BQOTD: Do you make an effort to buy organic? Are there any foods you're a stickler about buying organic?
Yesterday, I was reading Jillian Michaels' book Master Your Metabolism. It has some really interesting information about hormones affecting metabolism, but it also talks extensively about buying only organic everything.
Personally, I don't buy much of anything organic. I'd probably like to buy the items on the "dirty dozen" list organic, but it is just so much more expensive. I know, I've heard the arguments that you're really saving money in the long run. And that argument works for people who have some wiggle room in their budget, but we simply don't. It's a matter of, 'Should I buy five pounds of regular oranges, or two pounds of organic oranges?' I hear Jillian's argument about hormones in pesticides and whatnot, but my understanding is that some organic vegetables are still sprayed with bio-pesticides...so I'm not 100% convinced that simply buying organic solves the issue.
Another reason I hear a lot in support of buying organic is that you're supporting the "real farms" and the small farmers. But most organic farming is still done by large corporations. Unless you're buying organic from the local farmer's market, you're usually not supporting small farms just by buying organic. I tend to favor buying local and in season produce over simply "organic"--I can still buy organic tomatoes at Wal-Mart in January, and they'll still probably taste pretty bland because they're not in season, even if they are organic.
The grocery store that we shop at is a locally owned one, and I do know that the owner tends to buy locally grown farm fresh produce whenever possible. He's also pretty good about highlighting fruits and vegetables that are currently in season in the middle of the produce section. But, in the summer, most of our produce comes from our garden anyway. And it always, always tastes better than anything I buy at the store (farmer's markets excluded).
One area that I'd like to start buying more closely to organic is meat and dairy. In my experience, grass fed beef just tastes better (though, not all organic beef is grass fed--and I remember reading in Time magazine that a number of taste tests have shown that in terms of taste, chefs and other consumers prefer the taste of beef that was both grass and grain fed). Justin's parents gave us 1/8 of a grass-and-grain fed cow for Christmas, and we just finished the ground beef. I used store-bought beef again recently, and it just doesn't taste as good. I try to stock up our meat from our local butcher just after the county fair, because I know he buys most of the FFA beef. It may not be 100% organic, but it's not coming out of a meat farm either.
I'm curious what you guys do--do you try to buy organic? Are you more focused on buying local produce? Does it matter to you at all?