Are You Part of the Organic Mommy Mafia?

Are you part of the “Organic Mommy Mafia?” I can’t help but feel a little offended that I would be related to the mafia because I care about the food that my child eats,  after reading this post.

Naturally, I had to write a rebuttal because that’s what I do when I am passionate about things. Plus, I truly feel like us “natural” folks are misunderstood and there are a few points that I need to express my feelings about.


The Problem is Most Kids Are Eating JUNK

One of the biggest issues I have with this particular post is when she states:

Take the most common mommy worry — pesticides. According to the calculator at Safefruitsandveggies.com, a project of the nonprofit Alliance for Food and Farming, “a child could consume 1,508 servings of strawberries in one day without any effect even if the strawberries have the highest pesticide residue recorded for strawberries by USDA.”

Or how about this: “A teen could consume 206 servings of peaches in one day without any effect even if the peaches have the highest pesticide residue recorded for peaches by USDA.” (source)

Alright, so here is the problem that I have after reading this snippet. The fact is that MOST kids do NOT eat 1,508 servings of strawberries in a year.  MOST kids don’t eat 208 servings of peaches in a year. What MOST kids DO eat is junk food; fast food joints, boxed foods, processed meats and cheese. Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey shows in children 2-18 years old, half of empty calories come from six foods: soda, fruit drinks, dairy desserts, grain desserts, pizza, and whole milk. (source) And what makes up most of these foods? Hard to pronounce ingredients, additives, hormones to just name a few.

Tell me, when is the last time you have been able to find diglyceride in your kitchen cabinet? Or when the last time you made a recipe that contained erythritol?  How can our bodies possibly understand how to recognize and properly digest these “foods”?

But not only can you find ingredients that you need a college degree to know how to pronounce, you’ll also find artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, additives, chemicals, genetically modified organisms– did I miss anything? And if these ingredients were not so bad, then why on earth do companies like Kellogg’s make products that are shipped to Europe with different ingredient lists then the ones found in America? If you guessed the products sent to Europe don’t have anything artificial in them, you guessed right.

And when it comes to the argument on pesticides, sometimes I feel like we lose sight of our common sense. Yes, it’s always good to back things up with science but let’s face it, it’s hard to trust scientific studies. There are so many contradicting studies and there are also great possibilities that many studies are tweaked to be beneficial to Big Food companies.  What most “non-organic” people  fail to realize is that many of these foods are genetically modified to have the pesticide IN them. Yes, e-ver-y living cell in that piece of corn (which can be found in over 80% of processed foods) has been genetically engineered so that when a bug bites the corn, their stomachs burst from the inside out. There is a HUGE difference between having the pesticide on the fruit or vegetable and having the pesticide built in to the food.

While there are many speculations about whether or not this is harmful to humans, there have been multiples studies suggesting that genetically modified genes are horizontally transferred into our blood stream. For example, in Canada, researchers found Cry1Ab, a specific strain of BT toxin, in 93% of maternal blood samples, 80% in fetal cord samples and 69% of non-pregnant women blood samples. (source)  This means that not only is the BT toxin surviving in our gut, it’s transferring into our bloodstream and into the bloodstream of our unborn children! To learn more about GMOs and how you can avoid them click here.

So, bringing it back to the pesticides, common sense tells me that if I eat an apple which has not been sprayed with any chemicals, it is probably better for me and my family than eating an apple that has indeed been sprayed with chemicals. This is regardless if scientific studies state that organic foods are no more nutritionally exceptional.


“Organic Moms” Are Not Elitists

I honestly can’t stand when I hear that families who choose to buy organic foods and do their due diligence in making sure their children eat food that is organic, that these families are considered elitists and snobs. My family makes less than 35k a year and we have to sacrifice many things in order to maintain our real food diet. Yes, organic foods are expensive which is why it is important to know how to shop for organic. We do this because it’s important to us. The fact of the matter is that parents who choose to buy organic (whether that is exclusively or part-time) do not buy it because they consider themselves elitists or snobs. “Organic Mommy Mafia” members have done hours upon hours of research because they are legitimately concerned with what is happening with our food and only want to do what is right for their families.

