Buying organic has many health benefits. However nowadays just about everything and anything can be bought organic. With so many organic options out there it can be difficult to know what is actually beneficial for both your health and the environment vs. what is just pricier. Last semester, I took a nutrition class at Salve Regina that I loved and I learned some tips on when it is worth spending a little extra on organic foods. Here are my tips on how to eat clean and save more:
1. An organic cookie is a cookie
If it comes in a package and has preservatives chances are it’s not that much better for you, just more expensive. My rule of thumb is if you can make it yourself, do it. If you can’t live without your processed cheesy snacks, then go for Goldfish instead of spending the extra two dollars on Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies.
2. Fill your freezer
Knowing when to buy organic is important. One thing I learned in my nutrition class is if a vegetable or fruit is out of season, it is actually better to buy them frozen. The price of produce that is out of season is healthier because it has to be imported. Frozen fruits and veggies also have more nutrition locked in them vs. the imported, out-of-season options.
3. Know what is ok to buy nonorganic
Go by the rule that if it has skin that you eat like an apple, bell peppers and so on, then it should be organic. Each year the Environmental Working Group comes out with a new Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 List (these are the fruits and vegetables that you should, or should not buy organic). The list is determined by which foods have the highest and lowest pesticide residue. In an ideal world, we all could afford to purchase organic fruits and veggies. The EWG’s 2012 Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 Lists, help shoppers save money and reduce their pesticide intake.
4. Supermarket vs. farmers’ market
Support your local farmers! Buying local produce means the produce is in season and that you are receiving real value. Although you may think fairs or farmer markets are more expensive, in reality foods sold during their seasonal peaks tend to be cheaper. Also, that fresh from the earth quality is simply irresistible.