Note: I would like preface this post with the fact that this is my opinion. I do not believe that everyone should think the way I do or make the same decisions that I make. I believe that everyone should do what they think is best for them and their family. Since this is a running blog and fueling is an important part of running, I wanted to discuss and see what others opinions were.
Running is a high priority in my life. I plan my days and weeks around running. But in order to run far and fast I need to eat. I have always been a healthy eater (thanks to my mom) but I never really looked into what exactly I was eating. My mom would buy the food when I was growing up and I learned from her how to buy what I needed for meals and use what I had bought, not letting too much go to waste.
My mom taught me to be a budget grocery shopper. I take pride that I can feed Brian and I with weekly breakfast, lunch and dinners and not spend a fortune. Each week I buy what we need and really try to stay close to buying what is on my list. And then we usually eat what I buy and if we don't, I freeze it for later.
On my grocery list each week is always a few things - A few (produce) staples that I always buy (depending on season).
Oranges and grapes (spring/summer)
lettuce and fixings (summer)
I try to buy fruits and vegetables that are in season. Only if Brian requests something out of season will I buy it because often I don't want to spend the extra money.
And that is also one of the reasons I don't buy organic fruits and vegetables. I can't bring myself to pay more for a fruit or vegetable just because it says organic. And just because it says organic - I really have no idea where that fruit or vegetable comes from or what exactly organic means for the farm producing the products.
That doesn't mean I don't buy organic. In fact I buy this big container of organic spinach because it is in fact cheaper than any other container of spinach at the store. And that spinach really seems to last a long time in the fridge. I also bought organic carrots a few weeks ago because the grocery store was out of regular carrots. And I needed carrots - I was making carrot cake for Easter.
I do frequent my local farmers market from May through October and buy local whenever I can. I support local farms but in all honesty I have no idea what kind of practices my local farms have. I always wash my fruits or vegetables before eating them in order to wash anything that may be on the surface but beside that I just eat it. I am also lucky to have a great grocery store which often supplies its stores with locally grown produce. In fact - my grocery store also tries to help educate shoppers as to what fruits and vegetables are in season.
Part of me wonders about all these people choosing to buy organic - what did they eat growing up? I highly doubt that the previous generations (including my own) grew up eating Organic produce. I certainly did not eat organic - I was raised on the very similar fruits and vegetables that I buy weekly, from the same grocery store in fact. Do you think starting to eat organic food now at age 20 or 30 or 40 will somehow make your body better and take away from all that you ate or drank while you were young? What about all that alcohol you drank in college? Will eating organic reverse any damage you did then?
My point in all this is that I personally believe that eating organic isn't worth it. Who knows what "organic" really means or what "organic" pesticides are put onto organic produce. I haven't done a lot of research on this subject (because I know there is a ton) but from what I have heard, apparently organic pesticides aren't that great for you either.
I just wonder what the generation of today's children will have to deal with when they have been raised on organic produce and years and years later we finally find out the harmful effects of something. And I don't think that eating organic or not eating organic can specifically be linked to any diseases. There are so many different factors to weigh and so many different possibilities - everyone is different. There is no real way to know what will happen when we are older based on what we eat right now.
And I could go on and on, but I wont. Its a tough subject and there really is no wrong or right answer. Its basically just what is right for you and that is all that matters. I have many friends and family who eat organic and that's the choice they make. I don't judge them or think they are wrong. And I hope they don't judge me or think I am wrong for my choices.
For further reading on this topic, I suggest reading this article or reading about this study.
Do you buy organic? Why or why not?