Many mothers put their children on non-GMO, organic food diets because they literally see a difference in their children’s behavior, attitude, and well-being. Many mothers put their children on non-GMO, organic food diets because they literally see their children heal from diseases and disorders that were never relieved by drugs. Might I add I believe it is unfair and disrespectful for the author to call out a mom who believes food laced with additives, artificial junk and GMOs makes her son’s ADHD worse. The author makes this mom out to be a nut job by saying “a stray Goldfish or Cheerio might set him off.” Who knows what kind of hard journey that mother and her family has been on and the fact that non-GMO food has helped her son is a miracle — not something that should be taken as a joke.

If you take the time and ask people how they feel after switching over to an organic, non-GMO diet you will hear nothing but positive. You go on non-GMO diet for a month then switch back over to eating junk. Then report back and tell me how you feel. Only then can you make a judgement.


Yes, There is Still Organic Food That is Not Good For You

Unfortunately when people talk about organics, they assume that in order to eat healthy, all food consumed must be organic. That is furthest from the truth! It’s about buying organic selectively and knowing which foods are necessary to spend the extra buck on. It’s about skipping the $4 bag of organic chips and making your own at home. It’s not about buying organic processed food because yes, there is organic processed food that is just as bad as conventional processed food. The only difference is there is an organic certification and higher price tag (and yes, organic companies are banking on that but what company doesn’t do that?).

Many of us “organic mommy mafia” members strive for beyond organic. We look for food that is made with wholesome ingredients and ingredients that can be reproduced in our own kitchens. We look for food that is not injected with antibiotics, hormones, or are living in miserable conditions. Whether or not you believe that factory farms are bad, there is truly a difference in which the way pastured animals are raised versus factory farm animals. How would you feel if you were living in a crowded environment, in which everyone around you was sick, tired and unhappy and that you could never express your true inner self (for example, a cow peacefully grazing on pasture)?


Parents Should Be Respected. Period.

Speaking as a mother who lost friends because of my efforts to educate about food choices, all I wanted to do was help. I never pushed the issue on them, I just stated facts and shared my experiences. If moms felt guilty after speaking to me, it was not because I made them feel bad. It’s not because I am insulting the way they live. The wave of guilt sets in because most likely they know that there are better choices for their children but they think it is impossible to live the lifestyle I am. So, instead of inquiring and seeking help and guidance of ways to slowly implement healthier choices, moms let the guilt eat at them which turns them bitter. Then they feel “organic” moms are part of the mafia and believe it is one way or the highway when really it is the “non-organic” moms that have closed their minds and made judgement already. Yes, there are “organic” moms that are extremist but it is not the majority.

What people fail to realize is that the “organic” moms were once “non-organic” moms. Now, most of the time us “organic” mommys feel like we’re looked at as if we have three heads. We feel like we are criticized and scoffed at because our way of living is non-main stream and misunderstood. We often feel like we need to tip toe around people’s emotions because if we say one thing about organic or beyond organic food, the other party will feel insulted.

But putting everything aside, the bottom line is that parents should be respected regardless of their food choices. If you believe that feeding your children goldfish and cheerios is good and nutritional, then you should be respected. If you believe that goldfish and cheerios are devoid of nutrition and want to keep your kids away from those snacks, then you should be respected. However I believe that both sides should have open minds because when it all boils down to it, we all have the same intentions and feelings about our children. We want them to grow up healthy and live long, healthy lives.


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  1. :::slow clap begins:::

    Thank you so much for this beautifully written rebuttal. I couldn’t have even come close to expressing my feelings and these facts as well as you did.

    I sincerely hope that this is spread far and wide…and that the author of the ridiculous piece to which you are rebutting has a chance to read this. On behalf of all “organic mafia moms,” thank you for writing this.

    1. Thank you Jessica. I think it is important for everyone to understand that we should not bring each other down, only lift each other up. <3

  2. We live in a strange world when feeding your child regular food that humans have eaten for thousands of years, is now considered weird, elitist, extreme, and an extension of helicopter parenting. Your rebuttal was great.

