To Go or Not to Go Organic?

Updated on August 16, 2010
E.E. asks from Laurel, MD
25 answers

How do you deal with the organic food debate? If you feed your family organic foods, how did you come to that conclusion? Was it a research based decision? the influence of family/friends/media?
Any one out there who has made a research-based opinion not to go organic?
Where do you stand on the use of conventional cleaners? If you don't use them, do you just use vinegar and baking soda or mainstream "natural" cleaners? What influenced that decision?
I've been having an internal debate over these issues for a while now and need some guidance. Any articles, books, blogs or otherwise you found helpful would be appreciated. I see why people chose to go organic (or further to "real food" diets or primal diets) but sometimes I think a lot of it is a fad and/or marketing scam aimed at new and vulnerable moms. I can't wash my kids with soap, clean my house, or eat anything without being made to feel guilty!
Thanks for the help.

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answers from San Antonio on

Watch documentary: Food Inc.
(Avail. on Netflix).

Read books that Michael Pollan has written: Food Rules, or In Defense of Food, or the Omnivores Dilemma.
He has done lots of research. Make it easy and simple and read his books.

I have slowly changed my family from the traditional (inexpensive) food choices to more organic. We are about 50% there. It is more expensive to feed the family with organic products. But how many bodies/ opportunities for good health do you have?
I have a friend that firmly believes her great health in her 60's is now due to all the great food she eats! She never has to go to a Dr., she is on NO meds, etc.....and we all know that costs a lot, too!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I agree with Tracy (1st response). Although her grandmother probably lived to 102 because the produce and meat industry were not filled with hormones and pesticides like they have the last 30 years.

Just recently read that they have linked a cause for ADD/ADHD to the pesticides in produce. Read the "Dirty Dozen," basically if you eat the skin/peel/outside, then buy organic (i.e. blueberries, apples), so then bananas and avocados you can go non-organic.

If you can't go full organic, then feel better about buying food from Trader Joe's. You have some organic ooptions, and they don't fill their products with fillers, perservatives, things you can't pronounce, etc.

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answers from Portland on

UPDATE: Be aware that the links above regarding African babies dying over organic cotton actually argue BOTH sides of that assertion. Bobbi's right, we aren't always aware of the effects of our actions on others. It's always worth considering all available information so we can make informed decisions.

Original reply:

I researched and started using organic foods, when available, in the early 70's, after reading Rachel Carson's book, Silent Spring. At that time DDT was one of the most used, and most harmful pesticides, and was causing the decline of bird populations.

Since then, chemical makers have introduced many thousands of new compounds, many of which have short histories, and so little study, and we simply don't know what their long-term effects will be on humans and other living things. Or how troublesome their synergystic (combined) effects will be. Lots of evidence shows that toxins are many times more dangerous when they are part of a cocktail.

And frightening things are already happening in wildlife populations, and in humans, including breast milk. Mercury, dioxins, various estrogen mimics, fire retardants, fertilizers, many pesticide residues, and much more is turning up in air, water supplies, and the food chain. From anti-bacterial hand soaps and use of antibiotics in livestock alone, bacteria strains are developing that are resistant to modern antibiotics. Purely dangerous – we could ultimately be breeding superbugs and new disease risk by our overuse of antibiotic agents.

I've since learned that organic farming practices also tend to reduce erosion, and wasted water, and OG farms are generally run by families rather than huge corporations, and employ more people and use less energy-guzzling mechanization.

Aside from eliminating many toxic effects, organically raised animals are generally much healthier, and have usually been raised humanely. They are not routinely treated with antibiotics or growth hormones, traces of which usually remain in an animal's meat, milk or eggs. Their systems are not overloaded with stress hormones. Or guilt that the animal led a miserable and anxious life, but I saved 63 cents per pound on my meat this week.

Not all food is available organic, and not all conventionally grown food is as risky, so on my very tight budget, I do sometimes choose from those foods:

As far as cleaning products is concerned, over 20 years ago my body reached the limit of what it was able to cope with, and I've been ill ever since. Life is tolerable if I stick with baking soda and vinegar, borax and non-chlorine bleach (hydrogen peroxide), and just a simple, non-scented dish and laundry detergent. No fabric softeners, air fresheners, germ-killing wipes, high-powered cleaners.

