I eat organic food whenever I can – but how can I afford to?
I guess the real question is “how can I afford not too?”
I made a decision a long time ago that my health was going to be a really high priority in my life. That was long before I got sick, so how did eating organically, locally and seasonally really help me if I ended up getting sick anyway?
I will talk about how to make buying organic food affordable in just a minute, but first I am going to answer this question. I have eaten a vibrant, clean and seasonal “Livet” – I don’t use the word “diet” – why would I when the first part of the word spells “die” for as long as I can remember.
I cannot control the choices that our governments make, like releasing thousands of chemicals into our food system, allowing genetically modified foods, putting fluoride into our water, creating “scare” campaigns to try to make us believe “pharmaceuticals” are the only answer, polluting our air etc. but I can control what I eat, what I think and how I live.
I believe my illness manifested from many of these outside influences along with unresolved grief and a misdiagnosis which led to massive doses of antibiotics that destroyed my gut wall lining.
Once your gut is severely compromised, disease can have a field day in your body.
Irrespective of how my disease was created I believe my body kept it at bay and was able to profoundly heal as a consequence of having a strong foundation after being fed organic, fresh and vibrant produce for so many years. I shudder to think where I would be if I had filled my body with chemical laden food and “food like” products. I love and respect my body so much – so naturally I want to give it the most powerful, vibrant food that I can.
So how to buy organic on a budget.
- Go to your local farmers market. When you buy straight from the grower you cut out the middle man. The farmer gets a fair price and you get affordable produce. Talk to the growers about their farming practices – you can quickly tell who is farming organically. The passionate organic farmers are happy to answer your questions – so ask whatever you need so you feel content.
- “Certified” organic is not always necessary or even possible. It costs a lot of money to go through the certification process and ongoing fees make it difficult, and sometimes financially impossible for small scale growers to “certify” their produce. Here’s the thing, you have to create a relationship with the growers, ask the appropriate questions, even visit the farm, so you build a relationship built on trust.
- Buy seasonal produce. When there is an abundance of produce of course the price is cheaper. I will give you an example of some of what I bought at the farmers market last week and the cost. Bunches of organic beetroot – 3 different varieties – $4 bunch. Spinach – $3.50 a bunch. Salad onions $3 a bunch, bunches of carrots $3 a bunch. Seriously beautiful produce and cheaper than conventional produce in the supermarkets.
- Buy in bulk and share with friends, neighbours or workmates. When there is a glut of produce, often you can buy produce in bulk. As the weather is getting hotter it won’t be long til the 10 kilo boxes of tomatoes will be at the farmers market 🙂 The produce is gorgeous, there is just a lot of it that ripens at once.
- Preserve, dehydrate, pickle and ferment, make sauce, relishes, chutney, pickles etc. when produce is at peak season.
- Go to the organic section in your supermarket. They often have a bargain section with excess produce that they sell at a discount prices. They also have the capacity to buy pallets of produce which keeps the prices down on certain produce.
- If you can – plant some veggies and fruit trees in pots or in your garden. Herbs and leafy greens are quick and easy to grow. Talk to your neighbours and maybe you can all grow different things and share the surplus. You get to eat beautiful fresh produce and create a wonderful community too.
- Organic Co Ops are great. You can get involved in a like-minded community and have access to affordable organics too.
- Google “the dirty dozen & clean fifteen”. It’s an American list, however, it pretty much applies to Australia too. If you make buying organic produce from the dirty dozen list a priority, then that will eliminate the most highly sprayed and therefore toxic produce. The clean fifteen list is the least sprayed and toxic produce, so if you need to compromise, these fruits and veggies are the ones to choose.
So hopefully that gives you a great place to start. You might need to get out of bed a bit earlier on the weekend to get to the farmers market or find a supermarket that sells organic produce – but believe me your body will thank you for it. Invest in your beautiful body and support these wonderful organic farmers. Knowing where your food comes from, who grew it and creating beautiful meals using vital organically grown produce fills you up even before you eat the food
Sending you love always