You Are What You Eat: Why Organic Matters

Having been raised on conventional foods and being a convenience-food kid of the 70's, I figure this body is no temple—it's been battered and abused by the industrial food system. I was a foodie long before I was a mommy, but it's wasn't until faced with the immense responsibility of caring for another human being that I began to understand the impact of my food choices.

Call me crazy, but I really believe feeding my kids an ordinary peach is akin to child-abuse (it's one of the dirty dozen). I wouldn't dream of using a household cleaner as a recipe ingredient, so why would I feed them a pesticide-laden piece of fruit, or hormone-ridden meat and dairy for that matter? That's what the recent study about about organics fails to discuss. Yes, from a pure nutrional standpoint, peaches all have the same vitamins and minerals. It's a game of semantics and the study has equated "healthier" with nutrition and thrown food safety out the window. Kate over at The Accidental Hedonist wrote a thorough post on this same topic.

Last night Ulla from Goldilocks Finds Manhattan asked if bloggers can make a difference in the sustainable landscape during the SOS Food Chat on Twitter. I say yes, and offer up my own mom as proof. We were  on the phone while I washing dinner dishes and she brought up the article. Without me saying a word, she mentioned how annoying it was that there was no mention of pesticide use in the report. My mom lives on a fixed income, clips coupons and combs sale circulars to buy organic for when the kids come over. I understand that not every family can afford to shop for safer ingredients. It shouldn't be that way and hopefully one day pesticide-free food will be a right not a privilege. So, Ulla, I say let's keep spreading the message.


  • harrytimes

    I agree with you– organics are important, and people’s consciousness needs to be raised on the issue. The fact is, the convenience foods we ate as kids aren’t the same as the convenience foods on the shelves for our kids.
    My university is hosting Michael Pollan this semester, and I can’t wait to see him speak.
    My name is Sarah, and I sat with you at the BlogHer newbie breakfast on Friday morning. I love checking out your blog!

  • Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction

    I agree with you, as well. Although I do not yet have children, I try to make a conscious effort to buy organic as much as possible. Unfortunately there isn’t much variety available at my local grocery store. That was one of the primary reasons I joined a certified organic CSA.
    I was lucky to grow up with a mother who had similar beliefs about food. We rarely ate any packaged foods, and she cooked every night. Growing up with that as a kid, it has been second nature to me now that I am cooking for my husband.

  • Katherine Gray

    What really bugs me about this article is the headline and the lede. If you read through it they actually say that all the others sources take exception with the method of the study and that, actually, there are important nutritional differences, if you look at the evidence in a different way (at least according to the organic proponents).
    I can’t help but wonder if conventional farmers are feeling squeezed by the UKs big push toward organics, due in part to Prince Charles’ passionate support of sustainable farming.
    But then, yes, in the end, the fact that they don’t even touch on the impact of chemicals, how those nutrient absorption and overall health, is frustrating. You can’t really have this conversation without including that piece.

  • daddybookins

    What cute kiddos!! We are completely with you on the Organics, especially with lil boo (for obvious reasons) – eczema, food & environmental allergies. Being a product of the 70’s as well, I am in the same boat, “convenience-food kid of the 70’s”
    For now, there’s Whole Paycheck….err Foods :o)
    Peas Out!
    ~daddy b

  • Jennifer

    Glad to see so many families feel the same. We really can make a difference with out dollars whether it’s at the checkout or our local farmer’s markets.
    Speaking of markets, it is important to ask your local farmers about their practices. Just because you shop at a farmer’s markets doesn’t meant it’s pesticide-free. I just found out Maxwell’s Farmstand from NJ is using pesticides to combat the tomato problem we’re having here in the Northeast. I was very disappointed.