It’s Organic! (But Does It Matter..?)

I’ve learned a lot about the term “organic” as we’ve been growing the Blender Bombs brand. Over the last ten years, laws have become more strict when it comes to allowing companies to label their products “organic”. In order to make sure the products you buy are actually organic, you have to do your research and know what to look for. America’s food culture has done a great job of using “organic” as a marketing tool, so let me teach you the tricks!

100% organic doesn’t necessarily mean that there are no pesticides used in the making of that product. There are 25 organic-approved synthetic pesticides vs. 900 conventional synthetic pesticides. So, you need to rinse off your organic veggies too!!

Now, let me explain the four labeling categories for certified organic food products

  1. 100% organic can be used to label any product that contains 100% organic ingredients, excluding salt and water, which are considered natural.
  2. Organic can be used to label any product that contains a minimum of 95% organic ingredients, excluding salt and water.
  3. Made with organic (fill in the blank), means that at least 70% of the product contains certified organic ingredients, not including salt or water. All ingredients, including the 30% non-organic ingredients must be produced without GMOs.
  4. Specific organic ingredients may be listed in the ingredient statement of products containing less than 70% organic contents, for example, “Ingredients: water, barley, beans, organic tomatoes, salt.”

To be clear, not everything I buy is organic, but I do focus on a select few foods that are known to be grown with a lot of pesticides. Many people would disagree with me and say that everything we eat should be organic, 100% of the time, but let’s get real. While I would love for that to be an easy option, it just isn’t. I don’t have my own farm, I’m not made of money, and I travel a lot. When I travel, I eat out often, and you know good and well most restaurants aren’t buying organic food!

What Matters When It Comes To Shopping Organic

Foods that have thin skins should almost always be organic.

A soft, thin skin allows all kinds of pesticides, herbicides, and other weird chemicals to seep right into non-organic foods, like a sponge. Thin-skinned foods also happen to be some of the most difficult foods to grow, which means even more chemicals are used on them to help them grow and thrive.

While the chemicals do make them grow, by the time the end up in the grocery store, they are full of all the toxic things we want to avoid. For these reasons, the “dirty dozen” is a list of foods that are the most important to buy organic – and here they are!

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach/Kale
  3. Nectarines
  4. Apples
  5. Grapes
  6. Peaches
  7. Cherries
  8. Pears
  9. Tomatoes
  10. Celery
  11. Potatoes
  12. Sweet Bell Peppers

You might notice that peanut butter is not included in the classic “dirty dozen” roundup, but I choose to buy organic peanut butter because high levels of fungus have been found in non-organic peanut butters. I’m just trying to do the best I can, ya know?

Oh, and a little tip for buying organic fruits that will be a little easier on your pocketbook – hit up the frozen organic isle! A lot of times, frozen organic fruits are a lot cheaper. They are perfect for making smoothies and will last longer. 

What Doesn’t Matter So Much When It Comes to Shopping Organic

When I am shopping for “processed” food like almond flour crackers or HXH approved cookies, I don’t pay as much attention to organic vs. non-organic. Processed foods usually don’t require nearly as many fertilizers, pesticides, etc. as fruits and veggies require. Here’s a list dubbed the “Clean 15” of foods that do not matter so much when shopping organic, because they are easy to grow without pesticides. Voila!

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet Corn
  3. Pineapples
  4. Cabbages
  5. Onions
  6. Sweet Peas
  7. Papayas
  8. Asparagus
  9. Mangoes
  10. Eggplants
  11. Honeydews
  12. Kiwis
  13. Cantaloupes
  14. Cauliflower/Broccoli
  15. Mushrooms

Eating organic doesn’t have to be stressful, or break the bank when you have an understanding of what really counts. When making grocery lists, I like to put a little “o” next to the items that I want to ensure I buy organic. Give it one month and you’ll have these organic lists memorized.

What questions do you have about eating organic? Comment below!

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