Boy, have I saved a bundle. These simple products work, sometimes even better than the pricey ones. And my house smells great – not perfumed, just clean. And safe. And relaxing. People who visit often comment on how "calm and peaceful" they feel. Perhaps it's the lack of chemical soup in the air. I get nervous and overstimulated when I'm in a public place that smells like "chemical" clean, and I sometimes can't sleep for up to 4 days after a bad exposure. I worry about kids today who have trouble sleeping.

Simple, unscented soaps and shampoos are available. The fact that they often cost more is that the market is limited, and they still have all the costs of production, packaging, promotion and distribution. But they are safer, not as likely to harm you, your child, or your world.

As far as marketing scams are concerned, I would guess that 98 percent or more of the products you see in the cleaning aisle are at least partial scams. Always bigger, better, more magical, more life-changing (if only we knew that was in a negative, toxic direction), slicker packaging (which goes into landfills), sillier advertising, ever more designed to make us think if we don't use them, our homes and bodies can't possibly measure up.

Great question, E.. I hope you get lots of great answers. If you google "non-toxic home" or "organic foods," you'll get a bazillion links with more information than you'll be able to take in for months, but the study is worthwhile. Many of the most popular links (the ones that pop up first) have great tips and recipes for making your own cheap and healthy cleaning solutions.

By the way, I have yet to see it, but I hear the movie Food Inc. is eye-opening. And I agree with other moms; "natural" on the label can be misleading and meaningless. Look for "certified organic," and you'll know that a certifying agency has examined the product and approved it. Certification has become a mark of reliability over the last 20 years.

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answers from Cincinnati on

The above site also has a link to 15 foods you DON'T have to buy organic because they do not absorb the typical pesticides.

A lot of it is fad and marketing, and some of it is not. Don't bother buying anything labeled "all natural," because that is meaningless. But the truth is that none of us know for sure - there has been some research that has linked pesticides with ADHD and Parkinson's Disease, but the study did not narrow down which pesticides were linked (they studied a lot of different ones), and it is a relatively new study that has not been duplicated. In the end, you do what makes you feel comfortable and what you can afford. Good luck.

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answers from Washington DC on

Check out the Environmental Working Group ( It has lists of foods that you really don't need to buy organic (such as avacados and bananas) and others that you should always buy organic (berries). It also rates personal care and cleaning products that are safest to use.

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answers from Los Angeles on

I think the research is spot-on. Organics are better for our bodies AND the environment. I also use EWG's to research and pick all our personal body products; the same organization puts out the "dirty dozen" produce list that others mentioned below. Another great resource is this site, and you can sign up for emails, as well:

BTW, there were a couple of studies that just came out linking human-added hormones in milk and animal products (meat, cheese, yogurt, etc.) to "precocious puberty" (early) in girls. Children with breasts and menstruation at the age of 7 and 8. So very alarming. It amazes me that major countries around the world have outlawed hormones in their animal food products, but the U.S. has not followed the lead. Why? The almighty dollar and lobbyists. Peronally, I'm fed up with big business dictating what is safe and healthy for my family, just so that they can make more money.

Anyway, anything that we can do, we do. We only store our food in glass containers, not plastic. We shop weekly at our farmers markets for in-season, organic produce that comes from our local farmers. Why should I support Chile or Mexico when I buy produce? Especially since the carbon footprint to is also immense to do so. I also highly recommend renting the movie "Food, Inc." as some moms mentioned below. Whew. What an eye-opener. I haven't eaten a fast food burger since.

I realize I'm probably in the minority of all Americans, but I enjoyed reading the mamas below who think like me :)

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answers from Chicago on

Yes, going organic is more expensive, but prices are coming down very quickly. One site I recommend to all moms is which shows all of the pesticides on all of our nonorganic food. More and more studies are linking even small amounts of pesticide exposure - especially in kids - to problems like ADHD, etc.

I was not organic for years - I didn't know much about it - but in recent years, I've gone more and more organic. Now I'm about 90 percent. It does cost more, but I look at it this way: I don't tithe, I don't make any major donations to any organizations. But by eating organic, I'm not only being healthier, but I'm saving farm workers from exposure to pesticides, saving insects and pollinators from exposure, and saving the soil/environment from pollution. Meat is probably the most expensive, so I just decided I'd rather eat organic meat and eat less of it, than eat meat fed with corn that's laden with pesticides. I belong to a local CSA - community supported agriculture - which is an organic farm. I pay $230 for six months of fresh, organic veggies that are picked the day of pick up. That's $40/month or $10/week. I get so much produce, some of it I have to freeze, which means I'm actually getting more than six months. The farm is 30 minutes away - how much closer can you get than that. I also have a garden with my own veggies and my neighbor has a nice garden, too and shares.

