Local and Organic Food
You are what you eat, right? If that’s true, why would you want to be anything but the highest quality? With the economy as it is, we all try to save money in every way possible. Saving on groceries can be really difficult when you are trying to stay away from processed foods. As it turns out, eating real food can be expensive!! If you know how to shop carefully, it doesn’t have to be.
One of the best ways to save on your groceries is to buy local. That means visit your local farmer’s markets and sign up with a local CSA. CSA is Community Supported Agriculture. It’s a group of traditional farmers or local urban farmers who work together to get fresh produce, dairy and meat to their local communities. Buying local means you are getting the freshest groceries possible, at the same time you are also reducing the levels of chemicals and preservatives that accompany some produce when it’s shipped in from other states. There’s no need for preservatives when you’re buying from the next town over. Not sure if there’s a CSA near you? Go to http://www.localharvest.org/csa/ and see what’s in your area. You can also locate your nearest farmer’s market by visiting http://www.localharvest.org/farmers-markets/ and searching for your city. You are also supporting local economy by purchasing from our farmers.
If there isn’t a farmer’s market or CSA near you, you may be stuck shopping at the grocery store. In this case, you should try to stick with organic produce, dairy and meat. Organic dairy and meat are not loaded with artificial hormones or prophylaxis antibiotics. Many conventional meat and dairy farmers do this to prevent disease in their herd. Just like our bodies, the animals are only as healthy as their diets and living conditions. When they are fed proper diets, allowed to roam, and are treated with kindness and respect, they produce higher quality food. If they are all crammed into the same enclosure and not given clean water and nutritious food, the animals will be unhealthy and miserable. It’s grossly unfair to the animals to live a terribly unhappy life just to provide for us.
Organic produce can get expensive, yet there are ways to stretch your grocery dollars and still purchase high quality produce. Certain fruits and vegetables contain far more pesticides and chemicals due to insects and the quality of the growing environment. These include apples, peaches, nectarines, grapes, berries, celery, potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, spinach, and peppers. While all conventional produce usually contains some level of chemicals, choosing organic on these previously listed fruits and vegetables is crucial.
The bottom line – if you can’t buy local, at least buy ethical. Not only do the farmers and their animals thank you, but your body will thank you, too.