The Youthful Body

Buying Smart is Buying Organic : Best Advice for Going Organic

Buying organic food is a smart life decision. Organic food is produced in environmentally safe and animal friendly farms and processes. They provide many benefits, such as being free from disease bearing pathogens, like pesticides and carcinogens and also from antibiotics and growth hormones. Fruits, vegetables and meat at this natural state give you the […]

Buying organic food is a smart life decision.

Organic food is produced in environmentally safe and animal friendly farms and processes. They provide many benefits, such as being free from disease bearing pathogens, like pesticides and carcinogens and also from antibiotics and growth hormones. Fruits, vegetables and meat at this natural state give you the best whole health goodness, wellness and taste better.

How to Spot Real Organic Food

Organic Food is certified. In the UK the most prevalent certification is the British Soil Association. More generally, the EU has developed a more global certification. Its requirements vary from one country to another, and generally involve a set of production standards for storage, growing, processing, packaging and shipping that ensures:
– Sustainable farm methods such as soil building, conservation, manure management and crop rotation practices. For a number of years (usually three or more)

  • Animal friendly methods such as outdoor access and pasture for livestock.
  • 100% organic feed
  •  No synthetic chemical such as pesticides, fertilizer, hormones, antibiotics, food additives, GMO, irradiation, and the use of sewage sludge;
  • Keeps an up to date and transparent record of operations
  • Has annual certification from a third party Organic Certifier.

The Benefits

Eating organic is an investment for health. You may think you are spending more but in reality you save a lot on doctor’s bills, time off work, medications.

Buying Organic will give you and your family more nutrition and put pure and safe food on your table.

More Nutrition

Organic food is packed with nutrients; they’re richer in vitamins, minerals and fiber and retain the natural levels of nutrients longer. A healthy lifestyle fueled by organic food is proven to make you live longer, be able to resist disease and fight infections.
You get top quality, natural and higher amounts of Vitamins C, D and E beta carotene, polyphenols, cancer-fighting antioxidants and bio-flavonoids, perfect protection from heart disease.

Food produced organically is 25% more nutritious: Organic food’s shelf price is on average 20% higher than non organic food, making it cheaper by the gram. Organic milk for example has between 50% and 80% higher levels of antioxidants when compared to industrially produced milk. Organic wheat, tomatoes, potatoes, cabbage, onions and lettuce have between 20%-40% more nutrients than their industrial counterparts.

In addition, you also get higher levels of essential minerals (such as calcium, magnesium, iron and chromium). These important micronutrients are lost in conventionally grown foods by as much as 76% between 1940 and 1991, according to the UK and US government statistics.

Safer Food

You are safer and healthier with organic food. Look at the many examples of health safety below:

  • Toxic pesticides; 400 chemical pesticides are used in non-organic produced from industrial farms. They still remain imbedded in the produce even after washing. Children, the elderly and those with health issues are most prone to their toxicity. One type of toxic pesticide, called Endocrine disruptors, is linked to early puberty and skin cancer. Still others have been known to cause asthma and cancer.
  • Organic food are not GMOs or genetically modified organisms.
  • Organic livestock and poultry are not given any form of drugs like antibiotics, growth hormones and genetically modified vaccines. Beef and milk, for instance are laden with growth hormones associated with increased rates of breast, testis and prostate cancers.
  • Organic animals are fed clean and natural organic food– not fed with animal remains, arsenic, byproducts of corn ethanol production (increases risk to E.coli contamination) or slaughterhouse waste, blood, or manure. Eating organic meat decreases risk to CJD, the human counterpart of mad cow disease and Alzheimer’s.
  • Organic fruits and veggies are not fertilized with toxic sewage sludge or coal waste, nor irrigated with E. coli contaminated sewage water.
  • Organic foods are not irradiated; a study of cats fed with irradiated food showed they developed multiple sclerosis within 3-4 months.
  • You get less risk from salmonella, campylobacter and other illness-inducing bacteria.

Pure Food  –  Safe Food

Say goodbye to dangerous food additives and flavor enhancers such as MSG, artificial sweeteners (aspartame and high-fructose corn syrup), contaminants (mercury) or preservatives (sodium nitrate), sure precursors for many health problems.
Organic food also reduces the risk of incidence of autism, learning disorders, diabetes, cancer, coronary heart disease, allergies, osteoporosis, migraines, dementia, and hyperactivity.

The Best Advice

Unfortunately many find it difficult to buy organic products. Many are wrongly led to believe that enjoying fresh and delicious organic food is difficult and expensive. Read on and look at the best advice for going organic.

1. Give up your dependence on conventional supermarket chains- Commercial and profit led businesses just have a section for organic products. Your local grocer also has one but these sections are considered as luxury sections and have added on prices. There are many other cheaper places where you can buy wholesome food. You can check out health food stores, specialty stores, co-ops, gourmet delis, farmers’ markets, community-supported agriculture programs and convenience stores.

