Which Do You Choose? Organic Food or Variety of Fresh Foods – The Renegade Health Show Episode #131

Tuesday Sep 2 | BY |
| Comments (32)

This should bring some healthy discussion…

Which do you think is better? Eating all organic foods with no or little variety or eating a very wide variety of non-organics? Watch the show to see what I think and then post your comment below… I really want to hear your thoughts on this one!

I also explain a mistake in a recent email (thanks Grant, for pointing it out!) about protein and what other fruits contain plenty of protein, so you can steer clear of animal protein if you’re so inclined…

Go ahead and watch now…

Your question of the day: Which do you think is better? Eating all organic foods with no or little variety or eating a very wide variety of non-organics?

Click here, scroll down to the bottom of the page and leave your thoughts now!

Live Awesome!

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog RenegadeHealth.com — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.


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  1. Renée says:

    I recently watched another interesting talk/perspective on raw eating & protein: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S86h14rIWLM

    Variety is the spice of life! Mono-eating doesn’t appeal to me, although I admire the athletic 80/10/10 folks a bit.

  2. Kevin,

    WTF man…I’ve known you for years and I find about this blog from a Facebook update. Party foul…however, it makes me very happy to have stumbled upon it 🙂

    I don’t have a comment on whether it’s better to eat raw or variety because that’s actually something I just recently started to look into so my expertise is very limited. But, I wanted to ask you…what are your thoughts of Hemp Protein? About a year and a half ago, I became vegetarian. I have a pretty tough workout schedule which requires I get my fair intake of protein. I’ve tried Hemp Protein, but man, it’s expensive, and tastes terrible…it really tastes terrible (if you have any reco’s on how to make that stuff taste good, please let me know). But yea…is Hemp a good source of protein from what you know? It just seems that it’ll cost me a fortune to keep up with the amount of protein I need on a daily basis if I continue to use Hemp…

  3. Al says:

    Prefer to go organic & leave some things out if necessary, though it is possible to find most produce in organic form these days, especially in SoCal. One caveat to this. I do a majority of my shopping at farmers’ markets. Many of the sellers do not have the organic certification because as our government has gotten more involved, certifying as organic has gotten much more bureaucratic. Numerous farmers are raising locally, using organic procedures, eliminating pesticides, etc… but have not gotten certified organic. Bottom line – get to know your local growers.

  4. Joyce says:

    In the best of all worlds we would have a complete variety of affordable, organic foods.
    In the interim, providing the body with a well rounded variety is important not only to supply needed nutrients but to please our spoiled palates.

    When you look at the plant eating animals in the wild, they certainly grow big, strong and healthy on a very limited diet, don’t they?

  5. sarah says:

    neither one!

  6. sunnie says:

    Organic, hands down.

    A huge misconception is that we need to get a wide range of nutrients at every meal, when in fact, it is not necessary to eat a wide variety every day or even every week. If someone lives in an erea with only a few organic options, chances are that the options will change with the season and said person will get a perfect balance of everything needed at the end of the day, er year.

    Local, seasonal, and organic FTW!

  7. Bea says:

    Variety! I couldn’t stand to have a boring diet, be it organic or not–you have to enjoy and love the food that feeds you.

  8. LINDA says:

    on the call with nomie she said braggs amino’s are not good for you…WHY??? nama shoyu has wheat in it and i can not eat wheat…………..so use
    braggs and would really appreciate knowing what is wrong with it????? thank you

  9. debra says:

    Organic! Who needs a variety of pesticides. Horses, cows, elephants, whales, many animals have very little variety in their diet. Take the advice of the above post; get to know your local farmers and you won’t have a problem finding a variety of foods. You may have to eat seasonally -hmmm, eating seasonally might just be about the most natural and in tune thing to do.

