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huskerfan 01-24-2010 06:34 AM

Organic eating on a budget
 
I want to start incorporating more organic foods into my family's diet. I am going to start out buying organic dairy, meat and veggies/fruit. What else is essential to buy organic? I am also on a budget and cannot afford to exclusively shop at Whole Foods.

I am kind of confused on this matter. Mainly, I do not want to purchase processed items that have chemically engineered corn items in it-i.e. HFCS, etc. But we do enjoy oatmeal in the mornings, is plain old Quaker Oats just oats?

pocahontas 01-25-2010 06:51 PM

I would start with the "dirty dozen". Just google it and you will find the list. :)

DiamondDeb 01-25-2010 08:10 PM

It's more important to buy organic for some foods than others. There's a lot of good info in this thread: How bad is it to not eat organic?

huskerfan 01-30-2010 08:14 AM

Thank you ladies, lots of good information posted on here. :high5:

ga_kimmie 02-01-2010 06:07 PM

Ditto the dirty dozen...we started there and that took care of a massive percentage of the pesticides/chemicals/GMO we were eating. Try shopping at Trader Joes instead of Whole Foods if you have one near. Go to your local farmers market this summer, the produce will be fresh, local and organic. Buy a freezer and get portions of meat when possible (1/3 pig, 1/4 cow, etc). Get to know a farmer who has chickens and will sell eggs. Right now I've found a source for my pork and eggs that's way more affordable than the grocery store. You might also try looking for a CSA to join Local Harvest / Farmers Markets / Family Farms / CSA / Organic Food to check for your area. Growing your own veggies in containers, raised beds or a garden can also cut costs.

BeingHealthy 02-03-2010 06:20 PM

For Oatmeal, steel cut oats is the best. You can buy organic in bulk. Then, try lacto fermenting to neutralize the phytic acids and increases the nutrient availability and digestibility. I just put 1/4 cup of oats in a glass bowl, add 1 cup of water and a TBSP of raw buttermilk or raw yogurt. Cover with cheesecloth. Soak for 7-12 hours. Boil for 10 minutes.

miboje 02-13-2010 11:37 AM

If you have space and a yard, you might look into growing your own food, too. Planting fruit trees, strawberries, bluberries, and raspberries will give you a supply every year, and they don't require being planted year after year. It will, however, take an initial investment. Just focus on what you can do and do that. You can add more over time.

Watch for free food on craigslist and freecycle during the growing season. I gave food away last summer.

ga_kimmie 02-13-2010 05:53 PM

Oh...and if you have a Kroger near you they're good about putting organics (mostly shelf stable products) on sale and they even sometimes have a clearance bin for stuff like cleaning products, supplements, cereal, etc. This isn't their normal clearance bin, it's the one in the organics section.

Bulk bins at places like Whole Foods are also much cheaper than packaged shelf items of similar things (oats, beans, nuts, etc).

I try to use the dirty dozen as a guide. As a general rule, if you don't eat skin on it (bananas, kiwi, etc) then I don't buy organics if I can't afford it.

Julieanne71 02-21-2010 03:24 PM

A lot of people think Whole Foods is pricey but in my experience their organics are cheaper than what my local grocery store has to offer so it might be worth it to compare prices. The only things that seem more pricey at Whole Foods are meats and produce. Meats I just suck it up and pay more because I know it's worth it. But, I have only myself to feed. If I had a husband and kids I don't know that I could afford it. As for produce, I buy my apples and pears from them but bananas and oranges I buy at the regular store because it's not as important to go organic with those. Veggie prices are tough to compare because they fluctuate so much but tomatoes are almost always high at Whole Foods for some reason. Onions you can usually get cheap and everything else differs week to week. Peanut butter is always less $ than the grocery store and they actually make their own which you can buy a 1lb tub for $3.99. it's amazingly good. I bet you'd be surprised if you poked around Whole Foods; their prices are not as high as people think.

ga_kimmie 02-21-2010 06:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Julieanne71 (Post 13166004)
Peanut butter is always less $ than the grocery store and they actually make their own which you can buy a 1lb tub for $3.99. it's amazingly good. I bet you'd be surprised if you poked around Whole Foods; their prices are not as high as people think.

