Today my healthy friend Ruth took me grocery shopping. We've been talking about going forever. She is really into organic products. All of them!
She gave me some high lights. If it comes from a chicken or a cow - buy organic. I'm not 1000% sold but I promised myself that I would give things a try. I bought $3.99 organic eggs. Yikes. I ask myself will it enough difference? I am a cheap person. very cheap. I bought $5 organic butter.. yikes! Honestly, I can't see myself doing that again. We don't use much better - it will last a long time.
I got myself a "smart chicken" whole chicken. $1.99/lb... so that was better. here is a link that talks about their products http://www.smartchicken.com/ I already eat their sausages.. and they are super yummy!
I always choose cage-free eggs, I just hate the idea of chickens all cooped up so they can't even turn around and their poor little beaks cut off so they can't peck each other. I will gladly pay an extra 1-2 dollars so that animals don't suffer unnecessarily for me (I realize that even uncaged brood chickens probably don't have an ideal, bucolic life).
SIX YEARS at maintenance weight!
From reading about all of your efforts to try new foods to heading to the grocery store to get organic foods, I have to say how proud I am that you are making such a wonderful effort to be as healthy as you can!
My mom is a vegetarian, so I didn't eat meat when I was growing up except when I went to Grandma's. My family always ate a wide variety of foods, so when you began your thread about trying new foods, I didn't have many foods I hadn't already tried. Organics ARE new to me, though, so I AM learning more about them through my future DIL who is vegetarian AND has Celiac Disease (can't have anything with gluten in it). Organics, from what I have been able to learn, are grown pesticide-free. The chickens are fed organic grain and produce organic eggs. Apparently organic foods are like foods USED to be before all the additives and pesticides and artificial everything began to be added. We try to eat organic and natural foods as much as possible. I can't tell any difference in taste, but if they make us healthier I AM DEFINITELY FOR IT!
I'm proud of you, Dana, for making such great strides to GET HEALTHY!!
I do choose to only purchase certain things organic - I'm with your friend, I only buy beef or poultry from an organic butcher (too many spooky rearing practices out there, waaaay too many e-coli outbreaks affecting ground beef, and I don't want all the extra hormones. I also don't want the extra saturated fat from corn-fed beef). I only buy organic eggs, because - like Glory87 - I have a real problem with battery chickens and they way they are kept. I also purchase organic milk - again, to avoid the hormones in regular milk. My son has T1 diabetes, which is an auto-immune disease, and that definitely played a part initially in my decision to go organic with certain foods - but even if that weren't the case I wouldn't go back now. I find a major difference in taste and quality, especially where the beef/poultry are concerned.
I do buy some organic produce, but am picky - I only buy organic produce when it makes the most sense (ie: heavily sprayed crops).
Welcome to the world of organics! They can be pretty expensive but, in my opinion, worth every penny. Organics are not only better for our bodies but better for the environment as well so you should feel good about your purchases. If you MUST pick, I would say it's more important to have organic meat then produce...but I do both (most of the time).
If you want to really understand why you should do this, read the book "Real Food: What You Should Eat and Why". It tells you why organics are better than not. If you want to continue doing this but are "cheap" then why not look for some co-ops, local farms, and CSA programs in your area? This will help tremendously. I am part of a CSA (community supported agriculture) program where I get organic produce for a 22 week season for what totals about $15 per week and I get WAY more then that in produce. If I bought everything from the regular grocery store (organic) that I get every week from the farm I'd probably spend $50 at least! There are ways to eat healthier, more environmentally friendly, and a little cheaper then the regular grocery store.
Have you looked at your organic butter yet? Is it more yellow then your regular butter? If it's good organic (grass fed cows) then it should be a darkish yellow. That's from the extra vitamin A that grass fed cows provide us that grain fed cows don't.
I started introducing more organic foods into our diet last year and did a lot of research on organic vs. conventional foods. The best guide to 'the real deal' (IMO) was 'A Field Guide to Buying Organic'.
From other people I've talked with, including people in organic agriculture, the most important thing should be trying to buy from local farmers. This supports your local economy but also your food is not then being mass produced and coming from the other side of the country. Just because a farm doesn't have the 'organic' certification doesn't mean they aren't farming organically. Joining a CSA or shopping at farmer's markets is a great way to buy local.
If you can't buy local, then buy organic. Organic foods are becoming more mainstream, and many big companies are producing organic lines along with their traditional products. If you are buying organic for ethical purposes, then that's something you'll want to look at, too - check out the manufacturers, etc.
It can be quite confusing (and expensive) to buy organic - I hope this helped a bit and wish you luck!
~*~*~ Lesley ~*~*~
"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail". Ralph Waldo Emerson
I'm kind of leary putting this out there because I don't want you all to think I"m gross. hahaha However, I've worked in food labs long enough to know it's ok. I buy organic ALWAYS on dairy and meats...and I look for the "manager specials" that are markdowns because it's on or near date. Here's today's example of how I did....
Cage free/grain fed eggs - 1 dozen brown - $.99 - regularly $2.89
1/2 gallon Horizon organic milk - $2.75 - regularly $3.89 (if I can't find this on markdown at the store...Costco has a 3 pack for $9.)
