Ever wonder what’s the real difference between organic foods and non-organic foods? With all the generic information thrown at you on a daily basis, and no one really providing a clear explanation, this can all get confusing. But don’t fret – Coach Josh is here to help you!
The first step is getting past the boring, yet important facts to note: let’s define organic. For foods to be certified as being organic, they need to meet a specific USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) criteria. For example, for vegetables and fruits, organic produce must be grown without using pesticides, fertilizers made with synthetic components or sewage sludge, bioengineering, or ionizing radiation. Other kinds of foods like nuts, meat, poultry, etc. go by different criteria, but for now we’ll just focus on produce.
Eating organic foods, especially organic produce, can lead to great health benefits due to the fact these foods, grown under organic standards, have proven to have greater phytochemical, vitamin, and mineral content. However, as far as costs go, organic foods can be on the more expensive side IF you purchase it at your typical supermarket. But here’s a little known secret about purchasing organic produce – if you shop at the right place, and the right amount it can actually be even cheaper than non-organic produce.
There are three other places where you can shop for organic food: at your local farmer’s market, at a health food stores, and my personal favorite through CSA (community supported agriculture). With CSA, you basically buy a share of the season’s harvest at a local farm near you. Just go to localharvest.org and check out what local CSA farm is near you. This is a great way to get amazing organic produce per the season and for a reasonable and affordable price. If you decide to go with the local farmer’s market or a health food store nearby, lookout for whatever is in season and on sale – this will always be less expensive than other veggies in fruits that are no in season.
Another useful tip is to buy in bulk. Please keep in mind that whatever you get from your harvest share or the farmer’s market, you don’t have to eat right away. Organic produce can be frozen and eaten months later. Just take them out of the freezer whenever you’re ready to feast on them and thaw them out. So feel free to stock up on your favorite produce and enjoy consuming healthy food for the rest of the year!
Now go venture out and navigate through the awesome aisles of organic produce!
Take care of yourself,