Do you have to eat organic to live well? This is a common question and rightfully so.
The short answer is no. Absolutely not. You can, most certainly, be very well and eat non certified organic foods.
The definition of organic is relating to or derived from living matter or food/farming practices without using certain chemicals, pesticides, artificial agents.
Are the potatoes you grow in your backyard organic?
Today, the word organic is used to monetize and market to consumers who want to avoid chemicals, pesticides etc. So basically, the US government decided when people started to buy organic grown foods (without the USDA regulations.. simply growing them that way because it felt “right”) and participating in shared food practices (such as CSA which is small-is scaled farmers who share their crops with others for a small fee) they (the USDA) could capitalize off of it.
I wouldn’t say its bad, at all. It provides a really nice guide for those wishing to support farmers who go through the rigorous process of being certified USDA organic. It’s HARD to do, especially when our food is surrounded by fields of GMOs and chemicals/pesticides.
Let’s not get into the fact that “certified organic” foods are higher in price (for the most part.. there are options popping up everyday at the store! yay!). But typically they are. And note: the term “organic” is not owned by anyone.. so you could scoop up mud and slap a sticker on it and call it “organic mud”. Ahh.. the glorious world of marketing. 🙂
I would advocate more on the side of buying fresh and local as much as possible. I’m not going to lie, it’s hard to do. Canned, boxed and frozen foods are easier and have their place for nutritious delicious meals especially when you’re in a pinch! It’s extreme to think we will never ever eat those foods again.
So to answer the question again, no you don’t have to eat organic to eat well. Let’s face it organic cookies are still cookies (and cookies are delish of course). It’s simply a way of farming/growing that you might want to support and stand up for by giving your little vote to-more organic foods please. Taking it even further would be buying from farmers markets when you can to support local farmers and eat seasonally (food tastes much better when it’s in season). Feel free to ask me any questions regarding organic food vs. non organic and eating well.
If you’re interested in CSA- Community Shared Agriculture you can check out localharvest.org for more information.