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Buying Organic – It Is Worth The Extra Cost.

It always amazes me when I hear about people that complain about the cost of buying organic foods. I mean, this is the stuff that fuels you and keeps you going..its what keeps you alive. So why wouldn’t you want to put the best possible stuff in your body? People do not think twice about buying a new cellphone for $400 that does the same thing as a $25 one or spending a fortune on a new BMW that does the same thing as a Honda Civic (although not as well…). But when people complain that organic food costs more, it makes me wonder about priorities in life. You would not eat food that was coated in bleach, so why eat food that has had pesticides sprayed all over it? Or eat chicken that was raised in dirty crowded pens?

Pesticides found in non-organic food at the grocery store can have a terrible effect on both children and adults alike. They can cause things like disruption in the endocrine system, cancer, infertility and mutagenic effects. Also, a new study by the Harvard School of Public Health has discovered a 70% increase in the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease for people exposed to even low levels of pesticides. And the EPA says pesticides block the body’s uptake of nutrients critical for proper growth and wreak havoc on development by permanently altering the way a child’s system functions. Isn’t spending a few extra bucks a week worth trying to protect your health? For us it is. Even if I had to cancel Netflix or something like that in order to eat better, I would. Netflix does not improve my health, that’s for sure. If the extra expense is not really something you can handle, consider shopping at a Farmer’s Market on a weekly basis if you have one near you. Often the food is cheaper there because there is no middle man, and you will be supporting your local organic farmer directly!

So next time you are at the grocery store, pause for a second and think about what could be on your food and if it is worth the extra expense to buy organic or free range food. After all, you are what you eat. If anything, food costs should be a majority of your spending after your housing expenses. Food is the only way we stay alive!


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Comments (17)

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  1. ChiGuy says:

    Taken from http://www.consumerfreedom.com/news_detail.cfm/headline/2334
    “Take the dreaded E. coli, which is capable of killing people who ingest it. A study by the Center for Global Food Issues found that although organic foods make up about 1 percent of America’s diet, they also account for about 8 percent of confirmed E. coli cases.
    Organic food products also suffer from more than eight times as many recalls as conventional ones. Some of this problem would go away if organic farmers used synthetic sprays — but this, too, is off limits. Conventional wisdom says that we should avoid food that’s been drenched in herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides. Half a century ago, there was some truth in this: Sprays were primitive and left behind chemical deposits that often survived all the way to the dinner table. Today’s sprays, however, are largely biodegradable. They do their job in the field and quickly break down into harmless molecules.

    What’s more, advances in biotechnology have reduced the need to spray. About one-third of America’s corn crop is now genetically modified. This corn includes a special gene that produces a natural toxin that’s safe for every living creature to eat except caterpillars with alkaline guts, such as the European corn borer, a moth larva that can ravage whole harvests. This kind of biotech innovation has helped farmers reduce their reliance on pesticides by about 50 million pounds per year.

    Organic farmers, of course, don’t benefit from any of this. But they do have some recourse against the bugs, weeds, and fungi that can devastate a crop: They spray their plants with “natural” pesticides. These are less effective than synthetic ones and they’re certainly no safer. In rat tests, rotenone — an insecticide extracted from the roots of tropical plants — has been shown to cause the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. The Environmental Protection Agency has described pyrethrum, another natural bug killer, as a human carcinogen. Everything is lethal in massive quantities, of course, and it takes huge doses of pyrethrum to pose a health hazard. Still, the typical organic farmer has to douse his crops with it as many as seven times to have the same effect as one or two applications of a synthetic compound based on the same ingredients. Then there’s one of the natural fungicides preferred by organic coffee growers in Guatemala: fermented urine. Think about that the next time you’re tempted to order the “special brew” at your local organic java hut.

  2. david says:

    Hmmmmm….nice try though…

    “The Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) (formerly called the “Guest Choice Network”) is a front group for the restaurant, alcohol and tobacco industries. It runs media campaigns which oppose the efforts of scientists, doctors, health advocates, environmentalists and groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving, calling them “the Nanny Culture — the growing fraternity of food cops, health care enforcers, anti-meat activists, and meddling bureaucrats who ‘know what’s best for you.’ ”

    “The Center for Consumer Freedom is a nonprofit coalition of restaurants, food companies…”

    “Many of the companies and individuals who support the Center financially have indicated that they want anonymity as contributors.”

    “The Center for Consumer Freedom is a nonprofit corporation run by lobbyist Richard Berman through his Washington, D.C.-based for-profit public relations company, Berman & Co. The Center for Consumer Freedom, formerly known as the Guest Choice Network, was set up by Berman with a $600,000 “donation” from tobacco company Philip Morris.”

  3. Anonymous says:

    Consumer Reports has a great article on when buying organic pays (or not). Basically, if the skin is thin or you eat the skin, organic might be your best bet. If the skin is thick or you don’t eat the skin, non-organic should be okay.

  4. ChiGuy says:

    I was just showing how you can say whatever you want about organic products. The fact that the organic companies say they’re better is no different from other businesses saying they’re just as harmful. Also, I believe that organic foods can have negative consequences on our environment, considering if all the food in the world was “organic” it would put a whole hell of a lot more burden on the planet. Plus, there’s not even an “organic” standard.

  5. david says:

    If you can produce one actual real scientist or nutritionist that can tell me organic food is bad, then I will change my tune. Until that time, I will avoid putting pesticides in my one and only body I get for this life!

