USDA Organic

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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.

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 be incredibly inspiring. And it’s not as intimidating as it seems. So pick one thing to grow – you can do it.

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 a local farm by joining a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.

In the Fargo/Moorhead and surrounding areas:

  • Red Goose Gardens is a CSA in Shelly, MN. They offer locally and sustainably grown produce to communities in the Red River Valley. By purchasing a share, you become a member and receive a weekly box of our fresh, hand harvested produce. Boxes are delivered to several drop sites in Fargo/ Moorhead, Grand Forks and surrounding communities. We encourage members to connect with farm and farmer. Members are welcome to visit and we host several farm events each season. Their goal is to nurture the soil, to grow flavorful and nutrient-rich vegetables, herbs and fruits that are healthy for our bodies and our environment. They believe that the best food is whole and fresh and they grow sustainably and organically – no chemical fertilizers, pesticides or GMOs .
  • Sydney’s Health Market boasts the areas only all organic farmer’s market. Available Fridays during the growing season. They have organic produce available in the store, delivered fresh every Tuesday and Friday for Fresh Market Friday. And, if you haven’t been there recently, they are expanding their store and their selections. Visit www.sydneyshealthmarket.com or call 218-233-3310 for more information.

Be Selective. Decide to only purchase organic milk and produce. See the Environmental Working Group’s “dirty dozen” for the most-contaminated produce and make your shopping list based on that information: EWG Shoppers Guide

Source: Organic.org and Healthy Child Healthy World

Upcoming event in the Fargo/Moorhead area:

Northern Plains Botanic Garden Society is having their 9th Annual Botanic Garden Spring Luncheon and Silent Auction.

When: May 5, 2012 (11:30 a.m.–2:00 p.m.)

Where: Holiday Inn, 3803 13th Ave S, Fargo, ND 58103

Their guest speaker will be entomologist Maurice Degrugillier Ph.D who will be giving a presentation on Butterflies in the Garden. This is sure to be a crowd pleaser and will entice many into creating their own butterfly gardens for years of enjoyment. Along with this presentation, there will be numerous silent auction items that will include many container gardens and other botanic-themed items. Place a bid throughout the event while enjoying an amazing lunch of chicken salad, desserts, and champagne and listening to music from the Borderline Strings. If you place the winning bid on your auction item, you will also take home a wonderful gift for yourself or a special friend. This is an elegant event for all to enjoy, so plan ahead and contact us with any questions you may have.

For more information about the event and tickets, visit http://www.npbotanicgarden.com/events.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

eat the seasons
eat the seasons aims to promote an understanding of food seasons. Each week they list the seasonal foods that are at their peak, and share enlightening facts, useful tips and enticing recipe ideas picked from the web and their favorite books.

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