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Low Cost Ideas for Eating Organic

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With an increasing number of Americans concerned about the quality of their food, it’s becoming more common for supermarkets to carry organic food. And even though the Unites States Department of Agriculture has not come out and said organic food is better for you, evidence is mounting that it is safer and more nutritious than conventional food. Organic corn, for example, has over fifty percent more cancer-fighting antioxidants than conventional corn, according to a 2003 study by the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry.

But many people still feel they can’t afford organic produce, which is twenty percent more expensive than conventional. And organic meat and dairy products cost as much as three times the price of conventional food. If you’re keen on eating organic and enjoying their better-tasting, more nutritious benefits, but don’t want to bust your wallet, here are four easy things you can do.

Buy Natural, Not Packaged, Foods

Packaged foods, such as chips, frozen pizzas, and canned foods, cost more than natural foods. For example, a can of organic black beans costs over a dollar, but if you buy those organic beans in bulk, it’ll cost just a few cents.

Buy Straight from the Source, Buy Local, and Buy Seasonal

Whenever you can, buy directly from those who produce what you want. Prices are often (though not always) lower for organic foods at farmer’s markets than they are at the supermarket. A community-sponsored agriculture program (CSA) is a great way to buy from the source, and you’ll get local, organic, and seasonal produce at prices well below what you’ll find at the supermarket. Local, in season produce will be less expensive at the supermarket than out-of-season organic produce, which costs more in part because of the oil needed to ship it. A great source for finding a local farmer’s market or CSA is

Prioritize Your Produce

Educate yourself about the produce that’s most dangerous if it’s not organic. For example, berries absorb more pesticides than other fruit, so you’ll eat healthier if you choose organic strawberries rather than organic bananas.

Eat Lower on the Food Chain

Often, you can afford organic foods if you sacrifice some of the higher-ticket products, such as meat and dairy, or if you find ways to make your meat and dairy last longer, like by preparing smaller portions of meat or reducing your intake of dairy to one or two servings a day. You can eat delicious vegetarian meals with high quality ingredients at a fraction of the cost of a roast or salmon fillet.

Learn More

For news on the organic food industry, visit the The Organic Consumer’s Association.

Visit The Organic Trade Association to learn ways you can support organic businesses.

Related article: To Eat Organic or Not?


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