Surprisingly (to me), a lot of people seemed to be shocked at the lack of specifically organic produce, but the truth is, I don’t buy organic produce, because certified organic isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Not All Organic Produce Is Created Equal.
Sad, but true. The fact is, if you aren’t absolutely certain of the source of your produce, you may as well not even bother.
The truth is, the types and amounts of chemicals legally used in CERTIFIED organic produce fluctuates from year to year, and to meet the certification requirements doesn’t mean that chemicals weren’t used by the way, it just means that organic methods were tried first.
Years ago, my dad looked into buying a hydroponic tomato farm. We visited the farm and learned a lot about how hydroponic tomatoes are grown, the chemicals used to grow them, how the chemical balance is adjusted when the tomatoes need to be ripened, and how the tomatoes are harvested just as the tomato begins to “blush” toward the red we all know and love in order to be marketed as vine ripened.
Scientifically, it’s a very interesting process, if not exactly natural, so imagine my surprise at finding out this greenhouse supplied our nearby Whole Foods Market.
It’s a cruel joke to shoppers who think they’re getting a superior product, that I can go down to the local Save-A-Lot and get tomatoes from that very same greenhouse for a fraction of the price. The. Same. Tomatoes.
I’d rather eat a lot of conventional vegetables, than a few organic.
I’ll be honest: I’m on a budget in every area of my life, and food is no exception.
I can either buy one pound of grass-fed ground beef, or three of conventional, I can buy a head of organic broccoli, or a 3 pound package from the freezer isle. And don’t even get me started on raw cheese. I’d blow half my weekly budget on a pound and a half.
From my point of view, it seems like common sense. I will not go into debt over food. The end.
I also can’t ask my family to eat a bland diet in the name of it being organic. Nor do I want to do so myself.
I recently paid exactly the same amount of money for a five pound bag of chicken leg quarters that we used to charge for ONE pound of pasture-raised chicken.
So I know from experience that raising truly organic, pasture-raised food is expensive, and therefore can’t help but be expensive on the retail end.
I have no doubt that that sort of food is the highest quality, and I’m sure that most of us who are the least bit health conscious would love to buy exclusively from our local farmers, but here’s the thing:
The standard American diet is filled with chemically processed foods. Preservatives, and flat out junk that wasn’t meant to be eaten.
Cut those out and what do you have? Whole foods.
So maybe my dish of steamed broccoli isn’t perfect, but I have to think that a whole food diet is a pretty healthy diet, regardless of whether the produce was perfectly, ideally raised, don’t you?
Update: Here’s an interesting article from Forbes.com which goes into quite a bit of detail on why you might want to rethink buying organic produce.