How important is organic? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 04-20-2006, 09:18 PM
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I'd like to do a bit of a raw experiment. I would like to see how it goes for a few days and then decide if it's the lifestyle for me.



What I'm concerned about is the importance of organic food. I've been buying mainly organic for the last several weeks, but with a raw diet, I'm going to have to buy a lot more, particularly fruit. The problem is both price and availability. For instance, today I had to chose between a small basket of organic strawberries for 4.99 or a large flat (8 baskets) for 6.99. I ended up going with the flat, because a small basket would last me about a day. I realize that strawberries are one of the worst offenders, but my budget won that battle. I also bought conventionally grown bananas, papaya, watermelon, tomatoes and cucumbers. I have a good veggie wash, but is that enough?



Anyway, in your opinions, am I cancelling out the health benefits of a raw diet by eating conventionally grown fruit?
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#2 Old 04-20-2006, 09:30 PM
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I'm not a raw foodist... hopefully they will chime in soon.



I just wanted to say that the conventionally grown fruits and veggies may still have pesticides on them. If you could spend $5 to buy one of those veggie wash "detergents" you might feel a little better about what you're eating. I'm not sure which one is the best or anything. I bought the brushes to scrub my veggies in water. I know it's probably not enough, but it's a start.
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#3 Old 04-20-2006, 09:37 PM
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I had a list somewhere that indicated what's best to by organic. I believe the top foods to buy organic are:



apples

strawberries

bell peppers

lettuce

tomatoes



You can get away with conventional avocado because of its thick skin.



Also brocolli is usually not treated with much chemicals.



I think the key is the thicker the skin, the safer.



I'd say whatever you are able to get, is worth the investment unless the price is too outrageous.



Here's something else I googled:



http://www.deliciousorganics.com/Con...optobuyorg.htm
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#4 Old 04-20-2006, 09:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Random View Post


Anyway, in your opinions, am I cancelling out the health benefits of a raw diet by eating conventionally grown fruit?



I wouldn't say you are totally cancelling out the health benefits, but I would say that you should consider the overall costs and benefits. I think that the health, environmental, and socio-economic benefits of buying organic far outweigh the extra cost of the produce. I understand that the extra expense involved when a significant portion of your diet is raw fruit can be prohibitive. I'm not raw, but I do buy a lot of raw produce regularly, and I can see your reasoning that because you are buying so much of it, it might be necessary to buy conventional. But on the flip side of that argument, you could also say that now that so much of your diet will be made up of raw fruit, doesn't that make it all the more important that the fruit be organic?



Sorry if I'm getting too much into this. At the end of the day, do what you can on your budget.
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#5 Old 04-20-2006, 09:59 PM
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I always buy organic if I can but I would say that people feel better on a raw food diet of non-organic produce than they do on a cooked food diet of organic food.



Tomatoes are radiated, so don't buy them unless they're organic.
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#6 Old 04-21-2006, 11:45 AM
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I stress organic mostly because people do not eat seasonal for thier area.



Like in the winter we get shipments in from Mexico and other places which do not hold the same laws as we do and use pesticides and such long outlawed but the American givernment.

No matter how well you wash you still ingest some of that.
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#7 Old 04-21-2006, 09:58 PM
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It's definitely worth it to buy organic. A wash will not get all the pesticides out. Monsanto has made it so that the seeds used for conventionally grown foods contain are genetically modified to contain pesticides in every single cell of the plant, so you can not get it out. It's disgusting. I know organic costs more, but try to find an organic farmer who will give you good prices and buy things that are in season. Also remember that you're not wasting your money; you're investing it in yourself and you're worth it.
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#8 Old 04-22-2006, 01:01 AM
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also try gathering wild food, its the healthiest and cheapest of all.

and see if you can find some organic freegan food.
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#9 Old 04-22-2006, 09:20 AM
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the most recent satya (www.satyamag.com) has organic articles in it
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#10 Old 04-22-2006, 10:03 AM
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I got an email called 'know your produce numbers' a few weeks ago that I can share. It shows what the PLU numbers on produce stand for here in the United States. I wrote the numbers down and checked them in the market and they appear to be correct. Here's the email:



There is something new for you to take note of when buying your fresh fruits and vegetables. You may have recently noticed little numbered stickers on all the produce. These numbers are referred to as “PLU’s.” This stands for ‘price look up’. That is not all that they mean, though. These numbers are an indication of how that particular fruit or vegetable was grown. Today we have to be cautious when making our food choices.



