Do You Eat Organic?

After a stressful day, all I wanted to do was go home, but I rallied and met Ashley at a blogger event at Counter, a vegetarian restaurant in the East Village. There are rumors it’s closing, but if not, I’d like to go back–I liked the vibe.

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Stonyfield had teamed up with Robyn O’Brien, who wrote The Unhealthy Truth, a book about the dangers in the American food industry.

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Ashley and I missed the first few minutes, but O’Brien talked about how she realized the U.S. has allowed certain chemicals into our food supply that are banned around the world–chemicals that have been shown to lead to asthma, allergies, ADHD and cancer. Things like aspartame, high fructose corn syrup. She talked about how Europeans don’t have the same health problems Americans do–because they don’t eat the same chemical-filled food many Americans do. Thirty-one percent of American girls, she said, are starting puberty at the age of 8 because of what they’re eating.

She says she switched to organic food because she was concerned for her four children and their future, admitting it wasn’t easy. One of her kids, she said, hated carrots so much that just getting him to allow carrots on his plate was a big step. From there, she slowly got him to nibble on the carrot and then eat and enjoy the carrot.

As we all know, organic food is not cheap. Some of her tips were: don’t try to be perfect–don’t avoid cake at a birthday party just because it’s not organic. Do you have something you eat every day that you can start eating the organic version of? If you’re eating strawberries every day, a small switch is switching to the organic strawberries. Do you drink milk everyday? Start with rBGH-free (rBGH=bovine growth hormone) milk and then maybe switch to organic milk. For produce, start with the “dirty dozen,” those foods most likely to be contaminated. She also mentioned OrganicDeals.com and OrganicCoupons.org as places to look for organic deals.

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It didn’t say it on the menus, but I’m assuming all or most of the food we ate was organic. (Although, I did once go to a press conference on avian flu and was served…chicken…so you never know.) These are tamari almonds and a roasted mushroom and caramelized onion sandwich.

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I don’t know what this was, but it was yummy.

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Since this seemed to be a mom-targeted event, we got YoBaby tote bags with her book, a bib, a spatula and some coupons.

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Add it to my pile…(also add my book club book(s) that I need to pick up.)

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The nuts were actually my favorite thing I tried at the event–they reminded me of these nuts above I had this morning that I got at last night’s event.

So, obviously my question here is, do you try to eat organic? Why or why not? I certainly try to eat organic as much as I can, and when not eating organic, eating quality ingredients. With that said, I desperately need to go grocery shopping…

13 comments on “Do You Eat Organic?

  1. Alexa

    I try to eat organic as much as possible. The thought of consuming pesticides and who knows what else doesn’t sound like it would be good for you. I also try to stay away from over-processed, conventional products. Especially the kind that contain unnatural ingredients.

    Reply
  2. allie

    I definitely try to eat organic, and local foods, by focusing on restaurants that do this also and balancing my frozen light meals with actual fresh fruits and veggies. It is not the easiest, and things like bananas and oranges with an outer layer (probably not on the dirty dozen) is where I just go for the cheap option. Will check out the organic discount sites! I eat almost only organic yogurt… mainly stonyfield.

    Reply
  3. gini

    I try and eat organic as often as possible, for a few reasons. Firstly, because it is good for our planet. The pesticide/chemical runoff from non-organic farming is contaminating our land, water supply, and animals. We aren’t even sure of all of the effects of this. Additionally, for some reason, when I eat fruits that the outside is included, I can taste the pesticide. (No one believes me on this! maybe I’m one of those “super-tasters” or something? anyway, I swear it’s true.) Especially strawberries. I get indigestion/reflux and I can smell the pesticide on my hands where I’ve handled the strawberries for the rest of the day… that can’t be healthy, right? The only fruit that I eat the outside of and don’t notice the pesticide on is apples.

    Reply
  4. Cait @ Beyond Bananas

    I eat some things organic – but in all honesty – I can’t afford to eat everything organic! I would love to be able to – and I will also say I have not educated myself very much on why to eat organic. A little part of me is afraid to read it – because I KNOW I will want to eat all organic – and that it will do some serious damage to my budget!

    Reply
  5. Cassidy Hogan

    As with everyone else, I eat organic when I can. Meat is the one thing that I am pretty strict about. Otherwise, if Trader Joe’s offers an organic version of the fruit or veg I go for it. TJ’s prices on organic food don’t seem to be too outrageous.

    Reply
  6. Leslie

    I try my best to eat organic, but I don’t go crazy over it. I do half my groceries at Wholefoods or organic famers markets (fruits/veggies/nuts/seeds) and half at the regular grocery store.

    If I had more money, I would probably just shop at wholefoods, but that’s not my reality.

    I wish there were more organic vegetarian restaurants in Miami, we really don’t have too many options. If you guys know of any, LET ME KNOW!!!

    Reply
  7. Kimra

    I’m in San Francisco, so … 😉

    Seriously, though, many (*many*) of our restaurants have switched to organic meat, fish, and dairy, so I feel like I’m covered there. I don’t cook a ton of meat at home but generally buy organic when I do. I’m not as good about dairy; I do buy organic milk when I buy it, but I’m not super-vigilant with cheese or with things I’m only using for a certain recipe or for baking, like cream or buttermilk. (I’m usually just looking for the smallest container.)

    Here’s where my Bay Area-ness really comes through … We get the vast majority of our vegetables as well as our eggs from our CSA, which is through a farm in the Central Valley. They are not 100% certified organic — it’s a long process — but they’re local, you can visit when you want to, they’re up-front about how they plant and how they treat every field, which other farms they partner with and why, etc. I honestly cannot say enough good things about that model. (And I always have vegetables in the house!) I’m not sure how widespread CSAs are in other places, but I highly recommend checking it out. It seemed expensive to me when we first subscribed, but considering it’s virtually all the veggies and eggs two people can eat, it’s pretty reasonable.

    Reply
    1. Kimra

      @Theodora: ha, that post is awesome! and it’s true to a big extent even for the two of us — there are weeks of “hmm, we have lots of food but no *meals*.” (And, um, to be honest, we also get every-other-week delivery; we don’t eat THAT many vegetables.)

      Reply
    2. Kimra

      @Theodora: OMG now I’m taking over your comments, but: our saving grace has been that our CSA suddenly became tech-savvy and now has an awesome blog with recipes using the stuff we’re getting in our box. So it’s like, OK, I know three days in advance that if I just get some bacon and black beans and whatever else they suggest, I can make meals with my veggies. No sad radishes!

      Aaaand I’m done.

      Reply
  8. R @ Learning As I Chop

    I think another way to “easily” switch is to just focus on organic dairy, meat and eggs. It’s more costly, but you’ll eventually get used to the difference. That’s a huge switch, since animals are fed so much junk we don’t need

    Reply
  9. Katie

    It was nice to meet you! Funny we haven’t bumped into each other before, but I’m sure we will again. I try to eat organic whenever possible: always apples, dairy, and the obvious things… I missed the part about the coupons websites, so thanks for posting them!

    Reply
  10. Jayson James

    Great post!

    One of the best things about eating organic food is losing weight. Organic foods are efficiently and quickly digested by your body. As a result, your metabolism speeds up, which is crucial for weight loss, because it doesn’t have to process these harmful chemicals. You then are able to convert the organic food into the full energy potential. So if you want to lose weight, then you’d probably need to revisit your eating habits and consider having organic food to your meals.

    Reply

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