My Thoughts on (Realistic) Organic Eating
I used to think buying organic food was a HUGE waste of money and effort. But now I’m aware that in order to get a more nutrient dense food and to ingest less toxins, I need to buy organic whenever possible. I am realistic about it–but I’ll talk about that a little later in this post.
1. HEALTHIER SOIL = HEALTHIER PLANTS
You see, organic food means organic soil like compost. That means that the soil contains a whole multitude of organic properties that help to pull rich nutrients up into the plants. Conventional fertilizer that usually just contains nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, which help the plants to grow but that is also a much less impressive nutrient profile.
2. STRONGER IMMUNE SYSTEM = HEALTHIER PLANTS
With the pesticides and chemicals sprayed on conventional plants to keep them healthy, they don’t need a very strong immune system; the pesticides are protecting it from disease rather than the plant itself becoming stronger. So organic plants have a much more impressive nutrient profile because they need to defend themselves from things like the sun, pests, or disease.
3. LESS CHEMICALS = LESS TOXINS IN YOUR BODY
Conventional farms also say that there is very little chemical residue left on their plants; honestly, however, after you add all of the produce up that you eat every day, it starts to become A LOT of chemical residue that you and your family are ingesting.
4. ANIMALS EATING PLANTS AND FREE OF ANTIBIOTICS = HEALTHIER MEAT
Meat and eggs should also be bought organically, 100% grass-fed, and totally cage-free when possible. Chickens and cows aren’t biologically meant to eat corn, but they are being forced to because it is cheap and it fattens them up quickly. However, when these animals are allowed to eat what they are biologically meant to eat (green plants, grass, and grubs for the chickens), their meat and eggs are significantly more nutrient dense. Many go as far as to say that, for example, a conventional, factory-farmed egg vs. an egg from a 100% cage-free chicken are completely different foods. Organic animals also are raised without the growth-hormones and antibiotics that get pumped into factory farmed animals, which means their meat is free of that too and won’t transfer to us.
LET’S BE REAL, FOLKS
Now, here’s where I’m going to be honest AND realistic. I don’t buy 100% organic. I just can’t afford it. But I do my best. In an ideal world, I could afford to shop at the lovely and local Boise Co-op and get most of my food local and organic and cage-free and grass-fed. But, in my realistic world, I shop at Walmart because they have a surprising selection of organic (though I’m aware, not local) foods for an affordable price. Sometimes the price difference between conventional and organic produce is as little as a few cents.
BUT even at Walmart, some things are way more expensive to get organic. For example, a conventional cucumber is something like 50 cents; an organic cucumber is almost $2.00 more than that. I can’t afford to do that every week–so I don’t. But it is worth it to me to spend $15.00 more a week on as many organic food items as I can afford in order to ensure that we are getting more nutrients and less chemicals in our food (BONUS: it’s better for the environment and the soil too!).
When possible I buy according to the “clean 15” and the “dirty dozen” (read more here) which basically list produce with the least and the most chemical residue. You’ll see in the pictures below that my greens, apples, celery, and my frozen berries (all on the dirty dozen) are organic. I try to stick with that nearly every week.
So, that’s my organic schpeal. I took a couple of pictures of my grocery haul this week, as well as a few staples I keep around from places like Costco and Brandless (which, by the way, you can find awesome organic options at both places).
P.S. This is my ENTIRE grocery haul for one week (though pantry staples I’ll be using this week like quinoa, spices, nuts/seeds, and some dry lentils and beans aren’t pictured here). You’ll notice everything is a whole food–nothing is processed except for the almond milk because I just don’t have the budget to buy enough almonds to make enough milk for as much as we use. All of this gets turned into our meals and snacks for the week and it REALLY isn’t hard to eat this way. If you want more information or if you want to work with me one-on-one to learn to eat this way, check out the “Contact me” or “My Services” tabs above.