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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Organic on a Budget

  When you start this program, you are eliminating any processed foods – fast food, canned goods, sauces, dressings, mixes, and all. Next is buying good raw foods for your daily consumption. I tried with carefree abandon to jump into Dr. Brantley’s diet. However, the costs of goods got in my way. Dr. Tim wants organics. I’m pro organics but there is a price tag to be paid with quality fruits, vegs, and for that matter eggs.
  Whole Foods is the iconic grocery store for organics here on the West coast. So off I went to pick up items from the book: organic fruits and vegetables, unrefined sea salt, sprouted bread, whole milk (unpasteurized) products, and flax seeds for sprouting. The price came to more than my weekly budget plus I still had a husband to feed. I compared pricing with Trader Joes that had most items except young coconuts and unpasteurized yogurt. Safeway had only the organic fruits, vegetables, and eggs. Wal-Mart, or Wally World as we call it in our home, did not carry any of the items.
  My brain did the usual running away with itself. I realized that the better-for-you foods were available at the high end markets while the diabetes-cancer-heart-attack foods were readily available in mass quantities at budget-accommodating markets. But before I started soap-boxing about the poor and downtrodden, I decided to find a way to do this diet on a budget like most Americans would.
  First look to your own yard, patio, deck or window box. What can you grow organically? I am lucky to have a home in Sacramento – fertile farm land – with about a quarter of an acre. I have lemons, oranges, apricots, and apples. All organic. I’m hoping to add a small vegetable garden next spring.
  Second what do you need that is organic? The Environmental Working Group has posted on their website that lists the fruits and vegs that carry the most pesticides – “Dirty Dozen” and that carry the least pesticides – “Clean 15.” . I now buy the clean produce on sale at any market and an organic version of the dirty produce when I can. Also try haunting farmer’s markets in the area. Many are organic. This week, Trader Joes has regular and organic blueberries on sale for the same price. Maybe times are changing.
  I am still shopping at Whole Foods for the yogurt and the great deals they have on organic bulk. To stay in budget, I must be selective. Shopping at multiple stores is a pain but it is worth it to get the food I need to stay healthy and lose weight.