Food, Health, Mind Ya Fitness

Money.

Ah, life would be so much easier if we all had a lot of it. Unfortunately, we all live in this place called the real world. It’s not filmed by MTV, we don’t get paid thousands of dollars to show up at a club, and we work damn hard to earn it.

Bummer.

So whether you’re at a grocery store, a restaurant, or on the go, the decisions you make on what to eat are largely driven by money. I don’t blame you. I do the same thing. In fact, it’s easier to make an unhealthy decision because of money. Eating unhealthy is so cheap!  However, just because money is a factor in your decision-making, doesn’t mean that the end result is going to be a poor one.

After you’re finished reading this article you’ll be able to not only make healthy decisions on the vegetables you buy, but sound AND economical ones too. Boom.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • The difference between organic and inorganic
  • Why you should buy organic
  • How to buy organic on a budget

Picture this:

You’ve arrived at the grocery store on a mission to eat healthy. Awesome. Your determination leads you towards the produce section. So far everything is looking good.

While browsing around for vegetables that look appetizing, you notice that some are labeled organic and some aren’t. Mission eat healthy just turned into a total “what the fuck” moment. You’re left to wonder, what’s the difference?

What’s the difference between organic and in organic?

Organic is a term that refers to how the food you are purchasing is grown. Organic is the way that a producer is growing and processing their fruits, vegetables, grains, and meat. That process and growth is occurring through natural processes, which are void of synthetically manufactured chemicals.

An inorganic producer will most likely use synthetic pesticides to promote growth of their plants and crops. This method allows for greater supply, faster distribution, and protection of the farmer’s vegetables, fruits, grains, and livestock. When you’re looking for vegetables in the produce section, you’ll notice that these vegetables aren’t labeled.

This is a label that shows your vegetable is organic:

Now that you know the difference between organic and inorganic, you’re still left wondering which one to go for. It’s a valid question. The valid answer is?

Wait for it . . .

Organic.

Why You Should Buy Organic Vegetables

  • They contain more essential minerals, vitamins, and fiber.
  • They have more cancer-fighting antioxidants and polyphenols which promote health
  • They don’t contain synthetic pesticides
  • They aren’t genetically modified

For the sake of being completely transparent, it should be clearly stated that pesticides are still used in organic vegetables. However, these pesticides are derived from natural sources, such as plants, as opposed to being synthetically produced, like DDT.  Other methods to employ in the organic process are traps, predator insects, and even beneficial microorganisms.  Bottom line? I’ll take Mother Nature over man made any day. Wouldn’t you?

Now, I know what you’re thinking . . .

Aren’t organic vegetables expensive?

It depends.

It’s really all about what you’re buying, when you’re buying, and how much you’re buying. So, before your boss catches you surfing awesome sites like this one, we’ll wrap up with how to buy organic vegetables without spending your life savings in the process.

How to buy organic vegetables on a budget

Buying organic isn’t as expensive or hard as it seems. All you have to do is look for the label, and be smart about when you’re buying certain organic vegetables.

  • The organic vegetables that you buy should be bought in season
  • If you’re buying at a chain or conventional grocery store (think ShopRite), then just buy organic vegetables when there are sales or discounts via coupons

Now, which organic vegetables you buy are totally up to you. When shopping for organic, I budget approximately $75 for food weekly. That number more than covers what I’m eating for the week, most times I’m spending closer to $50 or $60. That’s a low key night of going out, for just drinks. So, the number shouldn’t be something to flinch at. I buy a lot of of 3 or 4 organic vegetables as opposed to small amounts of 6 or 7.  The key is to buy organic vegetables that you can mix and match so that you don’t bore your pallet. Additionally, you’ll make sure that your fresh vegetables don’t go bad before the week is through.

For example, I’ll buy baby spinach, kale, cucumber, and broccoli, for a given week. I can sauté some pretty sweet meal combinations with the above organic vegetables, eat them raw, make a salad, or put them in a shake. That also guarantees that those fresh organic vegetables will be fresh throughout the week.

  • Buy 3 or 4 staple organic vegetables that you can mix and match
  • Buy only enough for the week (if you’re keeping it fresh)

If that doesn’t work for you, here are some other ideas:

  • Go to your local farmer’s market (always fresh, always cheap)
  • Buy in bulk and freeze the vegetables yourself
  • Find a Co-Op. If you’re in the Hoboken area, here’s a link.

You could also grow your own. But given that you’re probably as busy as I am, I’m leaving that one out. But it’s still food for thought. No pun intended.

One last note. Eating vegetables is better than not eating vegetables at all. So if you’re still deterred from buying organic, at least you’re taking a step in the right direction. Hell, I’ve even been known to buy an inorganic vegetable or two too. We’re only human.

by Andrew Kobylarz

Photo Credit, I-5 Design & Manufacture, Sara A Bayer, AndyRobertsPhotos, VerseGuru

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