Eating Organic For Three Years | Seventh Generation
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Eating Organic For Three Years

Author: MeghanB

Dr Greene Goes OrganicOne of our favorite doctors, Dr. Alan Greene, a practicing pediatrician, renowned authority on family health issues, and a partner to Seventh Generation, has done the close-to-impossible. He's spent the last three years eating entirely organic food -- sometimes going hungry for lack of options.

Most remarkable is his motivation for the adventure, as documented in The New York Times: Dr. Greene wondered if becoming 100 percent organic might improve his own health -- as it is shown to do for livestock -- and settled on a three-year goal because that's how long it takes for livestock to be certified organic by the Department of Agriculture.

His insights are particularly inspiring and applicable to anyone interested in transitioning to an organic diet or well on their way. I know next time Little Martha Stewart, here, is in the grocery store, I'll put my pretty pennies toward the healthier organic options.

Happy eating!


organicuniverse picture
“This isn’t a way of eating I could recommend to anybody else because it’s so far off the beaten food grid,” said Dr. Greene. “The biggest surprise of the whole experience, he says, was that many people still don’t know what “organic” means.” There is actually quite a bit of value to Dr. Greene’s experiment. While Dr. Greene’s testimony does offer a great deal of insight on the need for more education about the importance of organic, it also clearly demonstrates how poorly misunderstood organic living is by the very people directly involved with the industry. No wonder why the organic industry has so many issues defining the rules for what constitutes something to be certified organic. While Dr. Greene’s experience may have been a difficult adjustment from his previous lifestyle, it is essential to point out that this was also an experiment facilitated by a person who is NOT dependent upon products that are chemical free, growth hormone free and non-genetically modified. I equate his experience with that of someone who is NOT blind, doing an experiment about what it is like to be without site by merely wearing a blind fold. Unfortunately, most people who suffer from severe allergies and sustain reactions to non-organic or “conventional" products do not have a “blind fold” that they can merely remove after some point. This is a constant for most consumers of organic products and certainly not a variable. To put it bluntly, for those of us that have severe allergies, we know that the consequence of using non-organic will result in something negative. For me, this usually means becoming very sick, very quickly. Subsequently, there are many people who have begun manufacturing organic products simply because there was no such product in existence or simply wanted to make a positive change. These are the very people who get it. They do not need to be convinced about the importance of organic. They did what they could to help themselves and help others by making organic products available to the public. Look at companies such as Stonyfield’s, Eden Organic foods, Annie’s Homegrown, Late July Snacks, Dr. Oetker’s and so many others. Organic is not just about food either. Everyone knows how dramatically Horst Rechelbacher changed the bath and body care industry when he launched Aveda. It does not stop there. Maggie’s Organics has successfully brought back garment manufacturing to the USA. Their garments are not only certified organic and fair trade but are durable, comfortable and affordable too! You can always learn something from Susie Hewson, President of Natracare, Inc. She founded Natracare because there were no other organic products for women that were on the market. She later extended her product lines to include babies and adults. The list goes on and on. For every category out there, there is a company that has evolved out of necessity. “He's spent the last three years eating entirely organic food -- sometimes going hungry for lack of options.” For those that suffer from Celiac’s Disease, IBS and so many other health problems, the choice is very simple. If you are out and about, you learn how to choose wisely or you simply bring your own. For example, there have been many times that have I brought my own organic tea to a meeting. No one has ever made a comment about it. You always have a choice. It is your body. However, if you expect fast food restaurants to offer any organic foods, you clearly need to obtain a better understanding of what organic is about. It is true that you will not find anything organic at a fast food restaurant and will “go hungry” if that is where you choose to dine. This is just not an option for someone who chooses to eat organically. Why would you want to eat fast food anyway? I would expect that Dr. Greene, who is a partner of Seventh Generation and also on the board of the Organic Center, would be well versed in what organic living entails. Perhaps Dr. Greene’s lack of consuming organic was due to his culinary skills. I do not know. However, there are so many free resources for recipes on the web, in the library and even on the back of the box of whatever it is that you seek to make. If you really want to learn from a pro, contact the Organic Chef, Al Rosa from Rosa’s Farms. He even has videos of his recipes that you can view for free on YouTube. Even with mediocre skills, cooking should not be an obstacle. Furthermore, if it is simply a matter of time, there are quite a number of companies that will deliver a completely nutritious meal made from organic foods to your door or office. If this is still not an option for you, there is a broad variety of frozen organic foods that you basically heat and serve. The bottom line is that this experiment clearly demonstrates the lack of commitment to organic by the very people who are supposed to be leading the organic movement. I completely agree with Mr. Weaver. You cannot expect the public to embrace an organic lifestyle when the people who are in leadership positions are not committed to organic. J Stoyer President OrganicUniverse, Inc.
