Organic foods - which might be worth the extra $

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by longshadowfarms, Feb 8, 2005.

  1. longshadowfarms

    longshadowfarms Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,528
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2002
    Location:
    Alaska
    I overheard part of a conversation the other day about organic foods and how expensive they were. One person seemed rather informed but I didn't have the time and didn't really want to interrupt the conversation to ask further. She was saying that for a lot of foods she didn't bother to pay the extra for organic but for some crops that use a lot of heavy chemicals, she did buy organic. The one she mentioned was rice. I was wondering if anyone else has thought about some of these issues and what foods they considered worth paying the extra $ for. Any good sites to research? A google on organic yields a lot but not the kind of info I'm looking for.
     
  2. Lisa A

    Lisa A Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    130
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2003
    Some years ago I heard a list of 10 foods that were the most important to
    buy organic. I don't remember too many details, but broccoli, spinach, and
    apples were on the list; and cantelope (which I don't understand)

    Anything with cottonseed oil in it is pretty bad (growing cotton is very
    pesticide-intensive, and I don't think as regulated as foodstuff).

    I've also heard that for dairy the parts that have fat will accumulate the
    most chemicals, so more benefit from going organic on butter than milk. We
    don't do this, though.
     

  3. ajaxlucy

    ajaxlucy Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    3,799
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    Location:
    Indiana
    I remember reading a list of which vegetables contained the most pesticide residues and which did not. I think the low residue group included cabbage family foods, like broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprouts, and corn and sweet potatoes. The high pesticide residue group included strawberries, potatoes, peppers and spinach (and many others - I can't recall most of them). Maybe those would be the wiser purchases if you wanted to buy organic without blowing your budget. I know I started planting more potatoes after I read that.
     
  4. ThreeJane

    ThreeJane Me Love Your Face

    Messages:
    537
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2004
    Location:
    North Idaho
    Here's one article, and he goes into depth why you should buy these particular items organic (he's doing the "healing foods" thing...):

    http://www.elsonhaas.com/articles/article_02.html

    Another :

    http://www.foodnews.org/tools.php

    (excerpt)

    Foods You'll Want To Buy Organic

    Government data show that some conventional fruits and vegetables carry a much heavier pesticide load than others. Here is EWG's latest list of produce to buy organic if you can. If organic is not available, you may want to choose fruits and veggies that are consistently less contaminated.

    • Apples
    • Bell Peppers
    • Celery
    • Cherries
    • Imported Grapes
    • Nectarines
    • Peaches
    • Pears
    • Potatoes
    • Red Raspberries
    • Spinach
    • Strawberries


    Hope this helps a bit. I try to buy "good" milk when I can because of the RBsT stuff in commercial milk.
     
  5. chickflick

    chickflick Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    575
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Location:
    Texas
    For the longterm health benefits they are ALL worth it!

    Now, that being said; you have to realize/take into consideration that ALL of our food (mass grown) has lost 30% + of it nutritional value since the '70's (loosely quoted from Mother Earth News article from ?? Aug '04). Try and find it and read it.

    I was very enlightened by it. Aside from the lost nutritian, there are unknown risks from the production, chemicals, and now Genetically Engineered/Modified foods/crops.

    I'd say at this point in time a good rule of thumb: Get everything as close to nature as possible. No question about it.
     
  6. FarmerJeff

    FarmerJeff Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    100
    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Not to mention the longterm stewardship of American Farmland. Covercrops instead of petroleum based fertilizers, soil building rather than soil erosion, and by default, as many organic farmers focus on heirloom and open-pollinated varieties, the preservation of the diversity that is present in the agricultural seed gene pool. And it tastes great...but then, I am an organic farmer!!
     
  7. bergere

    bergere Just living Life

    Messages:
    8,280
    Joined:
    May 11, 2002
    Location:
    Now in Virginia
    Buying or growing Certified Organic food, I found it the best way to go. At least for me. You wouldn't believe how much better I felt after eating this kind of food! You will also tend to eat less of the C.O. Foods, as they have more nutrition. Think it is well worth the cost.

