9 Ways to Buy Organic Food Wisely
The current economy is making us all second-guess every purchase we make, including what the food we buy. A report by Nielsen Company, a market research firm, reported that organic food sales in the US rose only 4 percent in the four week period ending October 4th, compared to 20 percent a year in recent years.
But you do not need to give up on organic, just be more careful with your organic spending and focus on the area where you can get the bet value for money. Stick with these nine strategies and you will soon see your organic dollar stretching farther.
- Shop Around. Pricing for organic foods is prone to much bigger variations than other branded, processed foods. So may different retail outlets are selling organic products these days that there are bargains available if you just take the time to look for them.
- Buy in season. These items will be the lowest priced, whether you’re shopping at a specialty market or local farmer’s market.
- Buy Local. Many supermarkets feature locally grown vegetables, fruits, and meat in season and there are more and more farmers’ markets every year. Foods in season tend to be cheaper, because they’re abundant then (it’s that supply and demand thing again).
- Shop at one of the more than 2,500 farmers’ markets in the United States. The produce here is as fresh as possible, because the food is usually picked within 24 hours of your purchase. This is a great place to check prices with little effort. Becoming a regular shopper and getting to know growers personally, is a good way to get the best selection and price.
- Visit a farm and pick your own produce. Children love to experience something new, especially when it involves dirt and food.
- Join a Co-op. In many cities, there are full-service natural foods supermarkets that also function as co-ops. That means when you join you get an automatic discount on everything you buy (sometimes on specific days of the week).
- Grow Your Own. Is there a corner in your garden, or some section of your apartment balcony, that gets sun most of the day? If there is, grow some food in it. You can grow a lot in a very small space. In a box roughly two feet square, you can grow enough mixed salad greens to keep you going for months! Tomatoes are an excellent plant to start growing on your own.
- Buy less. Eat what’s best for you, but eat less of it. It’s easier than you think to get by with smaller servings of wild seafood, grass-fed beef because they generally have more flavor and plenty of protein, and are thus more satisfying. Put simply, it doesn’t take as much to feel full. Round out meals with more whole grains and produce.
- Buy Smart. The consumer guide, the Daily Green, has compiled a handy list of the top 12 foods to buy organic whenever possible, based on considerations of pesticides, chemicals, additives, and hormones. Its top picks for organic are:Beef
Sweet bell peppers
Organic and sustainable foods may carry higher price tags, but you can afford to enjoy them in some form or quantity. Given today’s health and environmental concerns, you can’t afford not to.