How many items in your shopping cart last week were organic?
Are you as guilty as I am when it comes to not obeying the Dirty Dozen list?
Even though Food Babe has a great case for always going organic along with an amazingly detailed post on how to eat organic on a budget, I will admit that I don’t make organic a priority for all of my groceries.
I really want you to read her entire post so rather than summarize snippets of it for you, click here.
I will though share with you today her handy Organic Food Priority List:
My giant containers of blueberries are never organic. And, some weeks I buy organic strawberries and some weeks I don’t.
Most of the time, my apples are not organic.
On occasion I buy the organic romaine lettuce but last week? I did not.
I don’t think an organic cucumber has ever been to my house.
My coffee is only organic if that box of K-Cups is on sale.
Chocolate? I don’t discriminate when it comes to chocolate. I will eat last year’s Halloween candy if the craving needs to be satisfied.
I do buy organic eggs, meat and poultry almost every time or, at the very least, I make sure the package says vegetarian fed without added hormones and antibiotics.
Click here for THE BEST link ever which fully explains in detail how to decode the labels on the egg cartons in order to understand the difference between cage-free, certified organic, free range etc.
So lately I just wonder: If I am only obeying the organic rules some of the time, is there any point to it at all?
If my blueberries aren’t organic but the strawberries are, should I feel guilty?
Is it the sort of thing where we can say you do what you can because every little bit helps?
I just can’t afford a strictly organic diet, not to mention, the shelf-life expired yesterday.
I already live in the grocery stores; if I were to purchase all organic, I would need to buy an apple a day just to ensure that I don’t have a bushel of rotten apples sitting on my counter.
I do what I can and I try not to stress the whole pesticides on and in my food because as much as I could let it bother me, they do say that the health benefits of consuming fruits and vegetables even if they aren’t organic still outweighs not eating them at all.
Want to see my most recent shopping trip at Trader Joe’s?
- Chick Peas – because organic beans are only twenty cents more than non-organic
- Ketchup – price was good
- Diced tomatoes – cheap enough
- Tomato Paste – cheap
- Carrots – because they cost less than one dollar for a big bag and taste sweeter
- Brussels sprouts
- Non-Fat Greek Yogurt – not organic but is not treated with antibiotics/hormones
- Lite Shredded Mozzarella Cheese- not treated with antibiotics/hormones
- Frozen vegetables
- Frozen berries
- Plum tomatoes
- Strawberries – the organic selection this week didn’t look as good as last week
And because we don’t need to worry about organic when it comes to produce with a thick skin we aren’t eating:
Should I feel bad that my pretty bowl of oatmeal with yogurt is loaded with ingredients that aren’t organic except for the sprinkle of Nature’s Path Organic Heritage Flakes?
I bet you are convinced I don’t own real silverware. I do, I just prefer my yogurt store spoons and my son’s little Bob The Builder spoon from when he was two because they are more fun.
I wish I could live only on Stonyfield Organic Greek but I can’t. It is just too pricey.
When I can’t get Stonyfield at a good price, I fill in with fat free greek yogurt tub from Trader Joe’s (in above photo) or even Fage which I can often get on sale.
I don’t buy Chobani as often unless I am desperate because I find the taste of their original the least desirable of all brands.
Not to mention Whole Foods stopped carrying Chobani because they contain GMO’s but GMO’s are another post altogether.
I am glad that sweet potatoes are not part of the Dirty Dozen list which means that pesticides don’t seem to penetrate the outer skin.
I once bought the organic sweet potatoes and they went bad within like 72 hours which really isn’t acceptable to me.
Love sweet potatoes in salads, even if the salad this week didn’t contain organic romaine lettuce.
And, you should know that I love roasting sweet potatoes with a drop of peanut butter although I think I love anything with a drop of peanut butter.
My peanut butter is not organic but it has all sorts of other happy messages and symbols so maybe that negates its non-organic nature.
Non-GMO, Gluten Free, Vegan….
Even though I am a vegetarian, I still need to buy meat and poultry for my son.
I can’t always buy certified organic but I do ensure all meat and poultry is vegetarian fed as well as not treated with antibiotics or contain added hormones.
