It's great to be getting a ton of fruits and veggies in my diet! You'd think I'm doing really well with two fruit bowls out so that the kids and husband will eat them too. I have plenty of veggies I have put into snack size baggies for quick lunch making. I can easily add veggies into any meal because of the frozen bags I picked up for cooking (plain, not seasoned).
But then, I think, what am I doing by picking up the "conventionally grown" produce? I do get an abundance of those fruits and veggies, plus, in such a short growing season, it's hard to buy locally all year long. Even looking on the mngrown website, I still have to take a long drive to find an organic farmer.
I am also one of those people who rely on government funds to supplement my food income, so I have to rely on the grocery store, the farmers do not take SNAP funds (commonly known as food stamps). Only last year did the state of MN start a program that allows the St. Paul farmers market to take those funds. I live an hour away from that too. (I say this not because I like having to rely on it, I tell you this because it's my reality right now.)
I know intellectually that pesticides are not good for anyone to ingest. The "war on cancer" has not been won because of the way food is grown and that we're still eating things that harm the body. If we spray things to eat with poisons, even if we say it's to get rid of the insects (and they wonder why the bees are dying?), how is this going to affect our bodies long term?
Some things are easy to switch to organic. I've gone from "teddy grahams" to "bunny grahams" (which taste better, in my opinion, find them on sale at Target). I switched from Kraft Mac n' Cheese to Auntie Annie's Bunnies and Cheese. I'll buy the organic salad mixes. There are real fruit strips that, if found on sale, are about as cheap as the "fruit snacks" at regular price. Beans and rice have only a little difference in their prices.
I have no problem with this ten cent to half a dollar more price. It's worth it to not have my kids go through life eating sugar, food colors and GMO's.
But then I look at that dollar a pound price difference. I have to decide, do I have enough to eat in a month or do I pick quality and be hungry for a week at the end of the month? I love fruits and veggies. I like being able to have them all month long. $0.99 a pound! Can't beat that!
Occasionally the organic fruits and veggies go on sale, so then I stock up on what I can that week. Obviously things go on sale during peak season for any item, so I have to allow a little wiggle room for those things. I was lucky enough to be able to get my cow organically grass fed and with my tax return, it helps a lot to have half a cow in my freezer at once.
I try to do my best getting more organic things. I'm not a fan of eating pesticides. I wash all my fruit and veggies, no matter how it was processed (how many people touched my food before I bought it? Yuk!), but I know that the plants that are sprayed leech the pesticides into their systems and no matter how much I wash them, they're inside my apples and celery.
I am fortunate to have a south facing balcony. I have grown my own food for several years now. It gets us through the summer, but I don't produce enough for the winter. Fortunately I now have access to a backyard and we'll plan on doing more next year too. Mom even owns enough canning stuff that I can use too! I put a small investment into that (food seeds are allowed on SNAP funds too, for your information, although I usually pay out of my pocket for my seeds) and get a big return (on good yield years) to feed my extended family (it is mom's backyard, so she should reap those rewards too).
I am fortunate to be in an area that supplies organic foods, I have 4 grocery supplying stores within a short driving distance to me. I know that not all people have the ability to grocery shop weekly, some cities (with the biggest government assisted areas) do not even have a local grocery store! As much as WalMart is put down, it may be the only grocery store in many cities.
I may not be perfect with being able to buy everything organic, but I figure that if I manage getting up to half my food supply as organic, I'm doing a lot better than I was even a year ago. One day, when I can afford it, my pantry will be all organic. I'd love to have the walk-in pantry my great grandmother had, full of things she grew and canned.
MNGrown Link: www3.mda.state.mn.us/mng
Today's Holidays: Father's Day, Cracker Jack's Birthday, Bloomsday (Dublin and Irish everywhere), Krypton Momorial Day (Smallville and Metropolis), Roller Coaster Birthday and National Fudge Day.