Last week (read here), I brought you some information I learned about the USDA organic label. I’m not gonna lie, it was rather disheartening. It’s almost as if we can never win. So what are we supposed to do? We might not be able to live a perfectly clean life, but we can chose to do the best we know how. We no longer have to live in ignorance. With knowledge comes power.
1. Do your research. What does organic mean? It means derived from nature. According to “organic” laws, only synthetic compounds cannot be used. Therefore, chorine (an organic compound) could (and is used) in organic production; as well as other undesired compounds. Don’t get mad about this. It’s well within the laws of “organic” for these types of chemicals to be used. It is you and I that mistakenly believe “organic” is synonymous with zero chemicals. It’s important for you to know exactly what is going on, so you can make informed choices.
2. Use caution. I will venture to say that certified organic food is a much better choice than it’s conventional counterpart. Not only is it better for the environment (despite the flaws), but it significantly reduces your exposure to unwanted chemicals. Not only that, but it almost eliminates your consumption of GMOs. However, organic is not the “end all be all.” You need to know where your food is coming from, and don’t assume because it is “certified” that it’s the better choice.
3. Shop local. This one’s tricky for me. Does local mean in your city, in your county, in your state, or in your country? So it really comes down to what you believe. If you feel comfortable and are willing to eat local to your city and state, then you don’t need to find certified organic farms! Get to know your farmer. They may farm better than the USDA guidelines for organic. However, if you can’t eat/won’t eat strictly to your city and state, then eat local to your country. I would chose organic for non local (state) foods. Don’t buy foods imported, organic or not. Not only is the nutrient content lowered, but the regulations for incoming foods are abysmal (in the news story I referenced earlier, the products that tested for pesticide residue all came from Mexico, just so you all are aware).
4. Don’t stress. Don’t stress about organics not being truly “organic”. Don’t stress about eating conventional foods. Do what you think is best, and let that be that. We all must pick and chose our battles.
5. Grow some of your own veggies. I understand you may not have that much space. Neither do we. But Pinterest is loaded with ideas on gardening in small spaces. If eating truly organic is a priority for you, you may not have any other option. Just check out some of my pins (and while you’re at it, follow me!) and see if you can make it work.
What are your thoughts? Do you buy local, organic or neither?