10 Organic Products Experts Would Never Buy

a couple inspect a product at a grocery storeConsumer expenditures may have dropped 2.8% in 2009, but when it came to organic products, people were willing to open their wallets. According to the Organic Trade Association, U.S. organic sales, including food and non-food products, grew 5.3% from 2008, totaling $26.6 billion.

While buying organic can be beneficial, health-conscious consumers don't have to pay extra for that label on every food or cosmetic product they buy, say experts.

Here are ten organic grocery and drugstore items experts say they wouldn't put in their carts:

1. Organic Wild Seafood a Misnomer

"Don't buy wild-caught seafood labeled organic, because there is no such thing as organically-grown wild seafood," says Jeff Cox, author of The Organic Cook's Bible. "The diet of the sea creatures can't be ascertained or controlled. Anyone selling wild-caught seafood as organic is committing fraud."

2. Smelly Veggies Are Usually Pest-Free

Cindy Burke, author of To Buy Or Not To Buy Organic, says she rarely splurges for organic onions, garlic, shallots and leeks.

"They have such a strong sulfurous smell that few pests are attracted to them -- particularly the bulb part -- so they don't need pesticides. Green onions are the exception because they are grown more for the top part and it's important that they look good, so farmers tend to spray them with pesticides."

Pests also don't like cruciferious vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage, Burke adds. "They too have a strong sulfurous smell so pests don't find them very appealing. Pests are more attracted to something that is sweet, tender and juicy -- like humans."

3. Organic Junk Food Remains Junk Food

Jonny Bowden, a Ph.D, CNN board-certified nutritionist and author of 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth, says the one thing he would never splurge on is "organic junk food."

"On a daily basis, I see absolutely junky cereals that are 'organic,' like organic Cap'n Crunch or organic Choco-Krispies. Just because it was made of organic ingredients -- like organically-grown wheat, organically-grown sugar, etc. -- doesn't mean it's not a high-carb, processed junk food. It annoys me to see the label 'organic' on these foods, because it is meant to imply that they're somehow good for you when all it means is that the junk food was made out of junky ingredients that were grown without pesticides."

4. Non-Organic Grains and Rice Mixes Work Fine

"For grains and products that do not include meat or dairy, it is not necessary to buy organic," says Sophia Aslanis, a registered dietitian and founder of Nutrition 4 Life. "A better alternative would be choosing whole grain items and less processed foods. Organic rice mixes that include the 'Clean 15' vegetables like sweet peas, sweet corn, eggplant and sweet onions are not necessarily worth the extra cost."

5. Save by Growing Your Own Herbs

"Growing your own organic culinary herbs is one way just about anyone, even those living in very small spaces, can save money, says Gayla Trail, Yougrowgirl.com blogger and author of Grow Great Grub: Organic Food from Small Spaces. "Herbs are a very cost-effective crop in that one plant can provide a very reasonable harvest over a long period of time. Mint, oregano, thyme, rosemary, marjoram and parsley plants purchased as small transplants and transferred to a few very large pots will start to produce small harvests in just a few weeks and keep producing over the growing season with little effort," she says.

Cilantro, basil and dill, for example, are easily grown from seed. Trail recommends eating fresh herbs during the prime gardening months and preserve the rest by freezing or drying for use during the off-season. Thyme, oregano, marjoram, chives and parsley are fairly resilient plants that will tough it out on a sunny windowsill, she says. "So you can add small snips of fresh herbs to your meals through the winter months."

6. Skip Organic Fruits and Veggies With Thick Skins

While it's better to buy organic fruits and vegetables if you can, it's okay to economize when it comes to "thicker-skinned fruits and vegetables, like cantaloupe, bananas, watermelon, squash, etc.," says holistic nutritionist Rick Schaff. "They should typically contain less contaminants once the skin has been peeled and discarded. If you choose to buy conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables, be sure to soak them in water or a safe wash solution to get rid of as many chemicals as possible."

