The Muffin Man

I have been going to this one Organic market in Newport sense I was a freshmen, and although they are small, the store always has my organic “staples”. The employs there are always cheerful and friendly, and several days ago I had the privilege of meeting the man behind the magic, all the amazing, mouthwatering prepared foods offered at this market, more specifically the muffin man!

Meet Ryan from A-Market, he is the reason I will not be bikini ready come summer! His muffins are out of this world despite the fact that he never went to culinary school.  He did however work on an urban farm in collage and being a vegetarian himself he had some great tips to offer on how to eat healthy without breaking the bank. Perfect, I was all ears!

Q: Organic foods are expensive, how do you make sure you’re getting your money’s worth?

A: Don’t over buy, buying too much at a time especially when it comes to produce can be a waste. Even if you think you can eat it all. Produce goes bad quickly so buy a little at a time that way you aren’t throwing away money. Also buying a few things at once is a great way to ensure your produce is always fresh.

Q: What are some of your staple purchases?

A: Quinoa, lentils, and brown rice. Any kind grains are not only good for you but they are cheap and fill you up.

Q: Do you have any tips for saving money when it comes to buying food?

A: If you like it and it’s in season, you can grow it. I live off right in the middle of town and I have a few things growing right now that I eat regularly. Lettuce, arugula, spinach any kind of leafy green is a good and easy thing to try and grow yourself. All you need is a bucket, some dirt and whatever you want to grow. It is super cheap and I personally find it fun.

 

I really like Ryan’s last suggestion, especially given that at home in the summer I myself grow my own tomatoes, watermelon and some herbs. However, I never thought to do that at school- It will be my next adventure!

How to Buy Organic Without Overspending

       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:

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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.

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 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.

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