    You also support the local USA Farmers when buying C.O. foods.

    Here is a watch dog group for the Certified Organic folks.

    http://www.organicconsumers.org/index.htm

    Here is a link of many places that offer seeds and such if you want to grow your own.

    http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/altseed.html
     
  8. JackieA

    JackieA Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    263
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2004
    Location:
    Tulsa, OK


    Read this somewhere:- Americans say "Organic" is too costly so they keep buying the other chemical cheaper food...however, if Americans stopped overeating (for those of us who do anyway) then buying "organic" would fit into their food budget with no problem because they would be eating less.
    JackieA
     
  9. Sylvia

    Sylvia Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    87
    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2004
    Location:
    PA
    I don't know if this will answer your original question about rice, etc. but these sites may help you determine if you want to make the leap into commercial organic gardening.

    Contact for SARE (sustainable agriculture research and eduction program)
    Sustainable Agriculture Research Education
    (grants available)
    http://www.sare.org/index.htm

    Organic Farming Research Foundation
    http://www.ofrf.org/general/siteindex.html

    Here's the original link that put me onto the above, Victory Seeds which also encourages the heirloom seeds collection ideas.
    http://www.victoryseeds.com/info_links.html


    Something to think about. Hope it helps.
    Sylvia
     
  10. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,384
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    My problem with commercial organic produce (esp fruit) besides the price is that its still commercial, thus picked too green and shipped long distances. Then doesnt taste any better than the non-organic produce. Exceptions are greens and root vegetables like potatoes and carrots. The commercial organic versions of these definitely taste better than their non-organic equivalents.

    I'm a lazy old hermit and its a pain to grow and can food for just one person, but going to push myself more in that direction again. Dang tastless grocery store food keeps going up in price so the value just isnt there. Commercial producers and sellers just dont get how important taste is. Stupid consumers buy it whatever.
     
  11. mtnhighgirl

    mtnhighgirl Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    299
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2003
    Location:
    a mountain in BC Canada
    I am a part of a "farm to door" program that delivers fresh, organic produce to my home evey week. Some items are from California and Mexico, but most are local. In the summer, all the produce is local. It's not much more expensive than buying produce in the stores and the delivery service has helped cut down on my gas bill.
     
  12. COUNTRY WISHES

    COUNTRY WISHES Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,268
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2004
    Location:
    NW NJ's lakeland hills
    I try to buy organic whenever it is available. There are some farm stands in my area but they are not open year round. Kings Grocery stores does carry quite a bit of organic produce and also the highest grade of beef and chicken. They are pricey but I do try to buy at least my produce there.
     
  13. bergere

    bergere Just living Life

    Messages:
    8,280
    Joined:
    May 11, 2002
    Location:
    Now in Virginia
    I like to get to know the farms in the area. I prefer buying from the ones that are under the Oregon Tilth.
    I will not buy stuff that just says Organic (won't go there for now). It must say Certified Organic, and I want to know about that Farm.
    Am Lucky, in this area, there are many Farms that are running under the Oregon Tilth program.

    There is a big difference in the taste of the Fruit and Veggies I buy. Much, much better than the ,, humm, yuck.... other way of growing things.

    http://www.tilth.org/site/
     
  14. FarmerJeff

    FarmerJeff Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    100
    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Find your local organic farmer and buy direct or join a CSA. Also, as a small-scale sustainable farmer (feeding about 100 families 7 monthes of the year), I would support local over organic.

    www.localharvest.org
     
  15. fin29

    fin29 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,622
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2003
    Location:
    Maine
    Amen. I'm a CSA farmer, too, and while I eat and grow organic, I'll put my money into conventionally-grown local produce over organically-grown produce from Venezuela.

    And I'll wholeheartedly second and third JackieA's statement: it doesn't cost more to eat less and eat healthier, and I'll up the ante and say that if we eat seasonally, we'll have all our bases covered. I will never have any sympathy for the person who whines that organic green peppers are too expensive in January or the December strawberries go badly so quickly. Preserve the harvest while it's in season and save your tastebuds for the treats of the seasons.
     
