We Get Greener Kit Cassingham & her Bigger Half

Buying Organic

Do you ever wonder why some people promote organic foods over non-organic foods? Or, why should we buy "natural" and environmentally friendly products? I used to, but the message finally got through. Now I'm one of those "people".

What finally started making sense to me was that "organic", "natural", and "environmentally friendly" was better for me and others, for the planet. Why? Because the fewer pollutants you put into yourself, the water, the land, and the air, the healthier everything is.

Why would I want to pollute my body with plastics and poisons, or my house with that either? I wouldn't. I don't want to, so I'm cutting back on poisons and ramping up on healthy options.

I don't like not being able to drink the water or breathe the air because of pollutants and junk that others have put there. Having the ground so polluted or stripped of life that it won't support life is a total drag too. The choices I make will slowly trickle down so that the people who do the polluting will stop. If more of us make those choices the trickle will become a stream, then a river and a torrent so the change will happen faster and further afield. That's my theory, anyway.


Buying Organic video


Buying organic is becoming a lifestyle choice for me. I'm not just talking about buying organic food, I'm talking about the variety of organic products that I buy for our lives, things that should be organic or natural (not made of petroleum-based) ingredients. Environmental awareness is part of the issue at stake here.


You may be thinking, "What are you talking about, lady!", and I wouldn't blame you. So let me give you a start on the kinds of items I buy that are organic, or natural.

  • personal hygiene items like shampoo, soap, toothpaste/powder, lip balm, and deodorant
  • fabric; sheets and towels, as well as clothes I buy or make - and I really like organic cotton
  • storage containers, esp in the kitchen
  • paint and finishes
  • flooring and counter tops
  • paper products, in the kitchen, bath and office


I buy organic food as I can, locally sourced is just as important to me, sometimes giving me a bit of a decision challenge. Here are the foods I buy that are local and organic:

  • grass fed beef
  • free-range (truly free-range) and organic chicken and eggs
  • grass fed pork
  • goat cheese
  • organic fruit like the peaches and apples

My greens and tomatoes are homegrown, using organic methods. I'm so, so spoiled with these delicious foods that the plan is to expand my production into a wider variety of vegetables.


Then there are the locally sourced foods we enjoy, though they may or may not be organic.

  • honey
  • Mouse's Chocolates
  • rum (well, we haven't purchased this yet, but it's on our agenda)


Foods I enjoy that I'm not growing and haven't found local I strive to go organic or wild on include:

  • berries, especially raspberries and blueberries
  • organic milk, cream, half and half
  • bananas
  • Alaska salmon

Where we're falling down is in foods My Bigger Half eats that I don't tend to eat like rice and potatoes, frozen dinners, frozen fruits and vegetables, condiments, pasta, and canned goods. We don't buy organic chocolate, flour, butter and cheese, or avocados. We buy too many canned items (the BPA-lining scares me). Our list of purchases to improve on is a lot longer, but I'll spare you my pain.

Our cats haven't started enjoying the benefit, yet, of our greener buying habits. That's going to start happening soon. Vitamins are another item we haven't gone organic or locally sourced on either. And again, I think that's about to happen.

So what about other items? How do we buy organic computers or cell phones (and other electronics), kids toys (even the ones that adults use), furniture, appliances, etc? Good question, and one I'm not totally able to answer.

But I do try to be Energy Star appliances, recycle even my technology, avoid BPA in anything I buy (I wish I knew all the things it was tucked into), and buy natural fiber/materials furniture (that can mean buying antiques or used furniture). It's a process though, so I do fall down on my goals sometimes. It's a habit to go buy something new rather than look for used. It's not a solid habit yet for me to look at all the aspects of the item I'm buying to see if it fits my green ideas.

This website is all about how we, My Bigger Half and I, are getting greener, the mistakes we make, and the decisions we make that don't green us. Buying organic, natural food -- especially if it's locally grown, is a priority for me. Getting smarter about eating healthy foods on a budget is a process, one I'm enjoying.

Yeah, I think buying organic is important to my health, and yours.

Comments

I heartily agree with trying to source as much as possible locally. But sometimes I feel I have to buy a local food, not necessarily organic, over something organic that is shipped in from 1,000 miles away. There is a trade-off, and every buying decision has to come with mindfulness, something that takes a little practice & more than a little discipline. For instance, I buy my dairy products from a small producer who can't afford to be certified organic (and, I think, doesn't feel the need to follow gov't rules on things they've been doing properly all along), but is totally open in allowing customers to see how they produce their milk & butter with totally grass-fed cows & no pesticides or herbicides.

One of my biggest annoyances, though, which probably plays into one of your other posts, is that the government is DENYING us information, which makes it that much harder to make informed choices. Where is the harm in letting us know which products we buy contain GMO ingredients? Only to the bottom-line for the producers, since (according to several polls)the majority of consumers would not buy GMO foods and one poll done by NPR shows that about 90% want labelling. The fact that the USDA is so close to totally deregulating GMO alfalfa is scary; once that has happened, it looks like no one can ever repair the damage.

Mary-francis at February 7, 2011 6:26 AM

Mary-francis, you raise lots of interesting and important points.

1. Buy local vs Buy organic:
- I too struggle with that. Of course I want both in my purchases, but it's just not always possible. So I have to prioritize which is more important for which purchase. For example: delicate-skinned fruits and vegetables are most important to buy organic, and big, heavy items are most important to buy local. And the balancing act continues from there.

2. Certified Organic vs No Additives/Hormones:
I'll take a locally grown meat/milk/egg that's raised organically but doesn't go through the time and expense of being certified organic over a distant source of Certified product. But, I also want my organically-grown product to be free-range, grass fed, and no corn. Each to their own, eh?

3. Stealth Food:
I too hate the lack of information, even hidden information in my food (or any product). GMO, "added sugars" (aka HFCS or other stuff), etc. When I buy locally and know the source I don't worry, at least as much, about what's included in my food.

If we eat simple, minimally- or un-processed foods we don't have to worry as much about what is in our food. I'm also working at deleting corn and soy from my diet because I don't like the GMO or food conglomerate approach to raising them. I'm even striving to remove all grains from my diet for health reasons. It's almost easy for me since I'm striving to avoid processed foods, though I have a learning curve on what seasonings or condiments I do use have in them.

I too worry about the damage we are causing to the environment and the food chain. I don't worry quite so much for the planet itself, since I think it heals itself nicely, but I do worry about humans and other animals.

Thanks for your note, Mary-francis. Let's eat better and be healthier. :~)


-Kit

Kit Cassingham at February 9, 2011 2:53 PM
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