  10. Wendi Dee says:


    It’s sounding like Graham did a bit of bewitching on you…you seem to be leaning toward 80/10/10 being an okay way to eat raw. 😛

    As for chosing beteen variety and organics, I would approach that as I do everything else in my life. I want a variety of organics, so I’m going to find a way to get them. Why settle for some option that someone else says we must live by, when we can create our own rules? 😉 LOL

    Lots of love to you,


  11. GISELLE says:


  12. Roger says:

    Sometimes I wonder if the organic greens I buy are really organic. Maybe it’s best to eat a variety of greens whether organic or not and just make sure you wash them really well.
    By the way, what are your thoughts about eating late at night? Is it best to stop eating before 7:00pm even when on a raw diet?

  13. Nancy says:

    Love your show and watch it regularly!

    Organic vs Variety is a tough choice! I personally feel as you do that variety is the best overall nutritional choice…..IF you are healthy and the selected foods are clean, locally grown and hopefully fall into the category of those which naturally harbor less contamination. I remember seeing a chart once (wish I saved it) that listed those foods that are heavily sprayed, like grapes and strawberries, vs foods that have less contamination, like winter squash, pineapples and thicker skinned fruits. However, most root vegetables, like carrots, potatoes, and yams, should be organic or grown in clean soil to be on the safe side.

    For people who are detoxing and/or are chronically or acutely ill, choosing appropriate organic foods puts less toxic load on the organs so they heal faster.

    I personally choose the latter because a totally organic diet works miracles! My two little Schnauzers, now 11 years old, nearly died from pancreas and liver problems during the dog food scare. I put them on an all organic, home made diet with herbs and homeopathics. Two years later, they are well and act like puppies again! I, too, have seen great improvement in my breathing and immune response while on mostly raw whole organic foods! After all this work to get clean and healthy, I do NOT want to mess up my system with just any non-organic food. Same goes for the pups!

    So, if you are healthy, go for carefully chosen varieties of non-organic foods! If you are not, I would suggest going organic! It is well worth the extra cost!

  14. I saw Organic for sure.. and shop at the local Farmers Market to get more variety at a cheaper price…
    Blessings , Marina 🙂

    I just made your Kale/ Avocado Salad tonight that you and Annmarie made recently.. Turned otu fabulous.. I will make this again this Friday to take to my first Raw food Potluck party.. Thank you guys 🙂

  15. Kevin Gianni Kevin Gianni says:

    Thanks for all your comments, guys! Just want to be clear about the question here….

    The question was for very, very few organic selections and wide variety of fresh veggies.

    I’ve seen the veggies at our local stop and shop and there is literally these options for organic… celery, carrot, mixed greens. That’s it. So in this case, I’d pick variety.

    I, of course, think organic is best! That’s why I urge you to search further and deeper and you’ll find what you’re looking for…



  16. marlene says:

    I have to say organic. My body really reacts to non-organic and now that my husband eats organic he notices a big difference. The other day he went to the local store (our organic one is 30 minutes away)to get an onion and avocado. He couldn’t get over how the taste was so different and unappealing!

  17. for Nancy: the current Vegetarian Times magazine (September 2008) has your chart in an article ‘how to buy organic’ (p. 52) that includes “the relevant factors to weigh when making the decision to buy organic or non-organic” and the ‘dirty dozen’. I still had some questions after reading it, but found it a good resource.

  18. Meri says:

    I think it’s all been said already! I don’t even want to entertain a choice between organic and variety, I want both so I have both. Occasionally an organic option is unavailable so I either go without or buy fairtrade or conventional if there’s no other option. Marlene’s right though, the taste is just not the same and on the occasion that I do buy a conventional version of something I often wonder why I bothered at all when I actually taste it!

  19. Cindy says:

    Organic or variety. For me living in a produce growing area, meeting field workers with reactions to chemicals they are coming in contact with in the field (rashes, lumps, miscarriages etc.) I am more inclined to go with organic. If I eat something none organic, I am very careful on what it is, thick skin that is discarded (lemons etc.) or peel it. Mostly I do without.