You might consider growing your own stuff. Strawberries are perennial and grow so easily. Blueberries grow pretty easily, as well. You could also plant gooseberries and raspberries, which grow easily. Zucchini is SO easy to grow and tomatoes are as well.

You don't need to feel guilty - just buy products that are healthy. I think there are companies that are scammers - like someone said "natural" means nothing and is just a marketing term. But anything labeled organic is held up to a strict standard. I've stopped by stuff with pthalates and parabens - they are found in body wash, shampoo, soap. Now there are cheaper brands. I got some St. Ives bodywash that's pthalate and paraben free when they were on sale at CVS. I also will not let my baby be exposed to anything with PVC - a type of plastic. I'm doing all organic toys because children are the most vulnerable.

As to cleaners, I don't want all of those harsh chemicals in my home indoor air and I don't want them getting into our water supply. I use vinegar and baking soda. I highly recommend the book "Talking Dirty with the Queen of Clean" which has tons of natural ways to get out spots, clean stuff etc.

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answers from St. Louis on

I know exactly how you feel. I am a firm believer in organic, but only for certain items do I believe it is "necessary" - I buy organic meats and milk whenever possible (almost always with beef) . If I can't, I don't feel guilty. I realize that many people have eaten non organic of many years and are perfectly healthy. I do what I can.

There are plenty of lists online that tell you which foods are important to purchase organic and which are not. For example, strawberries are one of the higher pesticide foods, so I simply don't purchase them if I cannot get organic. Same with apples. But, broccoli, avocados and bananas I purchase non organic because the pesticide use for those isn't high.

I truly believe the organic milk and meats make a huge difference, as I notice a difference in my digestion when I eat them versus non organic. My tummy cannot handle regular ground beef....that tells me what I need to know.

My decisions were based upon independent research online and input from my healthy friends. I noticed my "unhealthy" friends who smoke and drink and are often sick think the limited organic choices I make are ridiculous, but they also think their lifestyle is fine too.

Regarding cleaners - I use vinegar and baking soda. Most of the other stuff gives me a headache - again, this tells me it isn't good for me.

Good luck to you - eat healthy no matter what and I don't think you can make a "bad" choice!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I have always believed that the fewer manufactured ingredients and the closer to the natural state, the better. I do think chemicals in general aren't good for our bodies. I try to buy organic when I can but in our society it's virtually impossible to go completely organic. I read ingredient lists and buy the item with the fewest chemicals.

I watched the movie Food, Inc. (got it from Blockbuster, saw it talked about on Oprah). It really influenced my changes, especially with meat. I only buy meat with no antibiotics used. Soy is also worth looking out for. Watch it and you'll see what I mean.

As far as cleaners go, I do use vinegar and water on most things. I can't believe what a great job it does. But, I'm sorry but the toilet needs chemicals! :) My daughter has asthma and I noticed that she flares up when I use harsh cleaners, especially anything aerosol. With all the publicity of how bad plastic is now, I just have to believe that chemicals can harm a human body--look at our cancer rates.

Another way I try to eliminate chemicals is to cook things from scratch rather than packaged food. For example, I made a lasagna and it was soooo good! I am trying to bake rather than buy packaged cookies and brownies--no chemicals and they taste better! Added bonus: if I have to bake myself then we have fewer sweets around the house.

Good luck, I think it is difficult to be "all organic" but the goal is to be more aware when navigating the supermarket.

