Organic vs. "Toxic" food

I am super cheap.  I have a real tough time shelling out for organic items when they are double the cost of the less cool "toxic" stuff.  I am not entirely certain that buying regular produce is going to give me cancer.  But now that I do a lot of home cooking and am responsible for nourishing my family, I like to try my best to keep my family healthy.

We are fortunate to have a local Co-op in the area and an awesome Farmer's Market during the warmer months.  I haven't needed to rely on either of them because we belong to a CSA and take a 3 minute drive to see our local farmer Carol and pick up all the fresh produce we need!!  I also have an amazing husband who grew me an entire garden full of delicious foods this past summer!

I also took a trip to a farm last week with my friend Jennie to pick up a 1/2 of a cow!  We are now stocked up on grass-fed organic beef for the next 6 months for $225!  Not too shabby.  We have healthy meat and are supporting our local farmers.  But I also picked up 2 frozen chickens from this farmer.  The cost?  $15.00...EACH???  I'm not even sure where to start with that.  But the Mennonite farmer and his wife needed the money more than I do.  They had 11 children!!!!

In the winter we buy lots of frozen veggies.  I don't buy a lot of the fruits or veggies that have traveled 6,000 miles and are still somehow alive on my grocer's stand.  Except for bananas.  We love bananas.

Then, my blogger friend City Wife, Country Life posted a 2 part series on organic farming that succinctly stated exactly how I feel about organic farming!  I am all about local farmers who you meet, shake their hands and can call when you run out of food. 

I wanted to share what she discovered for anyone interested.  Her perspective is unique because she is married to a farmer.  Enjoy!

An Ugly But Real Look into Organic Farming: Part 1

An Ugly But Real Look into Organic Farming: Part 2

(Check out her love story while you're there.  It's top notch entertainment!!


  1. i read her blog sometimes.

    well, we have lots of farms around here. the farmers are very nice and often give me extras for free. But, even still, cost is the factor right now. There is only so much money we have to go around for food and organic is too expensive right now for us. i know in the long run it might pay off but I can't help that we only have so much for food right now.

  2. I agree! We don't have the money for organic stuff. I'm just not an organic-junkie especially because of the sky-high costs for every little thing! But by purchasing lots of local grown goods, I feel like I'm getting healthier options. Our local CSA share is not too expensive either - and it forces me to incorporate veggies!

  3. Great post, Lisa. I am so glad you have a local CSA to get all your veggies. Ours in North Texas are just not that organized or cost-effective for us.

    Oddly enough, we get a ton of local produce from our Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market. Most of the weekly items we eat (citrus, tomatoes, potatoes, greens and onions) come from Texas farms. Huzzah!

  4. Thanks for posting this. It's nice to hear/read all sides of the stories.

  5. Thanks for the link! :)

    I hear ya about the pastured chicken prices. I've looked extensively into starting that as a sideline business (raising pastured chickens) and when it came to pricing, I realized we'd have to sell them for $15 a piece to make a profit. It kinda stopped me in my tracks... who would pay $15 for a raw chicken when you can get a rotisserie one at the deli for $5??

    But then when you see the data about how confinement chickens fed corn/soy have an omega 6 to omega 3 ratio of 20:1, whereas pastured chickens have a ratio of 1:1... well... it makes me wonder whether I'd rather pay an extra $10 a chicken now, or an extra untold thousands in medical bills later...? Blah!

  6. Lisa, I think what you're doing with the CSA and buying local meat is great! I also agree that there is plenty we don't know about "certified organic" and I think the big businesses have hopped on the trendy bandwagon. I do think it's important to eat certain things organic (not that I always do) but it's more important to really know where your food comes from. Local is the best and almost only way you can do that. (I'm with you on the bananas, though. I love them too.)

    Michael Pollan's book Omnivore's Dilemma addresses this exact issue. That big business organic or certified organic is not as clean as you think. It costs a lot of money for small farmers to get that little USDA seal and that's not always reasonable (usually not) for a family business.

    I just found a CSA here in NTX that is organic (though not certified) that I can share with a like-minded eater, since we're both single, and have been buying my meat from a local farm for the past year. It is pricier but like Farmer's City Wife said, for the health benefit, I think it is worth it, and I've cut down my meat intake to be able to afford it. (Probably also has other untold health benefits.)

    All in all, while I can sit on my little locavore throne down here in Single Town, I'm not sure how I'd keep up with it as a mom, so KUDOS to you for being aware, finding great local resources to keep both your kids and your community healthy, and still making yummy food for me to drool over when you post pics. Marlboro Man Sandwich, anyone?


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