Overall, everybody wins with organic foods. Theyre free of the toxic chemicals - pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides - that can poison you and your family, and pollute our water, choke our air, and contaminate our soil. Organic farmers help conserve water, reduce soil erosion, and improve energy efficiency. And because theres no runoff of pollutants into streams and rivers, the fish, plants, and small animals in the impacted areas are free to thrive and flourish.
Organic foods - fruits, veggies, and meats - are natural foods, which means no growth hormones, antibiotics, or genetic modification. These foods that are so rich in vital nutrients, vitamins, and minerals shouldnt be exclusively available to affluent people. We can all benefit from an organic diet and it can be affordable if you know how to shop.
A lot of organic foods have become mainstream staples in grocery food chains, but theyre often too expensive for cost-conscious families. With a little time and effort, you can have the best of both worlds fresh, organic foods at prices you can afford.
l. Let Your Fingers Do The Walking
Doing a little online research about organic products available in your community can save wear and tear on your tires, your gas tank, your wallet, and your nerves. Even some road-side stands have websites. Search for organic goods online first, compare prices, make your list, and gear up to shop smarter, and more economically. And if what youre hankering for isnt locally available, order it online.
2. Made In The USA Means CSA
Theres a thriving network of CSAs - Community Supported Agriculture programs - all over the country. In the spring, you can buy in for 200 to 400 dollars, and spend the summer enjoying your share of organic goodies over the course of a 12 to 26-week growing season, depending on where you live. I joined one in Georgia a couple of years ago, and noshed on everything from purple okra to golden grape tomatoes, and I learned a dozen new recipes and cooking techniques along the way.
3. Shop Around The Corner
Even in big cities, locally grown produce is available at farmers markets. Youll find fresh, organic, regional fruits and veggies at reasonable prices, as well as locally made canned goods - preserves, pickles, relishes, jams, jellies, chutneys, salsas, and other nutritional delights. And often as the season progresses, the prices drop. So buy as much as you can, eat all you can this summer, and store the rest by canning, preserving, or freezing the rest yourself.