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Organic money matters

Many people are starting to jump on the organic bandwagon, and even though that is a smart move to make, they tend to go about it in a way that drains their bank accounts. Is it worth the hype? Is it just a scam to make you spend more money? Does it really benefit your health? While “going organic” seems like another hippie movement , there is more to it.

Organic food- what's in it for you?
M. Croyl 2014

For those on a budget, it may seem impossible- only a diet for rich celebrities who claim to be all organic, all the time. Fortunately, this is far from the truth. With pesticides and herbicides and growth hormones having scary names and effects being used every day in commercial food-producing plants and farms, there is no doubt we should be wary of our diet choices.

Grocery trips don't always have to throw off your budget. Simply learning which products can be bought inorganic and which ones should be organic will save you bundles of cash. When it comes down to choosing organic foods wisely, consider a few things.

  • Is the food packaged in a material that may have dangerous chemicals seeping onto your food?
  • Has your fish, meat, or poultry been treated with antibiotics or hormones to make it grow faster and keep illness away?
  • Are you pregnant or suffering from a disease or sickness that would make you lean towards taking additional measures to ensure a healthier lifestyle?

Any of these things are reason enough to consider purchasing organic. When a fruit has a thick skin that is not usually eaten, like a grapefruit, banana, orange, lemon or lime, we can rule it out to be safe enough bought inorganic. While the skin test is a good rule of thumb, not all fruits and vegetables are the same.

Generally, inorganic foods are less expensive than organic, and because of the chemicals used to keep them fresh longer, they have a longer shelf life and can be bought in bulk and used for a later date than with organic products. Listed here are a few foods that are best when purchased organic in terms of health and safety.

  • Berries- Strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries are some of the most chemically-saturated foods out on the market. Be aware that frozen produce is often cheaper than fresh, it’s picked and maintained at peak ripeness, and lasts longer. Organic or not, berries are usually pretty expensive year-round, so choose these according to your meal plan and budget.
  • Apples- These have a thin skin that is porous enough to allow dangerous chemicals- mostly pesticides into the meat of the fruit. If you cannot purchase these organic, try making a vegetable wash solution to spray on the fruit and wash off as many chemicals and/or dirt as possible.
  • Meat, poultry, and fish- The animal you eat must have eaten something in its lifetime. Whatever chemicals the animal ate, you eat in turn. In addition to what the animal consumed, consider whether or not the meat was injected with hormones or antibiotics that also have been used to keep it from getting sick or to grow faster.
  • Celery- This is known to be one of the most pesticide-saturated vegetables, because of the porosity of its skin. Chemicals are retained easily and washing with water alone or soaking does not rid the vegetable of these.

Eating healthy should NOT be ridiculously expensive and make you give up other expenses in your life. Learn to read labels, invest in the important things, and protect your health. Organic eating is not about all-or-nothing, it's about treating your body like the glorious temple it is and being smart with your funds.

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