Tag Archives: organic food

Eating Organic and Making it Affordable!

Mar 7 2012

You may be trying to eat organic, as much as possible, but are finding it hard to stay within budget. Organic foods definitely are pricey but if you are a bargain shopper, you can make it affordable.

Here are my favorite ways to shop organic yet stick within your budget criteria!

1. Go Generic. Most grocery stores carry a line of USDA certified organic foods under their own private label, so look for it the next time you’re in your favorite grocery store.

2. Buy the Whole Bird. Instead of buying your meat separately,  buy a whole organic chicken. You can either take it home to clean and cut it or better yet,  ask the butcher to cut it up for you; in some stores. This can save you quite a bit of money than pre packaged thighs or breasts!

3. Quality over quantity. Rather than eating 6 oz of non organic protein, why not eat 3 oz but ensure it is organic grass fed? Go for quality over quantity.

4. Browse Big Retail Stores. You would be surprised to find big retail stores such as Walmart, Costco and Target selling organic products for nearly 1/2 the price. Yes, Walmart does have organic products!

5. Shop Frozen. The freezer case hosts some of the best deals in the supermarket when it comes to organic so stock up on your favorite frozen organic fruits and vegetables!

6. Buy in Bulk. If your favorite grocery store has them, bulk bins are one of the best places to save money. Stock up on the organic versions of your bulk staples such as brown rice, beans, oatmeal, quinoa, nuts, etc.

7. Legumes! Organic fresh or canned beans are a great way to get in your protein and save on cash!  Load up on beans as an affordable way to go Organic! 

8. Say no to Processed foods. Just because it’s organic doesn’t mean it is Gina Approved and “healthy”. A Organic chocolate cookie is on the same page as a non organic chocolate cookie so don’t think that big “O” is a stamp of approval. Be smart about your choices and save your money on anything processed.

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Farmers Market Finds

Oct 7 2011


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To Eat Organic or Not

Jul 22 2010

With all the chatter on Organic foods, are they really better for you and should you really spend the extra few dollars to buy organic?? People buy organic food for many reasons: to reduce the toxicity in their body, to eat more nutritious foods, to be environmentally friendly, protect future generations, prevent soil erosion, protect water quality, save energy, and to support local and/or sustainable farms. Some even claim Organic tastes better because organic food is grown in well-balanced soil, but everyone has an opinion… Does it really taste better or is it all in your head??

What does Organic even mean?
Simply stated, organic produce and other ingredients are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or ionizing radiation. Animals that produce meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products do not take antibiotics or growth hormones.

The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) defines organic as follows:

Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation. Before a product can be labeled “organic,” a Government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards. Companies that handle or process organic food before it gets to your local supermarket or restaurant must be certified, too.

To get a USDA Certified Organic seal a producer must be a licensed organic farmer, and must adhere to the following guidelines: no use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers, no use of genetically modified seeds, no use of sewer-sludge fertilizer, and no use of irradiation treatments. They also must be inspected regularly and let the inspectors onto their farms at any time.

Keep in mind, the USDA has identified for three categories of labeling organic products:

100% Organic: Made with 100% organic ingredients

Organic: Made with at least 95% organic ingredients

Made With Organic Ingredients: Made with a minimum of 70% organic ingredients with strict restrictions on the remaining 30% including no GMOs (genetically modified organisms)

Products with less than 70% organic ingredients may list organically produced ingredients on the side panel of the package, but may not make any organic claims on the front of the package.

Some researchers has found that organic produce does have higher levels of phytochemicals and vitamins than conventional, but there is currently no definitive research. Some produce contains very little risk of contamination and can easily be bought conventionally. These items include, asparagus, avocados, bananas, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kiwi, mango, onions, papaya, and pineapple. Obviously, eating all organic produce may reduce your exposure to pesticides the most, but is that really realistic??? Especially when eating pounds of veggies a day??

It’s important to note that all produce should be thoroughly rinsed before cutting into it or eating it. This includes even skinned produce!!

Currently, the USDA Certified Organic seal is something you can trust. Eating conventional produce does cause artificial pesticides to accumulate in the human body. You should buy Organic, when you can, to minimize your exposure to artificial pesticides and possibly to increase phytochemical content– but don’t think that organic equates to a more wholesome/nutritious product!

