Eating Poorganically


Eating Poorganically: Belief and Skepticism

Addie- Tomatoes


As you may know from having read my post on False Guilt, I am not a regular eater of organic foods.  That is to say, I don’t go to any lengths to buy organically.  I do have a garden and shop the Farmer’s market, but that is about the extent of it.  In fact, I am a bit of a skeptic about the verifiable merits of organic eating.

However, after a recent conversation with a friend of mine who is into “wellness,” I realized that I am also basically totally uneducated about all things related to these subjects; consequently, I form my arguments out of a kind of annoyed and cynical defense mechanism.

Here’s a sample of how the conversation actually did might go.

Organic Person: Did you know that there is x million lbs. of pus in foods x,y, and z that you consume on a daily basis?

Me: Oh really?! I love pus. Wow, that doesn’t bother me at all.

Organic Person: Really?! Aren’t you worried about letting your children digest all that infection and nastiness.


This was on a "clean" day in the bath.

Me: No. Not really. When we lived in PNG (It’s ALWAYS great to have a PNG line to pull out of the bag as the third world country references are really hard for people to argue with), we practically bathed Addie in sewer water, so I’ve been able to get over a lot since then.  (I was slightly exaggerating. It was just river water that often looked quite brown depending on how much sediment was brought up during rainy season.  I imagine that there probably was trace amounts of fecal matter, but calling it sewer water was literary license in its most abused form.)

 Organic Person: (mouth agape) Wow, that is gross. But don’t you think prevention is really better than curing what could be caused by all the processed food we eat.

Me: (glib) I can’t afford prevention. Plus, I feel great. Could you pass me another one of those cheese doodles for the Baby. She loves those things.


So as you can see, I am not exactly rockin’ the educated point of view.  Nonetheless, I do think that somewhere deep under my total idiocy, there is something to my skepticism about organic eating.  I mean, how could something that feels so good (my processed food, that is), be so bad?!

But, I admit to insecurity in this point of view since I think the same rationalization is used by heroin addicts.

Also, motivated as I am by nerdiness and know-it-all behavior education, I realized that I really needed to bolster up my point of view with facts and research so that the next time I am caught unawares by Organic Person/ Friend/ Family Member, I will be able to respond more knowledgeably.

Finally, on another layer of my psyche,

(here is where you must start reading slowly)

I must admit that in thinking through my organic food reticence, an analogy occurred to me wherein the Organic Person is a “Believer” who has experienced some kind of personal rebirth due to his/her change in eating patterns and wants to “convert” me to his/ her way of thinking.  I am a skeptic/ doubter/ unbeliever who is in no way dissatisfied with my eating and sees no reason to change it; moreover, I frankly resent being told that I ought to change. I hate change; it stinks.

After this analogy presented itself to me, I realized that in my experience, the roles are typically reversed.  I am normally the person of a deeply held faith trying to proselytize people to conversion (sometimes religious, sometimes couponing, sometimes to Harris Teeter over other hell-hole grocery stores).  In such conversations, the most annoying persons are those who, in spite of not really having the faintest clue what they are talking about (ahem-yours truly), persist in trying to convince the “believer” that ignorance is bliss (ie: I love pus).

A truly devoted “Believer” cannot be convinced of the contrary by the ignoramus.  The “Believers” see themselves as having been saved from the very ignorance that damns the skeptic.  The Believer probably can’t be converted, but if they were to be converted, it would be by someone as informed and experienced as they themselves.

So . . . .NOW, that we have all walked way too far down the path of my overly analogically-thinking- brain, you can see what conclusion I was FORCED toward.

 I must try to eat organically in order to prove what a stupid, unnecessary, expensive, waste of time it is.


 I will be converted to a new delightful way of eating.


Addie- Peaches (My favorite of her photos. I love the composition. And my favorite fruit!)

To that end, I am occasionally going to be blogging about my exploration into organic eating in the next few weeks, months, or however long it takes to reach a sufficient conclusion.  I make no promises.  Of course, being The Low Ryder, I have to blog about how we are going to do this in a frugal and budget-conscious way, so I’m titling all my posts related to this subject “Eating Poorganically.”


