To Organic or Not To Organic, that is the question?

October 12, 2011

The idea of a loved one developing a disease or illness was always a fear. After having children, the idea was so devastating that I felt that I needed to do all I could to avoid that. There isn’t much control a parent has from avoiding inevitable truths but if there was something I could control, I was going to try. And there goes my organic quest.

Shortly after Drew was born, we embraced a more “green” lifestyle. I blogged about some of my feelings here. We changed out light bulbs, used different cleaning supplies and tried our best to recycle everything we could. I felt a sense of urgency to make the world a better place. If I was going to bring a wonderful child into this world, I wanted the world to be the best place for them.

The concept that our produce is covered in chemicals, chicken are raised in bad conditions to fatten them up, cows are fed chemicals to enhance production scared me. But mostly what scared me was that bad things happen to good people. Children develop horrible diseases, there are mental conditions that are more prevalent than they ever were and nobody can explain how it all happens.

So I bought a concept that some marketing professionals successfully created by suggesting to neurotic parents that an organic lifestyle will save their children. I bought into organic food being an insurance policy for catastrophe. The organic world seems to be exploding. There’s organic dry cleaners opening and almost every product has some sort of organic alternative. Once you cross over to an organic world, must you embrace the whole world? Is that a necessity to believe in the organic movement or is it all a marketing conspiracy?

It’s not that I’m anti-organic, I still buy as much organic as I can. However, I refuse to pay $8 for grapes. And if the decision is between exposing my children to grapes or not, I choose to. I still feel the same, I don’t know why there is so much disease in the world. I am concerned about the chemicals we are exposed to. But it’s not just the food we eat, what about the air we breathe. And the products our body absorbs? Do we go all organic there too? Then what about the clothes we wear? Where do we draw the line? Because frankly I can’t afford to lead a 100% organic lifestyle.

I still want the world to be a better place for them. I can’t help but think if everyone makes the oath I have, as part of my new year’s resolution, to be a better person than that will “trickle down.” If farmer’s refuse to go to certain measures to increase their crops, fatten up their animals than we will all be better off. Unfortunately that’s too idealistic of me to expect that all to happen.

So instead I’m going to try to be a smart shopper. I have found that all green products don’t clean my house as well, I recently invested in Clorox toilet bowl cleaner instead of the green alternative. Yet I still clean our kitchen table and countertops with a green product. I try to buy organic fruits and vegetables on the dirty dozen list but I’m not religious about it. I support local farmers at farmer’s markets and anywhere else I can.

I’m not sure if I’m doing right by my kids here or leaving them susceptible to long term problems. I rarely give into the theory that our parents gave us this or that and we ended up ok because I’m not sure we all are ok. All I know is that I’m going to try and live the healthiest lifestyle for the benefit of my kids. I hate to think of myself as having drank the Kool-aid and just falling victim to a marketing ploy. What do you think?

One thought on “To Organic or Not To Organic, that is the question?

  1. There is a school of thought that we need to be exposed to some of those things in order to build up a resisitance. It is a tough decision but you can just follow your gut.

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