currently, everything that we buy is organic unless we can't find it organic (some spices, teas, shirataki...)


I am wondering how this will affect our health. Does anybody know?
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Old 11-19-2009, 09:36 AM   #2
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I watched a spot on a local Houston show a while back about organic produce and they were saying that not all organic produce is equal. It said to look at the sticker and you want the ones that start with the #9 and have 5 digits, not 4.
I was at Kroger and a lot of their #9 was not marketed as organic and were slightly less expensive than the ones with the big "ORGANIC" signs over them.
Guess what I'm saying is check the sticker not the sign lol.
Also they carry more organic frozen veggies that are a lot less expensive than the fresh versions.
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Old 11-19-2009, 04:25 PM   #3
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meat, dairy, eggs, oils, and the dirty dozen are not negotiable for me (even spices I won't buy unless they are organic bulk bin spices because they irradiate) - I'll cut spending else where to buy these staples.
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Old 11-19-2009, 05:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dottie View Post
I watched a spot on a local Houston show a while back about organic produce and they were saying that not all organic produce is equal. It said to look at the sticker and you want the ones that start with the #9 and have 5 digits, not 4.
I was at Kroger and a lot of their #9 was not marketed as organic and were slightly less expensive than the ones with the big "ORGANIC" signs over them.
Guess what I'm saying is check the sticker not the sign lol.
Also they carry more organic frozen veggies that are a lot less expensive than the fresh versions.
What exactly do the numbers mean?

There are things certified organic that I will not buy, like vegetarian-fed chickens. It may be organic but chickens are not vegetarians.

I can't afford a naturally raised turkey this year so I am considering buying a regular one and wonder if I will feel a difference. I'm not going to pay $75 for a vegetarian-fed "organic" turkey.

Wendy, I would add dairy to your list of organic foods. I make the same things my priority. For example, I have never purchased organic onions because they are one of the foods least likely to be contaminated.
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Old 11-19-2009, 07:27 PM   #5
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It may be organic but chickens are not vegetarians.

I'm not going to pay $75 for a vegetarian-fed "organic" turkey.

Wendy, I would add dairy to your list of organic foods. I make the same things my priority.
Isn't it strange that places feed chickens a vegetarian diet and then put it on the package in bold letters as if it's something to be proud of? I see it on eggs all of the time. It's very odd to me.

Have you checked Craigslist? I've seen some free-range turkeys there for less than that. I don't remember the specifics like grass-fed, grain-fed, heirloom, etc. but it might be a place to find one.

I include dairy products in "animal products" but thanks for mentioning it in case I didn't know that they're important.
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Old 11-19-2009, 07:28 PM   #6
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(even spices I won't buy unless they are organic bulk bin spices because they irradiate)
I forgot about irradiating spices. Man! I need a huge greenhouse to grow as much of my own food as I can!
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Old 11-19-2009, 07:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dottie View Post
I was at Kroger and a lot of their #9 was not marketed as organic and were slightly less expensive than the ones with the big "ORGANIC" signs over them.
Guess what I'm saying is check the sticker not the sign lol.
Interesting. Thanks!

I don't live near stores that have much variety of frozen organic produce, not even the natural foods store--peas, carrots...that's about it! Strange, huh?
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Old 11-19-2009, 11:02 PM   #8
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Isn't it strange that places feed chickens a vegetarian diet and then put it on the package in bold letters as if it's something to be proud of? I see it on eggs all of the time. It's very odd to me.

Have you checked Craigslist? I've seen some free-range turkeys there for less than that. I don't remember the specifics like grass-fed, grain-fed, heirloom, etc. but it might be a place to find one.

I include dairy products in "animal products" but thanks for mentioning it in case I didn't know that they're important.
I know. It's all marketing. We really need to be educated on what labeling really means.

I haven't checked Craigslist but it is a good idea. I'll check.
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Old 11-20-2009, 06:55 AM   #9
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I believe the issue with "vegetarian fed" chickens refers to the fact that chicken feed can be supplemented with rendered fats, meat, and bone meal (all the byproducts) from cows... and back when the mad cow epidemic was going on this was considered as a source for spread, particularly since the chicken byproducts are fed back to cows. (Yuck!)

So to clean up the problem some chicken producers started using soy protein to supplement chickens instead.
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Old 11-20-2009, 07:52 AM   #10
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I believe the issue with "vegetarian fed" chickens refers to the fact that chicken feed can be supplemented with rendered fats, meat, and bone meal (all the byproducts) from cows... and back when the mad cow epidemic was going on this was considered as a source for spread, particularly since the chicken byproducts are fed back to cows. (Yuck!)