2. Shop around- Organic food is a lifestyle commitment. Only a few people can afford to pay for the added cost on them. The smart buyer does not aim to pay twice the price for organic products. Knowing where to buy means just a few cents added to the price of the earth- friendly food you buy. The better price depends on where you live and purchase from, the harvest season, and the item you’re buying.

3. Do your Online Research- Organic products may be hard to come by but there is an international organic food community that gives many choices and advice for you. They also offer delivery directly to your home. All of this is just a point a click away. Simply type “organic” in your search engine and browse. When you shop online, you can see many organic products you cannot get locally. Look up Green People directory from the Organic Consumer Association, you can see many affordable products on this site and you can also see many organic food directories there.

4. Go to Farmer’s Markets – Shopping directly from the producers is always a wise choice. Fruits and vegetables fresh picked taste infinitely better than anything from a commercial supermarket. When you buy ask around. Some may not have the label of “organic” yet. These famers may still be in the process of making the change to organic farming and may not have the certifications yet.

Shopping at the fresh produce in a farmer’s market is always cheaper and better. What you really need to do is to continuously ask questions. Remember you are buying from the farmer’s themselves. Ask for discounts when buying in bulk, discounts for misshaped produce and always ask what tastes the best. They know. They’ll tell you: they’re going to pick up a melon for you.

Another great way to save in farmer’s markets is to go there last knockings. Farmers would rather sell at lower prices rather than transport them back at the end of the business day.

5. Support a community based agriculture program and/or Join a Cooperative- A community-supported agriculture (CSA) program allow you to buy a share from a local farm’s cost of operations. A food cooperative is a member’s owned business, which gives produce or discounts for organic food. A cooperative sells product that are mostly organic and come from local farmers. As a member you can get great discount by volunteering your free time you can get additional discounts.

6. Get membership in a buying club- One of the best ways to get cheaper organic food is with a buyer’s club membership. You can avail of discounts as high as 30-40 percent. Fellow members buy the stuff they need in bulk and split the groceries as they see fit. According to experts Buyer’s Clubs are the best-kept secret in the U.S. You can start your own buyers club here in the UK if you can gather around 7 – 10 interested household. Starting such a club will require time and energy on the other hand you will make up for it by the money eventually and will surely develop new competences and skills as well as a great sense of community.

7. Do bulk purchases- Sometimes it’s a hassle to organize a group of people with different needs. Personal bulk purchases make your hard earned money go a long way. Just make sure you have a cool, dry place at home for storage. Beans, grains, lentils and nuts are great for bulk containers. You can even save on storage space by sharing purchases with a friend or a relative. Always a calculator though when doing bulk purchases, not all products are cheaper in bulk. Always check and verify the math.

8. Buying in season- One of best ways to save in organic food is when the produce is in season. Fruits and vegetables taste better and are at their best nutritionally. Buying in season complements your organic food saving strategy such as buying in bulk, famer’s market and coop purchasing. Ask the producers for discounts in bulk purchases and other bargains.

For example strawberries are more expensive in December but are cheaper in May. Get more info via for an in-depth guide to British seasonal food.

These fresh harvests you buy can be frozen, stored, preserved, or shared with friends and family.

For smaller purchases some local farms offer an organic box scheme where local, seasonal and organic fruit and vegetables are delivered straight to your home. In 2011 the box scheme delivery became popular since sales went up by 7.2 percent, proof for the rising popularity for organic consumption.

Go to Riverford Organics or Abel & Cole or local farms for cheap box of the week offers. They’ll deliver the week’s in season fruits and veg’s.

9. Freeze and store- Great during off-season such as the winter months and also great when you purchase in bulk quantities. Now you can have your pesticide free produce the whole year round.

10. Make your own garden- Making your own garden is for the serious organic food buff. You can get seeds from local health food stores and seed saver communities. You don’t need a large plot of land. Just start small and steady. Gardening is one of the best stress relieving activities. Go with carrots, radishes and beets since these are easy to grow. Lettuce and herbs are also a great idea since they do not require a lot of space. The harvests you have can be shared or even exchanged with fellow coop members or organic food patrons. You’ll save a lot of time and money when you have your own garden and it’s earth friendly too.

11. Cut on meat- Lesser meat consumption will cut cost and is healthier too. Twice a week is a good habit. Use more vegetables for your meals and organic pulses like beans and lentils. Ask your butcher for cheaper cuts of organic meat.

12. Decrease Use of Packed Products – Packaging adds more cost and is wasteful. It also means that the food has travelled a long way before reaching your table. Lesser packaging use is good for the planet and protects you from chemicals from the packs leeching into your foods.

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Vina Buenaflor

Written by Vina Buenaflor

Writes about nutrition, health and wellness. Currently on an Action Plan to place in a triathlon by 2016.

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