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In the Name of God بسم الله

Is Eating Organic (food) A Scam?


Gypsy

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As one who eats a more "organic diet," I will tell you this: It's a scam for those who don't know better.

In regards to produce, which is the bulk of the purchases made in the organic market, not all fruits matter if one buys them "organic" or not. Some fruits and veggies don't absorb pesticides that much and what has been absorbed can be gotten rid of with water. Such produce provides no extra health benefits whatsoever. You may as well buy it at the conventional price if the reason you are buying organic is for your health. But other vegetables and fruits absorb pesticides a lot with most conventional produce of these types still containing pesticides even after washing them thoroughly. So, it's good to research what plant foods absorbs pesticides the most and buy "organic" certain fruits and vegetables where it would be wiser and healthier to do so.

One benefit to buying any kind of produce organic though, provided it actually is organic, is that it is better for the environment, not so much your own health. Pesticides can damage the soil overtime of a farm, weakening its harvests, prompting farming industries to seek out new fields, which they just do the same farming techniques with pesticides and other chemicals until that soil weakens too. The spraying of chemicals also affect the air, making it more and more toxic as more chemicals are sprayed. All of this can affect the human and animal life of the area. Some pesticides used by the Sara Lee bread company in growing some of their breads have been known to contain chemicals associated with birth defects in women, which they have come under scrutiny for.

Also, sometimes, companies market produce as "organic" but cut corners due to less than tight regulations on the organic market. By simply not waxing an apple with some sort of fancy shoe polish, suddenly it's "organic" even though it was grown in the same field as pesticide sprayed apples just after the sprayed crop was harvested, in the same soil that's absorbed all those chemicals.

Zareen, your best bet is not to go to big stores that try to market "organic products" without research and I also recommend you find a farmer's market near your residence. Farmer's markets are perfect as the people you are buying your produce from in front of you are the same people who grow it personally. You can ask them about their farming techniques and generally, farmer's markets are all local farms who grow their produce the old fashioned way.

Edited by Saintly_Jinn23
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Organic consumer here. Usually stick to the certified stuff only, unless it's 100% confirmed the source isn't a fake. But even if a few fake products slip in here and there, you're minimizing overall exposure to chemicals. You can't protect yourself 100%, but even 50% is better than 0%.

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I think its good.. u knw I compared btwn organic veggies/fruit and the normal ones at the store, and the organic ones actually smell great! the other ones don't even smell, and that 2 me seems a bit bad..

that's as organic as I get lool

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surely you guys should observe "obligatory precaution"? we know non organic food is grown in chemically pumped soil and sprayed with all kinds of funky juice. why take the risk of bioaccumulation of these things (which end up inside us) and just cut them out completely?

or better yet - grow your own. google "square foot gardening"

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(bismillah)

(salam)

As a person who tries to grow as much as his own food as he can, i prefer the organic food that i grow in my garden to anything that i get from the store.

Firstly, the food always seems to be a lot tastier

Secondly, i can sleep well knowing that my food hasn't been sprayed with chemicals and all sorts of [Edited Out].

On the down side,

1) You're gunna have to be patient and work hard for months before you get anything. The more food you want, the harder youre gunna have to work

2) If you're growing most fruits and vegetables without using chemicals, you're almost guaranteed to get bugs on them unless you surround your garden with a moat of acid lol (even then, moths and grasshoppers can still fly over and lay their eggs).

But it's not too much of a big deal if you know how to deal with them and just wash your food good.

The same thing goes for meat and other foods. A friend of mine raises chickens (and we get eggs from him) and other manages some beehives and honestly those eggs and that honey tastes way better than anything i get from the store. Plus it's so much cheaper and it just feels "right".

i can't help you with the organic stuff they sell at the store but i say that if you really want organic and are willing to sweat a little, grow your own stuff. Even if you just grow tomatoes or corn out of a bucket on your apartment baloney, it's better than nothing

EDIT: As for having to spend more on organic food, i think the reasons are probably as follows:

1) Depending on how you look at it, it's either not popular enough for farmers to make a buck so they charge extra to make up for it, or they know that theres a niche market out there that has some cash and is willing to spend a lil extra

2) As i mentioned earlier, if you're truly being organic, you're gunna get bugs on your crops. If you're growing corn, you're gunna find worms in some of them and obviously most consumers are not gunna want that.

