There’s no two ways about it. Organic foods just cost more. But are they really worth their (sometimes) high prices? Is there any way to make organic eating affordable?
Most people see the advantages of eating organic. Their resistance is usually based on their higher prices. There are ways to make organic eating less expensive for your family.
What Exactly Is Organic Food?
Organic food is grown or raised without the use of synthetic (chemically formulated) pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or fertilizers. Did you know that conventional farmers in the United States spray 2 BILLION pounds of pesticides a year on crops to compensate for poor farming practices. And guess where those pesticides end up? In our food supply!
Also consider this: Conventional produce tends to have fewer nutrients than organic produce. On average, conventional produce has only 83 percent of the nutrients of produce grown organically. Studies have found significantly higher levels of nutrients such as vitamin C, iron, magnesium and phosphorus, and significantly less nitrates (a toxin) in organic crops.
This is Isabelle’s story on how she first discovered that organic foods might be the missing link to her weight loss and health efforts (read her story here).
She had just graduated from college and was living in a miniature apartment in New York City which was quite pricey. How in the world could she afford to spend the extra dough for organic food?
Here’s the art of “going organic on a budget” was mastered:
She stopped buying crappy “non foods” (and, yes, crappy is a scientific term). Most protein shakes, “health” bars, and processed foods are actually pretty expensive and when you completely eliminate them from your grocery list, you will save hundreds of dollars. Take a good look at the price of sugar cereals, packaged cookies and cakes, and frozen TV dinners. You’ll see how the prices of these foods quickly add up. That same amount of money can be better spent on a week’s worth of organic produce.
Then she started eating reasonable portions. When you really look at how much you eat and how much you’re supposed to eat, you may discover you have the appetite of sumo wrestler. Portion distortion is big problem for weight loss. Plus, eating less means spending less!
Check out the local farmers markets. The prices are so much better and I you got fresh food in season. But be selective. If the price of cherries is the equivalent to a pair of diamond earrings, just choose a different fruit. Go for the apples, pears, or bananas. Variety is good anyway, so choose the fruits and veggies without the diamond prices.
Isabelle transitioned her kitchen and her whole house slowly. In fact, it took her about three years to have a completely organic kitchen. It wasn’t the ideal, but she got ‘er done. So just do the best you can, start with a few items and go from there.
Buy organic foods “selectively”. The following foods have been shown to have the highest levels of pesticide residue, so they should really always be purchased organic:
Animal products: Always look for animal products (meats, poultry, and dairy) that have no added antibiotics and growth hormones. Ingesting meats that have been injected with these harmful substances is equivalent to eating the hormones and antibiotics themselves. Very dangerous!
Take a look at where you’re spending your money now and figure out how to fit organic foods into your budget (even if it’s a slow transition). If it was doable for Isabelle, I promise it’s doable for you too!