I agree. I LOVE their fresh peanut butter. I'm going out of my way tomorrow to get some because I just finished the last of ours. I agree their produce is comparable in price and their bulk bins offer very reasonable shelf-stable products.

MagicalHome 02-22-2010 09:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by huskerfan (Post 13039813)
I want to start incorporating more organic foods into my family's diet. I am going to start out buying organic dairy, meat and veggies/fruit. What else is essential to buy organic? I am also on a budget and cannot afford to exclusively shop at Whole Foods.

I am kind of confused on this matter. Mainly, I do not want to purchase processed items that have chemically engineered corn items in it-i.e. HFCS, etc. But we do enjoy oatmeal in the mornings, is plain old Quaker Oats just oats?

You know what i appreciate your idea of being budget ...and prefer not to buy a food which have a preservative , vegetables and fruits are the food ever. it really balance our body needs. It is also cheaper than those can goods or etc.

tamari 02-22-2010 09:18 PM

I often shop at our local farmer's market, and this weekend I was running late and got there about 30 minutes before it closes. Turns out the farmers mark down a good deal of their meat, produce, etc. just before closing so they don't have to drag it all back home. If you have a farmer's market nearby, this is worth looking into.

pocahontas 02-24-2010 08:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Julieanne71 (Post 13166004)
A lot of people think Whole Foods is pricey but in my experience their organics are cheaper than what my local grocery store has to offer so it might be worth it to compare prices. The only things that seem more pricey at Whole Foods are meats and produce. Meats I just suck it up and pay more because I know it's worth it. But, I have only myself to feed. If I had a husband and kids I don't know that I could afford it. As for produce, I buy my apples and pears from them but bananas and oranges I buy at the regular store because it's not as important to go organic with those. Veggie prices are tough to compare because they fluctuate so much but tomatoes are almost always high at Whole Foods for some reason. Onions you can usually get cheap and everything else differs week to week. Peanut butter is always less $ than the grocery store and they actually make their own which you can buy a 1lb tub for $3.99. it's amazingly good. I bet you'd be surprised if you poked around Whole Foods; their prices are not as high as people think.

Oh yeah, they are def less pricey than the regular grocery store when it comes to organics but I get even better prices at my local farmers market, Trader Joe's and Henry's Market. In fact, WAY better prices. I think Henry's is similar to Sprouts?

I cant even remember the last time I shopped at a regular grocery store, LOL!

Piekinns 02-24-2010 06:58 PM

I love Sprouts Market!
This past week they had grass fed ground beef $3.99 lb. so I stocked up. I still have several grass fed steaks in the freezer from a past sale, can't wait till they get a new shipment of bison in. Henry's is pretty nice too but haven't shopped there so much since the Sprouts store opened so close to me.

It's very helpful that they post their sale on the net so I can plan my purchases accordingly.

JulieM 02-24-2010 08:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ga_kimmie (Post 13166603)
I LOVE their fresh peanut butter.

This reminds me of an article in Consumer Reports some years ago on peanut butter. They did the full cross-brand test process and found many contained high levels of rodent hair/etc. and, even more disturbingly, carcinogenic mold. Surprisingly, the peanut butters in which they found the highest amount of this mold were the fresh-ground butters in health food stores. The lowest amount of mold and rodent parts was in the Jif brand. Apparently the health food store suppliers do not adhere to the same stringent quality control standards in choosing peanuts that the high-profile brands do. It's mostly a storage issue. If peanuts are stored around moisture for long enough, mold grows. I quite buying the fresh-ground butters as a result.

Julie

pocahontas 02-25-2010 08:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Piekinns (Post 13180270)
I love Sprouts Market!
This past week they had grass fed ground beef $3.99 lb. so I stocked up. I still have several grass fed steaks in the freezer from a past sale, can't wait till they get a new shipment of bison in. Henry's is pretty nice too but haven't shopped there so much since the Sprouts store opened so close to me.

