Saturday, January 3, 2009

Going Organic and Natural

Through a lot of research and having a long talk with a good friend of mine who has done a lot of research as well, our family is working on becoming even more organic/natural than we already were :). I knew why it was important, but now I feel even more that it is important. I have found a lot of good information on http://www.consumerreports.org/. It's full of information about organics; why to go organic (hormones, pesticides, antibiotics, genetic engineering, etc), the difference between organic and natural, how to "go organic" on a budget, when it pays to buy organic and when it doesn't, and links to other information.

Most people say that they can't afford organic, and I completely understand because it is more expensive (because it is extra time and work!), and I can see that there are some circumstances that it's not worth it (like when you are not able to pay bills or just buy groceries in general... you need to just make sure you have a roof over your head and food in your tummy), but there's ways to make it not so expensive, and if nothing else, cut out other things that aren't as important (eating out, expensive cable, phone service, etc). One thing that I have found is since I'm not buying junk food anymore, I have a little more for the better stuff.
http://www.thedailygreen.com/healthy-eating/dirty-dozen-foods- this is a list of the "Dirty Dozen"- foods to always buy organic. So, for our family, we are continuing to buy the things that we already bought organic, but we are adding some things that are on this list.

Soon, we will be putting in an organic garden, so many fruits and veggies will be coming straight from our back yard! That's really the best way to buy them! The second best is local- farmer's markets or stores like Sun Harvest (very inexpensive for organic produce; although, most other things are more expensive than HEB). We go to those when possible, although, we live far from everything, so that can be difficult!

I also recently switched to organic formula for Ethan. Normally, organic formula was way out of our league (normal organic formula costs between $30-40 a can!). But, I have done a lot of research and found one that is reasonable. It's called Nature's One Baby's Only. It says Toddler formula on the can, but the reason why they do that is because they believe that breast-milk is all a baby needs until a year old (which I agree, I won't go into my reasons about why I'm not breastfeeding now). But, I have read the comparison chart (http://www.naturesone.com/documents/chart.pdf), and it is almost the same. The difference is the source of the vitamins, minerals, calories, etc. The first ingredient in normal formula is corn syrup solids. The second ingredient is sugar. The first 2 ingredients in Baby's Only formula is organic brown rice syrup and organic non fat milk. See the difference? That's what sold me! I switched, and Ethan loves it and doesn't spit up much at all now. You can buy it at Sun Harvest (in Austin, on Lamar, for those who live in the area) for $10.29 a can (12.7 oz) or on http://www.vitacost.com/ for $8.79 a can! Of course, there is shipping and handling (always $4.99, no matter the size of the order), so if you just want to buy one can, it may not be worth buying online. But, if you buy a month's worth at a time, it's definitely worth it.

There is still a lot of debate out there as to whether it's worth it to buy natural and organic products. The main argument is that it doesn't change the nutritional value (which is not always true). But, I have seen enough evidence to believe that for my family, it is worth it. Sure, there will be times that we don't eat organic or limit our organic buying (like in the dining hall at the camp, when we have a tough time financially-during the summer when I don't get paid, other times), but if I can at least change some things at home, then I know I am doing the best that I can for our children's health. If it were just Robert and I, I probably wouldn't be doing all of this research, but I'm mostly concerned about our children!

Just a few years ago I laughed at people like me. Since I had kids, especially in the past 2 years or so, I have done research and now want to put it more into practice. I am in no way an expert, nor do I think everyone has to do the same things as me. I am just putting the information out there that I have gathered, and telling you all about it. Not all the time can I even follow my own advice and research because I'm human, I'm busy, and we're not made of money :). I just do the best that I can!!

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

You are not alone :) We are trying to get to the point of buying everything organic or natural!!

I can't wait for the farmers market to start up again!!

Jennifer
I think we "met" on CafeMom - I have you blog on my favorites!