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Back to the Supermarket // Organic, worth it?

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  • Back to the Supermarket // Organic, worth it?

    Are my thread titles stupid? It's possible...

    Since going Primal I've visited regular super markets less and less. I buy fish and greens at farmer's markets and my mother buys meat one or twice a month at a bigger farmer's market. I just graduated (thank you) and started my post-graduation job (no rest for the wicked!) where I'll be working with an organic food distributing company. I was and still am excited to enter the work force outside of restaurants which is all I knew before. However, I am a bit saddened to realize that the foods we provide this major supermarket with are still just a bunch of unhealthy BS despite the organic label. We supply literally over 10,000 items to this supermarket's stores but all are manufactured and processed.

    It being my very first job I plan to work at it and see what it can offer for the time being, I won't let my beliefs get in the way of money ... for now. We visited one of the stores yesterday to check on pricing and other issues and I'm just absolutely amazed at how much STUFF there was. Both "good" and bad, but the choices are just unreal. I'm glad I only have a couple of items to consider. How do Americans shop? there's too much crap on the shelves. Way too much variety.

    Part two of this thread -- when does Organic really matter? Are organic chips at ALL better for us than regular chips? I don't plan on eating them, but I wonder if the whole organic movement is really worth it, it's taking off, this particular chain of Supermarkets is devoting an entire aisle to everything organic, from food to other products (cleaners, etc..) I did also notice that on the butcher side they had signs saying they support local farmers, which is definitely a step on the right direction. It's a new store that hasn't yet opened so there was no produce or meats there yet, I wanted to ask about grass-fed and things such as that.

    Does organic, for us primals, only really matter when it comes to veggies and meats? Somebody break that down for me.
    I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

  • #2
    Great questions IQ. I saw some organic shampoo in the supermarket yesterday - is there any point in organic shampoo?
    My website:


    • #3
      Warning Opinions Ahead.....

      I think Organic only matters for fresh fruit and vegetables and possibly dairy.
      Meat is either grass fed or it isn't. Poultry/eggs are either pastured or they are not. Fish is either wild caught or it isn't.

      This doesn't mean I'll never buy organic hamburger meat only that it is inferior to grass-fed and I recognize that, but time and convince are factors to all of us, I really only have access to frozen or previously frozen grass-fed beef, so if I need fresh beef I have to get something conventional or organic.

      Organic canola oil might make you feel like your getting a better product, but that doesn't make it safe to consume. If we make the assumption that all processed food is inferior to natural foods, then even organic processed foods are inferior to natural foods. If I was going to eat a bag of potato chips, I would go for the ones that I think taste the best, not the ones with the organic label.

      I try to buy mostly local food that is grass fed or pastured, I think the best way to promote the industry is with my $$$ that said I might have one or two dinners a week from the local grocery store depending on what I want and what's available.

      Organic cleaning products are a separate issue, as mush as possible I try to only use non-toxic products some of which may be labeled organic.
      Strive for healthy today.

      Satisfaction is the death of desire.


      • #4
        There's more to organic than just what we put (or don't want to put) into our bodies. Organic agriculture is better for the environment, and usually goes hand-in-hand with better farming practices in general. That said, industrial organic production, while an improvement over industrial non-organics, is still very energy and resource intensive. But it's better than nothing, IMO.

        Also, as far as things you don't directly ingest, like shampoo, it's really important to use "clean" body care items because your skin absorbs an amazing and scary amount of chemicals. I've actually read that showering in water with harmful toxins is worse than drinking the same water, because the steam from a hot shower facilitates breathing in those chemicals, which is worse than drinking. And you really want to keep toxins out of things meant to absorb into your skin, like lotion of conditioner, because the toxins will leach in there, too.

        Lastly, genetically modified ingredients are an issue not just health-wise (no one really knows the potential effects of GMO foods) but they are a massive agricultural problem. GMO crops mingle with traditional and organic crops, screwing those folks over when suddenly their "organic" corn is testing positive for GMO strains. It's really, really bad news. If you ever buy corn or soy (which few people on this board need worry about!) buy organic--corn and soy are by far the largest GMO crops, and if you buy or consume non-organic you're consuming GMO, it's practically a guarantee.

        Anyhoo, organic isn't just a dietary concern, but an overall health concern as well as a huge environmental issue. If you care about soil and water health as well as the toxin load in your own body, support organic practices!


        (oh, one last thing: buying local non-organic might be better than organic from halfway around the world. It depends on your priorities, and you should ask the farmer what their pesticide/herbicide practices are. Many small farms use organic practices but haven't paid to be certified.)


        • #5
          Also, I agree with you about the supermarket. I went to the market up the street from me the other day to pick up some veggies for a recipe. I almost never go there now, and it was bizarre. There was nothing to buy! I grabbed the said veggies and a bottle of wine, but that was it. So much crap and nothing I actually want to put in my body.

          As far as processed organics, I do think they have a place but only as an interim step. Most people would be unwilling to drastically change their diet all at once from SAD to whole, unprocessed, local, organic foods. So giving them the choice between non-organic chips or microwave dinners and organic is, I think, a necessary step.


