“Organic” or “standard” food?

I used to laugh when I saw organic food in the store. After all, I worked in chemistry for almost 10 years and realized that food is organic (containing carbon). That said, organic means something else when used with the term food. The term means different things depending on where you are, what the regulations are in that area. But in general it means that synthetic chemicals are not used, or not used as much in the growing and handling of the food in question.

So unfortunately, this means that just because something is labeled organic, it does not mean that no synthetic chemicals have ever touched the food. However, it does mean that there will be none at best, or at worst, less synthetic chemicals in/on the food than in conventional items.

Probably the best thing you can do is to grow/forage (just consider if the area is sprayed, etc) your own food. After that, buying local and establishing a relationship with the grower is the next best thing. Then buying organic at a local food market which hopefully gets most of its produce locally, buying organic from a big chain store or finally, buying standard produce. If you wash your produce, use some kind of good, non toxic soap, you can buy these at health food markets, specifically for washing produce. Subsequent washings/rinsings work better than a prolonged wash/soak for more complete stuff removal.

There are some food items you can buy that tend to have been sprayed less because they have less pests, or are typically eaten without skins which removes most of the pesticides/chemicals:

Watermelomn (if not eating the rind)

Sweet Corn (non GM)
sweet peas
Sweet Potatoes

This listing (above) comes from variety of sources and I have seen some lists include an item and then later leave it out. So it’s a good idea to look things up for yourself. But these can give you an idea of some things you may be able to save yourself a little grocery money on. Do keep in mind that without your health, money does not matter anyway, but sometimes it’s good to know where we might find a little “wiggle room” in our budgets.