Also, you're not going to get those perfect crops every single time and most consumers only buy the most perfect-looking fruit/vegetable that they see, so farmers end up throwing a lot of that away

Basically, a lot more goes to waste, so farmers need to make up for that lost profit.

Edited by ImamAliLover
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WA wr wb,

If you know better, you'd avoid non-organics. Don't pay too much attention to what Saintly Jinn had written.

And what was wrong with what I said:

http://gourmetfood.a...anicproduce.htm

provides a list of best produce to buy organic and which are generally safe to buy without an organic label.

BTW, i recommended buying all organic as even with the foods that are least likely to absorb pesticides within the fruit or vegetable itself, there is a slight possibility of some non-filterable chemicals being absorbed through the soil. I merely recommended knowing that because Zareen seems concerned about her budget. Also, even if the food doesn't absorb the chemicals itself, the chemicals themselves can still affect other various parts of the environment. If you know which are generally safe to buy without the label "organic" on it, if you need to watch your budget, you can buy those conventionally without much risk.

But if you can buy at a farmer's market, you'll never need to take the chance with fresh produce.

A lot of the organic food market that you see in stores is a scam, just slapping a label on virtually the same product, this is especially true in regards to animal products like eggs, milk, cheese, and meat where the production of many "organic" products of these varieties is no more ethical than the conventional. But knowing what's what can save you some money, while still eating healthy. Just don't get fooled by labels. Some things may not have the label organic, but may as well be sold with the label on them, and the same goes vice versa.

It's like when people get worked up about high fructose corn syrup when it isn't very different from conventional sugar. Eating too much added sugar is the same as eating too much high fructose corn syrup, same results.

Edited by Saintly_Jinn23
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Well..being a scam or not really depends on what you want out of it.

If you like eating organic food for the sake of eating it, its not a scam.

If you are terrified of pesticides and eat organic food because you think you can avoid it, you aren't really getting value for money.

Everyone is so afraid of "chemicals" these days. They call them chemicals because they don't even know what they are. I mean water is technically a chemical, iron is a chemical ect.

Trace amounts of pesticide aren't nearly as harmful for you as you might think. If you drink a whole bottle of pesticide it is pretty harmful but you have a liver for a reason. It detoxifies a lot of the foreign toxins and other substances that enter your body which is pretty much everything (for example your liver sees caffeine as foreign and toxic and breaks it down, this is why it wears off).

Trace amounts aren't definitely fatal in the short term (unless you have some kind of massive allergy) and probably won't increase your risk of cancer or anything like that by much at all in the long term*.

Why the asterisk? I guess this depends where you live. Some places have very good, strict, reasonable standards and enforcement. Here in Australia they tend to be rather strict with things like this. If you live in a developing nation, not so much usually.

Peeling or washing your vegetable usually gets rid of most of the trace amounts as well.

If you live in a country with reasonable standards i wouldn't be concerned about trace amounts of pesticides if you're really looking to make yourself healthier or prolong your life there are much better things a person could look at like taking up exercise or reducing the consumption of junk food or things like that.

Just on an ethical note, i don't think its ethical to eat organic food either. Here we are (most of us) living in the rich, privileged prosperous west and having the luxury to choose to eat organic when people on the other side of the globe are lucky to be able to get food at all. They've also done numerous studies and most suggest that you get much less yield (eg. if you plant 100 corn crops you only get 60 ears of corn, instead of 80) using organic farming methods. A lot of these methods are very very old and people abandoned them for a reason. Modern methods work much better at controlling pests and disease, they get a higher yield. The studies have suggested if the entire world shifted to organic farming over night much much more people would starve. We simply can't feed the world using organic farming. So, just on that basis even i wouldn't switch all my food sources to organic food. If the whole world became vegetarian over night though we could feed a lot more people. Animals really need a lot of water, resources and food crops (wheat, barley, rice). Think about it, in its lifetime a cow will consume a huge amount of food, grown on land that could of otherwise been used to grow grains, fruits and vegetables for a human and thats just 1 single cow.

