Most people in the world are fully aware that you are what you eat, and that eating organically grown produce is far better for your health and the environment. However, many families live on the minimum wage or below and have strict food budgets that they have to adhere to.
Research has been carried out on shoppers who do not buy organic produce and the overwhelming reason for this was cost. Organic food does cost more than normally grown farm foods. There are many reasons for this, but the validity of why organic costs more has little effect on a housewife with only coins in her purse to feed a family.
Avoid the Dirty Dozen
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) each year provides a list of the twelve most at risk foods in regards to being exposed to pesticides. The list does vary a little from year to year but mostly the same fruit and vegetables appear.
By staying clear of this list, you are reducing the chances of consuming chemicals but try to avoid strawberries, apples, peaches, leafy greens, spinach and potatoes. These are the most commonly sprayed crops in the world and contain the highest levels of pesticides.
Opt for the Clean Dozen
Just as the EWG produce the dirty dozen list every year they also publish the clean dozen version which is the healthier version. Try and include any items on this list in your daily shopping. Cabbage, onions, and kiwi are among the clean contenders and feel free to eat them in abundance.
Avoid Genetically Modified Foods
Genetically Modified Foods (GMO’s) are basically foods that have been altered in a laboratory to suit the needs of producers and large supermarkets. For instance, a food retailer might request perfectly round tomatoes because they aesthetically look better on the shelves. GMO’s are probably the worst food group and should be avoided at all costs. The top produce in the U.S to have been genetically modified are corn, canola, and soy.
No Processed Meats
Often the temptation is to buy pre-packaged processed meats for convenience, such as beefburgers, hotdogs and chicken nuggets. These types of foods often contain high levels of salt and other preservatives. Simply switch to buying fresh chicken, or meat and make your own favorite meal seasoned to exactly how you like it. Swap salt for chile powder, pepper or paprika as this would be far healthier and no more expensive.
Cut the Substitutes
Supermarket shelves are laden with products that are substitutes for something else, these are the worst types of food stuffs you can buy because nearly every one of them is a GMO. So instead of using spreadable margarine just use real butter, as the fats are healthy fats and have not been manufactured. The same goes for cream cheese and some cream substitutes. Just buy the real thing, it is natural produce and will be far better for your body.
Eating healthily might not always mean buying organic food, but there are some changes that you and your family may have to go through, and the first is to plan your meals better and work on healthy options when it comes to ingredients.