A frequent question asked by confused consumers is “how important is it to eat organically – are the higher prices justified?” While it’s true that organically grown food tends to be more expensive than the conventional counterparts, the nutritional, health, and environmental benefits far exceed food produced by industrial farming.
Organic food means that it is not genetically modified (GMO), is free from pesticides and herbicides, and has not been grown from synthetic fertilizers. Nutrient density of organic food is higher than conventionally grown crops. Furthermore, by choosing organic you’ll help guarantee safer working conditions for farmers and enable the maintenance of nearby wildlife habitat.
Compared to industrial/conventional farming, organic food practices also produces fewer greenhouse emissions, preserves soil integrity, reduces water pollution and is the only sustainable long-term solution for preserving a variety of nutrient dense food.
Purchasing organic food can be costly, but it doesn’t need to be with these quick tips for the Frugally Organic:
Re-evaluate your budget and try to find more dollars to invest on organic food by cutting out on processed junk foods.
Visit a farmers market and speak to the vendors – find out what is grown organically. You’ll be doing double duty by investing in locally grown organic food. Wychwood Barns, The Brickworks, and Dufferin Grove Park are year-round farmers markets available in Toronto. For a complete list of up-to-date information on Farmer’s Market’s in Toronto, click here.
Freeze your food. Capitalize on seasonal fruits and vegetables by paying a lower price when supply is high and then dipping into your stock during the year.
Buy in bulk from places like Bulk Barn and pay a lower per gram rate.
Sample Foods Seasonally. Prices will always be lower in season and it’s also a great opportunity to try new foods!
Slow and steady wins the race. Rome wasn’t built in a day! Each week add a new organically grown food and watch your organic base grow.
And lastly, if you can only afford to purchase a few foods organically, here is a list known as the “Dirty Dozen” which includes foods with the highest concentration of pesticides and herbicides when consumed conventionally.
SWEET BELL PEPPERS
THE DAILY DL (Dalai Lama)
“The soil is the great connector of lives, the source and destination of all. It is the healer and restorer and resurrector, by which disease passes into health, age into youth, death into life. Without proper care for it we can have no community, because without proper care for it we can have no life.”
– Wendell Barry, The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture
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