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Does “Organic” Matter?

I’m notoriously frugal, but I also care deeply about the things my kids are exposed to. I was brought up as a strict vegetarian and my parents were always very careful to make sure the foods I ate were as natural as possible, but back when I was a kid there wasn’t as great a prevalence of organic food and items readily available.

Now that I’m a mom I sometimes wonder if paying extra for organic items is worth the cost. Many times I have stood in front of something like strawberries and glanced back and forth between the regular and organic strawberries, wondering if I should pay extra for the organic ones or if it’s more important to save money.

I went to a reliable source to solve this dilemma. I chatted with Rod Olaes, Director of Marketing for EcoBaby, but perhaps more importantly, father to a four year old daughter. “Traditional clothing has a lot of synthetic materials in it and they use a lot of chemicals in the clothing to keep it the way it is.” He says that organic clothing gets softer with each wash and he doesn’t even have to use fabric softener anymore.

Organic clothing items have additional benefits beyond just how nice they feel. He says that children with eczema may soon find that their skin is not as irritated when wearing organic clothing instead of traditionally manufactured items. So not only are the clothes more comfortable to wear, but they are less irritating to the skin.

Sounds great, but what about the cost?

Organic clothing and other organic items usually cost more. Why? “Keep in mind that a lot of products that are organic are made in the U.S., and because the cost of labor is higher in the U.S. that’s something that we have to pay for as opposed to something that’s made overseas and that’s a lot cheaper.” Rod also emphasizes how important it is to support the local economy and think along the lines of environmental sustainability.

So the bottom line is this: Although I may have to pay extra for organic items, overall they are better for my babies and better for the environment. I don’t take much more convincing than that.

You can find out more about the items offered through Rod’s company at his blog. Be sure to also check out a really interesting website he gave me to look at: Pedoodles, a company that offers baby shoes made out of recycled materials. Now that’s cool.

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