As much as we’d all like to eat healthy and organically, we understand how expensive it can be. Foods that are organic are often higher in price than foods that aren’t. However, there are ways to overcome price points and still eat healthy. Eating organically on a budget is possible! Before we go over our tips, let’s discuss the basics.
What does organic mean?
Organic produce or other ingredients are grown without using genetically modified organisms, pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, or other chemicals. The animals that produce organic meat, eggs, poultry, and dairy products do not take growth hormones. In order for a product to be labeled as “organic,” it must pass rigorous standards set by government approved certifiers.
Why should I eat organic food?
Consuming organic foods are healthier for our bodies but not many of us know exactly why. Products that are grown organically have an ample amount of nutrients that conventionally grown products don’t. The circumstances in which food is grown can greatly affect the environment and an individual’s well being.
- Organic foods are often fresher
- Farmers who grow organically don’t use preservatives to make their produce last longer. Produce harvested from these farms are usually fresher and need to be consumed before it begins to decompose.
- Animals that are raised organically are not given antibiotics, growth hormones, or fed animal byproducts
- Animals that are raised humanely have the ability to move around freely which means that they are overall healthier.
- Feeding animals animal byproducts increases the chances of infecting livestock with mad cow disease. Mad cow disease begins with animals and can be spread to humans if the infected part of the animal is consumed.
- Farmers that grow organically are helping the environment
- Farming without pesticides can benefit other animals throughout the area.
- The organic farming process can save water, enhance soil fertility, prevent pollution, and use less energy.
- Fewer pesticides are used in organic foods
- Higher pesticide exposure has been linked to various diseases: asthma, Alzheimer’s, birth defects, cancer, developmental and learning disorders, ADHD, autism, Parkinson’s, and diabetes.
Tips for eating organically on a budget
We often emphasize how important it is to be aware about the foods that go into our system. Eating organically can make a great change to your wellbeing and lifestyle. You don’t have to break the bank to do it either!
Tip #1: Follow the “Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen List”
- If you decide to make an organic switch in your diet, you don’t have to purchase all organic groceries.
- The Environmental Working Group has come up with the Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen List.
- Produce on the Clean 15 list are grown with fewer pesticides and they don’t necessarily have to be purchased organically. Products on the Dirty Dozen list are farmed with greater pesticides and chemicals. Professionals recommend purchasing items on the Dirty Dozen list organically.
- Clean 15:
- Avocados, Sweet Corn, Pineapples, Frozen Sweet Peas, Onions, Papayas, Eggplants, Asparagus, Kiwis, Cabbages, Cauliflower, Cantaloupes, Broccoli, Mushrooms, and Honeydew Melons
- Dirty Dozen:
- Strawberries, Spinach, Kale, Nectarines, Apples, Grapes, Peaches, Cherries, Pears, Tomatoes, Celery, and Potatoes
Tip #2: Shop store brands
Store brand foods are often more affordable than brand-name foods. Especially for organic foods. Here are a few stores that offer their own house brand.
- ALDI – Simply Nature Line
- Walmart – Wild Oats Marketplace Line
- Target – Simply Balanced Line
- Kroger – Simple Truth Line
- Stop & Shop – Nature’s Promise Line
- Safeway – O Organics
Tip #3: Buy Locally
Skipping the middleman and buying directly from local farmers can save you a significant amount of money. Visit your local farmers market and explore the various fruits and vegetables they have to offer during the season.
We hope these tips help you out on your next shopping adventure! Remember the Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen List, try shopping store brands, and buy locally! Eating organically on a budget is not impossible. Happy shopping!