7. Organic Moisturizers are Really Just Marketing

If you're shopping for a moisturizer, look at old-fashioned cold creams, recommends Ruth Winter, award-winning journalist and author of A Consumer's Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients. "Cold cream, originally developed by the Greek physician Galen, consisted of a mixture of olive oil, beeswax, water and rose petals. Mineral oil is now usually substituted for olive oil, which can become rancid. Cold cream is hundreds of dollars less expensive than highly-promoted moisturizers with supposedly exotic natural ingredients wrapped up in fancy containers and a lot of hype."

"The FDA and USDA have washed their hands, so to speak, of trying to set standards for 'natural' or 'organic' cosmetics. They're stumped by natural and organic products being processed with synthetic chemicals," she says.

8. Any Mascara Brand Goes the Distance
"Mascaras don't have a heavy load of toxic ingredients and are fairly safe," says Marilyn Blackston, a board-certified otolaryngologist. "You can ditch the organic options and purchase your favorite drugstore brand."

9. Make Your Own Organic Cosmetics Instead of Buying Retail

Creating homemade beauty products is an effective way to save money on cosmetics, says Liz Thompson, founder of Organicbeautysource.com. "Olive oil makes a great cleanser for dry skin and you can whip up your own face and body scrub using organic milk and sugar. Green tea is the perfect toner for all skin types, and one cup lasts a whole week. And when purchasing organic cosmetics, remember not all products labeled 'natural' or 'organic' are created equally. Be sure to read your labels and follow brands committed to safety in cosmetics."

10. Leave Organic Parabens at the Store

Parabens, chemicals used as preservatives, are "popping up in so-called organic lotions and cleansers," says organic esthetician and chemist Kimberly Sayer, founder of Kimberly Sayer of London Organic Skincare, "If the product contains parabens, it is not organic. To identify parabens in an ingredient list, look for prefixes including methyl, propyl, butyl and ethyl parabens."

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Intro to different retirement accounts

What does it mean to have a 401(k)? IRA?

View Course »

Goal Setting

Want to succeed? Then you need goals!

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:
Connor Williams

You misread #7. The article says to skip organic and regular moisturizers because they both contain mineral oil instead of olive oil. It says to go with a cold cream product because it contains olive oil. The article agrees with you.

December 20 2015 at 12:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Number 7 is wrong. Completely wrong. "Organic Moisturizers are Really Just Marketing." This section talks about the replacement of mineral oils instead of olive oil. The truth is that mineral oil is a cheap substitute of olive oil. Mineral oil has terrible effects on the skin because it is a petroleum based oil. The molecules of this oil is so large that they can not allow the pass of oxygen and nutrients into the skin. Mineral oil suffocates and blocks the skin trapping dirt inside. It doesn't allow for any moisture to penetrate the skin only giving an illusion of softness and moisture. Mineral oil is so far from organic because it's a waste byproduct of petroleum. It is in 95% of all store cosmetics because it is a cheap filler just like silicones are to hair products. The "exotic natural ingredients" like olive oil should be the only kind of products to use on skin. Back to the point of the article, who wants to be rubbing chemicals and pesticides of their skin if it isn't organic anyways? I don't think anyone does.

Last thing I want to clarify in the last section 10 "leave organic parabens at the store." Parabens are not naturally occurring so it is impossible for them to be organic. This doesn't mean you should skip the organic products. Organic products use natural ingredients like fruits, vegetables and essential oils to deliver real nutrients into skin. These ingredients do spoil because they are the food we eat. This is a good thing this means they are natural! Naturally occurring preservatives to exist such as salt or honey, and keeping things solid/dry/without water. For everything else parabens are used. At LUSH cosmetics we use FDA food safe preservatives. If it is safe enough for us to eat them in the foods we eat on a daily basis it is safe enough to keep our moisturizers fresh.

I have heard not to believe everything you read. This article has proven this for me!

April 16 2014 at 11:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Check out our organic products @ http://thesungarden.com/

December 26 2013 at 4:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply