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Making a gradual switch to organic foods

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After watching the movie documentary "Food, Inc" this past Friday night it really got me thinking maybe I should try to add more organic foods to my diet. Where and how do I start and what are my options on shopping? Last year I remember even Whole Foods getting caught it a spinach or some salad green recall for e.coli. And when it's labeled "organic" is it really organic? I'm sure I can find someone local for fresh eggs and in the summer months find local farms selling produce but I can see this is going to take some work! My local Stop & Shop has some organic foods and I think they have their own label called "Nature's Promise" that is organic. I'm in CT not far from New Haven. I have few smaller organic stores in the area but I can see this project getting very expensive too. I would really appreciate your input. Thanks!

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  1. We really only buy the "dirty dozen" organic when we can afford to. We buy a lot of local produce in the warmer months, and though it's not certified organic, it's a lot better than having it shipped from 3 countries away. Google "organic dirty dozen" for more info.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rockandroller1


      Local from the farmers' market trumps organic from another hemisphere any day.

    2. Check out this website for what is available near you


      1. e.coli is organic :)

        I think the organic spinach contamination (not just at WF) was eventually traced to a field that got run off from an area frequented by pigs. I don't recall whether they were organic pigs or not.

        Earlier there was a contamination problem with organic unpasturized Odwalla juice.

        1. Here's an updated list of "dirty" foods which may be similar to rockandroller's ... there's a lively thread going on right now "Organic what a beautiful lie"...you'll have to weigh all the information and do what's right for you! I know I'm not going to find apples grown locally and organic here in SWFL...so whether they are organic from Chile or Michigan doesn't matter THAT much. But, I do grow my own tomatoes and arugula and herbs now...will try to add leaf lettuce in September since we'll be coming into the "too hot and rainy" months very shortly <snerk, it's already too hot!>

          1. i live in Northern CA, where there is a farmers market conveniently located in nearly every city year round (on nearly every day...except Monday, for whatever reason). Not having any connection to the East Coast, im not sure what the farmers market culture is like there (availability, quantity, quality), but a local farmers market is in my opinion the best way to start. Not only can you shop and get your produce directly (ask those selling if they are organically certified and pesticide free), you can ask around and get an idea of possible places to buy other organic foods (eggs, poultry, beef, etc.). Farmers, vendors and market organizers are probably the best sources of information for finding local stores/markets that sell locally produced, organically certified products. In some cases, you may have to go to a farm directly, which is what i do to get my chicken. Hope this helps.

            1. In my opinion you gonna die if you keep eating organic food blindly. You have to know the source you are getting the organic food from. From my understanding there is not that big a difference between conventional food grown on a collective farm vs organic food grown on a collective farm. Grow your own food if you want to be sure of the source, and maybe you will know what is in your food. Won't help much growing your own food though if your neighbor loads up on the pesticides.

              Organic is expensive.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Bottomless_Pit

                Good point bottomless. This very topic is on my mind today because my friend John invited me to his house to celebrate the annual opening of his inground pool. His parents have eleven acres behind their house which they rent out to a farmer. The ground is higher where the fields are planted and ever since John's mom lost her beloved dog to cancer she is convinced that the dog got ill because of the pesticides the farmer uses. Since the rain water flows directly into the pool I'm not sure I want to swim in it. Dang it! I love swimming. :(

              2. I won't wade into the "organic vs. non-organic" debate, but my advice is to start asking around about farm shops and year-round farmers markets. It may require a country drive, but where I live there is a great market that sells locally-grown produce year-round at great prices. Not everything is organic, but the farm of origin is clearly marked and most people (farm people) know who uses huge amounts of pesicides, and who doesn't. In any case, it's typically better than the conventional produce sold at supermarkets. I was in Merced, CA once when they were spraying the fields...that's a lot of pesicides directly on the plants, as opposed to around here, where local farmers typically apply the treatment to the soil prior to planting.
                The other option to reduce costs is to grow some of your own food. It's a lot easier than people realize.