C.B. asks from Sunbury, OH on January 13, 2008
Organic or Not????
Want to know what others know/think about organic food/ organic everything else. Trying to decide if I need to give my baby organic baby food, what about the rest of the family??? What about skin care?? Chemicals to clean in the house??? What about toxic chemicals that are in plastic?? Even in baby bottles!!!! I'm driving myself crazy!!!! Want some advice from other moms! Thanks!
J.B. answers from Cleveland on January 17, 2008
My husband is an organic/local foods chef so we're well-versed in the subject. Although he would prefer if we were to eat all local, all organic, all the time...who's got the time and the money for that? Your best bet is to stay away from processed foods (everything canned and boxed) and just shop around the outskirts of the grocery store. Even better...go to the farmers markets to buy all your produce and meats. Get a great food processor and make your own baby food. Be sure your children's diets are well-supplemented with fresh fruits and veggies...and don't worry to much about it.
Even though we're organic freaks at our house, we only buy a few organic items at the store. The one steadfast rule we have is with milk, eggs, meats and poultry - only local, grass fed, free range, etc. The hormones in today's animal products are no joke...if your children are meat eaters and big dairy drinkers...invest your organic money on those items.
For cleaners and lotions -- I go for 7th generation cleaning products and Philosophy lotion/face soap. Good stuff. The baby bottle warnings were totally blown out of proportion. It's only when you boil them with milk/formula in them for over 30 minutes that they will - maybe - be somewhat harmful. And who does that? Happy eating...
D. answers from Toledo on January 14, 2008
My name is D.. I went through this about a year ago. I, too was driving myself, my husband and my mom crazy! You have to take a breath and know that any changes you make benefit the health of your family. I have read you should start with your fruits and veggies. There are some that are more important than others to change. For example:
buy organic: dairy products, or at least nonfat dairy. Meats or at least antibiotic and hormone free. Potato, sweet potato, beets and other root veggies, carrots, leafy greens, crunchy fruits like celery, apples, pears. Avoid foods that are out of season: strawberries, raspberries, bell peppers, cucumber, zucchini, they will be very expensive and low quality. Only buy domestic grapes, imported grapes from Chili and Argentina are fumigated with methyl bromide (a neurotoxin) to kill medflies when they reach U.S. ports. Tropical and citrus fruits with thick skins you don't eat are o.k., they have low or no discernable pesticide residues: orange, grapefruit, lemon, tangerine, kiwi, banana, coconut, mango, pineapple, avocado. Also, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and cabbage are ok as non-organic.
I found this on a search for "what to buy organic" it came up and it is from a book called, "To buy or not to buy organic."
I'm not washing or microwaving any plastics and I have a 2 and an 8 year old. This part is driving me crazy, crazy, crazy!
I hope this helps.
A.K. answers from Columbus on January 14, 2008
It is so overwhelming! I know! But....take baby steps. Do not think you have to switch everything by next week....or even next year. First thing I did was get rid of all my toxic, chemical cleaners. (I actually gave them to my sister....but then felt bad about that, so I bought her all Seventh Generation / Method cleaning products for Christmas). To clean with, I use vinegar, baking soda, and water. I bought a squirt bottle, and put the vinegar and water in it with some lemon juice (the lemon juice helps with the strong vinegar smell). I also use the Seventh Generation All-Purpose cleaner. Vinegar and water are super cheap!!
I have a soon-to-be 3-year-old son. I switched most of his food to organic next. He still gets the food he likes....mac-n-cheese, cookies, soup, veggies, chicken nuggets, etc.....but it's all organic. It makes me feel better knowing that.
Then, I started buying organic produce and meats. And truth be told, I don't ALWAYS get the organic. If the store doesn't have the organic option, I will get whatever they do have. I won't run all over from store to store trying to find organic. (Better not to waste time and gas, right?)
I now buy misc. organic items like pastas, pastas sauces, salsas, ketchup, salad dressings, chips, etc.
