Green Tip – Healthy Eating on a Budget
EDITOR’S NOTE: EACH TUESDAY MY GREEN SIDE BRINGS SIMPLE TIPS FOR GREEN LIVING TO THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAM. WE ALSO HIGHLIGHT A FAVORITE GREEN SITE EACH WEEK. YOU CAN STREAM THE SEGMENT AT APPROXIMATELY 1220PM (CENTRAL) EVERY TUESDAY AT WDAY.COM OR, IF YOU’RE IN NORTH DAKOTA OR WESTERN MINNESOTA, LISTEN ON YOUR RADIO AT AM970 WDAY.
GREEN TIP: Eating organic produce, meat and dairy is healthier for your family and the environment (and it tastes better). Products with a USDA Organic label were grown and processed without toxic and persistent pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.
Here are some money saving tips to help you eat healthier and stay within your budget:
- Comparison Shop. You may be able to find less-expensive alternatives at different stores. Many major chains are coming out with their own organic brands but make sure it’s certified organic. According to Mark Kastel, the senior farm policy analyst at The Cornucopia Institute, ”Major food processors have recognized the meteoric rise of the organic industry, and profit potential, and want to create what is in essence ‘organic light,’ taking advantage of the market cachet but not being willing to do the heavy lifting required to earn the valuable USDA organic seal”. Products with a USDA Organic label were grown and processed without toxic pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. Certified organic production also prohibits sewage sludge, antibiotics, ionizing radiation, synthetic growth hormones and genetically modified organisms.
- Check out the 2014 Environmental Working Group’s Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce and find out what produce is highest in pesticide residue.
- Grow One Thing. Unless you have a lot of land, you’re probably not going to feed your family only from your home-grown harvest, but you will find that growing a tomato plant can produce a lot of tomatoes. Pick one (or three) things to grow in your yarn, on a balcony or in a sunny window.
- Cook More. The more convenient the food is, the more expensive it is. For example, buying an organic frozen dinner may save you time in the same way a conventional frozen dinner would, but it costs quite a bit more than its non-organic counterpart and much more than a homemade meal. Buy organic items that are lower in price (such as produce), and make your own dishes from scratch.
- Stock Up. Stock up on your favorite items when they go on sale. Or try something new that is on sale or is priced well, and you may find a new favorite.
- Buy in Bulk. Buying in bulk will keep costs down. Look for many pantry staples often available in bulk, such as beans, legumes, rice, flour, nuts, chocolate chips and so on.
- Organic Coupons. Keep an eye out in the Sunday paper and grocery circulars for coupons and, again, stock up to take best advantage of the savings. Organic bargains are everywhere so click on About.com’s Frugal Living page where you will find All Organic Links.
- Shop in Season and Buy Local. Shop farm stands and farmers’ markets for the freshest produce and support local farmers at the same time. Purchasing in season produce from your grocer may also keep costs down. And you can also save money by becoming a member of your local food co-op.
My Green Side’s web pick of the week:
Prairie Roots Food Cooperative at http://prairie-roots.coop/
Prairie Roots Food Co-Op is dedicated to building a healthy community by providing access to natural, organic and local food. A food co-op is a member-owned, member-controlled grocery store that operates for the mutual benefit of all members and according to common principles established for cooperatives. A food co-op provides community members with access to local, all natural, organic, and specialty foods. In turn, local producers gain broader access to the local market. Food cooperatives play an important role in helping to foster the relationship between local producers and community members.
THIS WEEKEND: Find Prairie Roots at Eco Chic’s Junk Market and Alley Fair
Find out more information about Eco Chic’s Junk Market at http://beingecochic.com/junk-market/.
Find out more information about Alley Fair at http://www.alleyfair.com/. The Alley Fair is Saturday, September 20th, 2014 (Daytime Events) from 11am to 7pm and include an Artist and Makers’ Market, Harvest Market, food, games, live art demonstrations, music and performers.