Dennis L. Weaver picture
Dennis L. Weaver
My Good Food Friends – Change Your Food - Change Your Life! is a FUN, high-energy ‘good health’ education company designed to inform, encourage, coach and inspire people to make 100% Organic Good Food Choices, FOODS that are LIFE-GIVING, NOT life-diminishing. Team CYF-CYL! gets up every day trying to make that healthful difference in people and on this one good Earth we have. We present a clear and compelling narrative. We also work hard every day to counter the misconceptions, misstatements, slurs and outright attacks on the wholesome, healthful benefits of Organic Good Foods. And we are INTENT on knocking down ‘organics’’ baggage from the past. We ALWAYS position Organic Good Foods so that they’re seen to be HIP, HEALTHY, TASTY, COOL and RELEVANT. I also blog for Here’s how I’ve introduced my blog, ORGANIC GOOD FOOD NEWS, to the readers of “We’ll have some informative FUN with this blog. You’ll learn THE IRRESISTIBLE MARKETING POWER of THE POSITIVE PRESENTATION of THE ORGANIC GOOD FOOD LIFE! Stories, comments, tips, suggestions, questions, guest columnists, rants, raves, reviews and interviews. Maybe even an AWARD presented from time to time! So stay tuned!” So it is with this background that I offer three critiques of Dr. Greene’s “comments” found in the article, ‘For Three Years, Every Bite Organic’, “The New York Times – Science Times”, 12/2/08. Perhaps Dr. Greene could have considered a little different phrasing. 1) “For the last three years, in a fascinating experiment - on himself - Dr. Alan Greene has eaten nothing but organic foods, whether he’s cooking at home, dining out or snacking on the road.” But right at the top of the article, the article header is: “IT HASN’T BEEN EASY. “This isn’t a way of eating I could recommend to anybody else because it’s so far off the beaten food grid,” said Dr. Greene, 49.” I would expect our ‘leadership’ to advocate for, speak in the positive all of the time, vigorously defend and promote Organic Good Foods everyday in everyway, without exception. What, do we think that for a minute the chemical boys and girls, our non-organic competition relaxes? ‘They’ can do no wrong, they never tell a weaken story to the consumer. They never give an inch. There’s no philosophical discussion. But UNLIKE the non-organic industry, the Organic Industry has nothing to apologize for, to spin nor hesitate over. 2) “To cut back on the cost of an organic diet, Dr. Greene said he had to cut back on meat. He hasn’t decided whether to keep going full tilt or to ease up in the interest of cost and convenience.” The Organic Industry has always been criticized for its high-price, that there’s no equation between its higher price and its wholesome, healthful benefits for people and the planet, for its ‘premium’ price or for it being a ‘luxury. The Industry should be especially sensitive to these attacks and miss-positionings during this tough period of a softening economy. Last week, the financial advice Web site reported that to feed eight people an organic meal of traditional Thanksgiving foods, a shopper would pay $295.36 - a premium of $126.35, or 75 percent, over a non-organic holiday spread. When we allow a direct price comparison between Organic Good Food and the non-organic stuff, we allow the assumption that there is no difference between Organic Good Food and the non-organic stuff, that there’s no health compromise, so therefore, the decision can be made on price alone. And WHO AMONG US BELIEVES THAT to be true! It would be like allowing the consumer’s decision to be based ONLY on the ‘retail price’ differential between seventh GENERATION™ Natural Laundry Detergent and Tide®. 3) “In Dr. Greene’s latest book, “Raising Baby Green: The Earth-Friendly Guide to Pregnancy, Childbirth and Baby Care”, he advocates a “strategic” approach, urging parents to insist on organic versions of a few main foods, like milk, potatoes, apples and baby food.” And as a pediatrician, Dr. Greene knows that every bite of everything is disproportionately MORE important to child than adult. I would argue that the Organic Industry has to decide EITHER it believes in the wholesome, healthful benefits of Organic Good Foods OR it doesn’t. If we believe in the wholesome, healthful benefits of Organic Good Foods, then ALL categories are important, and if we don’t, then they’re not. But by ‘offering’ a selective approach, we give away our undisputable, wholesome, healthful position of strength across the board, and simply perpetuate the myth: ‘organic’ isn’t better, just more expensive. I don’t know about you, but these ‘you can be selective and exclude’, arguments would concern me, and if I were the maker of Organic Good Food cereals, condiments, seasonings and spices, ice creams, cookies, juices, ref/frozen convenience entrees and treats, raised 100% grass-fed beef, grew carrots, grew rice and grains, made dark chocolates, baked bread, gathered eggs, shelled nuts, dried fruit, brewed ale, made wine, distilled vodka or offered great snacks, I’d be writin’ The Good Doctor! To Your Health! Dennis L. Weaver Good Food Guide Founder Change Your Food – Change Your Life!™ 425.774.8971
ivamaria picture
wonderful! After being very sick for many years, with doctor visits almost every week and taking up to a dozen medications a day, I decided to eat only organic. this was difficult a first, due to the lack of available organic products where I live, but I am now on only one medication, go months without a visit to the doctor and feel better than I have felt in over twenty years. The doctors say the organics have nothing to do with it, but they are so very wrong.