Allie Dusome is back with her fourth and last post on how to eat seasonally! Ever wondered if organic is really the best? Wondering how to eat organically on a budget? Allie breaks it all down for you!
Lately it seems like everyone is talking about organic food and living and cleaning products like it’s some sort of buzzword, trend, or status symbol. I suppose for some people it is. For many of us though, the idea of living organically takes us back to a simpler time where diverse farming was the norm, and products didn’t come with chemical warnings on them.
With the increase of pesticide and herbicide use in the last decade, it’s no surprise I’m a promoter of organic food. Not only does organic produce mean we cut back on consuming chemicals (chemicals that have been found to be carcinogenic, hormone replicators and wreak havoc on our children’s development), but food grown organically often means it’s grown in harmony with nature on bio-diverse farms which tend to produce less pollution and wasted energy. We also know organic plants produce more antioxidants than conventional food, making organic not only a good choice for the environment, but also for our health.
The main complaint I often hear is that buying organic produce costs too much money. It’s important to distinguish that organic food has not become more expensive, it’s the mass-manufactured, industrial farmed and packaged foods have become so cheap! It’s also important to recognize that a normal household budget does not allocate as much money for food as it once did. For example, in 1950 30% of a household budget was dedicated towards foods. In 2003, that number dropped to 13%. And we know this decrease in money towards food isn’t because people are eating less! And the even better news is that Goodness Me! has 100% certified organic produce at competitive prices--every day. They have multiple in-store specials and doorcrasher deals that are bound to help you get the quality you deserve at the prices you want.
That all being said, I realize budgets can be tight, so if you have to pick and choose which foods you buy organic, refer to the clean fifteen/dirty dozen list to help guide your choices.
Here are my favourite ways to shop organically on a budget – debunking the myth that it’s not affordable!
1) Utilize Your Freezer
Produce is always cheaper when it’s seasonal. One of the best ways to save on organic produce is to find an organic vendor at your local farmer’s market, or shop at Goodness Me!, and stalk up on their produce by freezing extra fruit or vegetables to be used in the off season.
2) Buy in Bulk
Buying nuts, seeds and flours in bulk is much more affordable than buying food in packages. Packaging tends to make up 15-20% of the cost (the amount of unnecessary plastic and cardboard some manufacturers use is insane!). This is why purchasing in bulk can save you big bucks.
3) Grow Your Own Food
Herbs are the easiest (and this is coming from someone who is only sort of becoming a green thumb) food to grow – in my humble opinion. Make sure they have lots of drainage (especially basil) by putting rocks in the bottom of the pot before you add your soil. If you find organic, GMO-free plants/seeds, which Goodness Me! has an abundance of, this is the best way to ensure your food is not only nutrient-dense, but also chemical free.
4) Shop in Season
This has been the theme of all my blog posts. It’s one of the main reasons I love living in Canada – there is an abundance of different foods available depending on the season. Organic food in-season can even be cheaper than its conventional counterparts.