Friday, August 03, 2007

Going Organic: Too Expensive?

Ok... So you've probably, at least once, tootled with your shopping cart down the health food aisle and gasped, choked and nearly dropped because of the price of organic groceries.

Hey, you're reading the blog of one of the biggest cheapskates in history. Well, a former one, anyway... So I was probably the gasping, fainting woman there in the aisle next to you.

But for me, after reading from organic websites such as this one, and discovering how many pounds of pesticides and chemicals are dumped on our food and the dangers of synthetics... and the effect it's having on our Country's health, well, there is no turning back. There is no returning to grabbing the cheapest stuff on the supermarket shelf (and being too afraid to read the ingredient list). No more trusting God for our health while naively trusting the FDA. Been there, done that, never doing it again.

So what's a cheapskate to do when she wants to get healthy and go organic? She gets smart. She reads. She plans. She researches. She writes things down.

In just over two weeks of having gone organic this is a little of what I've learned and experienced:

I feel better. My head feels better, especially. And who can put a cost on that? I will do without so-called luxury items and even my treasured retro tv show dvd's in order to keep feeling this way.

Since we're no longer going out for fast-food (or drinking diet soda or eating other junk), we are saving money there and using it for nutritious food, instead. (Though a couple times we've gone out to hole-in-the-wall-retro-diners and had potato and egg breakfasts. For us that's fun. For us that's not fast-food.)

Must I buy every ready-made jar or package of organic whatever? Nope, I can make or grow some of my own. I can make my own organic yogurt or salsa or muffins or pies or casseroles--all it takes is an initial investment in organic ingredients. I can raise my own organic berries and other fruits and vegetables in my backyard (and make juices from them) or grow herbs on a sunny shelf. And for the price of two Starbuck's coffees, I can make at least 20 cups of organic coffee.

As with other groceries, many organic products do go on sale, so I can stock-up. I can also learn more about organic beauty products, thing like, I can use coconut oil for a moisturizer and I can cook with it, too. I can use an organic bar of soap in place of (anti-freeze-laced) shampoo.

And something I'm noticing? We're eating less--so there's an instant savings there. Organic food, we're finding, is more filling. It's more wholesome and isn't injected with those hush-hush chemicals which give you wild cravings for more food. In less than two weeks, the rest of my dratted winter weight just fell off without my even trying to lose it. Gotta love that.

Yes, it does require more effort to afford to eat organic. I've been cooking meals for 28 years and these past two weeks I've felt as though I'm starting all over in both cooking and baking techniques (especially after kicking our microwave to the curb) and budgeting and meal planning.

But you know? It's been worth it. Already. And I'm never going back.

The OCA website is really a great one to learn more about going organic. To have your questions answered, just use their search box and various helpful articles will pop up. There's also a message board which helps if you're feeling alone in the organic market aisle. There are thousands of us there with you, trust me.


Storybook Woods said...

You are soo right making from scratch does help a lot with the budget. I am finding my grocery outlet type stores are carrying more and more organic items. So does Costco and if one is lucky enough to live near a Trader Joes, they have very good prices xoxoxo Clarice

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

Our Target has some organic foods for a great price. They even have organic coffee for about the same as the regular brands.

There is a Trader Joe's in a couple of cities near us (both at least an hour away, though). One of our friends goes there every few months so we'll go along with her.

R said...

That all sounds fine and dandy. I would be the first one in line if I had any takers to go along with me. You oughta read my post today and weep for me. Power bars it is.

Hey, I read on the label it is organic ingredients! It's like eating rations!

Glad you found this all out. I am so on board with this whole thing. The anti-freeze shampoo really bugs me---ouch. Glad at least I make soap for my skin!

That is about the only healthy thing I can provide. Grrr...

Laura said...

My 2 1/2 year old daughter is on a gluten/casein/corn/soy free diet. It's amazing how most foods, even those I used to consider healthy contain one of those ingredients. I'm having to make many things from scratch and wondering if we wouldn't also benefit from a little less "junk" in our food. I've realized as I've considered this route that I'm very attached to my food and I emotionally eat. Threaten to take away my food and I get much like a caged animal. It's amazing how much food is connected to feelings, memories and emotion. Thanks to my daughter's special needs and a few bloggers, like you, highlighting both the benefits of eating well and the risks of not, well...let's just say, I get the message. :) Now to create new memories and good feelings around better-for-us foods

Sara said...

like laura, i have a child on a gluten-free diet and deb; you are speaking to things God has beeh whispering to me about. it just feels so overwhelming for me. i thank you for your inspiration.