So to clean up the problem some chicken producers started using soy protein to supplement chickens instead.
I had forgotten about that. Thanks!
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Old 11-20-2009, 02:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strawberry View Post
I believe the issue with "vegetarian fed" chickens refers to the fact that chicken feed can be supplemented with rendered fats, meat, and bone meal (all the byproducts) from cows... and back when the mad cow epidemic was going on this was considered as a source for spread, particularly since the chicken byproducts are fed back to cows. (Yuck!)

So to clean up the problem some chicken producers started using soy protein to supplement chickens instead.
Also chickens are not vegetarians by nature. They need to be outside so they can eat bugs, etc. What they eat determines the quality/nutritional value of both the chicken and the eggs. No bugs, lower quality/nutritional value.
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Old 11-20-2009, 04:31 PM   #12
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Here's what I buy:
Organic grass fed beef and buffalo
Organic oils
Wild caught salmon
Organic eggs and dairy
Organic coffee
Dirty dozen organic
Organic frozen berries and vegetables

Guess where I buy all of the above except the top two lines: COSTCO. You really can knock the price of organic down at Costco. IMO.
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Old 11-20-2009, 07:25 PM   #13
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I bought a "regular" turkey breast from the grocery store today. I simply could not find a healthy natural one. It has probably been a year or more since I cooked turkey because of this & I used to eat turkey year round.

I realize there is a good chance it will kill me & wanted to give everyone a heads up in case I don't make it. Anyway if I don't post after Thanksgiving you'll know what happened...
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Old 11-20-2009, 10:38 PM   #14
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I realize there is a good chance it will kill me & wanted to give everyone a heads up in case I don't make it. Anyway if I don't post after Thanksgiving you'll know what happened...
I laughed so hard!!
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Old 11-20-2009, 10:44 PM   #15
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I was out of onions this morning. While in the regular grocery store I saw that organic onions are only a few cents more per pound than the others, so I was going to get organic like I always do, even though I read that onions have little pesticide on/in them...until I saw that non-organic yellow onions were on sale for 55 cents/lb. The other onions were $1.29/lb and up.

This afternoon, I stopped at the natural food store. They had organic yellow onions on sale for 59 cents/pound! It made me feel like it isn't worth my time nor money to look for cheaper options.
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Old 11-20-2009, 10:46 PM   #16
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Oh, and I saw a natural (no hormones, etc.) free-range goose for $4/lb. Has anybody tried goose?

Last edited by wcwendy; 11-20-2009 at 10:48 PM..
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Old 11-21-2009, 04:06 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiamondDeb View Post
I bought a "regular" turkey breast from the grocery store today. I simply could not find a healthy natural one. It has probably been a year or more since I cooked turkey because of this & I used to eat turkey year round.

I realize there is a good chance it will kill me & wanted to give everyone a heads up in case I don't make it. Anyway if I don't post after Thanksgiving you'll know what happened...
Too funny...
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Old 11-21-2009, 07:21 PM   #18
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Old 11-21-2009, 07:30 PM   #19
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Vicki...

Going Organic on a Budget
Invest in Your Health for Less

-- By Leanne Beattie, Health & Fitness Writer

-Step into any supermarket these days and you’re sure to find a wide variety of organic foods on the shelves. From produce, milk and meat to breakfast cereals and snack foods, consumers have their pick of certified organic products—a far cry from the time when you could only find organic items in natural foods stores. The demand for organic foods continues to grow. According to the Organic Trade Association, organic food sales have grown about 20 percent in the past five years, with 2006 sales expected to exceed $15 billion. More than half of Americans have tried organic products, and this number is expected to increase as more people become aware of the long-term effects of pesticides and chemicals.

People buy certified organic foods because they believe organics are healthier than conventionally farmed foods. (Read "Why Go Organic" to learn more.) But adding organic foods into your diet can be expensive! Does your whole diet have to be organic or are some conventionally grown foods just as healthy?

Prices for organic foods have dropped in the past five years, but organic items are still generally more expensive than conventionally grown foods. If you would like to buy organic anyway, here are some tips to make an organic diet more affordable:
  • Make a gradual transition over the course of a year to familiarize yourself with prices and products.
  • Comparison shop to find the most economical organic items. Within the same city, organic produce prices vary greatly. Sometimes the large supermarket chains will win out, while other times natural food stores (chains or privately-owned) can be more affordable. By shopping around, you'll get a general idea for which foods are cheaper at certain stores, or which location offers the most deals overall.
  • Create your meal plans around the most affordable produce, meat and grain products.
  • Improvise recipes if an organic ingredient isn't available or affordable. You might find something else that works just as well, or even better than the original ingredient.
  • Invest in organic meat, cheese and milk (over produce and grains) if your grocery budget is tight. Conventional meat and dairy products often contain hormones and show the highest concentration of pesticides.
  • Find local organic growers and buy directly to save money. Farmers markets often offer organic items.
  • Select seasonal produce as much as possible. If you want strawberries in winter, for example, buy frozen (or else your pocketbook will suffer). Frozen organic produce is often available at big warehouse stores as well.
  • Prioritize your produce. Certain produce items tend to be highly contaminated with pesticides (try to buy these organic), while others tend to be relatively low in pesticide residue (save money and buy these conventional). Here's the scoop:

