Ways to Save on Organic Foods
Aside from limiting your organic produce purchases to the items with the highest potential for pesticides, how else can you save money when buying organic foods?
Here are eight tips to help stretch your organic food budget:
-Buy in bulk if you can use the food or store it without spoilage.
-Clip coupons from the newspaper or online sites.
-Plan your menus using advertised specials from your grocery.
-Compare prices between fresh and frozen, dried and canned varieties of organic foods. They may be less expensive than fresh, yet equally delicious when prepared correctly.
-Shop grocery chains that feature their own organic brand.
-Buy the generic organic version in your favorite market.
-Join an organic food cooperative (you can often find listings online or in your local health food store).
-Plant a garden and grow your own organic produce, or join a community garden.
Other options for fresher food that is also kinder to the planet:
-Eat foods when they are in season, which honors the natural rhythm of the land.
-Choose less processed versions of conventional foods whenever possible.
-Eat more vegetarian meals. Organic meat can be expensive, and raising animals for meat generally takes more natural resources than growing produce.
When organic vegetables and fruits are not affordable or available, you can reduce the risk of pesticide residue on conventional fruits and vegetables with the following tips:
-Wash and scrub produce under running water (soaking is not adequate); 30 seconds significantly reduces surface residue.
-Peel skin whenever possible.
-Discard the outer leaves of leafy vegetables.
-Trim fat from meat and trim skin from poultry (pesticide residue can collect in fat).
-Eat a variety of foods from a variety of sources.
-Canned fruits and vegetables typically have lower pesticide residue; the canning process removes most toxins.
Keep in mind that whether you choose locally grown foods, organic foods, or conventional foods from your grocery story, experts agree that the health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables far outweighs the potential risks from pesticide exposure.