With the Holiday season approaching, how can you stay organic without breaking the bank? What we like to call Pie Season, can be an expensive time for groceries. Your family wants to eat, and you want to feed them good, fresh, organic food.
A good go-to rule for buying organic is to focus mostly on the dairy, meat, and eggs in your groceries. Livestock are often fed pesticide-ridden, genetically modified corn feed, shot with extra hormones and antibiotics; all of which end up in our supermarket meat, dairy, and eggs. These elements cannot be removed from the products, whereas most of the pesticide residue found on produce can be washed away. Therefore, do not worry as much about all organic produce — focus on the meat of the issue!
When buying produce, however, you can take into consideration a few things about those non-organic veggies. Produce that takes a long time to grow, will be higher in pesticide content. The more sugar a fruit or veggie has, the more pesticides are used to ward off insects. The Environmental Workers Union gives us a list of some produce with higher pesticide levels (you might want to opt organic for these “dirty dozen”): Apples, bell peppers, celery, cherries, grapes (imported), nectarines, peaches, pears, potatoes, red raspberries, spinach, and strawberries.
What else can you do to cut organic corners? 1) Print coupons: http://www.stonyfield.com/ and http://www.organicvalley.coop/ provide coupons and special offers for their products. 2) Portion control: Remember that the recommended portion size for meat is 3 ounces. Balance that with some veggies and whole grains for a full meal. 3) Try alternative proteins: Add other sources of protein to your diet such as beans, or tofu. You do not have to eat meat every day to get in your protein. 4) Generic organic: Most supermarkets have generic organic brands such as Safeway’s O Organics line, H-E-B’s Central Market Organic selections. 5) Bulk shop: Buy all of your non-perishables in bulk. Things like rice, canned soup and vegetables, dried fruits and nuts are all much cheaper in bulk. Organic brown rice in bulk is 99 cents per pound.
Find more tips and information at http://www.prevention.com/budgetorganic/