    The Environmental Working Group (EWG) recently completed an analysis of conventionally-grown (non-organic) produce to measure pesticide residue levels. Based on the results of almost 43,000 tests, EWG estimates that consumers could reduce their pesticide exposure by almost 90 percent if they avoid the most contaminated foods and ate the least contaminated foods instead. Eating the twelve most contaminated fruits and vegetables, referred to as “The Dirty Dozen,” exposes the average person to about 15 different pesticides each day, while someone eating the least contaminated will be exposed to fewer than two pesticides each day.

    The Environmental Working Group (EWG) recently completed an analysis of conventionally-grown (non-organic) produce to measure pesticide residue levels. Based on the results of almost 43,000 tests, EWG estimates that consumers could reduce their pesticide exposure by almost 90 percent if they avoid the most contaminated foods and ate the least contaminated foods instead. Eating the twelve most contaminated fruits and vegetables, referred to as “The Dirty Dozen,” exposes the average person to about 15 different pesticides each day, while someone eating the least contaminated will be exposed to fewer than two pesticides each day.

    The Dirty Dozen: Top 12 Foods to Buy Organic

    If you have budget constraints, your money is doing more for your health when you put it towards organic varieties of the following fruits and vegetables (listed in descending order, starting with greatest levels pesticide contamination):
    1. Peaches
    2. Apples
    3. Sweet bell peppers
    4. Celery
    5. Nectarines
    6. Strawberries
    7. Cherries
    8. Pears
    9. Imported grapes
    10. Spinach
    11. Lettuce
    12. Potatoes

Last edited by DiamondDeb; 11-21-2009 at 07:37 PM..
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Old 11-21-2009, 07:33 PM   #20
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Here is another list to pay attention to.

The Cleanest 12: Save Your Money & Buy Conventional

If going totally organic is too difficult or pricey, play it safe and eat the following conventional produce items to minimize your exposure. These are known to have the least amount of pesticide residue (listed in ascending order, starting with of lowest levels of pesticide contamination):
1. Onions
2. Avocados
3. Sweet corn (frozen)
4. Pineapple
5. Mangoes
6. Asparagus
7. Sweet peas (frozen)
8. Kiwis
9. Bananas
10. Cabbage
11. Broccoli
12. Papaya
When eating conventional foods, be certain to peel away edible skins and outer leaves (such as those on lettuce) as pesticides are often concentrated there. Remember to wash all produce (conventional and organic) thoroughly with a natural fruit and vegetable cleanser. Peeling and washing can help reduce (not eliminate) pesticide exposure, but also results in the loss of valuable vitamins and nutrients (like fiber). When you have the choice between an organic item and one that’s conventionally grown, choose organic as much as possible.
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Old 11-22-2009, 04:42 AM   #21
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Old 01-25-2010, 11:26 PM   #22
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update

I decided to stick to organic, free-range, grass fed, heirloom/heritage and local as much as possible. Organic foods aren't allowed to be GMO, and that is important to me, besides not eating chemicals.

When I bought the conventionally-grown onions (mentioned above) I had difficulty eating them because they were still contaminated w/ chemicals.

We found local, free-range, organic, grass-fed beef for a good price, so that helped a lot.

Last edited by wcwendy; 01-25-2010 at 11:55 PM..
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Old 01-26-2010, 03:43 AM   #23
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How much are you guys paying for organic peppers? Arount here, it's 4.99 for 2, yes two!!!!, peppers!! OUCH!
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Old 01-26-2010, 07:58 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiamondDeb View Post
I bought a "regular" turkey breast from the grocery store today. I simply could not find a healthy natural one. It has probably been a year or more since I cooked turkey because of this & I used to eat turkey year round.

I realize there is a good chance it will kill me & wanted to give everyone a heads up in case I don't make it. Anyway if I don't post after Thanksgiving you'll know what happened...
OMG! Hilarious!

So glad to know you survived this outrageously toxic assault on your body.
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Old 01-26-2010, 09:12 AM   #25
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How much are you guys paying for organic peppers? Arount here, it's 4.99 for 2, yes two!!!!, peppers!! OUCH!
The organic delivery company that I use has them for 2/$3.98 this week, or 2/$3.58 if you buy more than 2. The peppers are from Mexico, and it seems that this company DOES price according to how far the food has to travel since they pay fair compensation + transportation costs. IIRC, they cost less in the summer when the peppers are from companies closer to us.
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