So maybe you're like me: you want to buy more organic food because you know that: 1) it's better for you 2) it's better for the earth, 3) it tastes better, and 4) dagnabit, It's what we should be doing... (If you've got a beef with those first two points, I suggest reading more about organics, but if you think organic doesn't taste better, I suggest doing an experiment or two, you may be shocked).
Truth be told, organic IS better for us. Problem is, it also can cost a bit more (not all the time, however, that is a myth). So the question is: how you can eat like royalty, without paying like royalty? (incidentally, I recently learned that royals often ate clay tablets at dinner because they were so afraid of being poisoned. Clay absorbs toxins. Be glad you're not that kind of royal).
So how can we buy the good stuff, but keep the price down? Here's my no-nonsense strategies for being a healthy-high-roller, on a budget:
1. Create a Buying Club or Just Buy More at Once
The simple application of this is to buy the 5 lb bag of almonds instead of buying them 200 g at a time. The fancy application of this is to get a few friends together and create your own buying club: buy a 10 lb bag of almonds and you'll save some big bucks. Note that this also saves time since you're making less trips to the store.
2. Eat Less Meat, and More Veggies, and More Beans
You knew that was coming, didn't you? Many of us could use more veggies in our diet, so the great thing about this one is that it's actually very healthy for most of us. More veggies can be a big pot of soup (bean soup maybe), a roasted yam, or just a bowl of steamed broccoli (I'll take mine with olive oil, sea salt and pepper please). If you love veggies, they will love you back.
3. Tame the Cookie Monster, the Chip Demon, the Ice-Cream Goddess...
Notice I didn't say send him packing. I only said tame him. Tame him with.. a BIG cookie!!! But just not as often. And even make them home-made cookies, that way you can make them with the good stuff: real butter, maybe coconut oil, quality dark chocolate chips, perhaps even a blend of coconut and almond flour if you wanna get fancy and do grain-free baking.
4. Buy What's in Season
Common sense, sometimes...isn't. So when red peppers are $8/lb, you know, you have a choice. So maybe it's just time to roast some beets (they are both red, I'm sure you saw the connection).
5. Grow Your Own
I know, when I first heard this, I was like, "Whoa. You're asking me to put my hands in dirt?" But then someone pointed out that it's like growing money.
I knew one young family that, after moving into a new place, immediately turned over the grass in the front yard, and planted stuff. And pretty soon they had organic, local, fresh food just outside their door. Which is pretty cool.
6. Buy the Dirty Dozen Organic
The Dirty Dozen is a list put out each year of the produce that has the highest levels of pesticides (btw, potatoes contained the highest levels of pesticides by weight in the last Dirty Dozen). We don't need to buy all organic, but buying these ones organic is a pretty good idea, and good investment in our long term health. This really helps with avoiding GMO's, too, since organic are not GMO. According to the EWG website, "A single grape sample and a sweet bell pepper contained 15 pesticides." Check out The Dirty Dozen for more, and then maybe put the list on your fridge.
I realize that this post seems to contradict my last post about shopping at Whole Foods. The truth is, I want to buy mostly organic, and there's only really a few ways to do that, and they all are going to take some time/energy: I can either organize a bulk buying group, eat more veggies and less meat/nuts, I can tame the cookie/chip/processed food monster (processed foods are pricey, and lacking in nutrition), or I can grow my own food.
But I think ultimately the best solution is the most obvious one: make more money. Then you can buy all organic and have it home delivered. But until you're doing that, the above strategies can really help.
Buying more organic is a powerful way to change the world. Being an early adopter may not be easy, or cheap, but the more of us do it, the sooner it will be cheap, and easy, for everyone to eat healthy, organic, non-GMO food, which is as it should be.
Note: oils and fats should also be purchased organic, and meat should be at least "pastured", which means grass fed. Conventional meat is often raised on a diet of GMO corn and soy, which we know is harmful in a number of ways.
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