Today was the weekly trip to the grocery store. This is an event that is always plagued with a certain amount of guilt and anxiety. I am torn between buying the best possible produce for my baby and making it out of there without blowing half of my grocery budget on one visit.
simple answer and the answer I would love to tell you is that there is
no price on my baby's, my, and my husband's health. Being a food writer,
a healthy food writer at that, that is what I feel like I should tell you. I have read all of the articles on how pesticides are slowly killing us and what's more, I believe them. I think chemicals are causing most, if not, ALL of our health problems today.
I still don't shop 100% organic.
From mid-April to November, a CSA provides the bulk of our family's produce. During those months, I would say we eat 80-90% organic.
November until the CSA starts, we are scrambling to find the best
produce for our family. I love eating seasonally and locally, but we
live in Wisconsin and I don't like squash or other typical winter
produce. It's a problem.
With a small child, I don't have the time
or the energy to drive all over town to do my shopping. We go to one
store (Woodman's) for the bulk of our groceries and get our meats from
other places (the CSA, Costco). I hear of other families driving
to 3 or 4 different stores to get all of the organic stuff they need
and I have to admit, just hearing about it wears me out.
husband and I made the decision to raise our family on whole foods. We
don't buy anything processed. No chemicals, no pre-mades. No Cheerios,
no rice puffs. We take it a step further and also try to limit her
grains and eventually, we will not give her cow's milk though she does
eat other dairy (cow's milk is for baby cows). These are all choices we
have made based on our lifestyle and how we want our family to live.
And when I get to the store, I am filled with self-doubt.
Would it be better for me to buy organic pre-mades? Am I hurting her by
giving her produce that may have been treated with pesticides? Should I
be driving all over town to get specialty stuff?
And when I
start to think about that, I start to think, how long could I keep it
up? Do we really want to spend THAT much money on organic food that
doesn't always taste as good as the regular stuff?
it's true. I have spent way more money than I want to admit on green
beans, mangoes, and apples, only to have them taste like nothing. And
trust me, that does nothing to get Baby G excited about fruits and
For us to maintain our lifestyle,
we have to make decisions that will aid in our success. In short, we
don't want to set ourselves up to fail. So, if we are going to continue
feeding our family a whole foods diet, it's not going to be 100% organic
100% of the time.
I would say we
are moving towards a 50/50 split on organic/regular produce during the
off season. During the summer, that may change, but I am not sure we
will ever be 100%. And I think I am finally okay with that.
This is how we break it down:
Meats, dairy, and eggs: organic
Celery, strawberries, carrots, cucumbers, spinach: organic
Apples for Baby G: organic.
Apples for us: Varies.
The rest: depends on what we find at the store.
I would love to hear from you. Do you buy organic? What are your must-haves? What influences your decision? What do you think?