Isn’t Everything Living Technically Organic Anyway?

Some of you aren’t going to like this post.

It is about why I hate buying organic food.

Every time I buy “organic”, well, 85% of the time I buy organic it is either already rotten (fruit especially) or it has bugs in it (vegetables) and it costs waaaaaaay more. Plus, I don’t think it tastes any better. There I said it.

I know I’m supposed to feel better about myself buying organic food for my children and family, but I always feel like I’m being tricked. Ha ha, we’ll get her to pay way more for no reason, then we’ll throw in some bugs. Suckers!

I know this isn’t going to win me any popularity contests. It also probably means I’m not cool, or “up to date”, or I hate the environment or whatever. I’d rather spend the money on gas for my SUV.

Okay, that was probably uncalled for, but I’m serious. I always feel like I’m getting ripped off. Is it just me* or does anyone else feel this way? (Don’t get nuts on me now. I didn’t vote for Bush or anything. I just don’t like eating insects.)

* Apparently this guy, and this guy feel the same way. I have no idea if these sources are credible or not. I just skimmed over them this morning.

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  1. Did you ever notice that almost every time someone dies from eColi from a piece of freaking FRUIT it’s because it is ORGANIC?
    I will buy nothing organic. Screw that.
    I want preservatives and chemicals and I will die from cancer when I am 65 from the effects of THOSE. That will be fine.

  2. Oh, Sarah.

    I couldn’t agree more. I often rant about everything being all natural. If it is on this planet it is all natural. Plutonium, arsenic both all natural.

    Don’t worry you are still plenty green when compared to me. My philosophy is I am only on this planet for a short time and I want to leave as big of a mark as I can.

    PS your comment thing is being very buggy.

  3. Wow, I never have this problem with vegetables. My organic fruit and veggies always last me at least a week. That is all I ever buy and they usually do taste a hundred times better than nonorganic. Plus I just planted my first organic (and vegan) garden this year and it is fantastic. My plants are thriving. The vegan part means no animal fertilizers (which would certainly make sure there is no problem with e.coli. Never heard anything about a connection between e.coli and organic fruit. That is an interesting stretch of truth, since e.coli comes from feces contamination. This usually occurs from watering plants with contaminated water or processing fruits in vegetables in the same area that dead animals have been processed.

  4. Wow, I never have this problem with vegetables. My organic fruit and veggies always last me at least a week. That is all I ever buy and they usually do taste a hundred times better than nonorganic. Plus I just planted my first organic (and vegan) garden this year and it is fantastic. My plants are thriving. The vegan part means no animal fertilizers (which would certainly make sure there is no problem with e.coli. Never heard anything about a connection between e.coli and organic fruit. That is an interesting stretch of truth, since e.coli comes from feces contamination. This usually occurs from watering plants with contaminated water or processing fruits in vegetables in the same area that dead animals have been processed.

  5. Wow, I never have this problem with vegetables. My organic fruit and veggies always last me at least a week. That is all I ever buy and they usually do taste a hundred times better than nonorganic. Plus I just planted my first organic (and vegan) garden this year and it is fantastic. My plants are thriving. The vegan part means no animal fertilizers (which would certainly make sure there is no problem with e.coli. Never heard anything about a connection between e.coli and organic fruit. That is an interesting stretch of truth, since e.coli comes from feces contamination. This usually occurs from watering plants with contaminated water or processing fruits in vegetables in the same area that dead animals have been processed.

  6. This post cracked me up. My friend and I were talking on a message board the other day about this very topic – and the subject of Whole Foods market and their insanely priced produce came up and she copied and pasted this blog post. I don’t know where it’s from, as it was c/p’d, but it cracked me up as well:

    “I had to get mushrooms and Italian sausage for dinner last night and tea tree oil for the vile thrush in my throat from my new asthma inhaler, so I thought I’ll bag two birds and my soul with one stone and go to Whole Foods. Now, I’m not fond of WF. I feel that, whenever I walk in, I’m being judged as I don’t do all my shopping there as it’s outrageously expensive and I don’t need all of my food to be packaged by nuns who only wear biodegradable habits and grow all of their own food using only the poop from their free-range chickens as fertilizer. I also am chubby, so I obviously am not an active person, and I don’t wear clothing only to be found at REI. I don’t drive a hybrid or a Volvo and I’m not a stay-at-home mom living in Ravenna with an activist attorney husband who takes her kids to Gymboree on Tuesdays and grows her own hemp in the backyard. I don’t go to the Folklife festival or all the days of SIFF. I don’t know the difference between a chardonnay and a Cote du Rhone. So, whenever I go in, I get looks from the skinny, wealthy, vegan, mountain climbing lawyers who ONLY shop at Whole Foods to keep their conscience clear.”

    It’s so hard to be healthy – the “good” foods are so damned expensive, while a double cheeseburger at McDonald’s is a dollar. Y’know?

  7. I agree, the organic section at my local grocery store has lots of “rotten” food in it. One of these days, I’ll plant my own vegetable garden but until then I don’t want bugs in my lettuce either and I like my fruit shiny with pesticides.

  8. It is damn expensive. And I wish I could buy ‘better’ but we can’t afford it. So I don’t cry at night over it. But I don’t know anything about it going bad sooner than the pesticide-ridden produce at Cub Foods.

    There are so many OTHER things I am probably going to get cancer from that I try not to worry.

    Plus I plan on using cloth diapers when we have kids. Does that off-set the non-organic food? Maybe? Or am I just crazy?

