Living an Organic Lifestyle, On a Budget

What if I told you eating organic doesn’t have to cost you your life savings and 401k? Honestly, the expense of organic foods and misinformation is the reason why i never even researched the idea of living an organic lifestyle. I was so wrong about the expense.

I recently shared a blog post about GMOs and toxic diets. I shared how research is showing the negative impact of GMOs and non-organic produce and animal products on people’s health. More importantly, the last couple months I have been researching natural ways to improve fertility and just about every article talks about the negative effect of non-organic foods on our fertility. In addition, the negative effects on our children even long before conception.

For the last few months we have been purchasing only organic foods for our household. I knew organic foods were essential on our journey to making baby Panza. Yep, this girl on a budget has found away to eat all organic without breaking the bank.

Some of the reasons to go organic

  1. Buying organic produce that is in season not only is easier on your wallet, but it gives you the ability to incorporate all types of vitamins and nutrients throughout the year. This is how we were designed to eat. Studies have found that when produce is grown in season, it can have up to three times more nutrients than when out of season.
  2. Organic foods have more nutrients than their pesticide, GMO riddled friends. Findings from a review of 343 studies on organic nutrition showed organic foods, on average, contained more antioxidants. Organic foods are also grown in a better environment. onventional non-GMO crops can be treated with “biosolids”, which is literally the treated waste that’s flushed down the toilet, and waste from hospitals and industry. Biosolids, are not permitted in certified organic foods. Biosolids contain heavy metals, toxins, steroids, and more substances that can pose a threat to your health. Possible health risks from substances in biosolids include kidney damage, adverse effects to the immune system, hormone disruption, and even cancer.
  3. Organic doesn’t just apply to fruits and veggies. Did you know the meat and animal products you consume can easily contain antibiotics, GMOs, and hormones? 

    Antibiotics and hormones given to animals on conventional farms make their way into the foods those animals provide. The prevalence of antibiotic usage with livestock can lead to antibiotic resistance in humans.

    Hormones, such as rBGH, are injected into cows on non-organic farms to boost milk production. This can lead to various health problems with the cows, such as abnormal milk, fertility issues, and hoof disorders. In addition, rBGH milk has significantly higher levels of the IGF-1 hormone. This hormone has been shown to greatly increase the occurrence of breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men.

Okay, so now you are convinced, but you aren’t sure where to even start. Don’t let the idea of eating only organic overwhelm you and certainly do your best, but don’t kill yourself for perfection.

Transitioning to an organic, natural lifestyle shouldn’t increase your stress. Small steps are key to making a big change. My suggestions, start with what is most important to you and slowly work your way to the next step. For me, what we were eating was crucial and needed to be priority. After that I started transitioning out of plastics, changing beauty products, and finding alternative household cleaners.

If you desire to start with your food and what you are eating, I can help you. Here are some of my secrets.

Shop Costco

Yes, Costco! The land of bulk processed foods is also a GREAT place to find reasonably priced organic foods. What I love about Costco is their price labeling system. Most, if not all of their organic foods have a green tag on the shelf. This makes it really easy when you are trying to transition your household.

I purchase their organic fruits and veggies. I also purchase their frozen organic fruits and veggies. As well as their wild caught and grass fed/organic meats. 

Phone a friend

Let people your neighbors, friends, family, and people you work with know you are on the hunt for organic fruits and veggies. A lot of times you can find people who have fruit trees in their backyards and they don’t use any pesticides or treatments. Usually they are willing to give the fruit away at no cost. Some people may ask you to come and pick it yourself, but what a cheap price tag for fruit! 

Stock up and save

When produce or organic meats are on sale, stock up. When grass fed ground beef is $3.99 a pound, I make sure to grab extra and freeze it for later. You can save quite a bit of money buying seasonal fruits and veggies and freezing them for later.

Start with the basics

The dirty dozen and the clean 15! Sounds like a nursery rhyme, but it really does apply to the foods we eat.  

The U.S. Department of Agriculture found that nearly 70 percent of samples of 48 types of conventionally grown produce were contaminated with pesticide residues. The pesticides persisted on fruits and vegetables even when they were washed and, in some cases, peeled.

For the Dirty Dozen list is produce with the highest loads of pesticide residues. On the clean 15, relatively few pesticides were detected on these foods, and tests found low total concentrations of pesticide residues on them. However, this does not mean that if the food is listed in the clean 15 that it is free from GMOs. 

If you are starting to eat organic in an effort to reduce exposure to pesticides, this list is a great place to start.

Grow your own organic produce & herbs.

You do not need a ton of outdoor space to grow your own garden. I suggest starting with herbs. They are easy to grow and take up little room. You can even grow herbs on a windowsill or on your patio. These herbs are growing on my balcony window. 

Shop local & in season.

Shop the farmer’s market. Farmer’s Markets have locally grown produce and (usually) there are many organic options to choose from. Not only will you be supporting a local farm family, you will be able to buy in season organic produce. If you are not sure where a Farmer’s Market is near you, try this website to locate one! 

Shopping for foods that are in season usually means that organic produce is on sale. A lot of times organic produce is the same price as conventional produce, in peak seasons. Check out your local store ads or see if they have an app to browse.

The journey to organic living should not become stressful or overwhelming. Start small and do your research.

Do you currently enjoy organic foods? How did you transition to an organic lifestyle? Share your ideas below to help others!

 

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