It's very helpful that they post their sale on the net so I can plan my purchases accordingly.

Im starting to think Henry's & Sprouts are the same thing. Their websites look almost identical and their logo is almost the same. I :heart: Henry's! no Sprouts around here.

Piekinns 02-25-2010 09:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pocahontas (Post 13182112)
Im starting to think Henry's & Sprouts are the same thing. Their websites look almost identical and their logo is almost the same. I :heart: Henry's! no Sprouts around here.

Smartie!

More or less you are correct.

DH always makes friends with the meat cutters, this is what they told him:

When Whole Foods Market took over (forcibly IMO) Wild Oats Market, Henry's a sister/satellite store of Wild Oats was not part of the take over. Most of the former employees of Wild Oats were given a choice to join the Whole Foods conglomerate or go to Henry's. One of the top Wild Oats employees (sorry cant' remember his name right now) that was responsible for designing Henry's and another store I think in TX was not allowed a choice, he was forced to work for Whole foods. He quit :clap::clap::clap: and created sprouts :)

I didn't care that much for Whole Foods before the take over and now I only go there if I must. I think the CEO is a sneaky sniveling little POS :mad:

I still miss Wild Oats.

Also I'm seeing an awful lot of conventional food in Whole Foods and less and less organic especially in the meat dept........very little grass fed/pastured. Maybe I'm just bitter :p

pocahontas 02-25-2010 10:49 AM

I knew there had to be a reason why I didnt like Whole Foods! :laugh:

steady 02-25-2010 11:01 AM

This is a little random, but I was at a $.99 store and they sell organic produce...it was in pretty good condition no worse than the grocery store. I got a bag of organic rommaine, cauliflower, broccoli and even grape tomatoes at a buck each I thought it was a pretty good deal. Sometimes they 5 oz boxes of o mesculin/spring mix too.

Piekinns 02-25-2010 06:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by steady (Post 13182664)
This is a little random, but I was at a $.99 store and they sell organic produce...it was in pretty good condition no worse than the grocery store. I got a bag of organic rommaine, cauliflower, broccoli and even grape tomatoes at a buck each I thought it was a pretty good deal. Sometimes they 5 oz boxes of o mesculin/spring mix too.

I would have never thought of looking there, good info Steady! :cool:

Julieanne71 02-25-2010 07:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JulieM (Post 13180578)
This reminds me of an article in Consumer Reports some years ago on peanut butter. They did the full cross-brand test process and found many contained high levels of rodent hair/etc. and, even more disturbingly, carcinogenic mold. Surprisingly, the peanut butters in which they found the highest amount of this mold were the fresh-ground butters in health food stores. The lowest amount of mold and rodent parts was in the Jif brand. Apparently the health food store suppliers do not adhere to the same stringent quality control standards in choosing peanuts that the high-profile brands do. It's mostly a storage issue. If peanuts are stored around moisture for long enough, mold grows. I quite buying the fresh-ground butters as a result.

Julie

That is absolutely disgusting and I have no idea if it's true or not but I'm going back to jar peanut butter!
I remember many years ago I read in a magazine that there are bug parts in all kinds of food and I particularly remember they said that each jar of any store bought spaghetti sauce has an average of 40 maggot eggs in it. I never used Prego again, lol. Bugs are one thing, but rodents and mold are where I draw the line. I am so grossed out now!!! Thanks for sharing though because I'd rather know than just be completely ignorant!

Piekinns 02-25-2010 08:43 PM

Has anyone ever made peanut butter in their food processor?

oyvey 02-28-2010 05:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Piekinns (Post 13184761)
Has anyone ever made peanut butter in their food processor?

Yup. It's a little goopy/messy, but fine. Depending on your nuts, it's sometimes necessary to augment with a bit of oil. I buy jarred from Trader Joe's because I am lazy about that. Weirdly, not about other stuff, but you choose what you're wiling to do, right? :)


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