(You must know that one of my main motivations for writing this series is my sheer love of the cleverness of that name.)


I’m going to research organic eating and organic eating blogs to determine what is best for the Low Ryders and, thus, by extension, all of you my proselytes. ; )

And, I’d love to know what tips, questions, or challenges you would like to offer up to the Eating Poorganically Series to make it more fun, informative, and practical?  What helps, enables, or prevents you from eating organically. Do comment and share.




13 thoughts on “Eating Poorganically

  1. Check out

    A friend writes about eating only “real” food- she also did 100 days of real food on a budget where they ate only non-processed, mostly local and organic foods for less than the equivalent of food stamps for a family of four. She also has great recipes up there.

    1. How interesting that you should mention that since reading her site has been one of my MAIN motivations!! 😉 Actually, I am going to refer to her a LOT and generally, I love her site; however, the food stamp budget for a family of four is almost DOUBLE the actual food budget that I use for my family of five—NOT to mention that her menus consist of meals like “left over egg salad with a few triscuits and half a banana”. Um, we are not trying to waste away here in the Ryder house. If anyone in my family loses any weight at all, we will have health issues. Stay tuned to hear more about the numberless days of REAL Food in actual quantities. 🙂

      1. Ha ha. 🙂

        I figured you probably spent less, but I do really like a lot of her recipes. Her family is very “fit” and maybe that’s part of the reason (the half banana, triscuits)- I would have to end that meal with a slice of cake – just to balance things out.

        They are a great family and I admire their dedication. I certainly try to make
        healthy choices but just can’t give up on some of
        my not healthy favorites (read dessert, any dessert). Can’t wait to hear your spin on it.

  2. Check out the “Dirty Dozen.” These are the fruits + veg. with the most pesticides on them. From my limited research, it’s not necessary to eat organic bananas, for example, because we don’t eat the peel that contains the pesticides.
    This is a really big topic with lots of components. Is it worth eating organically if that means using more fossil fuels to get the organic fruits to us? Are you looking at just the health benefits or also the “fair trade” side of food consumption? I’m interested in your research, please do share!

  3. I will be interested to read your thoughts on this experiment, but I’m a bit of a skeptic myself, and I doubt that you will be able to feel any different through a few weeks or months of eating organically. Certainly, it seems that more and more people seem to be getting terrible diseases such as cancer all the time. However, we also have millions of radio waves, TV broadcast waves, microwaves, satellite signals, cellular signals from every major carrier, and who knows what else bouncing around in our heads. As much as I love my iPhone and can’t imagine how I lived so many years before it was invented, I also wonder if it isn’t killing me slowly. I imagine that not eating organically would be a similar slow death that would take years of chemical accumulation in our bodies to have much of an affect. But, wait, I’m a chemical engineer… I’m supposed to believe that these chemicals are good when used properly. After all I create some of these products that both enhance and destroy our lives simultaneously. I could pay twice as much for organic milk that will spoil twice as fast as my ultra-pasturized, genetically enhanced milk that will probably make my daughters breasts grow in a few years earlier, but I’d rather save that money for the next generation of iPhone and perhaps die a year or two earlier than I normally would.

  4. yay, can’t wait to hear more–this is a topic of thought for me since i do believe it’s healthier to keep some of those pesticides out of my body but just don’t have the $ to really do it right. i’m also w/ your sister that a certain amount of “germs” are good for boosting our immune systems, so am purposely not letting myself worry about it anymore. also fortunate enough to have access to my dad’s garden w/ TONS of organic food coming out, even some in winter… 🙂

  5. reference to water day:

    if you ever want a change-of-pace during your water days, you can join lisa & i @ my parent’s “pond”–we try to get together once a week & are shooting for tomorrow for this week. you can e-mail me @ this address if you’re interested…

    love your blog–thanks for writing & keep up the good work! 🙂

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