  9. Anonymous says:

    I have been reading your blog for a while now, and I always enjoy your posts. I have to agree with you about organic fruits and vegetables. My family grows blueberries, peaches, grapes, and other fruits and vegetables, and they are all non-organic and taste great. It is too expensive for them to grow organic fruit for the current prices. Organic fruit is okay, but I will always prefer my family’s fruit and veggies.
    -Megan

  10. hey sarah – i agree with you on bugs in organic greens – i never see them in other organic foods, just lettuce and stuff. have found caterpillars and worms – that almost made me swear them off. now i just wash really carefully.

    as for health benefits, there have been several published studies showing a big decline in pesticides in the bodies of children who eat organic foods.

    and as for taste – i can taste the difference in SOME organic foods – apples and bananas primarily. organic cheese often tastes worse.

    i try to get all organic and it does cost more, but we have this amazing farmer’s market here that has super fresh and a huge supply of organic produce. i won’t even think about getting organic produce from the big supermarkets. it’s way overpriced and usually not fresh. that sucks.

    i don’t think it matters really – we all die eventually. i guess since some organic foods taste better to me, i get all organic. and i’m broke. :)

  11. Ok, I’ve been trying to post all day…and blogger keeps biting it.

    So here is my 100th try. If this does not work, I give up.

    We try and buy organic when we can. But we do not buy organic exclusively. Some things you can totally taste a difference in, but it depends on the season, store, etc.

    We also have a farmers market with a large organic supply.

    As for the bug issue…I pick what we grow in our garden and sometimes it has bugs. So I just assume all things that are grown in the great outdoors in dirt, encounter bugs. Many of them are very beneficial to the plant.

    Since I wash my fruit and veggies, we don’t eat the bugs.

    I think it sucks that organic is more expensive. And while I’m not sure there is anything wrong with pesticides and whatever else…I guess I just think that the less processed and chemical laden my food is, the better.

    Maybe I’m an alarmist, but I can’t help but think something we’re sticking in our food or on our food will bite us in the butt one day. Cancer? Maybe. Allergies? Maybe.

    It just seems like common sense to me. But I am certainly not militant about it.

    If I had to really go off on something here, I guess it’s the hormone issue more than anything. The whole hormone in milk and meat thing really, really, really creeps me out.

    I won’t buy regular milk. It must be hormone free. But I also don’t give the stink eye to mom’s buying the regular stuff.

    I know there is a list somewhere that tells you what really matters when buying organic. Like what really makes a difference. I’ll try and find it.

  12. If you go to a grocery store, and they offer rotten fruit and vegetables, I think the issue is with the store owner, not the type of produce itself. Organic or not, if the stuff in their store is starting to rot, they need to throw it out and maybe purchase smaller quantities in the future. And if you offer organic stuff, you should know that it might rot a little quicker due to the lack of chemicals, and pay special attention to it. I would complain to the manager if I found something that’s not good repeatedly.

    As for bugs in vegetables, I agree with the Queen of Spain. Vegetables from your own garden would contain some bugs, it’s only normal. We always used to have a garden when I was a kid, and we also always washed the stuff before eating it. How else would you get that rabbit pee off of it anyway?

    But here’s what I can’t figure out: If the organic farmers use no or less pesticides and cheaper fertilizer (assuming that natural fertilizers are indeed cheaper) and generally do less to their stuff, i.e. less work is being performed for each piece of produce, why the heck is it more expensive? Okay, the yields are smaller (is that the right way of saying it?), but shouldn’t it even out? But I also heard that without pesticides, the yield is actually better. Something’s not adding up right.

    This is already way too long, but one more thing. There is a very noticable difference between the way apples look in stores in the US and over here in Germany. The stuff you guys have is sparkling and shiny and you need some of them shades just to look at it compared to our dull apples over here. And I know that apples on trees don’t sparkle. Just something that made me wonder. About health aspects as well as customer behavior. Why are we more attracted to food that looks artificial?

  13. I’ve read that organic food and notOrganic food are equally (un)healthy because many organic farmers don’t “age” their fertilizer properly and that’s wehre you get the e. coli. I’m sticking with tree bark and grubs.

  14. I totally agree. They sure don’t taste any better. I think organic standards are going down as it becomes more trendy and demand increases.

  15. The local produce place where I shop has a display that I always thought was the discount table since it looked old and over-ripe. Then I saw the “organic: sign. Aaaahhhh, I see.

    The only time I dont feel ripped of buying organic stuff is at Trader Joe’s. Everywhere else it feels like I am being screwed.
    But I do know that part of the reason organic food is more expensive is that right now is that the demand way outweighs the supply. For all of the farmers who are switching to organic to meet the demand, they have to let their fields/orchards/etc. go without pesticides, etc for three years first. So now they are growing organically, but they cant sell it as organic, so its non-organic buggy stuff. No market for that.

  16. Sarah, I have wanted to comment on this for freakin days. Stupid Blogger. Anyways, I am completly with you. And I live in LA where people go all nuts for organic. I only use organic dairy products. Maybe it evens out? I like my fruit and Veggies to look and taste pretty. No bugs.

    Hey, have you ever seen the section for Fruitarians out there? It is some mangy, nasty ass looking fruit and vegatables.

  17. why would you want to put something that kills critters into your body…? Think about it for a minute…. doesn’t that seem dangerous..?

  18. I was doing a Google search about organic vs. organic – thinking the whole time about how glad I am that I don’t have any friends that would spear me for leaning either way – when I came across your blog.

    I still haven’t decided if organic is any better, but thanks to you, I had a good laugh trying to figure it out!

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  1. […] Blogging certainly can be controversial. My blog is generally pretty light. t I’m working on a post about why I am not a Christian that I think will piss a lot of people off, and one time I made a bunch of people mad because I talked about organic food being a rip off. Apparently people take their organic produce pretty seriously. […]