A few weeks ago, I read this article: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2005/02/16/organic-food-part-four.aspx?fb_ref=fbLike&fb_source=home_multiline
It was posted by a dear friend of mine.
But it sorta really got under my skin.
I would like to establish some things though.
1. I love organic food, and any chance I get to shop at Whole Foods, or Earth Fare, Trader Joes, I revel in it.
2. I am all for healthy eating. I make 99 % of our meals from scratch, I grew up making food that way, and it makes me happy. It’s far cheaper, and wholesome.
3. People who buy only processed food do probably spend more than people buying produce, meat, dairy, flour, ect, and making their own. Unless they live on Ramen. And sometimes you have to.
I get irritated because so many of the budgets for, “healthy families”, range between $100-$150ish a week range. Granted the price of food is going up every day, but for the small families I’ve seen this figure based for, this, for our family, is too much.
I don’t often see budgets of $30 – $70 a week or so proclaiming how to eat better.
Some people have told me that they don’t buy produce because they can’t afford organic, and they believe it’s better to simply not eat fresh fruits and vegetables because of the pesticides they’re sprayed with.
I think we all do the best we can, and I know there’s a reason my family says a blessing over our food before we eat it.
Anyway, for those of us with smaller budgets, who want to eat better, I do buy produce at Wal-Mart. The non organic kind. Have you seen the ‘organic’ stuff at Wal-Mart? It looks disgusting. The organic produce they sell at Whole Foods ect. is fresh and lovely. This is not usually the case that I’ve found at our local grocery stores. But maybe it’s just me who has an aversion to buying wilted greens and vegetables that look at least a month old.
I have started a garden in the back yard, and I’m really hoping for fresh vegetables later on this year. Gardens are a great money saver. But they do take time, energy, and something of a green thumb.
Meats? Good grief meat is expensive. One pound of organic ground beef at Whole Foods is around $8 a pound. If you can swing that, good for you. I can’t. The $4 it costs at Wal-Mart for stuff that maybe isn’t as good is still expensive for us. Buying locally? Not always as easy as it seems if you don’t live in the country, and still a ways out of our price range. Would I if I could? Yes. Can I? No. But I still do the best I can for my family, and I really don’t appreciate being classed as one of those poisoning my family with junk just because it isn’t organic.
Breads and grains? If we eat pancakes or muffins ect, I make them myself in the morning. And not from a box. I do buy sandwich bread, and I do my best to find the ones without high fructose corn syrup and other such atrocities, without spending $5 dollars for a loaf of bread.
Dairy and eggs. The organic gallon of whole milk at Wal-Mart that is the great value kind, is over six dollars. Cheese, butter, and eggs, in small amounts, organic, all range from the 3-5 dollar radius. If I were buying organic then, so far,
1 lb ground beef – one meal with leftovers in our house – 8
milk – 6
eggs – 4
bread – 5
If my budget is 30-40 dollars for a week.. That’s already $23 of my money. And that is only basic staples.
These are whole food prices. Whole Foods is outrageous. What I’m trying to say though, is that while it may be possible for you to eat organic, it really isn’t possible for everyone. Do I think buying only processed foods is acceptable on a low-budget? No. I had a $25 grocery week budget one week, and managed with $17
Red beans and rice – two meals
Chicken Tortilla soup – this was at least two or three meals
Burgers and sweet potato chips
another ground beef meal… I don’t remember
Eggs for breakfasts, ect.
Now, I did have some staples at the house already and I built off of those. Also, I mainly plan dinner meals and use leftovers for lunch. With a few things for breakfast. People do what they can with what they have. There are a lot of people uneducated about food, but I think teaching them the basics of cooking, and eating from scratch should be the start. Not demanding they buy organic, which is out of many of our reach.
I guess I’m finished with my rant now. Thank you for your time.