to be {organic} or not to be…..that is the question.



I don’t eat particularly “clean”.  It’s not like I’m shoving OREO’s down my throat  that often, but I’m not super concerned about what I eat.

Until now.

Lately, I have been feeling the push to eat better.  

There are several reasons why. 

1.) I look at my small child and want HER to eat clean.  I want to give her the chance to appreciate good, real, healthy, clean food.  And think beyond the styrofoam box.

2.) I can’t get away with eating “just alright” and maintaing my weight through hardcore exercise.  Im 28 and while I can still lose weight relatively easily (if I want to), its not like it used to be.  I could drop 5 pounds a week NO PROBLEM with some hard core cardio, even a few years ago.  When I eat poorly now….I can tell.  (This reason is completely based on VANITY, I’m not going to sugar coat that)

3.) I want to be at my best.  This could seem like like a vain reason too, but it’s not.  I feel like I should take care of my body in way that is pleasing to the Lord.  He gave it to me, after-all. And while I don’t have eating “issues” (at least none that I have unearthed yet), I do feel obligated to treat my body with respect, because it was first the Lords.  He gave it to me.  Not to be mistreated and screwed around with.  It’s to be maintained. It’s a temple.  

4.) When I eat healthy, I feel better.  Which means I perform my job as a wife, mother and friend better. My relationships are the most important to me, so I want to be at my best.


I have been trying (in small ways) to change the way we eat on a daily basis.  Nothing huge.  And I am pretty excited about the opportunity to clean out my pantry with THIS challenge, and kinda start from scratch, so to speak.  Fill up the cupboards with better choices.

Do you eat organic?  Are you a fanatic and if so, why?  Is it because it is TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL to eat organic and your wanting to be one of the popular kids (because that’s why I wore Juicy Couture in 2002) ?  Or is it because you genuinely believe it is making a difference in mind/body?  Where do you shop?  Hints and guidelines you follow?

And PS….my biggest hurdle in healthy eating will be my giving up Diet Coke (yea….like that will ever happen)…





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20 responses to “to be {organic} or not to be…..that is the question.

  1. I do both. I do buy organic, but with three boys and the budget of a stay at home mom, I can’t always buy ‘all’ organic. That and my husband makes fun of me. So, to balance, I buy some things organic sometimes. Fruits and veggies are mostly organic. Meats.. it depends. Milk, i’m about 50/50.. I figure it’s better than nothing, at least they are getting some organics and less of the junk that way.

  2. missshortskirt

    Might I recommend you read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle? Right now my finances barely allow me to eat produce instead of ramen noodles, but after I read that book I was definitely inspired to eat better. Eating local (farmer’s markets) might be a place to start if you have any around. Often smaller farms aren’t certified organic – cause they can’t afford the certification tests – but do practice good agricultural techniques, and aren’t usually TOO expensive.

    Good luck with your decision 🙂

  3. That’s so funny I was just working on a post about organic cleaning and organic foods. Yes, we do eat organic fruits and veggies, as well as, dairy and meat. 28 yrs old??? No wonder you look so great…if only I could be 28 again!

  4. For a little while I was kind of a nut about buying healthier foods…then I actually got a wicked new sweet tooth that I’m finding really hard to kick. Ha, instead of Oreo’s I eat a bag of Newman O’s. They’re organic; it’s healthy, right?
    No, I know it doesn’t work that way…I’ve fallen off the bandwagon a bit. We do not eat a ton of junk here, but my kids are also anti-vegetables lately. They change so much! We also do organic sometimes but not all the time, added-hormone-free milk pretty much all the time (sometimes organic, but not usually-it’s so expensive), and a-h-f meat as well, when we can. It’s good to think responsibly, though. I can’t say that I’ve been very intentional lately. Lackluster instead. Thanks for the reminders!

  5. Kat

    I read this great article about hoe eating all organic is expenisive and it suggested the things you should get organic if at all possible. Milk, berries, meat, and other stuff I can’t remember (thats not very helpful, huh???) I’ll try to find the article. It was really a down to earth kind of eating better.

  6. Great question. First, love the oreo bit. LOL. For my hubby and I, this has been a gradual process. I really think it is tough to change anything in general, but especially what you eat. You may be good for a week then it all goes to hell.

    So…we buy organic magazines, books, find websites and pick a few things every few months or so to TAKE ON. Cause you can’t just change, too much work.

