With Americans cutting corners everywhere possible, some families believe buying organic and/or local food is simply not in their budget. And many questions arise when deciding whether or not to buy organic food. Is it worth it? Does the value override the increased cost? What exactly does “organic” mean?
The USDA has made no claim that organic foods are healthier, safer, or more nutritious, but some individuals swear by it. A mom of two in Atlanta, Sherrelle Kirkland-Andrews of www.FunkiDivaGirl.com claims the taste of organic foods is substantially better. “I try to buy organic whenever possible,” she wrote on Facebook.
Once hard to find, organic foods of all kind from dairy products to fruit and vegetables to meat, are now commonly offered at neighborhood grocery stores. With these foods costing about 50 to100% more than conventional food, experts say to concentrate organic dollars on produce, especially foods that are more apt to experience pesticide spraying, like apples and peaches.
Even coupons are starting to come into play with MamboSprouts.com offering free printable coupons for organic, natural, and health foods to make these foods available to more consumers. If money-crunching does not enable a family to buy all their food organic, scrubbing fruits and vegetables off under hot water can help to reduce the possibility of ingesting pesticides.
Look for farmers' markets, road side stands, and “pick your own” farms for more budget-friendly ways to inject organic foods into mealtime. Those foods are also more likely to be locally-sourced, another key to make eating better for each person, as well as the planet. By lowering shipping costs, local foods are creating a lower carbon footprint as well.
Chef Brian Jones, Chef de Cuisine at the famous Atlanta Grill, uses locally sourced and organic food as much as possible and encourages everyday cooks to do the same. When people ask why they should do that in their own kitchens, he has a straightforward answer. “I believe our bodies get into a rhythm with our surroundings and the seasons. If you eat product that is grown 1,000 miles away in a different season, you may not feel as good as you would if you ate the local foods,” says Chef Jones. “And if you don’t believe that theory, then just know the food tastes better and you are supporting your neighbor. Everyone wins!”
Eating organic and local food may not be possible for all, but being more conscious about the food one puts into his/her body is the overall important message. Everyone only gets one body after all, so it should be treated well.
Maria Smith's bio: Maria is a mother of three and a freelance writer in Atlanta. She blogs at www.MamaliciousMaria.blogspot.com and is the principal publicist for Maria Rose PR.
Edited by Shannon Koehle