There has always been skepticism about buying organic. If you have ever tried to buy a majority of your groceries as organic, you will notice that your finances may take a dip to the poor side.
Personally, I’ve spent a lot of money on organics in attempts to follow "my body is a temple" mantra and just be healthy, but there is a question that is frequently on my mind:
IS ORGANIC EVEN WORTH IT?
Could everything labelled “organic” possibly be true? Or is it just green washing and a way to increase the prices of products?
My reasoning for buying organic is because of factors such as the use of fossil fuels, pesticides, pollution, ecological footprint, and health. I was reading David Suzuki’s Green Guide and found that it supports my reasons quite well. The guide described two different apples: The Natural Apple and The Commercial Apple.
1. THE NATURAL APPLE
This apple grows on a tree in one’s backyard and requires natural sunlight and rainfall. Natural processes occur to prevent pests and diseases. When the apple is ripe, you pluck it off the tree to eat it. Or you could make apple pie, have an apple-bobbing contest—you name it.
2. THE COMMERCIAL APPLE
This apple grows on a commercial farm and requires the following treatments:
- The soil of the apple tree needs chemical fertilizers and irrigation.
- Fossil fuel-based pesticides are used to prevent pests and diseases.
- Migrant labour and large machinery that uses a lot of energy and emissions are often required.
- The picked apple is waxed and shipped thousands of miles to get to your grocery store.
This second apple requires much more energy, emissions, and labour. Yet it will not come close to tasting as good as an apple that is grown in one’s backyard or bought locally from a farmer.
This story puts so much perspective on the state of the current food industry. I don’t want to be eating pesticide filled apples! Nor do I want to increase pollution and energy consumption. Yet with this being said, most of us (including myself!) cannot afford to buy all our groceries organic or local.
SO WHAT IS THE SOLUTION?
The key is to do everything in moderation. Just like eating in moderation, you should buy organic foods in moderation. Only purchase the products that are really worth buying organic as organic, and the rest as non-organic.
The following are two great lists from the Environmental Working Group illustrates what top produce you should buy organic vs. what is okay to buy non-organic, based on the amount of pesticides that are used in the growing process.
Get a printable PDF version of the lists!
THINK ABOUT IT. BE AWARE!
It is important to be mindful of our food systems. Think about the produce you buy, where it comes from, and how far it has traveled. Were chemicals used in the production? How much energy was required? We should be aware of where we get our food, how it is produced, and ask lots of questions! What questions do you have?