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Old 06-25-2010, 04:01 PM   #1  
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Question Does it HAVE to be organic?

One question.

Does everything HAVE to be organic. I would love to try being vegan or vegetarian, but I just can't afford organic on my budget. My husband and I live off of food stamps. We have an extremely small food budget per month. I have been switching to whole grain pasta and tortillas, and have been incorporating more fresh fruits and veggies into our diet, but they are not organic. Is there a way to make the regular fruit and veggies that you buy at the grocery store safer to eat?

BTW, there is no farmer's market or anything similar in my town.
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Old 06-25-2010, 04:56 PM   #2  
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I do the best I can within my budget, and I prioritize. Some things are more important than others and the list seems to change all the time, so it's hard to keep up. I just do the best I can.

Here are two links that might help:

http://www.thedailygreen.com/healthy...ty-Dozen-Foods
http://www.thedailygreen.com/healthy...llery-44032808

I wanted to add it is dead easy to grow your own for a lot of things, esp for only two people. You know exactly what you're getting. We did containers of tomatoes, peppers, and a few other things (tomatoes are great because if you have more than you can eat you can make a batch of sauce and freeze or can it). It's SO easy.

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Old 06-26-2010, 11:15 AM   #3  
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I cannot afford organic. I live on a very tight budget so right now organic isn't my priority. I tried to, but it just can't work out until I'm at least out of college and making some more money. Some things I buy are organic, like tofu, there is no non organic tofu where I shop, but most of my stuff is not organic.
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Old 06-26-2010, 01:59 PM   #4  
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Not sure where you got the idea that in order to be vegetarian/vegan, you have to be organic. A lot of food stores that cater to organics also tend to cater to vegetarians but that doesn't mean that has to be your thing. Vegan is eating a plant based diet, vegetarian is eating a mostly plant based diet but including some animal products but not meat (including fish). None of that indicates organics.
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Old 06-26-2010, 11:39 PM   #5  
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I go by the list Nicole linked to. I saw a bit on CNN detailing the same dirty dozen, and they said even pressure-washing conventional celery could not remove all of the pesticides. I previously felt good about using Fit (a fruit and veggie wash) but now I'm not so sure. So there are some foods you are going to want to choose organic if possible. But plenty of fruits and veggies are fine, according to the other list.

What part of Tennessee do you live in? There are a few websites that list farmers markets all over the state. I've found several that I didn't know existed, which was a nice surprise. I love them because I can usually walk away with enough veggies to last the whole week for about 7 bucks. I just feed one person though. Hopefully you can find one within a relatively short drive.

Then I buy grains and beans from the bulk bins at the natural food store for a fraction of what they would cost prepackaged at a regular supermarket.

We also have a forum for budget cooking too, maybe that will be helpful?
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Old 06-27-2010, 01:11 AM   #6  
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I live in Dickson, and because I carpool, I can't go out of Dickson for anything. I am in the process of learning how to drive (albeit late. lol.).

Also, I just read a lot of web pages saying how poisonous our food is, and how you should really only be eating an organic vegan diet which kind of bummed me out, because I have only 224 dollars for each month to feed 2 ppl.

Of course, once I can drive and we get jobs it will be different, but for now I want to better my diet, because premade frozen crap and soda and sugary foods (although cheap) are really messing up my health.

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Old 06-27-2010, 01:14 AM   #7  
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I have switched to whole grain pasta and tortillas, though. And at Walmart we buy distilled water for 88 cents a gallon (our tap water is laced with chlorine, and it smells like a swimming pool). Also, at Aldi we can get a whole pineapple for 99 cents and a bunch of bananas for 64 cents. There's other cheap veggies and fruit there too.
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Old 06-27-2010, 07:47 AM   #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serval87 View Post
Also, I just read a lot of web pages saying how poisonous our food is, and how you should really only be eating an organic vegan diet which kind of bummed me out, because I have only 224 dollars for each month to feed 2 ppl.
There was a study released in the last few months that showed that, in terms of health benefits, and excluding the "dirty dozen", there's not much difference between organic and not organic. I buy organic for the dozen, local as long as farmer's markets are open, always in-season, and try to plan my meals around what's on sale. I also have a garden during the warm months, I started with a container garden in $2 buckets we drilled holes in when we didn't have a lot of space.

You can eat well, on a budget, while staying within your plan - it just takes a little thought.
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Old 06-27-2010, 12:51 PM   #9  
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Your food budget is $224? That is actually quite a bit in terms of a vegan diet. I spend between $200 to $300/month for my husband and myself and I eat a lot of organics.

I'd definitely shop around for farmer's markets and what options are available in your town for buying organics. Like Suzanne, I buy organic beans/grains from bulk bins.

I did a quick search for Dickson, TN and found two places that sound promising (but not sure if they are), Healthy Habits Nutrition Center and Eden's Bounty Natural foods. I'd check those places out to see what they have in bulk and see what foods they have on sale.
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Old 06-28-2010, 07:58 PM   #10  
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The only regular things that I buy that's organic are Avacados at Super Target...& the grapes at Whole Foods (my son just loves those...they're juicier & bigger in size than the ones at our local grocery stores....so really that's the reason we buy those..not for them actually being organic). I'd like to buy more organic than I do...but like some, I have a budget to respect. I love asparagus..I love to eat lots of it....& the organic asparagus is $6 and some change and non-organic is $3 and some change. Non-organic wins on that one.

We have some farmers markets around here...I haven't checked them out. I keep saying I will!
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Old 06-28-2010, 09:25 PM   #11  
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MissKelly - You'd think you'd get better prices in Florida! Organic asparagus around here is about $4/lb, not cheap but yeah. Also organic avocados range between 50 cents to $1 each.
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Old 06-29-2010, 09:03 AM   #12  
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I think that if the question is conventional vegetables or no vegetables at all, the right answer is conventional vegetables.
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Old 06-29-2010, 09:10 AM   #13  
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Do the best you can within your budget. Think more about reducing exposure than going 100% perfect. Nobody is perfect. And honestly between choosing conventional veg and no veg, I'll get the veg.

The top 5 suggested "biggest organic bang for you buck" foods to get are

organic milk
organic apples
organic peanut butter
Organic potato
Organic ketchup

(See http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/1...to-go-organic/ )

This might vary if your diet doesn't normally include a lot of these foods though.

Here's the dirty dozen print out.

http://www.foodnews.org/walletguide.php

HTH!
A.

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Old 07-15-2010, 09:56 PM   #14  
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Some things you realy should buy organic, these include:
Celery, peaches, strawberries, apples, blueberries, nectarines, bell peppers, spinach, kale, collard, cherries, grapes, potatoes, and lettuce

These are okay ot buy inorganic:
onions, avocados, melon, corn, pineapples, mango, sweet peas, asparagus, kiwis, cabbage, eggplant, cantaloup, watermelon, grapefruit, sweet potato, sweet onions, bananas,


For other produce you buy inorganic, scrub it with vinegar and rinse well to rid the pesticides
Maybe you can try growing some of your own food too, there's always some produce native to your area- there has to be.

Some links:

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/15-...anic-food.html
http://www.care2.com/greenliving/gro...lad-video.html
http://www.care2.com/greenliving/stu...-and-adhd.html


Edit: And if you arent vegan, organic animal products are most important! You really should search for a local farm who treat their animals kindly. You probably can find coupons online too

Last edited by MeganTheMushroom; 07-15-2010 at 09:59 PM.
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