    We have been getting organic milk, eggs for sometime now. Then we started adding organic flaxseed to our meals. We eat organic steel cut oats every morning now for like 8 months, not kidding. But this month, we decided we are making the switch to organic fruits and veggies. One day at a time:)

  7. I don’t have a super hardcore opinion about this issue but in theory, I REALLY love the organic ideal. If I had unlimited funds for groceries, I would absolutely change my ways and buy only organic. I don’t care if people make fun of me in my health food store with my canvas bags in tow, I feel it’s right. Until then my main focus is eating healthy, fresh foods. Although I’d rather not be ingesting pesticides and fertilizers, my choice to opt for fresh fruit instead of that canned in sugary syrup is still a better choice for me. I hope that by the time I have children I will be able to feed them in a cleaner way than I’ve eaten in my life, it’s nice to know that it’s possible to do that from the very beginning.

    After 27 years, surely Diet Coke courses through my veins, it’s my “poison” of choice. It’s a habit I’d like to quit but I have yet to come up with good enough motivation.

    I love the farmer’s market and we have a whole bunch of them near us. Do you ever go? Many of the growers advertise their products to be organic and I often find that comforting.

    The one big thing for me is the hormones in meat. This is the one that really bothers me the most. I try to buy meat at places like Henrys where there are a lot of “natural” or “hormone-free” varieties. Don’t ask me why this bothers me more than pesticides, but the hormones are my biggest avoidance.

  8. Going organic has gotten very big over here the last few years, especially buying ‘free range’ eggs (i.e., not from caged hens). I have a big guilt complex about the whole organic thing. With unlimited funds, I would totally shop farmer’s markets and upscale stores and do nothing but locally-grown, certified organic food. Unfortunately, I have to do the best I can with what I have, which means occasionally treating us to local-grown produce and meats, but most often buying at the big supermarkets and just trying to make the best choices!

  9. Living in an agriculture focused area, I find I’m more motivated to try to eat local than organic. My budget can’t support both! We love going to the farmers market and supporting our local farmers and their veggies taste amazing!

  10. noelle

    i grew up eating healthy – and within the last 3-4 years or so i’ve really paid more attention to the labels. if i have to sound it out 🙂 then i don’t buy it – i want to see a clear, concise list of ingredients – there shouldn’t be 50 ingredients in a can of soup – right?!

    with (2) growing kids – it’s tough to make the budget stretch to always buy organic. we do eat pretty healthy on a consistent basis. we don’t eat meat very often and don’t eat fried foods – but try to stick with fish – it doesn’t help that blake is going through a “i don’t like fish except for sushi” stage – but we do what we can. if i buy chicken – i always buy organic – its so expensive – which is why i don’t buy it very often 🙂 i also always buy organic milk & eggs. i’ll never forget my neighbor telling me that her when her dad had cancer (years ago) – the doctors told him to stay away from poultry & dairy – since all of the hormones/steroids would cause his tumors to grow – YUCK!! it is very frustrating however that a regular container of sour cream is $1 – but the organic version is $2.40. why is everything organic twice the price!!

    so anyways – my goal is to eat fresh foods – (veggies & fruit) – i enjoy cooking from scratch & knowing what is actually in every bite we are eating 🙂 – that being said i do also go the trader joes route – even their frozen meals usually don’t contain any perservatives.

  11. When my kids were little I always got organic milk. Now that we go through 4 gallons a week though it’s back to the regular stuff. Same with fruit. When I was buying five apples a week it was doable. Now we need about fifteen.

    We do eat a lot of fresh fruit and whole grains and skim dairy products but I’ve had to just push aside the organic concerns. It’s simple not economically feasible for us.

  12. I think the article Kat is referring to was in the NY Times – I remember reading it a while back. It talked about the 5-6 items you should buy organic if at all possible due to the high concentration of pesticides/hormones in the foods. I remember it was different that I would have guessed – tomatoes were on the list, as well as peanut butter (?). I think milk was on the list too.

    I also read an article that with respect to the little ones, the issue with non-organic produce and pesticides is the higher concentration of it when little ones eat non-organic foods. I wish I could remember more of that article, or where I read it…

    I do organic and locally grown foods whenever I can – that’s what living in Berkeley for 4 years will do to you (among other things). Farmers markets can be a great source for organic produce, as is Trader Joes (love that store). I agree with the other comments that it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing proposition – decide what you can afford and shop accordingly.

    (and if at all possible, could you take a reuseable bag to the store? I’m just sayin…)

  13. Your Brother

    Rach- I say you go Organic at the following times=

    1. When Im not around
    2. After the fair is in town
    3. After you talk to Andrews wife Ellen. Shes the super uber type. Shes like Vegan Organo Crazy.

    I love the thought though.