    1. It really is quite strange, isn’t it Tara? We’re considered the weird ones when our children have never had a happy meal that comprises of things that hardly resemble what real food is.

  3. I agree with everything you have said 100%.
    I have to be very careful about what I feed my son or his whole body breaks out in a severe atopic dermatitis. It is very difficult to live in a world where he is surrounded by kids who live on junk food, and whose parents judge me for not doing the same. Just going to a birthday party is difficult because the other 3 year olds are all drinking soda pop (!!), and the typical party favor here in Spain is a bag filled with candy and puffed corn packages. (Despite being in Europe, we still have a lot of GMOs in our food.) Why should I be a social outcast because I am trying to prevent my child from being sick!?!?
    The other thing I would like to point out is that while the nutritional profile might be the same between an organic apple and a non-organic one, for example, the nutritional profile of many foods does change depending upon how it was raised. Farm raised salmon have to be injected with colorings to make up for their lack of astaxanthin (a very healthy antioxidant), and beef from cows that aren’t pastured don’t have the same level of Omega 3s.
    GMO corn IS nutritionally different from non GMO corn, having less calcium, magnesium, and manganese, apart from the other problems it brings to the table.
    She mocks those of us that do research these things (saying that we are “uninformed”), and even suggests we don’t worry about the well being of our children, but maybe she should inform herself a bit more before being so judgmental herself.
    Perhaps it’s her own judgmental attitude that she is attributing to others.

    1. Thank you for your comment Tracy! I have a feeling I need to create a post of testimonials from mothers that have experienced positive outcomes from switching over to a diet free of processed junk.

  4. Can you post any scientific studies that show that GMOs that have “been genetically engineered so that when a bug bites the corn, their stomachs burst from the inside out.” ?

  5. Thank you for such a well-written post! I love your genuineness and care, and how you strive to feed your child the very best without shoving it in others face, but knowing what’s best for him after lots of research. I applaud you for saying what so many of us feel!!

    1. Thank you Kristin. Someone needs to say it and quite frankly, I’m tired of being considered an elitist — let alone part of a mafia. But I guess being part of a mafia does sound pretty cool, doesn’t it? #organicmommymafia

  6. I could not agree with you more. We were one of those people eating processed foods and empty calories. My husband and I were overweight and feeling yucky a lot of the time. A year ago we switched our eating habits, cutting out processed foods and eating as much organic as we could. Not only have be both lost 55 pounds but we have more energy and my husband is feeling so great and he is so into it he is going to study to be a holistic nutritionist. I started writing again and my creativity is endless and I have such a positive outlook now it’s incredible. We spend a lot of time studying foods and finding places to get organic foods, looking at ingredients and such. But we spend a ton more time doing the things we love and have the energy to do it so the trade off is worth it. I can honestly say from both point of views that eating organic is the way to go and I will never go back to junk again 🙂

    1. Bravo Becky! I am so happy to hear you and your husband are finally living life and enjoying it. Isn’t the power of real food simply amazing?

  7. Awesome! Thank you for writing this! I don’t have any children yet, but certainly will be an “organic mommy” one day. I am in my twenties and ate the standard american processed fast food diet my entire life, until three years ago. Through an organic, whole foods diet I have healed myself of clinical depression, eczema and a whole host of other issues. I took five prescription drugs for nearly ten years, and today I take none. Simply stated, some foods are healing and some foods are damaging. Choosing not to feed yourself or your child toxic garbage is common sense, not elitist.

    1. Congratulations on healing through real food. I always get so happy and excited to hear people’s healing journeys. Here’s to good health from real food!

  8. WOW WOW. SO well written. Thank you for your BEAUTIFUL rebuttal (I mean your respected opinion)

    We all live on this earth together. Lets help each other out regardless of what we think of each others lives.

    Take each others opinions with a grain of salt.

    Support your friends and families for what they have decided to do for THEIR OWN FAMILIES 🙂

    Opinions are just that “Opinions”.

    We share our experinces openly just like everyone else does. We just get very passionate about they way OUR family’s live and Eat.

    We are not saying you have to live they way we are living.

    We share our lives to you the way you share your lives with us, but its more about whats going in and on our bodies for us.