  20. Marion says:

    I prefer organic and variety, however, I have found that I must ask if the seeds these things were grown from are ‘genetically modified’. Not long ago I stopped at a local market and the corn looked heavenly. But I asked if it was from genetically modified seed and was told YES. So I did not buy it. I think going organic must include avoiding genetically modified produce. Zucchini most generally is genetically modified. There is talk about GM bananas to introduce more vitamins into the fruit. Not good in my opinion. I don’t believe “organic” necessarily means the food is safe to eat. I think ‘organic’ simply means no pesticide or herbicide or chemical fertilizer was used in the growing process. That is great, but not enough to consider. We need to avoid GM foods!

  21. Debi says:

    To linda’s coquestion on Braggs
    IBraggs is isolated soy protein. The long term effects are not known yet. Isolated soy proteins, are found in fake soy meats etc. Tofu and tempeh particularly tempeh are okay.

  22. Rena says:

    Here is a link to a web site that lists the ‘dirty dozen’:
    You can also do a search on ‘dirty dozen’.

    Braggs: Check out the book Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills by Russell Blaylock. It talks about Braggs. Have you tried wheat free tamari? My husband is gluten intolerant and so this is what I use.

    I do variety because of availability and costs of organic. But I do try to stick to the dirty dozen list.

  23. Kim says:

    I prefer organic, especially if I will be eating lots of it, if it be raw fruits, veggies, grains and snacks for me it must be oranic. 90%of everything we purchase, (grow 100%organic) and eat is organic. I personally have felt the difference when I eat non-organic(even a little of it)which makes it hard eating out or at friends who aren’t even a little raw let alone organic.
    Peace and Blessings,

  24. Paulina says:

    I think organic is key to a healthy lifestyle but variety is also important, the best thing to do is get local foods as most of the time local farmers will be more organic than big supermarket chains.. 😀

  25. Donna says:

    Definitely organic. Anyone can get more variety by growing their own. Even living in an apartment. Sprouts, lettuces, radishes, etc. in shallow pots by the windows, on a patio or balcony. Then you know you’re eating the best quality, organic and local!

  26. Louise says:

    Hey All:

    Many things were said, and much of it makes real sense… here’s a pearl for you, when you eat a tropical fruit in winter your kidneys think you are in the tropics… if they had a window to look out onto they could see that you might live in Toronto and it might be winter….. but kidney’s don’t have a window to look out of…. why would this help you think! if a tropical fruit is eaten in winter the kidneys think you are in the tropics so therefore they stop making vit D… I’m sure you have heard so much of late regarding the lack of vit D and the rise in cancer….that is why most naturalist believe you need to eat local, organic and in season

  27. Sandra Dovali says:

    I try to eat organic when I can but I also like to support the little produce market in my neighborhood who stays open til 7 everyday!

  28. Steve says:

    This depends on a certain extent as to how much organic produce is available. I usually shop of orgnic produce, but if it isn’t available, then I go for the non-organic option. Sometimes the organic selection available is too limited or far too expensive, so I have no real choice but to buy non-organic. If I stuck with only the organic food available, I’d get bored with my diet. That’s a huge consideration because trying to be too perfect can make us unhappy, which is also unhealthy. So it’s best to eat as healthily as you can without being too anal about it. There are certain non-organic foods that I avoid at all costs though because I’ve read that they have large amounts of pecticides. You could also try growing your won if you have a garden. If you don’t have a garden, then you can grow great sprouts and leaves with the EasyGreen Sprouter – it’s available in the US and UK for sure and also some other countries. See http://www.easygreen.com.

    Thanks for the great info Kevin. And for the great recipes Anne Marie!

