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Eat, Drink and Be Healthy: An Organic Diet for a Family of 10? Yes, She Can.

Kate Gosselin, here with her eight children and husband, Jon, finds that organic food is much more expensive than conventional dishes, but she believes it's a smart way to eat.
Kate Gosselin, here with her eight children and husband, Jon, finds that organic food is much more expensive than conventional dishes, but she believes it's a smart way to eat. (By Laura Pedrick)

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By Jennifer Huget
Tuesday, February 3, 2009

You'd think that the mother of eight children -- 8-year-old twins and 4-year-old sextuplets -- would be too busy to worry about whether the food she puts on the table every day is organic.

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But Kate Gosselin, mother of the "8" in the Discovery Channel/TLC reality program "Jon & Kate Plus 8," makes no bones about the fact that feeding her family organic food is a priority. She has succeeded in persuading her husband, Jon, to go organic, too, and has made the Gosselins a kind of poster family for organic eating.

Kate agreed to answer via e-mail my questions about that commitment. It's a topic much on my mind (and, apparently, on the minds of readers, many of whom commented at length on my recent Checkup blog about the value of organic groceries in light of the current economic recession) as I continue to help readers figure out how best to eat, drink and be healthy.

Here's what Kate had to say:

Are there some categories of food or specific food items that absolutely must be organic and others that you don't mind fudging on once in a while?

The things that absolutely need to be organic are dairy, meats and produce. The rest of the food items we do eat organically but will occasionally buy conventional if necessary.

Were you interested in organic food before you had the children?

I started realizing that we needed to switch to organic before it was "in." Cara and Mady [the twins] were not quite 2 years old when I would wake up at night and realize that I had little innocent growing bodies depending on me for their nutrition and that I got one shot to do it to the best of my ability. That is when we slowly started switching, back when organic stuff in our area [the Gosselins live in Pennsylvania] was very, very, very hard to find! We started with meat and dairy immediately and slowly branched out from there.

How about Jon?

Jon thought I was totally and utterly crazy at first . . . until the first time I bought fresh organic chicken breasts at the local farmers market for dinner. We grilled them, and as he was eating he looked at me and said, "We will NEVER go back," and that is all it took!

Do you strive to eat organic when you go on all those fabulous trips [the Gosselins are often pictured traveling to resorts and taking vacations to such locales as Hawaii ]? Or do you allow for some flexibility in those situations?

No one, nowhere can eat totally organic ALL of the time. Traveling is hard, but I am known to stock up on and take our organic foods with us! When I travel alone I even take my "usuals" with me. I feel best when I eat my routine organic foods/snacks, so I can only imagine that my kids do, too!


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