A while back I promised that I would share with you all what to spend your money on when it came to the grocery shopping world and organic versus conventional!
So here is the list:
Some of you might be thinking, “wow, that’s a lot of stuff!” Well here’s the skinny on it. Basically when we look at this list, all of the produce is THIN SKINNED or LEAFY therefore they are sprayed heavily with pesticides to keep little buggies from gnawing on them ALSO a few of these are heavily GMO or genetically modified organisms meaning that a scientist genetically altered the plant.
A VERY good example of this is SOY (please stop eating soy people it’s terrible for your thyroid, but that’s another whole can of worms!). Practically all soy is GMO, and considered “round up ready” which means that weed killer that you spray on your driveway to kill grass has been formulated into the plants we EAT so that the farmers can spray round up weed killer over all the crops, kill the weeds and the plants still live…um, what? Sounds delicious doesn’t it!?
So then what happens? Well we ingest that lovely GMO and it can start doing things like altering our gut flora, the nice, good bacteria that lives in our intestines that keep us healthy. Yet again, another subject entirely, just know that it’s NOT good!
Now, all of the pesticide sprayed foods that we eat can also wreak havoc on our bodies, change gut flora, mess up our endocrine system (which can be thyroid problems, contribute to obesity, alter hormone levels), give our liver even more detoxing to do, we can start to store nasty chemicals in our fat cells, they can help us develop food allergies (nice huh?), cancer, parkinson’s disease, infertility, well just to name a few things.
Just think about it, the government allows a certain percentage of pesticides (stuff that KILLS bugs, rodents and weeds) to be on our food that we ingest. So of course it is doing something to us!
OK, you say, I get it, thin skinned produce, check, buy it organic! But why did you list dairy and meat? Good question! Well, what do you think that dairy cow is being fed? I’ll take “GMO produce for $400 Alex!” Most dairy cows are being fed the GMO and pesticide grain/corn feed and that can be passed into the milk as well as conventional dairy cows could have been on antibiotics, or other added hormones that would be passed onto the consumer.
When it comes to the meat though, think back to what I said about us eating chemical, gmo filled, pesticide sprayed foods and us storing chemicals in our fat cells…well that’s what happens with the animals too and then we eat the heavily chemical filled part of the animal! Buying organic meat also means that, that hamburger you’re eating, well it never ate a hamburger. Get it? Organic animals won’t be fed remnants of their own kind!
There also ties into this about the treatment and living conditions of these animals we eat and use for dairy products, but again, that’s another subject, however it does effect the quality of the end product we eat!
Alright, we have the list, now how do I afford to buy this stuff? I’ll tell you what I do! My husband and I eat pretty well and on average spend $80-85 a week on our groceries.
1) Apply for shopper rewards. We shop at Kroger and use our Kroger card at checkout. They keep track of what you purchase most often and I’m always getting coupons for the natural food section as well as money off of ORGANIC produce, meat and eggs! It might be something like, spend $10, get $2 off, it all adds up to a nice savings at the register!
2) Farmer’s markets or produce stands! You can find good deals on fresh, locally grown produce (some may not be organic and may be sprayed so just ask!) We get zucchini and tomatoes for half the price at the conventional grocery store this way. You can also find farmers that bring their grass fed/organic beef/polutry to the markets too!
3) Check out this site, www.eatwild.com you can search in your area for grass fed poultry, meats, eggs, etc and many times that beef that costs $6.49 a pound at our local Kroger we can get for $5.
4) Another resource for produce is www.localharvest.org/csa/ to find local csa (community supported agriculture) and you literally can pay for a share of a farmer’s crops and you’ll get boxes of produce a certain number of times per season!
5) Plan your own garden with organic seeds for fruits and veggies that you and your family enjoy regularly (especially in the summer!) Seeds cost $1 a pack sometimes and you’ll keep getting produce for months!
6) Frequent your grocery store more than 1x per week to check for “manager specials”! Just this week I got grass fed beef for $3.49/lb because the sell by date was 1 day away. You can find deals, I promise!
Maybe you don’t want to have to do the extra work to get the deals, then that’s OK too! So how would you go about prioritizing your food dollars? I’ve got a few suggestions, track your spending for at least a week. Where did you spend money unnecessarily? Was it a McDonald’s breakfast, a Subway lunch, a Starbucks coffee, an upgraded satellite package, adding extra data to your teenagers cell phone?? There are always ways that you can squeeze $10-$20 that you’re probably not thinking of. Just be conscious of where your money is going and redirect it to more important things, like food.
Why do I say that, because food can either be our best medicine or our slowest form of poison. The choice is up to you!