26 August 2011

Organic Food on a Budget

Copyright Brooke Photo Studio 2011 | Click to for Purchase Details
The benefits of organic food are obvious to me - filling my body with hormone and antibiotic induced meats, preservative filled foods, and produce that has been sprayed with pesticides just isn't the healthiest way to live.  I try to buy organic when I can, but it can get expensive.  Here are some ways that I use to buy organic food on the cheap.

Farmers Markets
If I see a farmers market or roadside stand I like to stop and see if they have organic produce.  I always ask before I assume because not all produce at farmers markets and roadside stands is organic.  If you find a good spot you can often get produce for a great price while supporting local farmers.

Butcher Shops
Organic meats can get pricy at the grocery store so I like to visit a local butcher shop to get some of my meats.  It is a bit of a long ride so I stock up when I go and freeze for use later.  The best part about my local butcher shop is that not only are the meats fresh and organic, but they are also more affordable then in the grocery store.

Buy Frozen Meats
Copyright Brooke Photo Studio 2011 | Click to for Purchase Details
While we are on the topic of organic meats - buying frozen meat can be a more affordable option then buying fresh.  I am able to get frozen organic chicken breasts at Walmart for a great price, and they still taste great when I cook them.

Buy in Season
Organic produce often comes from a local source so prices will fluctuate depending on what is currently being harvested.  Learn what is fresh at different times of year and cook with those ingredients in mind.  You can even take it a step further by canning vegetables for use later in the year.

Plant a Garden
I don't have much space or a green thumb, but if you do planting your own garden is a great way to grow your own organic produce.  I planted several herbs organically this year and have been enjoying them in a variety of recipes.  The photo in this blog post is my organic basil that I use almost daily.

Eat Partially Organic
This is the way I shop.  Since I can't get everything organic that I would like I pick and chose based on what is fresh and the availability at my local grocery store and farmers market.  When buying organic think about the product.  For example I always buy organic milk because it is hormone and antibiotic free.  I also like my leafy greens to be organic, but an orange isn't as important to me because it has an outer shell protecting it from any pesticides that were sprayed on it.

Do Some Research
Websites like Organic Kitchen provide a wealth of knowledge about where to acquire organic food locally and on the web.  They even offer restaurant selections, and recipe listings.  A very useful tool in living a healthy organic lifestyle.

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