    Wishing that friends and families stayed close: Regardless of what is done in one’s life that the others disagree with.

    We all want our children to be happy heathly and succeed in what they enjoy.

    You do your thing and We will do our thing.

    But lets try and help each other out every now and then from both sides of the fence.

    I’M just So glad that I do a lot of research on both sides of EVERYTHING for MY FAMILY

    Thank you for writting this 🙂


    We all live on this earth together. Lets help each other out regardless of what we think of each others lives.

  9. Very well written! I’m so glad you wrote this rebuttal. I can’t believe how close-minded and uninformed the author of that other article was! And you don’t have to make all this money and be considered an “elitist” to purchase whole foods to feed your family. You just make it work!

    1. Thank you, Amanda! Buying organic foods is about knowing how to buy them so you *don’t* go broke.

  10. The interesting thing about the NYPost article is the very false assumption that going organic is something those with larger incomes do. In one of my classes on quantitative research methods, we looked at the association between education, income, and how likely a person was to purchase organic foods. There was no significant correlation, and I’d add that the most wealthy people actually were less likely to purchase organic, as well as less likely to believe non-organic was harmful. The data was from the 2010 General Social Survey.
    There should be no fight anyway, moms of all types should spend more time supporting one another, and lots LESS time comparing themselves to others; which is what I suspect this woman’s attitude comes from.
    Also, I have a special needs daughter who has a soy allergy and is gluten free. I’ve been interrogated many times by those who want to feed her junk and think I’m making it up. You’ll never be right in some people’s eyes no matter what you do or how justified it is.
    Thanks for your post!

    1. Alice, thank you for sharing the information about the survey! It is actually quite amazing that most people who do choose to buy organic are the ones with mediocre to low incomes.

      Why can’t parents be respected for what they choose to feed their children!? Imagine how amazing things would be if we all supported each other? I can’t stand the snarky comments like, “Oh (so and so) can’t eat that because it’s not organic.”

      And you’re right, in some peoples eyes, you’ll never be right. That’s why it’s important to just do your own thing and keep faith that you KNOW you are doing the right hing for you and your family. Ultimately, it’s you and your family that have to live together and if real food makes everyone happier, then so be it!

  11. Thanks for writing this rebuttal post. I feel swept into this type of “war” between parents (and moms in particular) because we do try to feed whole foods to Baby Boy. We recognize and are aware that we aren’t doing the best, though we do what we can. I make practically all of our meals from scratch and we don’t buy boxed foods. The misinformation and mis-perception about us parents who try to do our best and actively choose to eat differently have just as tough a time as parents as those who don’t make our same or similar choices. Unfortunately we live in a culture where it’s ‘better’ to pit parents against one another for this reason or that…mostly out of a fear, misunderstanding, and frankly laziness.

    1. It’s not hard to feel like you’re swept into this type of “war.” People are criticizing you left and right and quite frankly, it’s really easy to judge someone when you’ve never stepped in their shoes. That is a fallacy that most people have (including myself at times) and we really need to start practicing compassion and respect towards another, regardless of our food choices!

  12. Thank you for this article Loriel. I appreciate that you wrote this so much. I hope many parents will read this and simply consider theirs and their child’s future, rather than remain in a frame of mind of offense because someone else would dare point out that maybe what’s being served in their kitchen could be harmful.

    1. Thank you, Raine. It’s time to get off the defensive bandwagon and just open our ears for a minute to hear the opposite side without any sort of judgement.

  13. I couldn’t have asked for a better article to read before the end of a VERY hard day because of these issues. THANK YOU for helping me find my head again. Seriously, you have no idea. 🙂

    1. Keep doing what you’re doing, Danielle. When it seems like you have no support, don’t forget Healthy Roots, Happy Soul is here for you!

  14. Hope you don’t let this upset you too much, Loriel, I’ve never read any article by that woman that wasn’t obnoxious. Course I don’t follow her closely for the same reason.

    We all support you! I am a former non-organic mom who made the switch for my own health. I certainly can’t afford to buy all organic, so I grow my own as much as possible. I suspect that is the case for many of us. Unfortunately my son is all grown up! Honestly, I’m thinking about making and delivering frozen meals and other goodies on a monthly basis just so he has something healthy and good to eat.