I'm also slowly....very slowly....starting to switch to organic skin products. My son has organic shampoo. I use homemade soap. I still haven't been able to spend $9.00 on a bottle of shampoo for me yet. :-)
My sister does use glass bottles for her baby who is 8.5 months now as well as all organic formula and jarred food. I will also use these items for our next baby.
I'm trying to get out of the habit of warming things up in the microwave in plastic. It's hard....it's such a habit for me. But all habits can be broken.....eventually.
I shop mostly at Kroger now because they have the 'Nature's Market' section that is near the produce section. That's where most of the organic products are in the store. I also shop at Whole Foods occasionally. Use your own bags there....they will discount you 5 cents per bag. (every little bit helps!) I'm starting to use coupons too....surprisingly, I have found some coupons for organic products. (To me, Giant Eagle's organic foods are more expensive than Kroger and Whole Foods).
It's hard to not get tempted by the cheap prices of unhealthy foods. You have to have your mind made up that you are buying organic before you even go in the store. Your family is worth it!!
Good luck! and Remember BABY STEPS!!
L. answers from Mansfield on January 14, 2008
I too understand your craziness or what to buy & not to buy. I belong to a Natural Food Buying Club. They sell Organic & Kosher itmes...ANYTHING you can think of from bread, cereal, supplements, oils, basically anything you can find in a store! I don't buy everything from the CoOp because I have found that Meijer's, Sam's Club, Giant Eagle, even Walmart is carrying Organic foods and cleaners that at times is cheaper than buying through the CoOp.
Go to www.unitedbuyingclubs.com to find a CoOp family near you.
It can get a bit overwhelming when you first get started, but people are great, they will help get started & you can save money by going together on case items. It is also a great way to try different things. Most items are cheaper thru the CoOp than at a health food store...only problem is they only deliver once a month.
If you would like more help with where to get started you can email me at ____@____.com
S. answers from Cincinnati on January 14, 2008
What great questions you have! Looking at these issues can be overwhelming but others have included the "take it one step at a time" advice so I'll not reiterate that. I can tell you from personal experience that there is no good reason not to eliminate toxic products/ingredients from your family's life. My son's allergies diminished by 50% when I changed laundry products. Buying organic food will usually be more expensive, but what is the cost of being healthy? Many of the cleaning and personal care products we use are very concentrated which means they save in the long run, therefore making the higher cost of organic food "easier to swallow." I have been studying this topic for ten years and would be happy to share what I've learned including what products we use. Please feel free to contact me personally at ____@____.com and best of luck in your quest for health.
T.S. answers from Lexington on January 13, 2008
We have just recently started switching to Organic food. The reason for us was to stop ingesting the unnecessary hormones and chemicals. After doing some research we found that Organic doesn't just mean no chems and such it also means that it is manufactured in a way so the food is sustainable. For example, crops are rotated to maintain soil nutrients instead of pumping synthetic nutrients into the ground. We are for right now only doing food, baby and adult. I read that it is easier to change a little at a time, and it is. This major change doesn't seem so hard if you start slow. I think in the future we may consider changing cleaning chems and such, but for now it is just the food. As for the bottles, I know that the chemical found in the plastic is only a problem if the bottle is heated to a certain temp....I think. Another mom had a posting on here before. Try to search it, the answer you want is in the posts. One thing to consider is the cost. Organic is a bit more expensive, but I know there are a few stores around here (Lexington KY) that offer organics at a reasonable cost. It is a good choice for us, but do some research on the web and figure out if it is for you. I can tell you though that organic food does taste better. It was a surprise, but it does.
Good luck with your search.
A.H. answers from Toledo on January 15, 2008
I am just getting started in the realm of organic foods. How ever I have ran acrossed a company that offers a great alternative to the traditional toxic cleaning/healthcare products that you can buy at the store. I have been using their products for about 16 months now, and I could not be more pleased with the results. I was shocked at some of the toxic chemicals that companies are not required to list on the labels. If you would be interested in more information please contact me @ ____@____.com. Hopefully this helps.