Stonyfield farm yogurt - $.50/ea - regularly $1.09/ea
1 lb Horizon organic butter - $1.99 - regularly $5.99
I've found when I look for these deals I really don't spend more on the organic than I do on regular...and they really do taste SO MUCH better. And I love the fact that my kids aren't getting the additional hormones and of course the "humane" treatment of the animals involved.
St. Patrick's Day goal - MET! Baseball Opening Day (April 2) goal - MET! Memorial Day goal - to be in the "teens" - MET! 36th Birthday goal - below 200 - MET! Labor Day goal - MET! Wedding anniversary goal - MET! Christmas goal - 175 - didn't make this one. Maintaining for now...no new goals at the moment.
I'm pro-local, and not necessarily pro-organic. But they tend to go hand-in-hand a lot in the local market out here.
What people don't realize about local produce (from sustainabletable.com):
Communities reap more economic benefits from the presence of small farms than they do from large ones. Studies have shown that small farms re-invest more money into local economies by purchasing feed, seed and other materials from local businesses, whereas large farms often order in bulk from distant companies. Large factory livestock farms also bring down local property values with the intense odors they emit.
A typical carrot has to travel 1,838 miles to reach your dinner table.
In the U.S., a wheat farmer can expect to receive about six cents of each dollar spent on a loaf of bread—approximately the cost of the wrapping.
Farmers markets enable farmers to keep 80 to 90 cents of each dollar spent by the consumer.
About 1/3 of all U.S. farms are located within metropolitan areas, comprising 18% of the total U.S. farmland.
I would encourage you to check out your local farmer's market. Not only is the produce a lot less expensive than the grocery store but a lot of it is organic AND inexpensive. Here's the one in Green Bay starting in June. http://www.ci.green-bay.wi.us/geninf..._market_o.html
Farmers' markets were a godsend when I lived in Chicago. It's pretty much the only way to get fresh, good-tasting produce in the middle of the city.
Maria, I googled as you suggested and the first link, a list of 14 foods you absolutely should buy organic, had some surprises for me. Rice? Bell peppers? Bananas? Yowch. I mean, I would have guessed bell peppers since we eat the skin, but I kinda hoped bananas would be safe with their thick skins. They also have corn on the list, but because most corn nowadays is GMO, which for me the jury's still out on. Same for the Roundup-Ready Soybeans—evil? I dunno.
I always buy the cage free/hormone free eggs. I too cannot stand the thought of unhappy chickens. I've seen the corporate farms' henhouses in documentaries...it's horrific. Usually those are the same documentaries that show you the tiny veal pens, and beef cows penned up tight never going outside, fattened up on antibiotics and growth hormones and left to wallow in their own filth.
I too am cheap. If you aren't too averse to Wal-Mart, their cage free eggs run $1.92 around here. And like others said about buying locally, nose around this spring for a farm with chickens. I ran across one by accident about 12 miles from me last year and I'm going to try to stop in there this year for my eggs. It's a "If we aren't here, there's always eggs on the porch, just take what you want and put the money in the box" deal.
Grocery stores are starting to carry organics in THE STORE BRANDS! I got Meijer brand organic whole wheat pasta today, $1 a pound on sale. Organic salsa $2 a jar. Nice, normal type prices! I found out I love the Orville Redenbacher organic microwave popcorn as well, though it's fairly pricy at $2.50 for 4 packages...but if at 63 cents a package I get no hydrogenated oils and no artifical crap, I am happy, and the taste difference is very noticeable.
Jessica - thanks for the link! From that link I found a couple of farms for meat.. and the prices were just like the grocery stores.
I am also very pro local.
Nothing against California but we get these ads here for California Dairy. They state "California cows are happy cows" - I live in flippin' Wisconsin - hello? the dairy state. Why would I want California dairy? LOL
I can't wait for the markets to open up here.
We are also doing our first veggie garden this year! Yeah for us!
Dana - Yay! I'm so happy you're starting a garden. There is nothing that will make you more ready to eat veggies than growing them yourself! Currently, I'm on a waiting list for a community garden but in the meantime, I'm working on a container garden. I have tomato plants that never died from last winter so they're already producing green tomatoes for me. I never knew that the CA Cow commericals went out there. That's hilarious! I love the commericials. I think they're funny but no, you should totally buy dairy in the dairy state. LOL
Apryl - I've actually been (and danced) at the Madison Farmer's Market. It is HUGE and lovely. You'll love it. Fresh produce everywhere and a really fun atmosphere. Plus, in front of the capitol building, it's even picturesque.
Thanks for the info on the CSA's! I immediately started Googling for my area.
One thing I did want to mention about organics is you need to be careful about what the term means to different manufacturers. There are so many loopholes in the law. I was surprised to learn not to long ago that those using genetically modified organisms can still call themselves organic if they simply don't use chemicals. That was NOT what I intended!
I can't be "off the wagon". I'm driving it!
“I have not failed, I have just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.” -Thomas Edison Began 6/5/06, First mini goal: Achieved 10/17/06, 60 pounds gone! Second mini goal, LICENSE WEIGHT
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