Fruit is really expensive. Shopping at the farmer's market didn't allow me to fully appreciate this, but seeing it on my receipt rea...

Organic Experiment

Fruit is really expensive. Shopping at the farmer's market didn't allow me to fully appreciate this, but seeing it on my receipt really demonstrates that. We've cut back some on fruit consumption (~3 pieces/day instead of 5+) and are eating the oranges in our backyard.

We are also forcing ourselves to eliminate food waste. I know a lot of food waste results from businesses tossing perfectly good food, but we were also guilty of wasting food. Things started to go south in the fridge and, instead of using them, we let them languish until we had no choice but to toss them. Not shopping on a set day has really helped with this--it allows me to almost fully empty the fridge before I begin to plan my next set of purchases.

I've been using the extra room in our food budget to purchase more organic products. We've put a list of the dirty dozen and clean 15 up on our fridge. It's a constant reminder that the price is worth it for those 12 items. I've also been starting my shopping in the organic section.

As it turns out, most of the items not in the dirty dozen are fairly comparable on price for organic vs. non-organic. The huge price differences are usually on those items in the dirty dozen. To help with the budget, I've started buying items from the clean 15 more often--switching sweet potatoes for white, for example, and eating more onions.

So far? It looks do-able. We will definitely still purchase some non-organic items. For example, organic pineapple and organic corn*** are usually pretty pathetic looking and expensive, if they are even available. Organic cabbage and avocados are incredibly expensive.

There are other places we can make the switch, too, from dried legumes and bulk grains to tofu and soymilk. (The organic soymilk is actually cheaper at our local natural foods store, probably because it's a lesser known brand.) Yesterday, I paid the extra 60 cents to purchase organic vegetable bullion, and chose organic canned tomatoes instead of conventional.

Other things that have helped our food budget? Eating plants! Organic dairy, eggs and meat are really expensive. If I'm going to eat animal products, I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure it's organic. By drastically reducing our consumption of animal products, we have completely changed our food budget.

*** I know that GMOs are an issue with conventional corn. Yes, this is of concern; at the same time, I really like tasty corn. I certainly hope I don't turn green or start growing corn silk out of my ears, but I'm going to risk it.

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