Choosing organic food means you’re not only taking care of your own health but that of the planet. You’re choosing to support organic farmers, producers and processors who are doing the right thing for workers, animals and the environment. In short, you’re helping to build a sustainable future for all Australians.
Many commercial pesticides remain on our food no matter how much we wash and cook them. Eating organic fruit and vegetables is the only way to totally avoid these nasty chemicals.
When you eat organic, you tend to get closer to the source, which means you’re probably eating food that has been harvested more recently rather than food that’s been in cold storage for long periods of time. This likely results in higher nutritional value.
And yet, the cost of organic food is such that many people struggle to afford going totally organic at home. The good news is that going organic doesn’t have to break the bank – as awareness and demands grow, organic food becomes increasingly available in supermarkets, local shops and at farmers’ markets. This means you can include organic food in your grocery shop without changing your weekly routine.
In celebration of Organic Awareness Month in September, we share five ways you can eat organic without breaking the bank.
1. Buy better meat and eat less of it
As Aussies, we love our meat and tend to eat it in large amounts. The Australian government health guideline recommends we eat a maximum of seven serves of meat per week – in smaller portions than most of us are used to.
To start, switch to organic free range meat once or twice per week. Choosing cuts such as shoulder or belly can make a big difference to your wallet – and they’re delicious! You can gradually increase the number of organic portions as your confidence in organic food grows.
2. Go for organic dairy
If you’re new to organic food, milk is a great place to start because it’s easy to obtain and affordable, as most supermarkets stock it. The organic farming process produces milk with higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids and a healthier balance of omega-6.
3. Stock up on canned goods
Drop into your local organic food store sometime and you’ll find that organic canned goods, such as beans, corn, tomatoes and coconut milk are similarly priced (if not cheaper) than non-organic supermarket varieties. Buying in bulk when grocery stores have discounts is a thrifty option.
4. Choose in-season fruit and veggies
Going organic with your fruit and veggies is often the hardest step because this is where the cost difference is most noticeable. Buying in-season can help significantly because that’s when certain fruits and vegetables are in abundance. You can also sign up for an organic box service, such as Doorstep Organics and Go Organic, which delivers seasonal and organic fruit and veggies to your doorstep for a great price. Another alternative is visiting farmers’ markets once or twice per month to stock up on organic produce.
5. Grow your own at home
Not everyone has the time to tend their own veggie patch but one thing is for sure – the best way to ensure that what ends up on your table is organic is to grow it yourself. If you can’t manage a whole garden, growing your own herbs is also a great option. There’s nothing nicer than picking fresh herbs from the garden for free!
If you really take to the organic life and you have a small backyard, a chicken can provide you with free-range organic eggs for life. And she’ll double as a low-maintenance pet!
Do you buy organic food? How do you make it affordable?