Hey, as I write this blog, I'm doing a little late night snacking on a batch of organic cucumbers (marinated in vinegar, yummmmm) from my local farmer's market.
Now, you've probably heard that there are benefits to eating organic, but if you're like most people, you may still be a tad confused about the whole "organic" thing (as is proved by all the organic-related emails that regularly come through my inbox).
Perhaps you've wondered, what exactly makes something "organic" and why is it better than the regular stuff? Or maybe, what makes organic produce so darned expensive, and is there any way to enjoy it without burning a hole in my wallet?
We'll start with some boring (yet helpful) definitions.
For a food to be certified organic, it must meet certain USDA's criteria. For produce, this means that the produce must be grown without using most conventional pesticides, fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering, or ionizing radiation.
There are obviously other criteria when talking about meat, but for today we'll stick with produce.
The benefits of eating organic, particularly produce, are that produce grown under organic standards have been shown to be more nutritive, possessing greater phytochemical, vitamin, and mineral content.
In other words, you get a lot more of the good stuff and a lot less of the potentially harmful stuff—pretty much a great trade-off any way you look at it.
As far as cost is concerned, if you're buying organic produce at your average supermarket, then yes, you will certainly pay considerably more than the adjacent non-organic fruits and veggies.
That said, a simple solution is to shop elsewhere for your organic needs. A great solution that I use myself is to buy a "share" of the season's harvest at a local farm, known as CSA (community supported agriculture). Basically, I've got all the organic produce I could dream of from June - Thanksgiving, for a very reasonable price.
You can get a list of local CSA farms near you by visiting localharvest.org
Another alternative to joining a local CSA is simply stopping by your local farmer's market. Health food stores are third option, but I'd recommend checking out circulars and going for what's on sale when shopping at these outlets.
Organic produce that is fresh and in season can be just as affordable, if not more so, than the regular stuff at the grocery store.
Buying in bulk can further decrease cost. As we all know, that 5-gallon tub of mayonnaise is always a steal compared to the cost of the equivalent 20 individual jars.
Remember, produce will always be cheaper in season, so stock up at the right time and then freeze the rest (frozen produce can easily last months once purchased and will still taste great; simply thaw and enjoy). This gives you the double-whammy savings of buying in season and in large amounts. The end result -- fat-burning, healthful food at a massive discount!
Source; Coach Josh