Consumers are becoming more aware of what food products are available, how they are produced and end up in our supermarkets, but when it comes to organic foods it can be difficult switching old purchasing habits for what seems to be smaller in size, more expensive, and less commercially available. There are many reasons for buying organic products, below are just a few:
- Organic food is healthier because it retains more of the vitamins, minerals and fibre
- Organic food is free of chemical additives (such as MSG, high-fructose corn syrup)
- Organic food is safer as it is produced without pesticides, hormones or genetic modification
1. Start out small and purchase foods you eat most often. If you are new to buying organic food and don’t want to break the bank simply choose 1 or 2 foods that you consume on a regular basis and switch to the organic versions.
2. Buying organic food in season is cheaper. Buying any produce in season is cheaper because there is more of that food product available.
3. Read ingredient food labels. Look for the Canadian Organics label on all organic products and make sure to read the ingredient list to know which ingredients are in fact organic and which ones may not be.
4. Buy organic foods from local farmers markets. This way you will know how it is grown and what’s in season. Not only that, it tastes better! I don’t believe anyone can argue that a fruit that has travelled hundreds even thousands of miles ripening along the journey tastes better then a fresh and local product.
5. Prioritize organic foods when on a budget. Healthier option to pick foods that have a thinner outer skin (i.e. less environmental protection) for your organic choices such as leafy greens (lettuce, and spinach), tomatoes, bell peppers, potatoes, apples, pears, peaches, and berries.
6. Winter is the time to use your freezer. Buying organic fruits and vegetables when they are the cheapest (in season) and then freezing them for the winter months is a great way to save money and stock up on your favourite items.
7. Go online to shop. If you don’t have a local farmers market available in your area to purchase organic foods there are alternatives. Online shopping has become less expensive and a convenient way for consumers to have unlimited access to the products that they want all year round.
8. Organic meat is healthier for you. Unlike the factory-raised meat products that dominate in stores organic meat is better for you as it is free of any added growth hormones, antibiotics, genetically modified feeds (GMO’s), and other drugs. These animals are fed organic feed and are raised in a healthier environment. It may be more expensive, but organic meat is a wise investment for your health.
9. Organic Foods taste better. This makes perfect sense when you are educated on how foods are grown and animals are fed and raised. Organic and buying local means all the foods you purchase are as fresh and contain all of the nutrition otherwise lost during premature harvest and transport.
10. Grow your own fruits and vegetables! Start out small with carrots, potatoes, radishes, even tomatoes and you will have fresh foods right in your backyard. Not only that but you can’t more local and fresh then that! Plus, growing your own produce is not a bad way to go green and save some money in the process.
What Foods Should I Buy Organic?
The Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen infographics highlight the foods with the most and least pesticide residue respectively. Buying organic produce off the Dirty Dozen list will ensure you’re eating less pesticide residue! That has to be better for us in the long run right?