Secondly, its opposed to genetic engineering, which i am in favor of. Yes, i understand people are very busy and don't really have time to read deeply and yes, i really don't expect you to have a deep knowledge but don't be afraid of it because its unknown to you or you've heard a couple people say how bad it is. It really is a good thing.

For example, a lot of the world survives on rice as their staple food. Unfortunately, rice lacks several vitamins. Vitamin A is one of the most noted ones. Millions and millions of poor, innocent children die every year in areas where rice is the staple food due to lack of Vitamin A. Supplements are very expensive and if you're living in abject poverty you obviously can't afford supplements or a balanced diet. A couple years back scientists inserted a gene from carrots i believe into rice, to make it produce Vitamin A. This innovation has the potential to save the millions of children that die every year and relatively cheaply as well. Its called "Golden Rice" if anyone is interested. Organic farming would be opposed to something like this because it was genetically modified. Do you see why i hold such an objection to it?

Most of the weird things you hear like jellyfish genes in wheat or things like that are mostly just done in the lab for experimental reasons. They're not suddenly going to go out and feed it to you if it has no obvious utility.

Norman borlaug is one of the most worthy people of recent times worthy of praise in my mind. Using a variety of methods such as artificial selection (eg. picking the plant which makes the biggest tomatos and only replanting its seeds in the next generation, its sort of a natural kind of genetic engineering. Farmers have been doing it for centuries.) he managed to improve food security in many countries around the world. He saved around 1 Billion (thats right, with a 'b') people around the globe and most people probably haven't even heard of him. My point is this, some of the methods he used wouldn't be considered proper under the current organic farming standards but i think the billion people he saved would tend to disagree...

Edited by kingpomba
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As one who eats a more "organic diet," I will tell you this: It's a scam for those who don't know better.

In regards to produce, which is the bulk of the purchases made in the organic market, not all fruits matter if one buys them "organic" or not. Some fruits and veggies don't absorb pesticides that much and what has been absorbed can be gotten rid of with water. Such produce provides no extra health benefits whatsoever. You may as well buy it at the conventional price if the reason you are buying organic is for your health. But other vegetables and fruits absorb pesticides a lot with most conventional produce of these types still containing pesticides even after washing them thoroughly. So, it's good to research what plant foods absorbs pesticides the most and buy "organic" certain fruits and vegetables where it would be wiser and healthier to do so.

One benefit to buying any kind of produce organic though, provided it actually is organic, is that it is better for the environment, not so much your own health. Pesticides can damage the soil overtime of a farm, weakening its harvests, prompting farming industries to seek out new fields, which they just do the same farming techniques with pesticides and other chemicals until that soil weakens too. The spraying of chemicals also affect the air, making it more and more toxic as more chemicals are sprayed. All of this can affect the human and animal life of the area. Some pesticides used by the Sara Lee bread company in growing some of their breads have been known to contain chemicals associated with birth defects in women, which they have come under scrutiny for.

Also, sometimes, companies market produce as "organic" but cut corners due to less than tight regulations on the organic market. By simply not waxing an apple with some sort of fancy shoe polish, suddenly it's "organic" even though it was grown in the same field as pesticide sprayed apples just after the sprayed crop was harvested, in the same soil that's absorbed all those chemicals.

Zareen, your best bet is not to go to big stores that try to market "organic products" without research and I also recommend you find a farmer's market near your residence. Farmer's markets are perfect as the people you are buying your produce from in front of you are the same people who grow it personally. You can ask them about their farming techniques and generally, farmer's markets are all local farms who grow their produce the old fashioned way.

Wow thanks for that....Bad news for me, I am one of those who made a point of only eating organic!

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Wow thanks for that....Bad news for me, I am one of those who made a point of only eating organic!

In reality there is nothing ORGANIC in true sense if it is not grown in your backyard. Chicken feeding off your left overs may still be better but not completely organic because the lintels and rice and chick peas you are feeding them would still be coming from non-Organic source but still better than farms where they are fed steroids to get fatten up.