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answers from Chicago on

Our family did a few things at a time and some of it more that I'm a cheapskate than an evironmentalist. I do clean my windows with vinegar and newspaper(I haven't bought paper towels in 8 years). I use reusable rags that get washed regularly. I buy highly absorbable veggies and fruits organic, but things like bananas where the skin goes away I don't pay extra for those. We use reusable containers for lunchboxes, don't buy bottled water anymore, we collect rainwater to water outdoor plants, if very fresh I will do indoor plants as well. I grow my own herb garden year round. I have made a very small garden for supplimenting my groceries and use an organic mixture to spray them to keep away pests. This year I planted my own blueberries and raspberries to prevent me from driving to farmers markets and buying more than I need, no gas, no plastic. I use my bread maker to make fresh loaves of bread daily and what is left at the end of the night is put out to dry and be crumbled in the morning for casseroles or breading for meats. I did not go whole hog organic, but if every household would step back their imprint 20 percent it would make a huge difference....I however love my bleach for spring cleaning and when everyone is sick.

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answers from Bloomington on

i have a hybrid philosophy:

organic milk and yogurt, free range eggs, grass fed beef. lettuce and carrots just taste better organic. in dairy products it's important to go organic because the fat stores all the chemicals and bad stuff.

most everything else... i don't spend the money for organic. i buy things with very few, recognizable ingredients, without added colors and corn syrup... but i don't care so much about whether it's organic. mostly i read the labels and go for healthy ingredients. oranges and bananas have peels, and we don't eat the peels, so i don't see why it matters.

we have a great farmer's market, and i love buying lots of fresh locally grown produce there.

trader joe's is my FAVORITE store... i wish it wasn't 1 1/2 hours away from my house but i do make regular pilgrimages there because they have so much GREAT healthy food for great prices.

i clean with white vinegar. i use it everywhere. it's cheap, it's safe for the kids to help clean with, it doesn't have dyes and fragrances... and i don't mind the smell.

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answers from Detroit on

Hi E.---The dirty dozen list, along with several different lists of skin care, household cleaners, sunscreeens, cell phone radiation risk, can all be found at I use them as a reference quite often. It's a really great website and you can download lists to take with you to the store.

I agree that eating organic is best, but, when it comes to fruit and veggies, eating non-organic is better than eating nothing at all. So, look at that dirty dozen list and purchase your produce accordingly. Our diet should consist of 90% plants for optimal health. Please read The China Study by T Colin Campbell. The remaining 10% can be animal products. This advice comes from a Naturopath that I work with. She has her PhD in Nutrition. So, animal products MUST be organic. Since we will be eating less meat, we can afford the more expensive organic.

I have lots of supporting articles and research reports and would be happy to answer any of your questions. Feel free to contact me at any time. Good luck, and be well. D.

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answers from Los Angeles on

Here is a helpful article on the top 12 fruits and veggies that have the most pesticides:

It also has a list of the "clean 15" -- the least amount of pesticides. A normal celery can have up to 67 pesticides per serving -- obviously this made the dirty dozen list! We can't afford to go all organic but I carry around this list in my wallet and make sure to buy the dirty dozen stuff organic. The clean 15, I buy normal. And the stuff not on the list that's in between, I try to get organic if possible but if not, I don't worry too much about it. Milk I get the ones that are without growth hormones. These conclusions are what I came to after doing some pretty extensive researching online and going to reputable sites (i.e. the link above is from cnn). I wouldn't be as worried about it if I didn't have a child but the fact is studies have shown that growing bodies and brains ARE a lot more susceptible to pesticides. So that's a good reason to go organic. It's expensive but use the list above and it'll cut out a good chunk of pesticides from you and your family's lives!

UPDATE: Just saw this article! Harvard study shows strong link between pesticides and ADHD in children:

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answers from Washington DC on

You have gotten plenty of good advice. We shop @ MOM's. There is a store near you. They are locally owned.(I do know the owner, he is a Greenbelt native and has 3 children). and they only carry organic produce. Unlike Whole Foods, they do their best to keep prices down.
We are vegan, so I can't comment about organic animal products. We have a personal garden and also use an all organic CSA. As far as cleaners. A combo of baking soda and vinegar, and organic ones from MOM's. Some proof for us is that we rarely get sick. Maybe once every 3 or 4 yrs a little bug that lasts for 2 days. That's it.
We strive to simplify our lives and are happy to tread softly on the earth.
L. M

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answers from Washington DC on

We've not yet gone organic, mostly due to the expense. I do think the research behind the suggestion is solid, and I wish I had known all this when my kids were small. As for personal care products and home cleaning, we shop with Melaleuca. Their products are cost effective, work great, and are free of harmful chemicals. Both of my parents had cancer, my husband has psoriasis, I had a number of issues, so I thought - why not try it? You might want to google Kids Safe Chemicals Act,, and Don't feel guilty; you've taken the first step. Educate yourself, and you'll know what's best for you and your family.



answers from Chicago on

Yes - this is a huge debate. If you haven't watched Food Inc. - I would say watch it but make sure to have tissues around - it's a real eye opener!