If I cannot locate the right packages in the store which will clearly tell me grass-fed, organic or free from added hormones and antibiotics, I won’t buy anything which actually happened to me this week when I went looking for another package of ground turkey.
I wanted to make more meatballs for my son like last week but Trader Joe’s was out of the right turkey, as was Whole Foods and Shop Rite.
Therefore, last night we used our organic beans to make Jen’s recipe (our WIAW Host!) for Mexican Veggie Burgers.
Just a few minor changes to the recipe to work with what I had on hand:
In place of lentils I used organic chick peas because I already had them opened and I added some cooked (organic!) quinoa to go along with the black beans, corn (organic!) and refried beans.
Oh, and I did half cup of oat bran with a half cup of oat flour instead of just one full cup of the ground up oats.
They came out really tasty and hearty with a few left over to freeze for another time.
Even if I bought strictly organic for the house, I wouldn’t be able to adhere to an organic diet when dining out because I refuse to give up my favorite restaurants and desserts.
I don’t love cheesecake but I am pretty sure if you go in today for a half price slice and ask for Linda’s Fudge cake instead, they will honor it.
My son actually had the Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake in the picture above the other night and I sampled around the cheesecake parts so it was really good.
Be sure to check out what everyone else is eating today!
Do you have organic shopping rules you stick to every week?
Are you guilty of going by price rather than organic vs. non-organic?
Will you be going to The Cheesecake Factory later for your half-price slice?
31 thoughts on “What’s On Your Organic Food Priority List?”
I pretty much always go by price instead of organic/not organic. I try to visit farmers’ markets near me when I can because I do believe that buying local should be a priority for me (key word – should), but when it comes down to it, I often go for convenience. I’m hoping this is something I will gradually get better at taking more seriously, but for now, I have to feel good that I’m buying a lot of fruits and vegetables, even if they aren’t organic.
Sometimes I base it on the price… which I know might not be the “Best” way, but it’s the most practical for us! I try to buy apples and berries that are organic, for the most part.
I want to buy only organic apples, I may try more often to do so but sometimes they go bad too quickly on me even though I eat at least one a day.
I love that you did a whole post about organic food and then finished it up with the Cheesecake factory. You are my hero. I pretty much shop by price. Eating local is more important to me than eating organic, I would say.
And the thought of only eating organic chocolate makes me a little sad…
You know me, I can always tie in a reference to chocolate cake.
I have been trying to make little changes to switch over to organic for the dirty dozen, and I have been trying to buy free range chicken, eggs ect, and choosing the brands that care about the world we live in, but you are right, the price is too unrealistic for everything all the time. I can also be really bad in that I often do not wash my fruit before I eat it….I know I am going to pay for that, but laziness takes over. I am gonna read that link now, thanks for sharing 🙂
I always wash my fruit but then wonder if washing with just water is even enough. I know they sell those fruit/vegetable cleaners but I just can’t be bothered. Maybe one day I will want to do the extra step.
I do stick to the organic produce 100% of the time along with meats that are grass fed and properly raised and go more lax on thick skinned fruits and veggies. If I can’t find organic blueberries, I don’t buy the other kind. Berries are one of the worst when it comes to toxins and pesticides. So, I just do my best. And I have actually found that when I buy in season my total bill is on point or less than usual.
I try to stick to organic for the Dirty Dozen list, but that doesn’t always happen. Organic berries are ridiculously expensive, and I can’t always find organic peppers. I appreciate summer for the simple fact that we belong to a non-expensive, organic-grown but not certified ‘organic’ CSA, and I can supplement that with produce from another local farm. Summer’s easy, while the rest of the year’s more difficult to justify spending all that money to get organic.
There is no real compelling scientific evidence that organic foods are better than non-organic, so you should definitely not feel guilty about going for price. I buy organic eggs because it means much more than just being organic (as you mentioned) and I am a vegetarian as well so I really care where the eggs come from. Usually at Wegmans they only have giant containers of organic spinach or those little bags of non-organic so I buy that organic too. Otherwise, I don’t pay any attention to it. Also I guess it’s worth mentioning that I’m a student so no way in hell I’m gunna spend more money to buy ‘organic’ when I can use that money for ‘funner’ stuff!! haha
I’m planning on traveling later tonight and it just so happens I’ll be in an area with a Cheesecake factory….. maybe I need to go!
