Superheroes know organic is better for our bodies and for the planet, but most people believe organic foods are expensive, hard to find, and out of reach. Now, I’m a coupon clipping, budget conscious mom yet I’ve been able to easily integrate organic choices into my family’s diet. It just takes a little know how and a few tricks:

  1. Focus on the dirty dozen. Although 100% organic would be great, for some people its just not feasible. That’s why Environmental Working Group puts out an annual list of the dirty dozen–the top 12 fruits and vegetables known to have the highest and most harmful concentrations of pesticides and chemicals. If you can’t go 100% organic, focus on just replacing the dirty dozen with organic choices.
  2. Shop in season. The reason organic is sometimes more expensive is because, out of season, organic is more expensive to produce. In season, organic fruit and vegetables are considerably cheaper. One, because it has a shorter shelf life and needs to move quickly. Two, because organic produces abundant crops in season. Plus, focusing on seasonal choices forces you to add variety to your diet and to eat in a way that’s more in tune with your bodies natural processes.
  3. Shop local. Not only is it great to show support for your local farmers and ranchers, it’s cheaper too. You cut out the middle man and if you frequent the farmer’s markets and small outlets on a regular basis, you can develop a rapport with the producers–and get in on some good deals reserve for loyal customers.
  4. Shop like the Europeans do. One of the biggest issues is that many Americans end up throwing away huge amounts of food. We buy too much at a time, so the fruits and veggies go bad before we’ve had a chance to consume them. I’ve been guilty of it too and have to wrangle myself when I’m surrounded by sales and delicious looking fruit. Europeans don’t buy in bulk. They buy enough for a few days or a week maximum, especially for perishables.
  5. Go frozen. Frozen items such as meats, fruits, and vegetables keep longer and often have higher nutrient value than fresh. This is another great way to avoid the waste mentioned above.

Chain stores are also jumping on the organic trend, offering organic choices at competitive prices. As it becomes more popular and more people elect organic over conventional, availability will go up and the price will go down. It’s all part of that vote with your dollar concept I ranted about on Monday’s soapbox.