If this number is a four digit number, such as 1234, then it is conventionally grown. This means that pesticides are herbicides were used in the growing. (Yuck! Bug spray on my apple?!)



If this number is five digits, starting with an “8”, such as 85646, then it has been genetically modified. The genes of the plant have been modified to benefit the farmers. They can have alternate growing seasons, possibly grow bigger crops. But there are no long-term studies on genetically modified organisms. We have no idea of the affects that modified DNA of food will have on our cells. (Gross! Fish genes in my tomatoes?!)



If this number is five digits, but starts with a “9”, then it is ORGANIC! Organic foods are the safest, healthiest foods that you can eat.
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#11 Old 04-22-2006, 10:09 AM
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Thats a cool bit of info, Butterflywaters. I'll be checking it out next time I'm at the grocery. Thanks for sharing
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#12 Old 04-22-2006, 08:44 PM
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Thanks for the responses everyone! Very interesting info re: produce PLUs.



Ah well, in the meantime I'll just enjoy my pesticide-laden berries. I bought a veggie detergent and washed them as best I could.



Cheers,

R
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#13 Old 04-30-2006, 02:21 AM
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Have you looked for produce co-op's in your area?? Where you could buy in bulk.



I'm not raw but I try to buy organic when its available and looks "good". I seem to find a lot of stuff that looks over ripened and gross in my opinion.



I'm thinking of joining a local organic produce co-op in my area you get 80 lbs of produce for like $80. Problem is being I'm not raw I doubt we'd eat that much.
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#14 Old 04-30-2006, 07:21 AM
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So regarding the PLUs... if a fruit/vegetable DOESN'T have an 8 in front it, does that definitely mean it's not genetically modified? I don't think I've ever seen produce with an 8 in front of it. I knew about 9 already, as we buy a fair bit of organic produce.
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#15 Old 04-30-2006, 08:09 AM
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Today, 7 out of every 10 items on grocery stores shelves contain ingredients that have been genetically modified. In other words, scientists are using new technology to transfer the genes of one species to another, and these altered foods are in the market stream. And yet many scientists have concerns about the safety -- to people, wildlife and the environment -- of this process. That's why consumers in Asia and Europe are demanding that their food be free of genetically modified ingredients



from: http://www.plantea.com/genetically-modified-foods.htm



Nearly a third of the agricultural land in the United States is planted in

gene-altered crops. In Argentina and Paraguay, more than half of the fields

are sown with GMO plants. In China, perhaps 2,000 scientists are developing

a wide variety of modified crops.



In Europe, where advocacy groups have long pointed out the environmental

risks of GMO crops, has been slower to adopt them. However, five European

countries are now growing at some biotech crops, and Spain uses them widely.



from: http://www.organicconsumers.org/ge/avoid060202.cfm
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#16 Old 04-30-2006, 08:56 AM
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Well, I do know a fair bit about genetic modification etc. Lots of reading, my dad's part of a group that grows extremely rare strains of seeds just to keep them alive etc. I know a lot of mainstream companies use practically exclusively GMO materials in their foods (i.e. kraft, quaker etc.) I am ordering my own seedlings this year from a certified organic gardening company.



But like I said, I don't recall EVER seeing an 8 in front of any of the 4-digit produce PLUs on the produce at the grocery store. So when it comes to fruits and veggies at the grocery store, NOT pre-packaged crap, does the absense of the 8 mean they are not grown from GMO seed? Or is putting the 8 there more of a courtesy that only some of them bother with? Was that in the piece that you read?
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