Since starting this blog I get a lot of questions about the food I eat.
Especially about organic food and our family’s choice to eat organic and why it costs such a god awful amount over “regular food”. So, let’s clear a couple things up.
Do you always eat organic?
Look, there is no question in my mind that if and/or when I can select organic food, I do. There are a whole bunch of reasons and plenty of data to back-up the benefits of going organic. That said, if budgets or accessibility are an issue – AND THEY ALWAYS ARE – then just choose the best options you can! Your health is all that matters. And a banana over a candy bar is always the better choice. And no, we don’t always eat organic. It’s just not possible all the time – for us anyway. Besides, I still really really love cookies.
There is no one-size-fits-all plan for a healthier lifestyle, no get-better-quick pill that is going to cure all of your ailments forever. (Although the pharma industry may not agree with me on that one.) So as you start down this path to a healthier, more wholesome life, in addition to being kind to yourself during the process, you should not create unnecessary blocks like committing to only organic food. It’s not necessary. What is necessary is committing to healthier choices. A commitment to yourself because you are totally worth it.
If you want to buy some things organic but are not sure where to start, check out the Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean 15 lists from the Environmental Working Group to guide you. I love this site.
Why is organic so damn expensive?
Organic food it too flipping expensive. But most folks think that it’s because these (typically smaller) farms want to milk every penny they can out of us for healthier food. That’s just not the truth though.
Here are some of the reasons that organic food costs more. A bunch more can be found here*.
- Organic farmers don’t receive federal subsidies like conventional farmers do.
Therefore, the price of organic food reflects actual cost of growing this food. There are no breaks for them. (So, if you use pesticides and other types of un-natural food stuff to grow your crops (conventional farming), you get a credit from our government, so you can sell your food cheaper. But, if you want to grow food free of all the nasties then, you’re shit out of luck. No breaks for you and the consumer gets stuck with the higher prices. Awesome how that works.)
- Organic farmers pay to have their farms certified and regularly inspected to label their food as organic.
And you guessed it! Conventional farmers don’t.
- Organic farming is WAY more labor and management intensive.
If you are not using all the “short-cuts” to yield fruitful crops, then you need more people, more time intensive methods, and more expensive processes. Period. (The best things in life are free. Except organic food.)
- Much better living conditions for animal and live stock.
Have you ever priced out or purchased grain-free food for your pets? Well try doing to that on a farmer’s budget, with no government credits, longer processes, more people, less short-cuts and a hell of a lot more animals to feed. The bill adds up.
But if you get as fed up as I do about it, there are always options. Check out LocalHarvest.org, enter you zip code and find farmers markets near you. Cut out the middle man and save yourself some mula. Or checkout Thrive Market and get the food delivered to your door at wholesale prices. Who doesn’t like not having to go to the grocery store!
*I never thought I would share anything that originated from Fox News, but there is a first for everything. And it actually happens to be accurate.
Note: Any sites, links, vendors, etc. that I link to are not paid endorsements. Just me running my mouth about things that have made my health journey more manageable. However, if any of the said sites, links, vendors are reading this and want to pay me. Let’s talk. 🙂