    Guess I’m an Organic Mom Mafia snob too! 🙂

    1. Hey Lisa,
      Nah, I didn’t let it upset me too much — just enough to produce an awesome blog post as a rebuttal. 🙂 Passion always fuels the greatest things.

      Growing your own is beyond organic and something everyone should dabble with, that’s for sure. I’m such a newbie with gardening and most of it overwhelms me, but I’m taking it step by step.

      That sounds like an amazing thing to do for your son, Lisa! He’s such a lucky kid (even if he is all grown up). 🙂

  15. Nice rebuttal! I too try to eat and feed my family natural foods as best I can. We try to eat more fruits and vegetables as recommended. We also try to cut out the processed foods. We are not perfect, we enjoy chips, pizza, and soda occasionally. We also grow as many foods as possible, and preserve them in various ways. It is important to us to be healthy, not popular. Thanks for your words!

    1. Thanks, Shari! No one is perfect and we definitely shouldn’t be looked down upon because of that. We also enjoy chips, pizza and sweet things. I think it’s all about balance but more importantly, about inspiring each other not criticizing.

  16. Ok…so your last point title is “Parents Should Be Respected Period”. You said that you’ve lost friends because of your “efforts to educate”. You blame losing friends on the other person and never admit to any culpability. Hmm that seems quite a bit one sided to me. You’re not respecting their choices as a parent. If you were and you weren’t “pushing” your views on them as you say, I really think those friends would have felt more comfortable discussing your food “advice”.
    The original article was not talking about all mothers or parents who choose to eat organically or GMO free. It was directly pointed at those moms who take it to the extreme and feel their choice is the only choice. But in the next sentence claim they don’t care what other parents do with their own kids. If you really take offense to that person’s article then I believe you are one of those very people she’s speaking about. Just as you think those friends you lost was due to their own personal guilt over not knowing how to feed their children more healthy and deep down knowing you were right. It goes both ways. You can’t place all blame on one party then turn around and place all blame on them yet again when it clearly isn’t the case.
    Yes there is a war between people who think their way of eating is the right way. Just as there is with religion and each religion believing theirs is the only right one. It’s ridiculous.
    What ever happened to just eating healthy and well balanced meals and snacks? It has gotten out of control!
    The first article ( https://nypost.com/2014/04/19/the-tyranny-of-the-organic-mommy-mafia/ ) was directly commenting about specific people who do take it to the extreme. They lie to their kids (referring to the peanut butter specifically but it happens quite often with other things as well) instead of just telling them the truth “Sorry Honey but that was just what we gave you at the time because that’s all that was available. We choose to not buy commercialized food that has chemicals in them when we’re at home. But you see we were on vacation and now we’re not, so we’re going to have what we always have instead.” Or at least some version of the truth about why they eat what they do etc, etc.
    Also, for one mother (or even a small group of mothers or parents in a school) to insist on only organic snacks in the classroom IS elitist behavior. I have 2 children, and when it came to snack time in the classroom you either provided a snack to be shared with the whole class that the teacher collected a couple times throughout the year. Or your child brought their own snack daily or was allowed to keep a week or two supply in their locker for snack time. It was unthinkable to demand all snacks in the classroom be of one parent’s standard.
    In case of an allergy…the parents would be notified to please not bring treats or snacks for sharing that included that ingredient. But now…a friends kids go to a school that has one child in the entire school with a peanut allergy. This isn’t a small church based or parochial school, this is a public school with several hundred kids in grades kindergarten through 5th grade. Anyway…because their is ONE child with an allergy to peanuts no child in the whole school is allowed to bring ANYTHING into the school containing peanuts. Over the top!
    I am not an organic mom. I can’t afford it. I just try to make sure my kids eat healthy. We try to stay away from processed foods and I don’t buy fast food. I try many different recipes from all sorts of “diets” including Paleo and G.F. But over all, I just try to make sure my kids have healthy home made, and when possible homegrown or locally grown food.
    I try to live a more natural lifestyle where ever I can, or when I can afford. Sometimes natural can be very expensive to start. Especially when you have no money. I also recycle and re-use when ever possible.
    But I also have physical disabilities and am currently applying for SSI. It can make it very difficult for me to spend the time shopping for the right ingredients, standing around in the kitchen cooking and preparing food, and trying to grow my own food. So there’s that as well, sometimes some parents just don’t have the physical or monetary capabilities as others.
    My advice for you and anyone else who takes offense to the main article for this rebuttal…Keep your advice to yourself. If your friends want your “advice” on healthier eating choices, they will ask. Practice what you preach and don’t be hypocritical, and don’t expect other parents to feed their kids the way you feed yours. If your child wants to be friends with a child who’s parents let them eat what you consider junk, maybe try having play dates at your house where you can monitor what your child eats (and theirs for that matter) or send along the snacks with your child on play dates to their friend’s home.
    Don’t let your kid learn from you that others own food choices is a reason to deny your child’s friendship.
    If it’s an allergy or A.D.D. issue, make sure your child knows they have an allergy and could become ill (or worse) if that substance is eaten. And definitely let the friend’s parent know there is an allergy. And definitely stop thinking you’re only giving people “advice” about healthy eating, unless your asked for that advice before hand.
    The best advice you can give is to refer people to certain keywords or phrases or websites to search for, for themselves online. Don’t feel you need to sit them down and educate them yourself. They’ll respond a lot better to that kind of advice. Then after they’ve researched on their own they’ll be more likely, and willing, to hear what you have to say when they’re able to join the conversation, rather than feel they’re being “preached” to.