          • #6
            Awhile back I worked for UNFI (United Natural Foods, Inc), they are a distributer of "organic and natural foods and products" to stores like Whole Foods, Sprout, etc. While I was working there, the vendors would come in with all their products for the employees to sample and see in person. It was amazing how much organic junk food there was. Chips, cookies, juice, practically every non-primal food you could imagine was available in organic form, and that was back in about 2004-2005, so I can imagine its plenty worse now. I don't think it makes any difference if junk food is organic or not. Junk food is junk food. That's just my opinion though.

            To us, organic only matters when it comes to veggies, and animal products like eggs and meat. Even with those though, sometimes the smaller farms can't afford to get organic certifaction. We have a local farm with about 70 or so head of cattle that we all get milk/cream/butter from. It would be great if they could be certified, but the can't afford it. So they do the best they can. Let the cows eat on pasture their whole lives, you can even go tour the farm and meet the cows. Same with my egg supplier. He's just a guy with a 1 or 2 acre ranch and about 15 hens. He just raises the hens for their eggs for himself and his friends. It's like his son's 4-H project. He's not organic, but I still trust the quality of his eggs. I've been eating them nearly every day for about 6 months or more.
            Carpe Diem!


            • #7
              Organic is so many different things, but none of that really matters. It's what organic does not have in it that matters.

              Chemicals, additives, fungicides, insecticides, herbicides, other pesticides, preservatives, the entire "GRAS" list, hormones, antibiotics, food colorings... Can I stop yet?

              I make it a point to get my food and "products" organic, because of what it does not have in it. Do I think it matters? Yeah, it matters a lot.

              Do your best, and that's all that matters.
              In Pursuit of Healthiness, Only to Achieve Happiness!:


              • #8
                Originally posted by EGYnutrition View Post
                Chemicals, additives, fungicides, insecticides, herbicides, other pesticides, preservatives, the entire "GRAS" list, hormones, antibiotics, food colorings... Can I stop yet?

                I make it a point to get my food and "products" organic, because of what it does not have in it. Do I think it matters? Yeah, it matters a lot.

                Do your best, and that's all that matters.
                I agree with what you're saying here, but only to a point. Late 90s through early oughts, I did the fruit and veggie 'gentlemen farmer' thing with a few acres we put into organic production. We had a small home but a nice chunk of land with 3 acres of mature avocados and 2+ acres of light fluffy irrigated soil for other crops.

                I'll never pay an extra penny for an organic avocado. A huge percentage, like close to 100, of the "non-organic" avos would easily be certified with a little paperwork, Mine were in 9 months. The only difference from my fruit and the non organic that came from that grove over the previous 15 years was I got a lot more money for my crop. I didn't change a thing.

                Spraying chems on avos is dumb, costly, unnecessary and rarely practiced. Even when sprayed, it's done after harvest and long long before new fruit will approach ripening. In avo's case "organic" is just a way make a few more bucks with the same product. There's actually a reasonably long list of similar products, but I'm not writing a monster post.

                Then there's some products that do concern me because it's not just a matter of washing off the insecticides. That info is pretty easy to find.

                Some of the most heavily used "organic" pesticides are also nasty, and I wouldn't go licking the skin of organic cucumbers before a good scrubbing. Synthetic pyrethroids and organic pyrethrum (from mums) are the two heavy hitters in modern fruit and veggie ag. They just ain't that different. If you think your organic veggies were protected by lady bugs and green lacewings, well okay sometimes, but not that much, and not when a serious break out of white fly hatches. That's battled with the chrysanthemum toxins. The organic pyrethrin used on your organic crops kills fish just like the synthetic one, but also just like it, it does almost no harm to mammals in small doses. In heavy doses both can be lethal to humans.

                I once compared organic and standard celery growers near the cali central coast. Um the organic folks had less healthy soil for some reason and they were really liberal with the insecticides. Mostly because the dissipate much faster than the petroleum based synthetics. They also had this nutty notion that the crop was so safe right out of the ground that they didn't wash it nearly as thoroughly as the guys who used far less spray, granted more powerful though. I came away thinking I would wash either crop very thoroughly before eating it, but not willing to pay a premium for that organic product. These days I do buy organic celery, but I bet it isn't much different. Both get hit very hard with poisonous stuff.

                None of my observations are industry sweeping, just anecdotal and somewhat first hand researched with farmer boots on the ground. My tomatoes are in fact protected by lady bugs and green lacewings.


                • #9
                  I agree somewhat. This is a great point David Getoff brought up once,

                  If you were to be stung by bees, would you rather be stung by a few bees, or by the entire nest?

                  In my eyes, because of the world we live in there will always be chemicals and all that fun stuff I listed above, but reduction is key.
                  In Pursuit of Healthiness, Only to Achieve Happiness!:


                  • #10
                    Organic shampoo is vital. But you gotta read labels. Organic in personal care items arent really regulated so if they say its organic read the labels! and do i believe its worth it? You bet! Your head and skin is incredibly pourous, regular shampoos for instance have loans of chemicals that go right into your blood stream. I try to buy as natural as I can for all items. I have seen a huge difference in natural cleaning products and detergents.


                    • #11
                      great post


                      • #12
                        I buy organic whenever possible. Simply because of what it doesn't have - chemicals etc. etc. However, being given a choice of local strawberries non-organic and organic strawberries from Spain I take the local produce any time.

                        Most of the food I can get in a supermarket here (in London) is from abroad so if I can get local produce I jump on it. Local and organic is best.