The country where I live is pioneer in genetic foods and all thing non-organic so I can relate horror stories after horror stories in the food chain here starting with the biggest "soda' consumers here are not humans, they are cows and bulls so they can digest corn, (we are the biggest corn producers in the world) which is not their staple food, giving medicine to turkey so they have bigger breasts because turkey breast gets eaten more during thanksgiving holidays, to adding antibiotics to eggs to countless more. Documenting all of this would make it look like a "Chemical Ali" post. :)

Edited by Waiting for HIM
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Wow thanks for that....Bad news for me, I am one of those who made a point of only eating organic!

Your welcome. If you are interested in an all organic diet, which I do recommend, then your best bet is to grow your food yourself or buy from local farmers. The problem with buying in the store is that it takes very little for something to get the USDA Organic label. Local farmers usually usually grow their food without any sort of genetic modification or questionable chemicals and make a commitment to refrain from doing so. And usually, buying from a local farm at a farmer's market or swap meet is cheaper especially since many such farmers sell their crop in bulk. I've been to the swap meet near my house and seen the strawberry farmers sell berries as long as my index finger and as big as two or three fingers next to each other by like 2 dozen a box and most of the berries were picked just that morning. lol

Edited by Saintly_Jinn23
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Your welcome. If you are interested in an all organic diet, which I do recommend, then your best bet is to grow your food yourself or buy from local farmers. The problem with buying in the store is that it takes very little for something to get the USDA Organic label. Local farmers usually usually grow their food without any sort of genetic modification or questionable chemicals and make a commitment to refrain from doing so. And usually, buying from a local farm at a farmer's market or swap meet is cheaper especially since many such farmers sell their crop in bulk. I've been to the swap meet near my house and seen the strawberry farmers sell berries as long as my index finger and as big as two or three fingers next to each other by like 2 dozen a box and most of the berries were picked just that morning. lol

It would be my dream to own my own plot of land and farm and grow everything (sad i know, LOL)....maybe if im rich one day...its not really possible to get food directly from a farmer here in London, but I'll keep this in mind if I ever move out of the city! lol.

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It would be my dream to own my own plot of land and farm and grow everything (sad i know, LOL)....maybe if im rich one day...its not really possible to get food directly from a farmer here in London, but I'll keep this in mind if I ever move out of the city! lol.

I'm sure there are places in such a big city that import food from the country side and certainly there has to be a time when the farmer's on the country side meet to sell their crops and animals. It'd probably take a little bit of searching but I doubt it would be impossible. Like I said too, some foods may as well be organic, they just don't have the label. The key is having an eye for quality food, not fancy packaging. ;)

If the whole world's agriculture went organic, the amount of food would probably be cut in half.

My question is which half of the people are to die?

Human beings actually don't need to eat that much to survive with enough vitamins in their system and vitamin supplements are not as dangerous as people think. You'd probably see a decrease in population because it would cost more to feed a family, thus some people would stop having as many kids, which honestly isn't that bad of an idea. :donno:

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For urbanites, urban gardening or rooftop gardening would be a good bet for growing part of your vegetable supply by yourself. Some cities have pretty good programs for this, with whole large vacant lots turned into a community garden with 4 foot by 6 foot planters. It's not much, but it's nice. I was looking to do this this past summer, but ran into some family issues in the spring that took my attention and energy. Next year, insha Allah.

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(salam)

Glad to hear so many here are into organic. Also happy that I am not throwing my money into buying organic.

Currently, I am not 100% organic yet. I think I am 60-70% there. Getting there.

I like buying from local farmers market; the only problem is the market is seasonal (up to September).

The store where I buy fresh fruits and veggie has an extensive organic selection from milk, ice cream, onions, fruits, veggie and cheese.

I am also thinking of having my own herb garden. But this will have to wait next year, Insha Allah. I want to grow my own herbs, tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce.

If the whole world's agriculture went organic, the amount of food would probably be cut in half.

My question is which half of the people are to die?

I've looked up some stats on this and apparently you can feed more people with farming activity than if you feed them meat. This is just one statistic

1 acre yields 165 lbs of beef or 20,000 lbs of potatoes

http://www.flex.com/~jai/articles/101.html

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^ ^ ^ ^

Zareen, I recommend looking up the Cornucopia Institute, they provide a lot of info on "organic industries" and provide an extensive investigation into the farming techniques of various companies who claim their products are organic, you may be surprised at who gets the lowest on the lists. You could use the info here to recommend distributors from whom your local halal market could purchase. I particularly recommend looking at the egg and dairy scorecard sections:

http://www.cornucopia.org/

Also, for meat, check out organizations like this for halal organic meat products:

http://www.greenzabiha.com/

I personally think a proper organic diet is a must for a halal diet.