I do organic for some things - usually what they call the "dirty dozen" - here's a link

I used to work in the food industry for quite a few years and being able to identify and know what's on a food label is a huge help! I don't sit around in the store reading every label but I try to make informed decisions based on what the product is made up of. I carefully select my meat, dairy and poultry - I look for organic, local and I'd like to know the animal's diet, where they were raised and their living conditions - especially when it comes to ground beef! (the movie food inc. helps explain my reason behind this!).

as for household cleaners - on my son's toys i wipe them down with a vinegar/water solution and sometimes in the summer i hose them off outside then let the sun go to work! they come back in the house looking and smelling fresh & clean!

I agree that some of the "organic" or "natural" claims are gimmicky so I think making an informed choice is key - keep in mind "organic or natural" doesn't always mean healthier. usually the food/product is more expensive too - i'd rather purchase organic food that is worth the extra cost - that's why i usually will pay extra for meat, dairy and poultry.
whole foods (the grocery store) has some reading material in their store - that might be good to check out.

basically this decision is up to you and i think it's great that you are looking into becoming more knowledgable on this topic! good for you and your family!



answers from Tampa on

Watch the episode of Penn and Teller's Bullsh*t on organic food. Very interesting.



answers from New York on

with the prices of organic foods i for one cannot afford to go all organic.
i also don't believe in water and vinegar for cleaning. try to use that when a stomach virus has entered your home? want to deal with a month-long ordeal, with the thing going from one member to another?
we do our part best we can. buy produce from local farmers, do not store food in plastic containers. we cook enough for a meal, so we don't throw or save. we barely use the microwave. i buy organic milk and yoghurt. if local markets don't have the fruit or veggies i need then i will suck it up and buy organic.
organic should not be something we strive to afford, it's supposed to be way of life...if government cared about our health. yet, those are the most expensive things you can look at.



answers from Lynchburg on

My health got really bad a couple years ago due to a bad thyroid. As I was searching natural ways to get healthy, I learned a bit about organics. We can't afford to go all organic, but we try to with fruits and veggies. We added non-organic super-red-fruit juices (cranberry, pomegranate) and we've almost completely quit eating red meat. If I can't buy organic of something I try to get frozen (frozen peas instead of fresh). But then when it comes to a lot of other things, I actually don't worry so much about it. I cook with extra virgin olive oil, we eat fish and chicken, we eat Greek yogurt, we only eat brown rice, etc, so we've gotten more healthy in a lot of ways, and it has made a difference. If hubby gets a big raise we'll get more organic, but right now we can't afford to. I do get organic vitamins and noticed that made a difference in how I felt. My hubby didn't think it did for him, but then he went 2 days without them and asked for more. I have a Hyla, so it uses water to clean the air in my house, and in my carpet shampooer, I only use water. I love bleach though, and because of our well water, we had to use something in our toilets so they won't stain. I have Chlorox or Lysol wipes on hand at all times to clean surfaces. I know a lot of moms who swear by organic stuff (having their own gardens, making their own chap-stick, etc), but a suprising number of them still love having bleach on hand, especially for when kids get sick. Find a good balance for you, and don't feel bad about what you choose!



answers from Columbus on

I really find the latest news about what foods have the most pesticides on them a compelling reason to go organic for the foods you cannot peel, like strawberries, but I think that we should all be cautious because it is so trendy and fashonable now and I find myself wondering if the "organic" products are really organic at all, because there is so much more money to be made by saying that it is. At least if you buy something without the organic lable, you get the benfit of the lower price. So I only buy organic when I can't peel it or don't plan to. The news that acidic foods like tomatoes leech out the BPH in aluminum can linings has lead me to want to use homegrown tomatoes and can them in glass.

Natural is another story. Plenty of bad things are natural. Tabacco, petroleum, carbon monoxide, arsnic, lead...the list is long. Eye glasses are unnatural, so are they bad? Natural is one word that says scam to me. You can be poisined by a house plant just as easily as you can be posined by an artificial fact, I have more easy access to natural poisins than to artificial ones.

