For those who buy organic, what are the reasons?
I do not go out of my way to buy organic, but if I want the white asparagus [just a wild off the cuff example, I haven’t bought any in a couple of years] and the only one in the veggie isle is organic, then I sort of have to buy organic…
Some produce is only available in organic, although the organic local produce at my local co-op is of good quality and priced comparably with the local grocery store so I will frequently get my veggies there so buying organic is just a side benefit[?] and not my reason for shopping there.
I do like patronizing local whenever possible - my favorite orchard store has heirlooms and regular hybrid fruits which are nice. I am eating a baked Rhode Island Greening leftover from last night chopped into my oatmeal right now. I absolutely detest the mealy nasty golden and red delicious apples, bred up for shipping and stability. Give me a real apple any day.
A friend of mine is an organic farmer. So I buy some of his stuff to be supportive.
I said “other” because organic produce tastes better. Actually I’d choose “all of the above” plus tastes better.
I also would choose “all of the above” if I could. There’s a thread going in Great Debates right now about the topic, and you can see that there are dueling studies about whether organic foods are actually more nutritious and whether pesticide residues can cause cancer. As I see it, though, current studies can only tell part of the story. We first legalized Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH) for dairy cows in the early 90’s. This hormone works by breaking down cells’ natural restrictions on cell division. Anyone with a basic knowledge of biology could suspect that this might lead to tumors and cncers. It certainly causes cancers in the cattle themselves. Of course, we’ve done studies showing that humans can drink milk from cows treated with BGH for a few months without bad effects. But what happens if you drink such milk for your entire life? Nobody knows. If you’re drinking non-organic milk, then you’re the guinea pig.
I only buy organic when they don’t have said vegetable (usually daikkon) in any other “type” or if the organic is on sale and thus cheaper than the regular (rare but it does happen).
I second this, especially for tomatoes. We have a box of organic produce (locally grown when available) delivered every week from Door to Door Organics, and I plan the meals for the week around that produce.
The only reason for me is animal welfare. So I mostly buy my meat and eggs organic, not veggies.
And I bought organic baby food, as the experts said that for young children traces of pesticides and hormones are more dangerous then for adults.
I try to buy locally as much as possible, and most of the farmers at my farmers market grow organic.
I chose “other” as well.
One reason is taste. I’m surprised you left that out. Organic carrots just taste better, and I notice that a pound of regular carrots is more likely to have fewer, fatter ones, and the organic carrots will have more thinner ones. The thinner ones taste better regardless.
Another reason is “the environment,” but frankly, that answer is far too simplistic. Those organic raspberries might actually be worse for the environment overall because it might cost a lot more fuel to ship them as fast as possible, and there might be much more spoilage.
I’m less worried about the pesticides than I am the environmental impact of agribusiness as a whole. If I make the conscious choice to buy organic, it’s more because I want to support the businesses and the industry. If it’s profitable to farm organically, then more farmers will want to do it.
Also, greater potential profits will drive research and development in the areas of organic methods, fertilizer, pesticides, etc. If an “organic” method turns out to be cheaper and/or more effective than a chemical method, Mr. Agribusiness will use it even if he doesn’t give a hoot about whether it’s acceptably “organic.” So that’s a win-win right there.
The way I see it, the real gains in reducing the environmental impact of our consumer products come when big business starts using better methods. We need to support the little guys (or the little divisions of the big guys) because they’re the catalyst.
My wife’s fiat.
I chose “other”. I buy organic milk at my daughter’s request - that’s the only organic thing I buy.
All of the above, plus several “others”, including supporting local agriculture.
This is my answer also. “All of the above” and very much because it tastes better (Frankenapples are bigger, shinier and have no flavor, organic apples are small and ugly but damn do they ever taste like apples), plus other factor such as supporting local growers and trying to be more eco-friendly (we also avoid any fruits and vegetables that have traveled great distances to get to our grocer’s).
My “other” vote was for some of the reasons above (taste!) but also because we take part in CSA, community supported agriculture, which is run by a local organic coop. Our growers put together a boxful, which is delivered to our home every other week. VERY easy, a great way of eating more fruit and veg, which are locally grown, (which supports the local economy and reduces the need for transportation of produce) seasonal, and delicious. Also, a fun surprise!
I was largely converted by The Omnivore’s Dilemma. I think organic and/or sustainable non-factory practices are generally more ethical regarding the environment, the animals, and the people involved.
There doesn’t seem to be much evidence that organic is better for us nutritionally, but I don’t think it’s disputed that conventional beef is raised in CAFOs and pumped with antibiotics because the grain diet messes the cows up. Or that huge hog farms dock tails and create giant lagoons of waste that occasionally poison local water supplies. It also seems pretty clear that dumping excess petrol-based fertilizer on crops year in and year out has some serious effects on the environment.
I guess for me it’s a combination of all of the above. I’m not too scared of pesticides/fungicides/herbicides, I wash everything anyway, but it can’t hurt to have less of them on my food. I think USDA organic produce/animal products might be marginally more nutritious (some things you can see with the naked eye- organic eggs having a shell 3x as thick as a supermarket egg, for instance, which absolutely means the hen that laid it was in better shape), but since most don’t grow them in properly maintained soil or feed them a natural diet, it’s not going to make a huge difference in my health. I do think that less spraying of pesticides/fungicides, and regulation of farming practices, is something that should be supported. As for organic things tasting better - that’s hit or miss for me. Depends on the individual veg. Nothing beats fresh-picked home-grown though.
I prefer to grow my own ‘organic’ (no chemicals, even fertilizer) produce in well-maintained soil, and I try to get animal products that may not be certified USDA organic but are raised running loose on pasture-land eating what they are adapted to.
Blind taste tests prove otherwise, see BullShit and others. Now sure, there are some varieties of say- Tomatoes- that are mostly grown organic that taste better due to how they are ripened, taken to market and so forth. However two identical varieties, ripened and shipped that same way, but one grown with “chemical” fertilizers and pesticides and the other grown to Organic standards? Identical in taste.
In other words, it’s the small “truck” farm and farmers market type of sales that makes the difference. Not “organic” vs “chemical” fertilizers and etc.
While I agree that all studies are limited in many ways, I challenge your claim that rBST functions in the manner you describe or that it has the effects on cattle that you claim. Could you please provide some cites?
I call bullshit on the BullShit.
Blind tastes are irelevant. If you THINK it tastes better it DOES taste better. Simmilar tests show that coffy drunk from a dark brown mug will taste “richer” while drunk from a yellow mug will taste “weak”. The same coffy that is. Since taste is subjective, I think that the experience is the only thing that matters. If people think organic food tastes better, it does. For them. And that is all that matters.