  16. longshadowfarms

    longshadowfarms Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,528
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2002
    Location:
    Alaska
    Thank you, ThreeJane! That is EXACTLY what I was looking for! Some of it is completely common sense but some of it surprised me, mostly celery. NOTHING eats celery so why on earth would it need sprays? Oy!

    We grow our own beef and poultry so that is not an issue. My concern was primarily veggies. We grow our own garden but here in NY our growing season is only about 6 months. That leaves another 6 months of eating someone else's produce if you want something fresh (I do). I didn't intend to get into an organic debate but some of it is BS IMO. I've been to a certified organic dairy. Frankly, I'd rather take my chances on the plain old BGH-free stuff! Poop on the udders, cows outside up to their bellies in poop, blah! I've milked my own cow and for sanity's sake just can't go back to that. Organic is NOT always chemical free either. Here's some info on that: http://www.wheatmontana.com/faq.asp I'd rather lose a few years off my life that spend what years I have in the insane asylum over worry about the purity of my food. I was looking for some guidelines on what might make the most sense but have no intention of buying EVERYTHING organic. I like to buy locally, from small producers, organic and what not but I'm not going to get obsessive about it.

    FarmerJeff, thanks for the reminder about Local Harvest. I've been there before but not in a while.

    Chickflick, I have some ideas on those points but I'm guessing it would get really heated if we got into that. We'd probably get booted to general chat :p
     
  17. lonelyfarmgirl

    lonelyfarmgirl Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    6,437
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2005
    Location:
    Hoosier transplant to cheese country
    not to start a new tangent, but, sort of organic related, grass fed vs grain fed. When a cow eats grain, the chemicals in the grain alters the nutrient load in the meat and milk. Example. Organic grain fed natural butter is light yellow to white. Organic grass fed natural butter is deep yellow.
     
  18. debitaber

    debitaber Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,061
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    I grow every thing we eat. all fruits veggies, meat. I have hens for eggs and meat. goats for milk and cheese and butter. all butter, from organic animals, is very light in color, it is almost white. If it is dark yellow, it has been colored. butter is goingto be about a half shade darker than he milk it comes from, you can't take white milk and get dark yellow butter.I have made it from a cow and goat, it was the same color. light cream. hope thishelps.
    But I don't trust the stores any more, after getting very sick from an apple. and most fruits and veggies, are shipped green, the stores gas them t omake them ripen.
    haven't you ever noticed, you get this wonderful colored tomato, and it will rot fast or have some green seeds in it? it is because the ygas them , even apples, all fruits, and many veggies. and the apples, are coated with a waxy film. so we eat them in season from our trees, and ave some for winter, in a root cellar, and that is it. But at least I know where my food comes from, and how it is grown. we import so much food from third world countries, they use fertulizers that here in america, we can't use, and they also use human waste. I was in Mexico, and let me tell ya, if they have to pee, or their child does, they do right there, and no hand washing afterward, and it is shipped into the states, put in our containers and sold as usda. same with hogs from china, and other things. Ithat is why we grow what we eat and eat what we grow.
     
  19. chickflick

    chickflick Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    575
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Location:
    Texas
    Gosh, debitabor....... :waa: and here I was gonna try and get out of doing the garden this year!! (Too much body pain) Guess I'll have to make hubby do it!! Think I'll make him read your post, too!! :eek:

    Thanks for lifting the 'fog' :eek: (I've been away from this board too long :worship:
     
  20. Mutti

    Mutti Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    4,440
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Missouri
    Growing our own strawberries is the only way I can eat 'em....used to think I was allergic as I'd always get hives from them...until we grew our own and wow,no more itching! I was up in Columbia,MO. at my job and hit the swanky health food store....organic green beans at $4.19 a lb...didn't know I'd been growing gold on my farm all this time!! Hard to imagine what they'd charge for my organic tomatoes or raspberries or blueberries or peaches....I'm wealthy! We try to grow our own and buy locally...shun out-of-season produce/fruits in winter and live like the pioneers with root veggies,cabbage salads,etc. DEE