  17. I’m not a mom but wanted to chime in with my own experiences recently.

    For a few weeks I was eating extremely healthy. Fruit,veggies, salads, egg whites, etc. And I felt great while doing so. Somehow, be it money or a “Whatever. I don’t care today” mood, I went back to eating junk. Since then I’ve dealt with nausea, fatigue, irritability, heartburn and even trouble going to the bathroom. It’s enough for me to say, “Okay, I’ve had it. I need my good foods and unprocessed stuff.”

    Like you we also make less than 35k a year but I’m convinced that it’s entirely possible to eat well and make smart choices. People who think otherwise, I feel, simply haven’t done their research because they’re either 1. Too lazy 2. Closed-minded or 3. A little bit of both.

  18. Loved this, and thank you for posting this well-researched rebuttal. I know I am losing friends for speaking my mind and the conclusion I have come to for the majority of those people is this: I am being judged for my lack of selfishness. That sounds harsh and egotistical, but let’s explore the majority of their excuses: “I don’t have the time, money, etc.” To buy the right food, to not buy the wrong “food”, to do their research, read the short articles I send them, figure out ways to make cooking efficient, give up harmful lifestyle choices, and to prioritize their family’s health and future happiness. We NEVER have fun money because we have one income, I spend ALL day in the kitchen with my two kids because of meal prep, always needing to find something new and good, and always experimenting with things that are not always food. I do have my fun hobbies that I can do for me time, but NOTHING, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, is more important than my children’s health and future. My husband and I made them and they are our responsibility. They are human beings who deserve the best we can give them and you can damn well bet we will try, despite the snarky judgment piled on by the “cool” crowd. It’s hard to imagine someone thinking for themselves when they buy into the phrase “fine in moderation” (translation: “will kill you slowly”).

    I have confidence in our lifestyle changes because they work and because my 2 year old has only been sick once in his entire life with a very mild cold he had that died in 3 days (while my husband and I suffered for two weeks because we hadn’t committed to Paleo yet). I am thankful that my husband and immediate family have been very supportive and open minded and sad for close friends that mock and distance themselves because of my crazy priorities. And it IS hard right now, but as you said in your farewell post, change is good, and eventually my children will be helpful and having fun cooking, prepping, gardening, and many other things that will give us all the opportunity to pursue more and bring more positive things into our lives. While I am having to learn to be patient for now, I am excited for our future and to watch our beautiful children develop, despite “friends” that may come and go.

    Thanks again for your great post and for allowing ranting crazies like me.comment :). Keep up the great work!

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