Organic vs. Non Organic When $$$ Are An Issue

When is money not an issue? For parents, couples and singles alike, Panama Wellness Group offers a quick guide to eating organic on a budget.

People ask me all the time, as a nutritionist, if I eat 100% organic. The answer is a simple no. Why not, you may ask. Simple, really; with 4 children (3 teenagers taller than myself) in the house, 100% organic is not in our monthly budget.

So how can we promote eating organically on a healthy budget? Easy!

Step 1: Make a list of all your favorite foods; these are the foods you eat most often.

If you are a meat eater and you have chicken 5 days a week, it should be organic!

If you eat mainly veggies and repeat the same ones, BUY ORGANIC! If you drink milk, ONLY ORGANIC!

Step 2: Stay away from the dirty dozen…

Pesticides in and on our foods is an increasingly prominent issue. Apples, celery & soy are all on this list because of their porous nature, along with strawberries, potatoes and grapes. Soy is not necessarily bad for you, contrary to most comments and articles these days but non-organic soy has been linked to increases in cancer, mood swings, irregular menstrual cycles and much more. Soy must be organic or not an option!

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Step 3: Eggs, patio eggs, and organic eggs

Organic eggs have been shown to have higher omega 3 fats when compared to non-organic eggs. Their bright orange yolks are a telltale sign of a fresh organic egg! Do a quick test of one non-organic egg and one organic; see the yolks, which one do you want to eat??!!

Step 4: Know which foods are “ok” as non-organic options

Nut butters, hard peeled or shelled produce; i.e., pineapples are important to know the organic versions of, fresh fish is also important. These products can be purchased non-organic without causing damage. Nut butter has low amounts of pesticides sprayed in the crop fields and by the time it becomes butter, it has very low traces of any chemicals. With organic nut butters costing upwards of $8 for a small jar this is a great savings. Pineapple has a tough skin making it difficult for the pesticides to penetrate the plant.

Step 5: Do your best to eat and shop locally

Most farmers markets grow their produce and package their jams, butters, etc. from their own gardens. They are small operations and use little or no chemical fertilizers. Building the community of small growers in your area will get you great tips and savings on feeding your household a healthy nutritious diet.

@2014 Hillary Sepulveda

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