Clean, Fresh, and Organic Foods
January 26, 2021
It wasn’t many years ago that finding organic produce required a trip to the “natural foods store”, which was sometimes only one store on the other side of town. With the increased consumer demand nowadays, organic foods can be found in most any grocery or superstore across America. For some, the higher cost in these clean food items can be a hurdle to fully incorporating organic into the diet. Knowing that a clean diet is often the quickest way to regain or maintain optimal health, it’s important to find ways to work organic produce into your kitchen.
Food matters A LOT!
Ideally, most of the daily food consumption will be whole foods, in their natural state, and as “close to the vine” as possible. Obviously processed and packaged foods are never as nutritious, and contain many possible toxins. The “real” foods that you find in the grocery store are often times less expensive than those boxes and bags. It may be necessary to skip the canned soups, sauces and crackers to allocate more money toward the healthier options found in the produce section. Not only will you save money when bypassing the processed items, you will feel much better too.
If buying all organic is out of the question for budget reasons, consider shopping a local farm stand that may have clean produce (but without the organic designation). Often times small farms will follow organic farming practices, but bypass the certification due to the high cost to obtain that. Just do your homework, and ask the farmer how the produce is grown and harvested.
Another option to consider if money is tight would be to buy only safe “conventionally” grown produce at a lower cost. Check out the Environmental Working Group’s shoppers guide to view the “clean 15/ dirty dozen” list which ranks items by pesticide residue. It is possible to eat some conventionally grown items with confidence once you know the exposure to chemicals in each.
Don’t forget the meat! When choosing to eat animal protein, choose organic, grass-fed and finished, wild caught, and pastured raised, when possible. These cleaner meats will cost more, just as the organic produce. Be sure to find ways to budget this in, as its very important for all diets.
More Strategies for Organic Foods on a Budget
- Don’t be afraid of frozen produce. Often times the frozen aisle will be slightly less expensive, and it’s nearly as nutritious as when the food is initially harvested.
- Supplement your store purchases with a small garden at home (inside or out). A simple garden with just a few items that you often eat will make a difference in savings. Plus, herbs grown in pots at home could be another great money saver.
- Seek out stores that offer memberships. Thrive Market and Costco are both excellent places to find lower costing clean foods.
- Buy in bulk for savings, then freeze or ferment ASAP to preserve the nutrients.
- Skip the convenience that is offered on many organic and conventional items. “Precut”, “triple-washed”, “ready to cook” etc. are all ways to up the premium charge on foods. Skipping these add-ons will cost a few extra minutes of work for you, but save dollars in the end.
Do you have other ideas or methods that help cut down on the cost of organic food shopping? If so, we would love to hear about it.