Simple is what I tends to appeal to me. The closer something is to resembling where it came from, the fewer ingredients it has, the fewer hands that have touched it...usually means cheaper too. A bag of potatos, sour cream, and cheeses seems much better than a box of potato skins out of the freezer case, and if I want to make potato skins, I can make the myself and more carefully control what is in it. Vinegar for cleaning works, and it is cheap.

But anyway you look at it, you are depending on the honesty of strangers that you get what you think you are just never know. The more popular something is, the more likely (it seems to me) that you may be taken advantage of.




answers from Washington DC on

Here's what I do - the things we eat A LOT of I often buy organic. For example, my daughter can eat a quart of strawberries a day! I did a little research and found it's hard to get pesticides out of strawberries, so I buy organic simply b/c she eats a ton of them. I was just envisioning all the pesticides going into her body. Other things I don't stress too much about. I don't buy organic cleaners, but I don't think I clean often enough to worry about it (ha ha!) Whatever you do, don't feel guilty about an of it!! Do what you can to be environmentally friendly, and do what works for your family, and move on :)



answers from Seattle on

By and large we eat organic. Not totally. And NEVER organic pork (pigs carry all the same diseases that we do, plus more that we can catch, we can transplant pig organs into our own bodies)... I WANT any pork I eat to have been regularly dewormed and treated for disease. There's a durn good reason so many major religions ban the eating of pork. "Natural Pork" makes us sick.

As far as cleaners go... I avoid most "natural" cleaners. For one thing, soap IS natural. Soap = fat + ash = lye + something to dilute the lye so it doesn't burn our skin. Soap is antimicrobial, and it is *fantastic* stuff that has been around for thousands and thousands of years. So Huzzah for soap. ((A lot of "natural" cleaners don't actually have any antimicrobial properties... they just smear the germs around, yuck!)). Ditto 10% bleach is the BEST antimicrobial cleaner around. I've tried natural laundry detergents, and while they may work initially... clothes go sour SO fast that they are just a waste of money to me. I LOVE my washing machine. I will NOT wash my clothes by hand using soap using a washboard. Period. And washing machines need detergents, because soap gums up the system.



answers from Washington DC on

I think that issue is a tough one, also. Here's where we come down on the issue: to be the "most natural" we can be at our house, we consume whole foods, and make most everything ourselves. When it comes to buying ingredients or groceries, I look at pre-packaged food labels (lunch meat, macaroni and cheese, etc etc!) I will refuse to buy anything that has an ingredient that is 1)unpronounceable 2)corn syrup 3)hydrogenated oil. That way I know that the food is as wholesome as it can be for my kids and family. For example I make my own yogurt and put in homemade jelly to sweeten it or honey because prepackaged yogurt has too much corn syrup. I do not buy prepackaged sausage because I find the list of ingredients to be dizzying at times.
For produce, I do not insist on buying "organic," but I AM aware that foods do have chemicals and pesticides so I make sure I wash them well at home. If I were to insist on organic anything, it would be MILK. But we have a dairy goat so we get our own milk at home.
As for cleaners, I do use vinegar and baking soda, salt as an abrasive, essential oils to make stuff smell nice.
Here's what it comes down to for me. Living naturally is not a fad. It is the way people lived for hundreds of years before we were sold items that we do not need (20 different types of household cleaner) and are unnatural (most pre-packaged food) by an over-eager corporate-guided culture that focused on SELLING US STUFF. I like to stay as un-processed as we can. But I also do not freak out if my kids eat Oreo cookies or hot dogs (both have lots of "bad" ingredients) at a party or someone else's house. I don't feel guilty. The human body is very resilient and can withstand practically anything we throw at it, in moderation. Just raise your kids to know the difference between good, real food and junk food. Don't be a nazi about it, and they'll be healthy and will grow up knowing that you cared enough to give them the very best!
I have a LOT of information about this, as it is a main area of focus and passion in my life. If you'd like to talk to me more about it, feel free to send a private message. Good luck figuring it all out!

ALSO - when buying food, look past the words "natural" or "light" or whatever the marketers are trying to sell. They are VERY misleading and mean very little. Instead, just read the list of ingredients. Your instinct will tell you if it's good for the body or just a load of junk disguised as healthy.

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