“Certified Organic” Or Not….. Food For Thought

Love this saying....

Love this saying….

Organic. Just the word alone can cause a debate that can rival abortion, gay rights, religion, and politics. Seriously, I have seen it. Those that buy strictly organic often look down at those that do not. Those who do not buy organic look at those that do like they must be RICH. Most will deny it of course. But they do. As a society we judge. We do not like to admit it and will often deny it. But we do. I have been on both sides of it more then once because the items in my cart.

Honestly though let’s face it…certified organic is freaking expensive!!! It is BIG business these days.There is a reason organic markets like Whole Foods are often referred to as Whole Wallet or Whole Paycheck.

Want to learn more about the person who researched and created this chart....check out the link. https://www.msu.edu/~howardp/

Want to learn more about the person who researched and created this chart….check out the link. https://www.msu.edu/~howardp/

I am not here to get into a debate about organic vs not organic. I actually hate the words “certified organic” or “organic”.  I am however telling you why you will sometimes see my family use certified organic ingredients and sometimes you won’t. I believe that when you eat simple, clean, real, whole foods you are opening yourself up to limitless possibilities. Doesn’t matter if you are eating organic or not. People on any kind of a budget can eat healthy. It does not have to be certified organic to be healthy. Before you freak out on me, cuss me up one side and down the other, call me every name under the sun, moon, and stars that is not my name….hear me out. Just think about my words. Put away your judgement and just truly listen. Then decide.

The foods in my own garden (that I do not use anything on) can not be called organic according to the government because I am not a certified organic farmer. My local butcher, orchard, turkey farm, farmer’s markets, farm where I get my fresh eggs, even the creamery I have used off and on for years, are all not certified organic. My hubby and I talked at length with each business and asked them about their practices. Why were they not “certified organic”? What do they use on their produce?  How often do they use chemicals? What do they wear when spraying their fields? Are they in a mask of any kind? Hazmat suit? What antibiotics do they use on their animals? When do they use it? Do they use hormones? Are the animals free to roam or locked up in cages? Are the enclosures too small? Chickens free range? What do they feed them? Are they killed ethically?  Do they plan on becoming “certified organic”? Yes, we seriously asked them these questions and more. They answered them all without hesitation and with complete honesty. We were told by each one that they had no intentions of EVER being certified. Their reasons? Why pay the 10’s of thousands of dollars to buy a certificate, put their employees through mandatory training to do what they already do. Replace their current equipment with all new equipment. It is actually the same equipment they already have, but this new  equipment is certified by the government to be used with the certified program. And that they have to pay extra to do all this and pay to have their license renewed when the time comes. All this, for doing what they already do. They would in turn have to raise their prices just to cover the cost. Made perfect sense to us and still does. None had any problems showing us their ENTIRE facility and what they do behind the scenes. We have been loyal to them ever sense.

In the grocery stores, I buy some things organic and some things not. My flour is not organic. It is regular unbleached white flour. My noodles are not organic. They are not whole grain or whole wheat most of the time. If I am feeling really crazy, I make my own noodles from scratch. Most of my cereals are however organic. That is mainly because of the simpler ingredients in them. My bread crumbs (usually panko, if store bought) are not organic. My butter and cheese is not organic or grass fed when I buy it from the store. However, it is when I buy it from the local creameries. Again, they are not “certified organic” though. Our milk is one thing I wish we could find inexpensively from a local creamery or farmer. We buy regular, good old fashioned, whole milk. We’ve tried the creamery route more than once. We also tried the whole “certified organic” grocery store milk thing too. Couldn’t do it! My bank account cried itself to sleep every night over it. It begged us to please stop abusing it. You have to understand, we go through a lot of milk in this house. Like a gallon of milk a day, minimum, a lot. TOLD YOU…A LOT OF MILK! We were spending over $70 a week on just milk! No wonder my bank account cried all the time! My food budget could not handle it. We even tried cutting it 50/50 with store bought and creamery milk. Still couldn’t do it. I figure with as little processed foods as we actually buy and eat, a lot of it is not “certified organic” items, I will pick and choose what I think is the best for my family and mu peace of mind. In the long run, I would rather people  not eat  “Certified Organic” fresh fruits and veggies then eat the boxed, canned, and bagged stuff that passes itself off as healthy and processed.  The less processed the better, in my opinion, whether it is certified or not. Sometimes it is all about the baby steps….

Worried about cleaning off the chemicals used on your fruits and veggies? Yes people, organic can have chemicals used on it too. Check out what the FDA’s tips for the best way to do it and why.

http://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ucm256215.htm

organic-definition

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