Rooted In Wonder:
Nurturing Your Family's Faith Through God's Creation
Master Naturalist, Bible teacher, author, wife, and mama of four! Join our adventures of discovering God while adventuring in creation.
Some people think that we eat “organically”; and ok, I guess we do–sometimes. But what does it really mean to eat organically? The “organic” label adorning many food items is a strictly regulated label; farmers and producers must jump through many hoops and pay their fair share of time and money to boast that label. A claim that someone eats “organically”, however, is a much looser label. To be honest, and contrary to what I have heard some explain my family as, I don’t actually think of our way of eating as organic. Let me explain.
“Poorganic” is a whacky, slightly-explicit-sounding label giving a name to those who, in the words of blogger Stacy over at “Stacy Makes Cents”:
I don’t consider ourselves “Poorganic”, the name is just a little too quirky for me to claim. However, this idea does give a voice to a tension that many of us face. It is that disheartening strain between trying to feed our families good (real) food, and trying not to break the bank in the process.
Although I do have a chronic over-spending habit when it comes to buying ingredients, for the most part I try to stick within a budget. This means that we cannot buy everything organic. Over the past couple of years eating whole foods, I have had to research and determine just what of the “organic” labels can fit into my cart and into our budget. We’ve had to pick and choose what we eat organically—and I have found that this is completely acceptable!
So, this week and next I would like to share with you some of what I’ve learned when it comes to eating organically…or not. I want to answer the question: What is most important to eat organic? There is a balance between organic and our budget, it will look differently for each of our families, but once we find it we can all shop with a clear conscience when it comes to how much we are spending, as well as what we are feeding our families.
When most people think of “organic”, they think fruits and vegetables. I mean, the main point is to avoid pesticides, right? And those pesticides are applied directly to fruits and vegetables. I will agree that it is important to eat organic fruits and vegetables–sometimes.
The truth is that some produce is just fine to eat conventionally (not organically), because they receive minimal to no pesticide application. Fortunately, each year the Environmental Working Group provides an updated guide that can help us understand which fruits and vegetables are “dirty” (covered in pesticide residue), and which are “clean” (minimal pesticides, and ok to eat without an organic label)
When it comes to choosing which organic produce to invest in, eat up all the conventional items from the clean list that you can get your hands on. For those produce items with higher pesticide residues, consider these ways of including them in your diet without having to pay outrageously marked-up prices for the organic label from the grocery store:
The amount of pesticide residues is also worth considering when it comes to purchasing other food items made from fruits and vegetables. Anything that is made from produce on the “Dirty Dozen” list, aim to purchase organic. This includes foods like:
Like I said above, I do believe that it is important to buy organic produce when our budget allows, and I have suggested some ways that we can do this knowledgeably, investing our money where it really counts.
However, I do not believe that fruits and vegetables are the most important food for us to be buying organically. I may be a little unconventional in my organic creed, but I have a lot of research and personal experience invested in these convictions. Stay tuned next week when I’ll share with you what I believe to be the most important organic foods we should be investing in.
Raising kids stirs something deep in our souls — an innate knowing that our time is finite. Taking my kids outside in creation, I’m discovering how to stretch our time and pack it to the brim with meaning. God’s creativity provides the riches of resources for teaching the next generation who He is and how He loves us. Join our adventure and discover inspiration and resources for refusing rush, creating habits of rest, living intentionally, and making the most of this beautiful life!
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