The High Cost of Going Organic

by Chris on October 2, 2011

in Uncategorized

The High Cost of Going Organic

One of the buzz words surrounding the culinary community is “organic.” When you walk into a grocery store, everything in the produce department has an organic doppelganger. Local butcher shops are offering organic and hormone free beef for their customers. Whole Foods even offers a line of cleaning products that claims to be organic and have less harm on the environment.

If you easily fall victim to media hype and sensationalism, then everything in your house probably already has an organic sticker on it. But are the corporations who sell products under the organic umbrella really being honest with us? Participants in paid surveys and questionnaires will always pick organic products over non-organic, but don’t realize they are actually wasting money on some products.

Meat

The best place to spend your organic dollar is in the meat department. Most farms plump their livestock up with harmful antibiotics and growth hormones. The country is in the middle of an obesity, cancer, and diabetes epidemic because they eat too much fat and are growing far too fast from the mass-produced meat industry. Sticking to lean cuts of organic meat should be seen as an investment in your health rather than a budget expense.

Produce

Organic fruits and vegetables are the trickiest category to find the correct product information. With all of the news stories about harmful pesticides and diseases, like E. coli infecting our salad bar options, it doesn’t seem like such a bad idea to wash our veggies with a disinfectant.

There are some things that are safer to purchase if they are organic. CNN Money suggests apples, peppers, and peaches, because they are eaten with the skin intact. If you are eating a banana, orange, avacado, or corn, they are safe because the shell protects the inner part. The best way to save money is to skip the organic section all-together and just eat the normal stuff. Your body has already built up a natural immunity to the products farmers use to keep or produce safe.

Liquor and Spirits

A big rage these days is the marketing of organic spirits to high class bars and drinking establishments. Companies like Square One are promoting lines of organic spirits which claim to be the purest form of drinking on the planet. Classically trained mixologists go nuts over freshly prepared organic ingredients. If you’re looking for a fancy bar experience, you should go for the organic stuff. If you’re just looking to tie a buzz on, opt for the six-pack of Miller High-Life.

Cleaning Products

This category of organic products seems like the biggest joke. People are willing to pay extra money so they can feel like they are cleaning their bathroom with the environment in mind. Save yourself some cash and stick with the classic Comet instead of organic products which might not work as well.

When shopping at Whole Foods or eating at a restaurant always order organic products skeptically.  They may or may not be what they are advertised as, and you could very well wind up paying for a lower grade product with organic simply stamped on the side.

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