Edited by Saintly_Jinn23
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Thanks Saintly Jinn. The website is very useful. I am not very well informed about organic eating. I just go by the labels "USDA organic". but as pointed out here, there are many who bends some rules just to get the coveted organic label.

Also as pointed out in this article - Deciding Which Produce to Buy Organic - The Dirty Dozen

If you only buy some items organic, you should prioritize the twelve items the group labels

"The Dirty Dozen":

peaches, apples, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, imported grapes, pears, sweet bell peppers, celery, lettuce, spinach and potatoes.

The most consistently clean produce:

avocados, pineapples, mangoes, kiwi, bananas, onions, sweet corn, asparagus, sweet peas, cabbage, broccoli, and eggplant.

I stopped buying organic onions last week because according to my research, you can peel of skins of regular onions and it will be all right. Savings!

Oh, in case some of you are looking for organic tea, I am currently using the following brand

Pr-Lnd_TeaBags_Boxes.png

This brand is certified organic, certified fair-trade, certified Kosher and certified Halal.

But again, tea is not something you should be very concerned about because most of the brands are natural and vegetarian.

Edited by Zareen
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Avoid the conventional irradiated foods; It will lack the beneficial nutrients that our bodies need to remain healthy. If you want to increase cancer rates, buy non-organic. Always buy ONLY organics at the market. This way you will thank yourself when the ignorant ones end up getting sick, and rely on their ignorant doctors. For those who live outside of America, your food is generally more healthy, in terms of nutrient density.

Farmer's markets are good, for the most part.

There are different nuances as to what organic means in America. I think they allow the label if 90% of the food is organic.

Look for non-GMO products. It's even said that organic only refers to how the food was raised, and the seed could still be genetically modified. For this reason, I try to stick to trustworthy people who have a zest for life and wellness. Haha...it's similar to religion in many ways. This is why it humors me when these guys who don't know how anything works, tries to speak on these issues. They study Islam but forget to use their brain across the whole board. Read and open your minds! This, in my opinion, is why they'll always have a loser mentality if they move forward with this 'blindness.'

Edited by gogiison2
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Avoid the conventional irradiated foods; It will lack the beneficial nutrients that our bodies need to remain healthy. If you want to increase cancer rates, buy non-organic.

Could you please provide some evidence for these claims? I'm interesting in seeing it. As far as im aware there is no research out there that shows that eating organic significantly decreases your chance of cancer, in the average, healthy, western person. If you do have some of it though i'd be very interested in reading it.

Yes, tea is actually a very good choice, if you drink a lot of it (like i do). They use a fair amount of pesticides on it and if you drink over like (6+ yeah i know...should cut down right?) cups a day its probably a good idea if you consume a single food item so much. Most people don't spend every day eating apples 6 times a day from the same source, so thats why i wouldn't recommend organic for most things if you're trying to avoid pesticides. Tea is a good choice though.

I'd also be careful though. I'm a vegetarian so i want to avoid animals as much as you do but a lot of organic food ends up not repelling or killing the bugs as well and sometimes they could end up in the food (icky i know). I read it in a vegetarian magazine, not sure how true it is but might want to look into it.

Same idea for any food you eat a lot of from the same source. If you eat like 6 carrots a day, every day, its probably a good idea to buy organic if you're anxious about such things.

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Could you please provide some evidence for these claims? I'm interesting in seeing it. As far as im aware there is no research out there that shows that eating organic significantly decreases your chance of cancer, in the average, healthy, western person. If you do have some of it though i'd be very interested in reading it.

Yes, tea is actually a very good choice, if you drink a lot of it (like i do). They use a fair amount of pesticides on it and if you drink over like (6+ yeah i know...should cut down right?) cups a day its probably a good idea if you consume a single food item so much. Most people don't spend every day eating apples 6 times a day from the same source, so thats why i wouldn't recommend organic for most things if you're trying to avoid pesticides. Tea is a good choice though.

