Don’t you just love the satisfying crunch of biting into a plump red apple on your lunch break? That juicy addition to your lunch may taste good, but did you skip on the organic sticker because it felt a little too expensive? In the case of apples—and lots of other produce—fitting organic into your grocery list isn’t an option. It’s a requirement.
You probably already know the value of eating organically, but, like so many other shoppers on a budget, feel like you have to pass by the mounds of heirloom tomatoes and sweet potatoes at the market because they are too expensive. Yes, we all know that organic food runs a little more in the store, but the value trade off is worth considering.
For example, organic growers do not use chemicals on their plants. In order to get that little black USDA seal, companies must comply with the following National Organic Program rules:
- No synthetic fertilizers, petroleum-based fertilizers, or sewage sludge-based fertilizers
- No irradiation
- No genetic engineering
- No antibiotics or growth hormones in livestock
Think about what goes into your apple without an organic sticker. Either a synthetic fertilizer (which means chemicals) or one that has oil or sewage in it. It was probably irradiated or exposed to radiation to kill bacteria. It was probably grown with genetically modified seeds , meaning the natural diversity of the apple was diminished through a biotechnological process. GMO practices have been banned in 30 other countries, including all of Europe, because they have not been proven to be safe.
So think about it—you may pay a few pennies, even a dollar less, for a bunch of non-organic apples. But that means you are putting all kinds of dangerous things into your body.
How do I pay for organic?
Of course you want to buy organic, but all those extra cents add up. How do you get around them? The answer means a little more prep work on your part, and sticking to a plan, but if you are serious about healthy eating, you won’t regret it.
Start with the basics: a budget and meal planning. You don’t have to dread budgeting by yourself anymore—you can take advantage of an app like the ones in this article . And after you’ve found out how much money you have to spend on groceries this month, check out this Lifehacker article detailing ways to crack down on meal planning. Or you can simply download one of these top five meal planning apps to get you going.
Another tip for saving money on food is to shop at a variety of grocery stores. Nashville offers a plethora of grocery options, from the all-organic Whole Foods to low-cost Aldi. Check out this list of Nashville grocery stores to help you get started. Once you have priced the organic products at each store, you can decide which ones are most cost-effective and build a rotation into your schedule. For example, if you work downtown, you can swing by downtown stores on weekdays, and save stores closer to your house for weekends.
Shopping organically might not remain so expensive, especially if more and more consumers learn how to permanently switch to organic. It is a simple matter of economics, or supply and demand. When more people buy organic, stores will stock more organic products. And when demand increases, prices go down. The more people you convert to organic, the more we are going to see organic products in our stores. Hopefully, one day “organic” won’t be a separate label, but the basic standard for all food.
Share Your Opinion
Have you made the switch and learned how to fit organic food into your grocery list? Tell us how you did it! If you haven’t done it yet, tell us how you are planning to make organic part of your life. We can’t wait to hear from you! Get the conversation going by adding a comment below. We always answer our comments, so why not get us started right now?