  29. Kristina says:

    A variety of organic local of course. You can sometimes get farms to ship or deliver boxed varieties of fresh picked fruits and veggies. We learned the life force is stronger the sooner eaten from the earth so that is our way. Or grow your own (if you can) to: Marion above I wanted to clarify that Organic cannot be grown from GMO seeds. We have relatives who are certified organic farmers in Montana and stay up to date on Organic info and requirements and the seeds must be organic meaning not only non GMO but also the seeds must have been collected from organic plants (grown without gunk) in order for what you grow to be considered organic. But these days over 80% of soy grown is GMO round up ready and I beleve the statistic for corn was 60%. Check out http://www.organicconsumers.org millions against monsanto and there you can try to help stop GMO.(and learn more if you wish)
    There are also some wonderful documentaries about all this on http://www.documentarywire.com and http://www.freedocumentaries.org
    Sorry to have strayed off topic Kev I am really passionate about protecting food and farms from this Corporate Crime.


  30. Carole says:

    I try to stick to organics, especially berries, apples, peaches, greens, etc. I eat raw so I feel I have to protect against pesticides. I have several stores to shop for organics, giving me a great choice. If I can’t find organic sweet potatoes (ex.) I spray them with hydrogen peroxide 3%, rinse, then spray with white vinegar and rinse which helps get rid of pesticides–but never with berries, or above mentioned. We have local farmers who go to green markets Oct-April, several are organic vendors. I choose to eat seasonal and have a small garden, but in the deep south, it’s too hot during the summer to grow much.

  31. Kaloa says:

    I know I’m way late on this comment, but I live in an area where the closest market with any sort of organic’s section is 70 miles away. The local store down the street literally has only 2 choice of organic foods, a mixed herb salad and baby spinach, and not alway’s those. I do the best I can here, I special order produce in bulk and can sometimes afford the organic, but it’s literally 4x’s as expensive as the conventionally grown. Even the conventionally grown produce isnt great here, it’s far to far from home to be fresh. The local ‘farmers market’ is a very sad place it literally sells out before 10 am there is very little produce brought there and it’s not alway’s organic. All I’ve seen there is potato’s and cucumbers! (and some dang good homemade cocochip cookies once!) I’ve begun buying bananas and grapes and other conventionally grown fruits to freeze because the produce situation here is very sad, even in the peak of summer!!
    So now with my circumstances here, I say I get a variety, as much as I can, organic whenever possible. But I feel that it’s better to be raw as possible on conventionally grown stuff than give up and eat Mac n cheese and McDonalds double cheese burgers because I cant find or afford organics in this area.

  32. Denis says:

    Okay, I can’t help but put my two cents into this. Organics versus Conventional + Variety. In order to answer this without personal opinion. We need to ask ourselves what separates Organics from Conventional Vegetables? Then we need to ask ourselves are the benefits of Variety better than negatives of Conventional Regulations? Well the answer to the first question is Pesticides. So that leads us to another question. Are Pesticides bad for us and just how bad are they? Pesticides are terrible, if you do the research on them don’t take my word for it, but they are very toxic, and their toxicity heavily outweighs the nutrient density of Conventional Vegetables(Hint: Conventional Vegetables have very little nutrient density due to the soil they’re grown in has no micronutrients in it and the fact that pesticides inhibit the natural production of Antioxidants that the plant would normally produce as it’s own natural pesticides). The benefits of variety no doubt plays a huge factor in our health as certain vegetables offer certain nutritional packages, and the way vitamins work are sort of like gears, so certain vitamins need other vitamins to work properly. So variety is huge, but Pesticides, terrible soil, Almost all conventional vegetables that are from big agriculture are Genetically Modified(I suggest you start looking into what the government allows for fertilizers on conventional farms.. stuff like sewer sludge I kid you not).

    In my opinion it’s more important to stay away from bad stuff than it is to eat perfectly well in this day in age. Choose Organic over Non-Organic. But also be versed with what your local farmers are growing as mentioned previously, some local farmers can’t get their organic license for silly reasons.

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