Thursday, August 23

Shopping Organic

So while our one year old, Ella, is happily and blissfully occupied emptying my shirt drawer and bringing her finds to me...

New Mom wanted to know about my grocery habits. :)

We've been eating mostly organic for about three years now which began when our third child was born with kidney issues. We felt it would be best not to overload his poor little kidneys with any extra filtration work and began studying more faithfully on healthy nutrition.

A book I would begin with is:

While I don't agree with the author's philosophy on some things, she does a very good job of examining food and what we eat. It should be available at your local library. THE MAKER'S DIET by Jordan Rubin is also an interesting read.
I consider myself an ingredients girl. Ask me what my favorite food is and I'll tell you that as long as it has good ingredients and is cooked well, I'm happy. Do a search on the Internet for "high fructose corn syrup", a food staple in the modern world and let me know what you find. Once you begin to scrutinize the ingredients of the food you serve your family, I'll bet your eating habits will veer off their normal course. Search up any of the ingredients in your food that you're curious about.
The same is applicable for meat consumption. Are you aware of what your meat has eaten? Do you know that the hormones that inject animals with to ensure quick growth or production cause young girls to menstruate sooner than normal? We also don't eat meat at every meal.
As for junk food, I have a terrible sweet tooth that I regularly appease by baking all sorts of delicious things. I'm planning on making a batch of my favorite cookies today and I'll be sure to post the recipe. Unfortunately for my waistline, buying and eating organic doesn't prohibit appeasing a sweet tooth.
I do make everything. The only processed item I buy is shredded cheese and even then I'll scan the ingredients. I buy shredded cheese because it saves me so much time. We eat a lot of cheese.
I make our bread, English muffins, cookies, desserts, and just about everything from scratch. It really is pleasant "work", if you can even call it that. I truly enjoy baking and the scent that floats through our home of items almost ready from the oven. There's kids standing around drooling, waiting for the bit of fresh goodness to cool off enough to bite into.
This summer we planted a garden and have gotten plenty of beets, radishes, tomatoes, cilantro, lettuce, spinach, wax beans, and zucchini. Both of my parents also garden extensively and so we are given free organic veggies from them too.
Then there's the uncomfortable imaginary sound I hear each time I add another organic item to my cart. I've gotten used to the prices. $5 for a bag of organic apples is great when I also see 4 apples for $5 and have to bend over to scoop by chin off the grocer's floor. Over time, I've learned which grocer's carry the best organic produce at the best prices. We eat a lot of organic bananas for fruit since they tend to be the cheapest organic fruit available. Talking to the buyer from your favorite grocery store also works. Let them know that you are interested in buying such and such an organic product from them and usually they will order it for you.
I'd recommend going to http://www.localharvest.org/ which can direct you to farmer's markets in your area as well as vendors that sell grass fed meat and organic eggs. We're heading off to one in a few minutes to buy our eggs and meat. The lamb breakfast sausage I bought last week tasted great and was only $5 a pound.
Do you have a co-op in your area? We buy our organic flour and sugar from them in bulk. We go through 50 lbs of flour every six months. If not, amazon.com has a food section where one can purchase bulk organic tortilla chips, and a bzillion other groceries. Shipping is free with an order over $25.
I spend about $100 a week on groceries, give or take a little, depending on extra guests at the table, or overflow from the garden. This does not include the money we spend every so often to stock up on basics like flour.
Let me also recommend making your weekly menu based on what local organic food is available or on sale.
Thanks for the post idea, New Mom. Hope this helps!

4 comments:

On Fire For Jesus said...

This is interesting. You've given me much to think about.

And don't laugh, I never thought about making English muffins...

Hannah said...

English muffins are incredibly easy to make! In an older post I have a recipe. They are made on the stove top, so even if your oven is out of order, you can make them!

New Mom said...

Wow Hannah, thanks. I was expecting a two line response! I'll have to check that book out from the library. As we rent, we can't till up the sod to plant a garden :( I tried doing a pot garden but it didn't work out. As for the co-ops, I have no idea if we have one in our area. Any ideas on how I could find out? I am curious as to whether or not making everything from scratch cuts down on the amount of items on your shelves, or items that you must purchase. Anyway, thanks so much for taking time to answer so thoroughly.

Hannah said...

Cooking or baking from scratch definitely cuts down on how much I purchase and the amount of items in my shelves. You really can make a lot with just the basics of flour, sugar, eggs and baking powder.
Any one else have any suggestions here?