As a health-conscious consumer, you spend quite a bit of time, energy, and money to maintain your health. The challenge for most of my clients is how to do this with limited finances. My clients often ask me questions about purchasing organic foods. Some of the questions include: “Should I buy organic products? If so, which ones? Aren’t organic products more expensive? How can I feed my family healthy on a budget?”
For most people, buying organic is one important component to maintaining good health. Some organic foods cost more, while others do not. Items such as coffee, cereal, bread, and even hamburger, may cost the same or even less than their conventional counterparts! There are a number of reasons why some organic foods do cost more. For example, Organic farmers don’t receive federal subsidies like conventional farmers. Therefore, the price of organic food reflects the true cost of growing. In addition, organic farming is more labor and management intensive and organic farms are usually smaller than conventional farms and so do not benefit from the economies of scale that larger growers get.
With this in mind, here are 5 ways to stretch your food dollar, and incorporate organic foods into mealtime while using the “10% organic” goal set by Mission Organic 2010. The goal of this program is for one of every 10 items in your shopping cart to be organic.
1 | Choose wisely. Decide which fruits and vegetables have the highest amounts of pesticides. A list can be obtained from the Environmental Working Group website.
2 | Purchase in Bulk. Buy dried goods and pantry items in larger quantities to reduce costs. Beans, peas, dried lentils and rice can be used for soups, stews, and stir-frys as meal extenders.
3 | Buy local produce and buy in season. Organic produce grown locally is less expensive and tastes better. Adding vegetables to any dish will help add extra vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber.
4 | Store circulars or coupons. This is a great way to purchase products on special while saving money. This gives you an opportunity to try new products at reduced cost.
Buying organic products can fit into your weekly food budget. The goal is to plan ahead, think about meal extenders, and purchase in season or on sale. Good health is as close as your shopping cart!