If eating organic isn't a choice you want to make, that is okay. Just don't tell me it's too expensive! I am calculating the price of my recipes to show that eating organic is realistic for people and families with some time and extra effort. You just have to shop smart and plan!
My journey to organic foodsI have a long history of stomach problems that have puzzled many doctors and myself for a long period of time. Throughout my life, I have had trouble digesting food properly. Symptoms I fell victim to included violent stomach pain that would make me stop in my tracks, unbearable gas pains, nausea, bumps on my fingers and hands, stomach rashes, vomiting/diarrhea, and bloating. I experienced these problems so often as a child that I thought it was normal. It wasn't until college that I realized I needed to talk to my doctor.
My doctor asked me to cut out gluten or dairy and stick with it for a period of time. I chose to cut out gluten (because I love(d) cheese too much) and I stopped getting sick! For about a year, this diet was mostly successful in preventing my symptoms but then I started getting sick again.
I ate gluten again, I wasn't about to keep up with a gluten free diet if I was getting sick anyway. I then went to see a gastro that informed that I had a "slow stomach" and needed to eat slowly and this would solve my stomach problems. To some extent he was right, slower eating has helped but not completely solved my situation.
I gave up for a few years, graduated from college, moved out, started a life with my new husband and then decided I wanted some answers. I had been completing a food diary every day for years and had found no tie myself to what I was ingesting and when I got sick, although I had been successful in losing 48lbs.
I researched a bit and found a holistic/general doctor in the area. I met with her and told her about my history. She wanted me to have some additional testing done and mentioned that I could have a really silly allergy "to tomatoes or something". Hm...tomatoes or something, this got me thinking.
Tomatoes? I started doing some reading about tomatoes, and found that some people have a selective reaction to them, depending on what kind, canned or not, organic or not. I thought back to some times that I had gotten sick, and some pizza places that I couldn't eat at because I always had a reaction afterwards. I started buying organic tomatoes only and stopped getting sick. A random statement by a doctor, had opened my eyes.
So then my mind wanders further...if I'm getting sick from run of the mill tomatoes, why should I eat run of the mill anything? Unfortunately, in the state of Rhode Island, companies do not have to label GMO products, because of this, I buy organic. Buying certified organic is the only way to ensure that you are not eating a GMO product.
Unfortunately, most of the market is not organic, it can at times be hard to find what you need. I would say that about 95% of the time, I am able to find what I want in an organic product. If I can't find it, I use my best judgement in picking a suitable product, I am realistic. I go out to eat once in a while, I enjoy myself and I pick restaurants with quality foods. If I'm at a party with snacks, I don't ask where they grocery shop. I know that when I am home (which is almost all the time anyway), and preparing my meals, I can control what is in them and have my diet be primarily organic foods.
I know that for me, going "realistically" organic has solved all of of my stomach problems and that is truly priceless.