I confess. I am confused about what foods I should purchase organic, and which I can let slide as conventional. Sure, I have the "dirty dozen list" of pesticide loaded produce, but what about the grains, nuts, and GMO's? There is so much to consider in our chemical world. Recently my husband and I made the switch to organic rice, and consequently rice milk. After a good deal of reading, it became apparent that rice is quite the pesticide carrier, and thus under experimentation for GMO production as well. Luckily, the milk alternative manufacturers seem to be thinking about these issues too. With a little label reading, we uncovered a few excellent organic options, several of which were relatively new to market:
Rice Dream – That mega natural food manufacturer, Hain Celestial, released their Enriched Original Rice Milk as Organic last year. From what I can tell, this is still the only version that is organic, so vanilla and chocolate fans will have to hold out. But not for long….
Good Karma Organic Ricemilk – Good Karma Foods, the producers of the rice-based "ice cream" line Rice Divine (the carrot cake flavor is excellent!), have recently released a line of organic rice milks. Available in Original, Vanilla, and Chocolate, rice milk fans can now go organic and have their flavors too! This product must be quite new, as I haven't yet found it at my local Whole Foods… but I am sure it is on the way.
Trader Joe's Rice Milk – If you are fortunate enough to live near a Trader Joe's (and if you are not, move!) then check out their milk alternatives section for the double-sized rice milk. The original flavor is organic and an excellent price, but beware, as once again, the vanilla is not. One of the employees tried ot convince us that the only reason the vanilla wasn't certified organic, was because organic vanilla doesn't exist. However, this was obviously untrue as the ingredient label read plain old brown rice. So stick with the Original.
Interestingly enough, at least in my local stores, there is no premium for the organic label on rice milk. They seem to be the same price as conventional, and subject to the same wonderful sales. After all of the label and pricing comparison, I was left wondering, "Why did I ever buy conventional in the first place?"