I'd also be careful though. I'm a vegetarian so i want to avoid animals as much as you do but a lot of organic food ends up not repelling or killing the bugs as well and sometimes they could end up in the food (icky i know). I read it in a vegetarian magazine, not sure how true it is but might want to look into it.

Same idea for any food you eat a lot of from the same source. If you eat like 6 carrots a day, every day, its probably a good idea to buy organic if you're anxious about such things.

These pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and others are known to be carcinogenic.

First read up what cancer is. It's basically deformed cells. It's said that the average person gets cancer about six times in their life, but the immune system fights it off. Mainstream will try to hide this knowledge because the cancer drug industry rakes in billions by taking advantage of the ignorant populace.

Breast cancer, for example, is said to take about seven years before the cancer can be seen by mammogram. They will try to scare you into surgery when they are finally able to spot it. They use this as leverage against the ignorant man; scared tactics. You already had this cancer for about seven years, no need to rush into things. Don't cut out the cancer or tumor and not make changes to your lifestyle. This will allow for your cancer to return. You need to make changes to fix the root cause. Cutting away or surgery at the symptoms may take it away for the time being, but the issue still has to be addressed.

-----------

I drink organically raised teas. So, the amount of pesticides I take in would be at a minimum, compared to those who use the conventional counterparts.

I don't think what you state about six apples and six cups of teas makes any sense. Care to clarify, please?

Edited by gogiison2
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First read up what cancer is. It's basically deformed cells. It's said that the average person gets cancer about six times in their life, but the immune system fights it off. Mainstream will try to hide this knowledge because the cancer drug industry rakes in billions by taking advantage of the ignorant populace.

Breast cancer, for example, is said to take about seven years before the cancer can be seen by mammogram. They will try to scare you into surgery when they are finally able to spot it. They use this as leverage against the ignorant man; scared tactics. You already had this cancer for about seven years, no need to rush into things. Don't cut out the cancer or tumor and not make changes to your lifestyle. This will allow for your cancer to return. You need to make changes to fix the root cause. Cutting away or surgery at the symptoms may take it away for the time being, but the issue still has to be addressed.

Where is it said?

Breast cancer can be devastating, especially if you wait and don't have it resected. Have you ever actually seen a case of it so that you would know what you're talking about??? Are you saying that those people who have generations of breast cancer in their family can fix their inherited genetic mutation by changing their diet? Sure, some cases and types of cancer are associated with environmental toxins, but you can't generalize that to every type of cancer.

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Thanks Saintly Jinn. The website is very useful. I am not very well informed about organic eating. I just go by the labels "USDA organic". but as pointed out here, there are many who bends some rules just to get the coveted organic label.

Also as pointed out in this article - Deciding Which Produce to Buy Organic - The Dirty Dozen

If you only buy some items organic, you should prioritize the twelve items the group labels

"The Dirty Dozen":

The most consistently clean produce:

I stopped buying organic onions last week because according to my research, you can peel of skins of regular onions and it will be all right. Savings!

Oh, in case some of you are looking for organic tea, I am currently using the following brand

Pr-Lnd_TeaBags_Boxes.png

This brand is certified organic, certified fair-trade, certified Kosher and certified Halal.

But again, tea is not something you should be very concerned about because most of the brands are natural and vegetarian.

Nice to see you bring up Numi Tea. It's owned and operated by a Muslim brother and sister.

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Here is the full 2014 list:

 

http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/list.php

 

Keeping in mind that they have only listed food based on its pesticide levels and not isolated the GMOs (such as corn which is #50 on the list), this is a very good guideline on buying smart for all those who can't afford to go fully organic.

 

I personally get anything from 30 downwards (if you are looking at the list) conventionally grown except for the GMO corn. Everything 30 and up, I try to get organic. Its not the perfect method but I can sleep happy thinking I am reducing my family's exposure to pesticides. Other than that, instead of cooking with canola or vegetable oil (which are GMO in North America), we cook with sunflower oil or sometimes olive oil.

 

At times, not everyone can afford to make such lifestyle changes, but if one moves towards the mindset that their health takes priority over everything else, they are able to sacrifice spending in other areas (clothes, recreation, etc.) to gradually take the steps to being a smart consumer.

 

Wasalam

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