How to Bring Bring Local and Organic Food into Your Home

By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 2:27 PM


One Step at a Time...

There are two things that stop people from reaching for organic and local items when grocery shopping.
1.     It is too expensive. 
2.   It takes too long to prepare healthy meals.
First, you have to lose the ideal image of what a person who eats whole foods is like, you may be imagining snacking on local mid-wife birthed salmon and organic goji berries. Everyday clean eating looks a lot like...well... regular eating.Here are a few tips for making whole foods a new part of your life:
·      Learn to cook; it is actually a fun activity that can be done with your children’s help. Cooking with the kids makes them want to sample more things and makes great memories. I spend 2-3 hours prepping and cooking on Sunday afternoon, then freeze for the week. Soups, meat in marinade, rice and veggies can be popped in the freezer for a quick weeknight meal. You can even turn the television in the direction of the kitchen and watch movies, I do!
·      Meat eaters look for less expensive protein sources, like eggs, tofu, cheaper cuts of meat (softened by marinating) my kid loves chicken drumsticks, about $3 for 6 organic ones at Trader Joe’s.
·      Visit a local Farmer’s Market; some have even begun taking Food Stamps in payment. There is more family fun, right there!
·      Start hunting for cost effective organic brands like Kroger’s Simple Truth or 365 Everyday Value brand.
·      Plant some produce in your backyard or balcony.
·      Shop the bulk bins for grains, rice, and oats.
·      Check out coupons at your local store, check online.
·      Replace a few ingredients in simple meals, peanut butter and jelly, pasta and sauce, or hamburgers.  There is no need for a giant investment.
·      Eating fruits and vegetables is better than not eating them at all. Shop the Clean 15 and shop organic for (or avoid) the Dirty dozen.

Clean 15:
Asparagus
Avocados
Cabbage
Cantaloupe
Sweet corn
Eggplant
Grapefruit
Kiwi
Mangoes
Mushrooms
Onions
Papayas
Pineapples
Sweet peas (frozen)
Sweet potatoes

Dirty Dozen:
Apples
Celery
Cherry tomatoes
Cucumbers
Grapes
Hot peppers
Imported nectarines
Peaches
Potatoes
Spinach
Strawberries
Sweet bell peppers
Kale/collard greens
Summer squash

Environmental Working group:http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php

I challenge anyone who is reading this and thinks that making whole food/local meals is too expensive and time consuming to make just one change every shopping trip. I think you will be surprised.  Eating healthy has been viewed at a privilege of the elite. Poor people eat junk food, because it is cheap, that does not have to be the reality.
A few years back, I was laid off with all the others hit by the recession. I returned to college, as a single Mother. It was not long that I found myself using food stamps. I have managed to feed my daughter healthy meals, with little time and expense.
    




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