If you’re really watching your pennies, you may consider at least buying organic, whenever you can. I suggest buying organic produce that contains higher levels of contamination such as: pears, apples, strawberries (most berries), nectarines, cherries, bell peppers, coffee, celery, lettuce, spinach, grapes, raisins, potatoes, and tomatoes.

For all you coffee Lovers out there, coffee is the big one here. It’s been stated that if you were to buy only one thing organic, you better make it coffee since most of it is grown in third-world countries where the laws are less stringent and many use harmful pesticides such as DDT, which is a known carcinogen and outlawed in the US.

Here is a quick and helpful list of the foods you should consider buying organic and those that are lower in pesticides and you may opt out of purchasing organic.

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organic labels, for the record

Nov 12 2009

Some of you asked about organic vs. non organic products.  You see these labels all over now but what do they mean.  Below is a list of what these labels are referring to:

“100% Organic”: products must contain only organically produced ingredients, but may contain added water and salt.  These products may use the USDA Organic Seal.

“Organic”: Products must consist of at least 95% organically produced ingredients and may also use the organic seal.

“Made with organic Ingredients”:  Products that contain at least 70% organic ingredients may use this phrase and list up to three of the organic ingredients or food groups on the primary display panel.  The USDA organic seal may NOT be used anywhere on these products.

“free range or Free roaming’: Poultry must have been allowed outdoor access.  Reminder– farmers can and may limit the space their poultry can roam so even if they have a 200 square foot space but it is outdoors, this is still considered “free range or free roaming”!! This is called yarding, meaning they have a limited space.

“Natural”: Products must contain no artificial ingredients or added color and should be minimally processed.

“No Hormones”: (pork or poultry) Hormones are not allowed at all in raising pigs or poultry.  The clain “no hormones added” cannot be used on the labels of these items unless it is followed by the line “federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones”.

“No Hormones” (beef) Producers must supply documentation and proof that says no hormones were used in the animal’s lifetime.es”: (beef)

“no antibiotics” (red meat and poultry): Producers must supply documentation and proof that says no antibiotics were used in the animal’s lifetime.



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What's the deal with Organic…?

Nov 3 2009

What is the deal with all this organic food?

Studies on organic vs. non-organic food are all over the map, with some studies showing no nutritional differences, some showing a lot. And different studies investigate different sets of nutrients, so they’re hard to compare. The studies make it hard to formulate a conclusion but the fact is, conventional crops are grown with a massive amount of pesticides and, no matter what they say, some of it remains on the crops and winds up in our bodies. Make no mistake, some of the pesticides wind up on organic crops, but there’s a lot less of it.

I think the reason for eating organic, when we can, is to minimize our intake of the pesticides but it is not because organic is significantly higher in nutrients than conventional foods.

Even with this organic hype, only about 2.5 percent of food eaten in the US is organic, and
the truth of the matter is, organic costs a lot more. Can you really afford to eat ALL organic? It may be much more important to focus on eating more fresh food — organic or non-organic — than to have endless debates about possible benefits of organic or non organic. One thing you may want to pay close attention to is the fact that certain foods do are more apt to retain more pesticides than others so you may want to know which contain more than the others.
Below is a list from worst to best in terms of pesticide retention. the number to the right reflects the pesticide rating, with 100 being the highest. Check it out and maybe rather than not buying non organic and only organic, just be aware of products that have a lower pesticide rating.
Peach 100
Apple 93
Sweet Bell Pepper 83
Celery 82
Nectarine 81
Strawberries 80
Cherries 73
Kale 69
Lettuce 67
Grapes -66
Carrot 63
Pear 63
Collard Greens 60
Spinach 58
Potato 56
Green Beans 53
Summer Squash 53
Pepper 51
Cucumber 50
Raspberries 46
Grapes – Domestic 44
Plum 44
Orange 44
Cauliflower 39
Tangerine 37
Mushrooms 36
Banana 34
Winter Squash 34
Cantaloupe 33
Cranberries 33
Honeydew Melon 30
Grapefruit 29
Sweet Potato 29
Tomato 29
Broccoli 28
Watermelon 26
Papaya 20
Eggplant 20
Cabbage 17
Kiwi 13
Sweet Peas – Frozen 10
Asparagus 10
Mango 9
Pineapple 7
Sweet Corn – Frozen 2
Avocado 1
Onion 1 (lowest pesticide load)

Something to think about next time you go shopping

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