Organic Food: To Buy or Not to Buy?

What’s best for your family?

It’s more complex than you think.

If you are pregnant, nursing or have a little one that is about to start eating solid foods, you may have begun to wonder about the virtues of organic food. Perhaps you’ve found it difficult to wade through the mounds of information out there. Unfortunately, it’s easy to be fearful about what you are reading.

It seems very few people have a passive response to buying organic.

We often find ourselves in one of three categories:

a) The conviction that eating organic is best for the family and the environment,
b) the belief that the organic label is overpriced propaganda, or
c) somewhere in the middle; uncertain, troubled, and maybe a bit guilty for not buying organic.


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I fell into the third category when my daughter was on the verge of eating solid foods. What began as fear-based research and discussions with my husband, ended with the decision not to go the organic route. We didn’t find conclusive evidence that convinced us that buying organic apples in the grocery store was worth the extra cost.

Here are three things to consider as you make your decision:

  1. Know that the organic label is a complex issue.

Understanding what organic means is not a simple task. When defining organically grown food, there are many factors involved and it is still unclear how many of these factors influence the results. We are not made aware, for example, of how long a farm has been using organic methods or what methods the adjacent farm is using and if that impacts the organic farm.

The main reported benefits to eating organic foods include higher levels of vitamins and minerals and exposure to fewer pesticide residues. There are plenty of studies that support these benefits of eating organic.

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On the other hand, some research also says there is little evidence of health benefits from organic foods. Still, other research suggests that the studies are often inconclusive because they are flawed or because they don’t control for all the different variables.

  1. If you choose not to buy organic, don’t feel guilty.

My family eats pretty healthy and has adopted the “most things in moderation” motto. We eat lots of fruits and vegetables throughout the day and I feel fine that they are not organically grown. The cost doesn’t offset the purported benefits for us right now.

I don’t want to live in fear of all the potential pitfalls that could transpire for my family. My husband and I make reasonable decisions, take calculated risks and live trusting that God is control of what happens to us.

There are many reasons that people buy organically grown food and I’m not saying those that do are doing so out of fear. I just know my motivation was primarily out of anxiety and I want others to be released from that as well.

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  1. Strive for common ground and allow others to make decisions according to what they believe is right.

This can be a polarizing subject amongst parents. Let’s attempt to make educated and sensible decisions for our families and trust that we all want what’s best.

Like so many things in parenting, we all have to make decisions that align with the culture of our home. Our choices don’t always have to have value assigned to them; it’s okay if our food selections differ from others.

What influences your food purchases?

Annie Wiesman

Annie Wiesman

Annie Wiesman is the co-author of “Education Begins at Birth: A Parent’s Guide to Preparing Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers for Kindergarten.” She is a former kindergarten teacher turned stay-at-home mom who enjoys traveling, hiking in the mountains, and creating memories together with her husband and little girl.

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