Organic vs. Conventional
Is it worth spending all of your hard-earned money on organic food?
The answer is, as it often is with nutrition: it depends.
My personal feeling is that there are some items it is ABSOLUTELY worth spending the money for organic, and other items that it really doesn't matter.
Let's look at produce first.
Perhaps you have already heard about the Dirty Dozen, but let's take a quick review as to what that is. Spoiler alert, it is NOT another movie in the Ocean's Eleven franchise.
The Dirty Dozen are those items that tend to carry a lot of pesticide residue. Part of that residue is on the outside of the produce and the items in the dirty dozen list are those we tend to eat whole (as opposed to peeling your strawberries or grapes, for example!).
Since I don't expect you to memorize these lists, or even carry them with you, my general rule of thumb is:: if I can peel it, I buy conventional; if I can't, I buy organic.
But I am going to let you in on a little secret.
Frozen organic produce is generally a fraction of the price and often contains even more nutrients since the produce is frozen immediately as it comes in from the field.
Personally, I buy a 2lb bag of frozen organic blueberries ($7.99 versus $3.99 for a pint of fresh at my local store) to have blueberries in my cereal, pancakes and muffins. I don't mind that they aren't perfectly round when they thaw, and they make my cereal milk turn purple, which I find to be a fun way to start the day.
Because I like knowing that my food was grown by farmers and not by companies, I subscribe to a produce box from my local CSA (community supported agriculture).
This ensures I am eating fresh, organic products, eating seasonally, and supporting my neighbors in their farming efforts.
Regarding animal products,
I always buy organic and pasture-raised, not only for my own health, because I want to ensure the animals were living a good life before they fed me. They tend to be healthier animals, with no need for antibiotics or growth hormones, and they are fed a diet that we too would enjoy eating.
I subscribe to Butcher Box to ensure my freezer is always stocked with humanely raised animal proteins, including free-range chicken. wild-caught salmon and grass pastured beef. As a special treat, if you sign up here, you can save $30 on your first box - and shipping is always free.