Some people say they can’t afford to eat organic food. But look at it another way. Perhaps they can’t afford not to.
Organic food is grown without toxic pesticides. Or chemical fertilizers. It’s thought to be more nutritious than conventionally farmed food.
By law, organic food can’t contain GMO’s. This may be the best reason to buy USDA-certified products.
In the United States, a lot of our food is genetically modified. This includes nearly all corn, soy and rapeseed, from which canola oil is derived.
Also, refined sugar is increasingly likely to be made from GMO sugar beets.
It’s safe to assume that processed food contains GMO’s. Unless the label specifically states that it doesn’t.
The more I learn about GMO’s, the more I want to avoid them.
Genetically modification doesn’t sound ominous. Until you do some research. You learn that GMO crops are designed to survive being sprayed with a controversial herbicide.
This herbicide contains a compound called glyphosate. This is something you don’t want on your dinner table.
Glyphosate has now been linked to cancer. A federal judge has recently allowed litigation contending that exposure to concerning glyphosate to proceed. So far hundreds of suits have been filed. Also, a landmark $289 million was awarded to a man who used glyphosate at his place of employment. He later developed lymphoma.
Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is that buying organic food will reduce your family’s exposure to glyphosate.
I Want To Eat Organic But Can’t Afford It
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Organic food cost more than conventional food. But the price seems to be dropping.
That’s because more organic food is available. This means the supply has increased, to meet the demand.
You can also find organic food in out-of-the-way places. Where you’d least expect to find it. One of my favorite places to shop is Ocean State Job Lot. This is a discount/overstock chain located in the Northeastern part of the United States.
But you can probably find comparable discount outlets elsewhere. Or, check out Aldi. This is a no-frills grocery chain that’s popping up in many parts of the US.
Aldi carries a growing line of USDA-certified organic items. You do have to pick and choose. Mixed in with the healthy stuff is a lot of processed junk food. But the prices are amazing. Much better than the typical grocery store.
Actually, when shopping organic, you’ll probably find the best deals away from grocery stores. Think discount stores and farmers markets.
When You Can’t Afford Organic Food
You can also shop online. I order a lot of my healthy gluten-free and organic items at Vitacost. This is a large discount health food store. It carries more than 40,000 items.
I love my local health food store. But can’t afford to shop there. That’s why I’m grateful for Vitacost.
Once again, going outside the grocery stores (or independent health food stores) means big savings. I learned to do this after I started buying organic food. Quickly, I realized that a $400-450 a week grocery bill for a family of four wasn’t sustainable.
I was able to drastically reduce this to $150-200 a week. I could have trimmed it even more if my husband didn’t make his own trips to the supermarket.
In recent years our income has risen. So I don’t have to shop as carefully. But I still place regular orders at VItacost, because it’s so convenient.
How To Afford Organic Food
However, not all of the food in our house is USDA-certified organic. That’s because it would be financially prohibitive. Plus, some foods don’t have organic versions.
Take watermelon, for instance. This is a healthy real food. But I have yet to come across USDA-certified organic watermelons.
My local grocery store doesn’t carry organic dried beans. But beans are economical, as well as good for you.
It’s a matter of give and take. You just need to do your best. If I can’t buy 100 percent organic then I try to avoid GMO’s. Here’s some information on which foods are most likely to be genetically modified.
I Want To Eat Healthy But Can’t Afford Organic
Organic food is expensive. But so is processed food. So you may end up saving money with a real food diet.
Sometimes you have to make compromises. Mine is buying organic meat, condiments, apples, lettuce, spinach, broccoli and other kinds of produce. I also buy organic rice and fruit juices.
One money-saving tip is not to buy juice. Instead, eat fresh fruit and drink water. I buy juice because my husband likes it. You can read an earlier post for more money saving tips on buying organic food.
If you truly can’t afford organic food, here’s an idea. Buy as much non organic real food as possible. And avoid genetically modified corn, soy and canola oil. Stay away from high-fructose corn syrup. This is a chemical concoction that is difficult for the body to process. It’s also likely made from GMO corn.
I Can’t Afford Organic Milk
Organic milk is expensive. If you drink milk, then USDA-certified organic milk is the best choice. That’s because it will come from cows who weren’t fed genetically modified grain. This grain contains glyphosate.
Cows may also be treated with bovine growth hormone. This is a controversial practice. There’s concern that hormone treated milk may increase the risk for breast and prostate cancer. These malignancies are often hormone dependent.
The link between bovine growth hormone and cancer isn’t proven. More research is needed. But I figure why take the chance. That’s why I buy organic milk for my husband and my son.
Another option is to get your milk at Aldi. My local Aldi has great prices on milk. There’s a sign on the milk cooler that says it comes from cows not treated with growth hormones.
How People Can Afford Organic Food
Every family is different. We have different budgets. We have different needs. Some people have very little to spend on food. That’s why I don’t want to make anyone feel guilty if they can’t afford a lot of organic food.
But everyone can benefit from a real food diet. Pound for pound, a lot of real food is less expensive than processed food. Rice and beans is infinitely more nutritious than potato chips, French fries or a hot fudge Sundae.
Careful shopping can help you stretch your dollar. Some people may also benefit from a low-cost healthy meal planning service. The one I recommend is Real Plans. This weekly meal planning services includes telephone and chat support to help you get started cooking real food.
Real Plans is also a potential money saver. That’s because it sends you a weekly shopping list to correspond with the weekly recipes. You buy only what you need. No more no less. This is designed to cut down on food waste. The most expensive foods are the ones we throw away.
For more information on Real Plans meal planning service click on the image below.