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Living Maxwell


Should You ALWAYS Eat Organic?

Recently, I got a comment from a woman who felt guilty about feeding her kids pesticide-laden, conventionally-grown food and asked if she “should always feed them organic.”

As someone who is very passionate about organic, I am going to be biased about organic food, which should not come as a surprise to anyone.

Organic food does not allow food to be grown with super-toxic pesticides, genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) or synthetic fertlizers.

To me, food is medicine, and that means keeping these toxic tag-alongs out of my body.

There are two primary factors when deciding to buy organic: affordability and accessibility.

Can you afford it? Is it available?

A few other things to consider when buying organic.


If I can purchase local and organic, that is absolutely what I try to do.

However, local does not govern my decision-making process. Organic does.

While buying local may keep dollars in the local economy, there are absolutely no standards regarding “local”, and local does not mean organic or pesticide-free.

It is very possible that local farmers are using a ton of toxic chemicals on their crops. Am I supposed to be excited about this tainted food just because it is local?

For some reason, many people seem to think so but I am not one of them.


Without a question, organic farming is much better for the environment than conventional farming.

Not only does it practice crop rotation, but organic farming is not poisoning the water supply, damaging the soil quality, or negatively impacting biodiversity because it doesn’t use super-toxic pesticides, chemicals widely used on GMOs.

Additionally, the workers are not getting sick from exposure to toxic chemicals sprayed on the crops.


While it is very far from perfect, I believe in supporting the USDA organic program and the companies that go through the time and expense to get USDA certified organic.

The more people we have involved in the program and purchasing products with the USDA seal, the greater chance we have to make sure that its integrity is maintained.


I don’t believe that super-toxic pesticides, such as glyphosate, which are allowed in conventional food and prohibited in organic food, have any business being in our bodies.

And this isn’t just some organic food blogger talking about the health risks of chemicals. It is what the medical experts say as well.

According to the President’s Cancer Panel report, 41% of Americans will get cancer and 21% of Americans will die from it. One of the report’s key recommendations is to eat food that has been grown without the use of pesticides.

The report also said that “the true burden of environmentally induced cancer has been grossly underestimated. With nearly 80,000 chemicals on the market in the United States, many of which are used by millions of Americans in their daily lives and are un- or understudied and largely unregulated, exposure to potential environmental carcinogens is widespread.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics shares similar concerns and says that pesticide exposure for children must be reduced. It stated that “epidemiologic evidence demonstrates associations between early-life exposure to pesticides and pediatric cancers, decreased cognitive function, and behavioral problems. Related animal toxicology studies provide supportive biological plausibility for these findings.”

Now back to the original question.

Should you always buy organic?

You should be eating as much organic as you can, based on how much you can afford and how much is accessible to you.

Breaking it down even further, I would say these are the priorities.

1) KIDS  I firmly believe that organic for children is much more important than it is for adults because their bodies are still developing, and pesticides and synthetic grown hormones may cause real harm.

If I had kids and couldn’t afford to feed the entire family organic, my kids would be getting all organic while I would switch to a vegetarian, non-GMO diet – a diet that can be done relatively inexpensively.

Kids are the absolute priority, and I would do whatever it took to make sure they were eating “clean” food.

2) MEAT AND DAIRY  If you consume meat and/or dairy products, these are a must to be eating organic. And if you haven’t seen the movie Food, Inc. yet, please do so immediately.

Aside from the fact that conventionally-raised animals are allowed to be given synthetic growth hormones, many conventionally-raised animals “live” in Concentrated Animal Feedlot Operations (CAFOs), the most despicable and inhumane institutions in this country.

Furthermore, conventionally-raised animals may also be fed GMO-grain.

In laboratory tests, we know that rats fed GMO-corn experienced serious liver and kidney damage.

Do we really want to be ingesting sick animals????

3) FRUITS AND VEGETABLES WITH PEEL/SKIN  Non-organic fruits and vegetables are allowed to be sprayed with toxic pesticides, insecticides and herbicides.

Fruits and vegetables where you eat the skin, such as grapes, strawberries and spinach, are the foods that should be purchased organic. Many of these foods are on The Dirty Dozen list.

Also, do not be fooled into thinking that you can buy a fruit and vegetable wash, even the best one on the market by Vermont Soap Organics, and believe that you can simply wash off pesticides from conventionally-grown produce. It absolutely won’t happen.

Pesticides have penetrated the exterior and are deep inside of the food.

4) COFFEE  Coffee is one of the most chemically-treated crops on the planet. If you’re a coffee drinker, switch to organic immediately.

5) FRUITS AND VEGETABLES WITH NO PEEL/SKIN  Fruits and vegetables where you don’t eat the skin, such as bananas or oranges.

I hear all of the time that eating conventional bananas is totally fine, and I couldn’t disagree more. I have visited banana plantations in Central America, and they showed me first-hand how conventional bananas get lathered with chemicals.

SIDE NOTE: AVOID GENETICALLY-MODIFIED FOODS  On a separate but very related note, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you ever eat genetically-modified foods.

Click HERE to read the 65 different health risks for consuming GMOs, including liver damage, kidney damage, organ failure, testicular irregularities and many, many others.

In the U.S.,
– 94% of soy
– 90% of canola
– 88% of corn
– 95% of sugar beets

…………….. are genetically-modified. So, if you are eating any of the above (in most processed, conventional foods), you are almost guaranteed to be eating GMOs. Either stop eating them or switch to organic versions of them.

A message from Tradin Organic

Why Tradin Organic is Prioritizing Regenerative Organic Farming

At Tradin Organic, we believe that regenerative organic farming is key to growing healthy and nutritious food ingredients — for now and for future generations.

And in Sierra Leone, we have grown the world’s first Regenerative Organic Certified cacao.

Learn more.

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The EPA Continues to Ignore the Danger of Atrazine, Which is Ruining Our Water Supply and Putting Our Health in Jeopardy

One of the reasons that many of us purchase organic is because we don’t want to put food into our bodies that contains synthetic chemicals.

Yet even though we may not eat conventionally-grown food ourselves, we still need to be very aware (and concerned) about what is going on in the non-organic world. Why?

Because the toxic chemicals that are sprayed on conventionally-grown food end up in the water supply.

And the EPA is not doing its job when it comes to protecting the integrity of our water.

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A message from Tradin Organic

How Tradin Organic is Helping Coconut Farmers in The Philippines

For more than a decade, Tradin Organic has been working with local partners in The Philippines to bring a diversified range of organic products to the market, such as coconut oil, tropical fruits and even cocoa.

The company is helping to support local farmers by assisting them with technical support and organic certification, in addition to paying Fairtrade premium on top of the organic premium.

Learn more.

Living Maxwell


All Organic Eggs are NOT the Same – Here’s How to Buy the Best

If you walk into the supermarket and are confused about which organic eggs to buy, it is important to understand a few things.

First, not all organic eggs are the same. In fact, there are massive differences in organic eggs, particularly in regards to how the birds were raised.

Second, don’t select a carton of organic eggs simply because it has the nicest, most attractive packaging. That doesn’t tell the whole story.

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livingmaxwell: a guide to organic food & drink