  6. ChiGuy says:

    Dr. Mallika Marshall
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/06/04/earlyshow/saturday/main621174.shtml
    Don’t Assume Organic is Healthy
    If something is sold in a health food store and it’s labeled as organic, you will probably assume that it’s healthy. But that’s not always the case. For instance, the store may sell banana chips fried in coconut oil. While both the banana and coconut oil may be organic, that doesn’t mean the chips are healthy. Coconut oil is very fatty and by no means a healthy snack.
    \devil’s advocate

  7. david says:

    Of course you have to read the label.. I don’t believe everything I read or see on the television either. Informed buying is the only way to go. “Natural” means nothing in this world when you look at the labels.

    For that matter, GNC sells “natural” weight loss pills…but the only “natural” way to lose weight is to watch what you eat.

    “Marshall says the market for organic products is growing at a very fast rate and the government is doing a pretty good job of making sure that producers stick to guidelines that are in place. Marshall notes there are always some offenders, so you should stick with products from companies that have a good reputation, even if they may be a little more expensive.”

  8. How about Organic chicken ‘less nutritious’ than battery-farmed birds for an article from a real scientist telling you it’s not as good. 🙂

    I suppose you walk around with an oxygen tank or a battery powered air purifier as well. If you are not, then you a putting a price on your health, just like the people with the $400 cellphone or the BMW ;-).

  9. david says:

    I will never understand why people get so angry when discussing organic foods or the environment. Putting pesticides in your body is not healthy..so why do it? I have never sprayed fertilizer or bug spray in my mouth, and I don’t enjoy eating food that is covered with it either.

    People get so mad when you say that eating organic is healthy and I cannot for the life of me figure out why. It’s like you are personally insulting someone by saying that you choose to eat healthier food. Weird…

    Oh and you forgot this part of your article- “Dr Paterson, a food technologist, said the difference in nutritional quality could partly be explained by the way the birds are fed. Synthetic vitamin supplements, which are routinely added to conventionalfeed, are banned under organic farming rules, as is feed with GM additives.

    The rules also impose strict standards on the use of pesticides and animal welfare and sustainability. While all organic chickens are free range not all free-range chickens are organic.

    The Soil Association, which accredits organic poultry producers, disputed the Strathclyde University team’s findings yesterday.

    Spokesman Hugh Raven said: This research contradicts the bulk of evidence which shows organic food is higher in omega 3, vitamins and minerals than conventional chicken.’

    It really boils down to “what do you choose to put in your body?”…it’s a personal choice. Just because the air is bad, LazyMan, doesn’t mean you should just eat food covered in pesticide as well. As my mom always said, 2 wrongs don’t make a right….

  10. Jeremy says:

    Well, to each their own. I don’t buy organic food by choice, nor do I buy BMWs or expensive electronics either. If someone wants to pay a premium for something labeled organic, more power to them. If someone doesn’t want to, more power to them.

    Like you mention David, it seems like the organic debate turns into a fierce political debate. I personally don’t care either way, I encourage everyone to do what makes them feel good.

    Personally I don’t care for organics. There are hundreds of studies out there all proving different things and for me it doesn’t matter one way or the other. Does some of the food I eat possibly put chemicals in my body? Probably. Does the very air I breathe contain harmful chemicals? More than likely. Could I die in a car accident on my way to work in the morning? Certainly.

    Bottom line is, I personally don’t see the benefit of trying to adhere to an organic only diet simply for the possibility it could add a few years to my life. If I can pick up a comparable organic product for virtually the same price, I buy it. But I won’t pay 50-100% more just for the sake of it.

    Some people choose to be vegetarian or vegan, some choose to avoid carbohydrates, some don’t smoke, others don’t drink, some are obsessive about cleanliness… Do what makes you feel good, nothing more and nothing less.

  11. david says:

    That is kind of what I was trying to say Jeremy, that one has to take responsibility for oneself. We decided a while ago that buying organic was worth the cost because it is our food..there really is not anything more important to us than what we put in our body. Plus, studies have shown that the chemicals we eat could have an affect on unborn children, and that is not a risk we have chosen to take.

    Of course, I could get hit by a bus and it would all be a moot point. 🙂

  12. I hope you weren’t referring to me as being angry, just enjoying a good-natured debate. You presented a challenge to find one scientist and I did just that. I don’t know if it’s a valid study or if everyone else in the world agrees or not. I was just doing what you asked in the 5th comment.

    I never said that people should put pesticides in their mouth. I love organic food and highly recommend it. Organic food is going to be talked about a lot in a positive way at Lazy Man and Health.

    I was not suggesting two wrongs make a right. I was suggesting that you do two rights instead of one right and one wrong. If you are going to do one why not do the other? Why be half healthy and breathe in smoke and smog when you can eat organic and breathe clean air?

  13. One alternative to paying a premium for organic food is to grow your own. Then you know exactly what is going in and on the plants and as long as you got somewhat of a green thumb and don’t kill everything it should be cheaper than anything you buy at the store organic or pesticide laden.

  14. david says:

    That is definitely the way to go, MyFinancialJourney…we cannot wait until we have a house where we can do that…I am not sure the apartment manager would appreciate a garden out front!

  15. If you got a patio you can do some stuff in pots, but yeah you are somewhat limited in an apartment.

  16. […] My Two Dollars posted an excellent item about the health value in organic vegetables. […]

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