I hope you made it to Cheesecake Factory! If not, I am pretty sure the half price cake still applies for today!
I go by price but rarely buy organic. I do buy most of my fruits/veg from the farm and they are not organic, but their product is amazing and it’s local. I don’t have a trader joes or a whole foods anywhere near me, so I am stuck with limited (and pricey) option for organic foods. The Loblaws company here in Canada has many products (both fresh and pantry) that are organic at affordable prices. When we were feeding Max baby food, all of his baby food was organic as it was VERY affordable and just looked better. He still eats organic cereal bars.
My son used to love the crumbly cereal bars. I do believe they were organic, I think Earth’s Best?
Guilty as charged. My choices are more dictated by sale prices than the dirty dozen. I do buy organic meat though so I allow myself one splurge. If we had TJs I might buy more organic stuff but it’s just too darn expensive here!
The prices for organic produce most of the time are insane. Especially at Whole Foods. Forget it, just forget it. I can’t even look at the section.
I’m ashamed to say… my only organic item this week was my organic jellybeans!
This made me laugh! lol. At least your sugar was organic, right?
As much as I’d like to say that I stick to organic when it comes to the Dirty Dozen, I don’t always… sometimes because of price, and sometimes because I simply can’t find organic produce in my normal grocery store. At the end of the day, I figure it’s better to eat fruits and veggies that aren’t organic, than not eat any because I can’t get them as organic. I do try to stick to organic when it comes to dairy, eggs, and meats though. I don’t tend to eat a lot of the last two, so I have an easier time justifying spending a little more on them.
I am with you. I don’t eat as much of the dairy eggs and meats so I can spend a little more on that stuff versus buying strictly organic fruit. I go through blueberries like an insane person.
I definitely try to stick by the dirty dozen list as well as buying seasonally – but I try not to beat myself up about it when I can’t find the stuff organic, or if I can’t afford it some weeks – I figure as long as we’re doing our best it’s a whole lot better than giving up and hitting Maccy D’s!
I am guilty of not always getting the organic versions. I keep telling myself that one day I’m going to make the switch entirely and go organic only, but wow, the price, and also the limitations. It’s getting easier though and looks like you are doing great with being healthy regardless!
I am 100000% with you on your meat preferences! I WILL NOT touch any red meat that is not grass-fed/finished/organic/free-ranged…. AND HAPPY! LOL!! Everything else makes me cringe so much!
As much as I’d like to eat organic and hit the list properly, I honestly cannot afford it, and at this stage, just go for the cheapest option for basics….I swear some of the peanut butters with 10000 ingredients taste good… Sue me 😉
I used to love reduced fat Skippy chunky. It was so good! Not sure they sell it anymore. It was once recalled for listeria or something like that and then it was missing for so long from the store shelves that I was forced to love another variety.
Great read! Lets face it organic is expensive! My produce guide is The Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen list here http://jillconyers.com/2013/11/menu-planning-and-2013-dirty-dozen/ . I keep a screenshot on my phone. That said I refuse to pay almost 6.00/lb for red peppers. To me that says wash conventional produce really well. I say do what you can and I believe every little bit counts.
I wish we didn’t even need to have a choice: should I eat the foods covered in chemicals or not? I think the answer should always be the latter, but for me personally it rarely happens, especially since I went from a two income household to one. It’s just not feasible for me to pay double for a container of berries or a bell pepper. Also, I would never tell someone who was trying to get healthy or lose weight that strawberries (organic or non) aren’t a good choice. At the end of the day, I’d rather people eat non-organic fruits and veggies than no fruits and veggies at all. The only thing I’m really a stickler for is eggs, milk and meat, and the place I do try to put my money is into local foods (more so than organic), but that’s a whole different post too. 🙂
I am the same exact way when people ask me for advice when they want to lose weight and eat healthier – better they learn to eat whole foods, fruits and vegetable over packaged snacks than make them worry about doing so plus ensuring it is organic. And, like you, do mention to friends about the dairy. eggs and meat/poultry differences. I wish it wasn’t all so complex.
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