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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

{ask me anything} Buying Organic

"How much organic food do you buy?  
What do you think is worth spending the extra money on?"

Dairy - I buy Organic milk and Greek yogurt always.  If it's a good buy, I'll also go with organic on cottage cheese, sour cream, and cheese.  Sometimes, I will purchase the non-organic yogurt (unsweetened) or regular cottage cheese, if it's a really great deal. I usually buy Tillamook cheese slices and feta cheese at Costco. But, always, organic on milk.  Actually, we only go through a half-gallon of organic milk every week and a half.  We don't really drink cow's milk (just use it for smoothies, cereal, etc.), instead we get our calcium from kale, broccoli, yogurt, cheese, red beans, chickpeas, almonds & figs, and we get vitamin D from the good 'ol sun. 

Eggs - If it's a good deal, then I'll buy organic.  My main concern is purchasing cage-free, grain-fed, hormone-free eggs.  When regular eggs are on sale for .77 a dozen that's pretty hard to pass up though.  I'll use regular eggs in baking and the good (organic) ones in egg dishes.

Meat - We rarely eat meat (1-2x a week), but when we do it's poultry or fish.  I'd prefer to have organic here, hands-down.  And, when I can get my hands on organic chicken or turkey, then I stock up. It can get pricey, but since we don't eat it that often it's a reasonable purchase for us. Ground turkey is a favorite around here, but I can never find it organic. I always buy Wild fish rather than fresh, though. 

Pasta, Cereals, Canned Goods
-   Of course, I'd prefer that everything in my pantry is organic and free of pesticides, but unfortunately that isn't always practical (or necessary).  I have a hard time justifying spending 3x more on organic pasta, so I just rinse our regular pasta before use and hope for the best.  I do buy organic quinoa, rice and couscous in the bulk bins at the market.

Cereals I don't worry about too much...  I'll purchase organic oats, Barbara's Bakery & Nature's Path cereal or make my own out of the organic oats.  With cereals I figure as long as it doesn't have much sugar in it, then we're willing to try it.

I always buy organic (no sugar) peanut butter and organic jelly for the PB&J fixes.  Our bread is made from a bakery here in AZ and is made with Organic flours and sweetened a tad with honey and sea salt.

I prefer organic canned tomatoes and beans (about all the canned foods I buy) and they are pretty reasonably priced compared to non-organic.  Of course, with my new water bath canner, I'll be buying more organic dry beans and canning my own.  I couldn't buy non-organic canned beans for the little amount it will take to can my own organic beans!

Produce - I follow the rule of thumb that If we're going to eat the skin, then it's going to organic.  This goes for lettuce/spinach/kale where we eat the whole thing.... I usually buy organic, however, I don't believe that eating 30% non-organic is going to kill us.  Follow the Dirty Dozen guide here to know which produce items tend to have the highest pesticide residue.
That's why I prefer to grow my own food -- I don't use pesticides and it's cheap!  Before the summer hit, we harvested lettuce, beans, peas, tomatoes, squash, swiss chard, carrots, peppers, cucumbers, basil, parsley, rosemary, thyme, and green onions.  (I can't wait for it to cool down again so we can replant!)

If you're still having trouble dealing with the outrageous prices on some of your favorite Organic foods, try emailing the companies to see if they will send you coupons.  Check out my post here where I list all the companies who have been generous in the past!

Another thing to remember, both in organic and non-organic, is to WASH your food!  (Use my easy, natural recipe here.)

By the way, if you haven't watched Food Inc. yet, it's very eye-opening.  Pretty disgusting that they are now injecting the tomato seeds with Round-up, so even if you wash your non-organic tomatoes, you'll still be eating the pesticide!  (Anything they can do to make more money--  who cares if it kills us?)

Do you have a question about couponing, shopping, saving, meal planning, homeschooling, or even about me? No matter how big, small, or trivial it seems, someone else probably has the same question, so ask away! As long as it's respectful, I'm an open book so "Ask Me {almost} Anything!"

Just drop me a line and I'll do my best to get back to you as soon as possible.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you SO much for this helpful information! Our family is switching to organic foods, something I wish I would have done a long time ago! I have researching about it all and now I know too much to go back! Great info Rachel! Thanks again!