  14. jenn

    good post rachel! lately i have had a very heavy heart as to WHERE my food comes from. i could never watch any of those food documentaries because i would turn the tv off and never eat again…
    but that being said, lately i’ve found myself wanting to be more educated about our food source as a whole. so i am torn as to what to watch/read…i will report back on those findings :).

    something that i have done is farmer’s markets. you can get locally grown, organic produce for less money than the grocery store and it is FRESH! also, i am currently working on planting a garden (like you :)), so that will help! making things from scratch is amazing and something that i am getting better at!

    and i have to say i agree with Melissa, there is NO EXCUSE for using plastic OR paper bags at the grocery store…i put my reusabe ones in my front seat of the car so i never forget…ok ok, i’ll get off that soap box ;).


  15. great question! in my studies at FIDM we used to touch on this ALL the time in regard to what was in our beauty products (thats a whole other post) and what we put in our bodies.
    Its hard to be super organic all the time since it is SO expensive. I have a book you might be interested in called Gorgeously Green( i’ll bring it tomorrow) and that might offer some insight for you. I try to eat healthier because of the kid and so that we might be healthier and be around longer. My favorite thing is the farmers market and I try to buy local as much as possible. I feel like thats the least I can do to make sure my family gets the best of both worlds cuz lets face it sometimes french fries are just what you HAVE to have! 🙂

  16. Coke is going to be hiring you soon. I can tell.

  17. We do eat mostly organic, but we’re not vegan-nazis or anything like that. The occasional Girl Scout cookie isn’t going to kill me.
    Our switch happened gradually over the last couple of years. It really started with when I took a yoga teacher training class and, yes, it was the “cool” thing to do.

    Then I began my own research, and frankly was more than little disturbed at what things like high fructose corn syrup can do. So we cut out processed foods–that was step one.

    Next I looked more into the whole “organic” thing. What hormones that cows were given could do to us even in trace amounts. I actually wrote a hub about it and ended up convincing myself (its here if you care to read it, its from a couple years ago–Is-It-Worth-Your-Money). When we switched to organic dairy a funny thing happened–my hormone related migraines were MUCH less intense! hmm….

    Then I read Omnivore’s Dilemna, and actually began to think outside what organic does to my own body. Field workers, for example, who have to work day in and day out in clouds of pesticides…that can’t be good for anyone. And all those pesticides then seep into our water table and end up…you guessed it…in our drinking water. In the midwest they actually issue alerts during times of the year to not drink any tap water because it could do serious damage to people, especially infants! That’s freaky!

    For us eating organic became more about good stewardship to the earth God’s given us and to the people on it. Actually we’re not that concerned with the “organic” label as much as knowing what the product is. We buy our milk from a dairy an hour away that has pasture fed cows and doesn’t use hormones…they just don’t have the big time production to officially go organic. But we can drive out there any time we want to see for ourselves the farmer’s practice.

    Wow, that was way longer than intended. Thus endeth my novella.

  18. Sorry I did not read through all your comments but I wanted to congratulate you for your decision. When I decided to go all organic I did it slowly by buying things we ate and drank on a daily basis. I used what was in my pantry, fridge and freezer and when it had to be replaced I would replace it with organic. On tip I have found to save money to to find the store brand organic. It is FDA approved organic and ALOT cheaper. I also buy grains and such in bulk. It is soooo much cheaper to do it that way. Congrats again! your family will thank you one day 🙂

  19. Whatever you do, don’t try to do it all at once. We have gradually been making the switch. I agree with the other commenter, try reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Though, it is a bit overwhelming, her information is so insightful and will motivate you to try at least some things.

    Ben was also my inspiration for changing our lifestyle in so many ways. I’ve tried not only to change the food we bring into our house but also the other things like cleaning products and excessive waste.

    I’ve done alot of thinking, reading, researching, planning etc. on this and it becomes quite addicting! It’s not just about buying organic…it’s about making everything more simple. You don’t “organic” processed dinners, you just make easier dinners with fresher ingredients….otherwise, there is no way it’s cheap! I heard once to think about buying only the ingredients our grandmothers would buy. This makes it easier for me to say no to the boxed stuff. You can bet we still eat cookies around this house, we just take the time to make them from scratch…cheaper and much more special.

    I love the idea of you cleaning out your pantries. This is exactly how I started this whole “simple, organic” process. Not only did it rid our kitchen of some very icky things, but I LOVE the way my pantry looks now! Bulk rice, oatmeal, cous cous, beans etc. all lined up in pretty antique glass milk bottles…

    BTW…there are things that are more important to buy organic than others. I am huge on buying organic milk. The stuff I’ve read about it makes it absolutely necessary for me. Some produce is also very important…esp. if you eat the peels. However, something like bananas…don’t typically use alot of pesticides, and are protected by their skins.

    Sorry to go on and on…it’s something that I’ve just recently become so passionate about. It’s FUN!

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