Last night I was talking to a neighbor about eating organic and gluten free and she was just commenting on how expensive it is. She is right. It can be very expensive. Which begs the question. What is the most important thing to always eat organically such that you avoid it when eating out and just don’t eat it period… and what can slide a bit.
So this is what I do and why I do it. I am not God’s gift to food wisdom, but I wanted to share my system and its logic in case it is helpful.
I have a system whereby some foods are either organic or unfit to eat and others are OK to let slide when you are on a limited budget.
First you get the list then I will explain my ranking system.
Category 1 Foods.
Foods I virtually never, ever, even in a restaurant or at a wedding eat unless they are organic OR Non-GMO Project Certified. I try to treat these as I would gluten. I never buy them to eat at home.
Anything prepared with any of the above (say fajitas cooked with corn oil or a soy oil based salad dressing. No soy cream cheese. No soy cheesecake at the gluten free bakery (they use Tofutti which last time I checked contains GMO soy) No chips of any kind ever unless they are lentil and bean ONLY or organic. No breakfast cereals, no granola, no potato starch for baking…you get the idea.
Category 2 Foods
These are foods I make every attempt to get organic but I will eat the non-organic version at a restaurant or at someone’s home. I will not bring the non-organic version into my home. We will eat something else if I cannot find an organic version.
Any fruit or vegetable that is on the EWG dirty dozen list
(milk was on this list until I realized I couldn’t have it anyway)
Category 3 Foods
These I strongly prefer to buy organic, but if they are only available in conventional, I do eat them
Anything on the EWG Clean Fifteen list
Most flour mixes that are free of corn, canola, potato and soy
Nuts other than Almonds
Most fruits and vegetables
Now here is the logic.
Corn, Soy, Potato, Canola, Tomato and often Sugar are either organic, Non-GMO certified or typically they are GMO. Actually potatoes and tomatoes are closer to half and half GMO and non-GMO last I checked. Why the adamance about GMOs? GMOs have never been long term tested for safety in humans and Monsanto and Dow (makers of GMO seeds) have done a lot to make sure that they do not get tested, and there is a battle now where they are trying to block labeling of GMOs, even though 90% of voters want the GMO labels on their food. Scientists purchased some GMO corn and some non-GMO corn and fed it to rats. The outcome was not good.
FYI here are some studies done on GMOs. Please note that Egypt, which has had a rough few years, felt protecting its citizens against GMOs was this important. If you read only one article read this one. You too can have a pesticide factory in your intestines.
The following are from France where GMOs are considered a PUBLIC SAFETY issue.
Sorry for being rude, but I am not eating anything that killed the rats.
The Category 2 foods are the ones where even in that controversial study the results showed that the organic version had more nutrients and less pesticides. Also pesticides are more concentrated higher on the food chain. So that was that.
The Category 3 foods I eat organic to avoid pesticides (81.5% lower is meaningful to me) and to make sure organic farmers have customers who respect what they offer. Pesticides, unlike GMOs have actually been tested for safety. So sometimes we will eat food with pesticides on it. We do what we can to wash off the spray on stuff.
So that is how I make my decisions. Does anyone else have a different system? If so what is yours?