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Eating Organic On A Budget

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It is a common perception that eating organic equals eating expensively, but that doesn’t always have to be the case! There are many ways you can eat organic without breaking the bank...

1. Plan ahead

Does anyone else find if they shop for just one meal they can end up spending just as much as if they shop for a few? If you can start creating meal plans for your week that use overlapping ingredients, you will save yourself time (from shopping) and money (from not wasting food).

2. Visit your local farmers markets

Most areas will have a farmers market on a regular basis, and many of these will sell organic produce (If you’re in Sydney you can have a look here). Taking out the middle man not only brings you closer with your food source (you can get to know the farmers!) but it will also save you money.

3. Prioritise your organics

As a rule, I encourage you to always buy organic animal produce - eggs, meat and dairy. From there your second priority would be the most concerning fruits and vegetables - check out the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen – a list of the top most contaminated fruits and vegetables (those that you should buy organic), and those that were least contaminated with pesticides (you could buy conventional produce).

4. Become a domestic goddess

I love going out for a meal as much as the next person, but I also know that most organic restaurants and cafes do come with a premium price tag (they work very hard to deliver you such great produce!). So if you really are on a budget, why not host your own organic feast? Throw a potluck party where all of your friends bring a beautiful, seasonal, organic dish or even invite your friends over for a homemade almond milk chai latte (Organic Rainbow Chai Tea is one of my favourites).

5. Buy in bulk

Many organic food companies do sell bulk items. While the initial outlay may be significant, the cost per gram will be much, much lower. And if you really don’t feel like you would ever get through 5kg of organic almonds (you’d be surprised how fast they go!), why not get a group of friends on board and divide the bulk items between you? My dream kitchen is one lined with beautiful glass jars containing all my favourite nuts, seeds, legumes, flours and dried fruits (with a hidden cupboard containing the other 4kgs!).

As a final note, I just wanted to make a point that I feel is really important.
We have to shift our mindset. Organic food is not expensive - we are just out of touch, and accustomed to seeing cheap “food like products” and below cost produce everywhere. While the market has been flooded with bargain prices, there is always a cost behind it, and while this may not be a dollar figure, you are instead paying with your health, the health of the planet, or someone else’s livelihood.

We have become so disconnected from our food that we don’t think about how much effort goes in to getting it from the land to our plate, or what it really means when the price is so low… I hate to think! So well done for choosing to shop organic, and with a little planning and preparation, know that it is possible to squeeze good quality organic food into any budget.

By Guest Nutritionist and Naturopath Kate Johnston from Korewellbeing.

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