I’ve been thinking about going organic more and more recently. So, I decided to do some online research on the topic. It seems that it is actually possible to eat organic (eliminating the hormones, antibiotics, and disease found in so many of the manipulated food sources, including meats and vegetables) and still eat frugally. Hopefully the result will be a healthier household. While our food budget may go up initially, if all of the research is correct, we should live longer, healthier, and better quality lives, with fewer trips to the doctor and less drugs (which would save us money in the long run). Also, eating local organics will help put money back into our local economy, versus further increasing Corporate America’s monopoly and bottom line.
Here is a list of resources:
Food, Inc. – This is a documentary style film available on DVD now. I would highly recommend it as an introductory educational resource about the food industry in America.
Online articles (click on links):
Eating Organic on a Frugal Budget
The Organic Thrifty Food Plan Challenge
USDA: Recipes and Tips for Eating Healthy
Books (I haven’t read any of these yet, but I wanted to include them as possible options):
How to Cook a Wolf by M. F. K. Fisher, part of the “Art of Eating” series
The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan
Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
Food Politics by Marion Nestle
One of my questions: One of the comments in the Food, Inc. movie was that farmers (as well as animals) are building up immunities to the antibiotics used on the animals. If the bacteria morph so that they can no longer be treated, then does that affect my immune system to the point that I may become immune to certain antibiotics? Just a thought.
My response: Going along with my 2010 Resolutions of eating less processed foods, I am going to up the ante by trying to eat only organic items while still only spending $250/month on groceries (I will remove personal items like bath products, batteries, etc., from the count for the purpose of this trial). I’m not going to the extreme where I’m throwing everything away that’s not organic in my house. We’ll still finish eating those things while no longer buying them going forward. We have a household with only two adults, so that helps the budget a bit. I am also going to look into local farmers’ markets and coops to see if they can offer better prices for organic items. Thankfully, we have Whole Foods, Fresh Market, Earthfare, a couple local farmers’ markets, and organic options at Ingles and BiLo.