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Organic produce is it really so important?

Budgeting well with your recipes and foods, combined with being savvy about where you shop can allow you to buy more organic produce...

Buying some of your organic groceries like store cupboard items in bulk saves on postage, petrol etc...Gluten free rices, flours, noodles, pastas, polenta, condiments, herbs, honey's, nuts, seeds, oils etc...can be bought from places that offer competitive prices like  Wholefoods online or Hawthorn health.

Below is a picture of my organic foods in the fridge, in general it works out I spend around £50-£60 an adult per head per week on all shopping, including toiletries and cleaning products. But I have been known to spend a fair amount less than that if I need to and still buy many organic products, by just being very shrewd with combining recipe techniques. I order organic and grass fed meats in bulk and freeze them, I buy wild fish in bulk from M&S so I can make use of their offers. And I buy things like toothpastes, organic cotton wools, toilet rolls and sanitary products from either Hawthorn health or Big green smile. Doing some of my shopping in bulk this way allows me to get free postage in most cases and enables me to buy more organic fresh ingredients too. I save on cleaning items by using basic cheap effective things like vinegar, wash nuts, hydrogen peroxide occasionally and bicarbonate of soda.

The picture below is an example of a one week organic food shop for two people, and it can last one person more than two weeks. This mostly organic shopping was £103 with delivery charge which is free if you order over £100 from Sainsbury's! Included are all fridge items, the bottom pull out drawer is also full but I couldn't fit that in the photo! I also have a full fruit basket, and a picnic basket full of new potatoes, baking potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, red onions, butternut squash plus various other non fridge items like fresh herbs, spices, seasonings, garlic and tomatoes etc...😊

Eating organic for optimal health and wellbeing:

I try to eat as much organic foods as possible because I don't want to put any extra strain on my system. As I've said in other posts getting rid of toxins is a crucial step to enable the body to heal itself, as if it's constantly bombarded with toxins whether that be from food, environment, thoughts or relationships it is going to go into overwhelm and stay there if things don't change.

We already know that pesticides are killing our bees, we can only imagine what the accumulative effect of continually ingesting and inhaling pesticides and insecticides are doing to us humans. I remember when I was wee my mum used to spray this fly spray around the kitchen and I always felt really sick and dizzy with it, and yet the spraying continued! We already know they can affect our nervous system and there have been other more concerning reports too, found here. I have a friend and at the end of every communication he has with people his goodbye line is "Save the bees and hug the trees." A great mantra to live by!

Why are bees so important:

Bees are amongst the most important creatures to humans on Earth. These amazing insects pollinate over 80% of all flowering plants including 70 of the top 100 human food crops. One in three bites of food that we eat is derived from plants pollinated by bees. If the bee population continues to decline eventually our food supply will too! A fantastic reason to eat organic. 

  • Bees pollinate 70 of the top 100 human food crops. (Source: Greenpeace) 

  • 1 in 3 bites of food we eat is derived from plants pollinated by bees. (Source: USDA)

  • Bees pollinate about 75% of fruits, nuts, and vegetables grown in the US. (Source: USDA)

  • Almonds are totally dependent on bee pollination. No bees, no almonds. (Source: American Beekeeping Foundation)

  • Avocados, apples, and cherries are over 90% dependent on bee pollination. (Source: National Honey Board)

  • Cucumbers, kiwis, and melon are majorly dependent on bee pollination. (Source: National Honey Board.)

​For more in depth information about this click here.

The food industry works very much like a lot of industries in that it is 'supply on demand' so if we the consumers are putting our pounds and pennies into real, nurturing, wholesome foods, which are primarily organic then the food industry will eventually get the message, as their toxic non food items are left on the shelves. Then trends will need to lean towards supplying us with food that nourishes us rather that blindsiding us with strategic marketing ploys that manipulate us into buying 'so called bargains' full of crappy stuff that affects our health!

Organic food tastes better and organic products are better for us, our children, our wildlife and our pets:

If you don't buy any organic foods it maybe seems like things are going to work out more expensive, as they can be, so why not start with the basics and do it gradually. I had to do this being on pretty much one of the lowest incomes in the country, but I managed to do it, with very good budgeting skills and shopping around as I felt it was a major priority to our health and wellbeing, and where there is a will there is a way. A good way to start is by avoiding the worst culprits, they are called the dirty dozen, if you start with replacing them and just gradually building it up from there each week or month. Some of the more economical supermarkets like Aldi are now doing quite a lot more organic produce. I tend to shop around depending on my budget for the week. Sainsbury's have a good amount of organic but are a bit pricier. Tesco is good too, and they are also trying to have less plastic by using carboard trays for some fruits and veg. Morrisons is good sometimes. Asda is okay, but we just have a small store, so that may affect how much organic they buy in. And although M&S is my favourite shop ever for food and shopping in general, unfortunately the stores near me are sadly lacking with the amount of organic produce they offer. So far for choice and variety in the area I live in Angus Sainsbury’s comes out tops with choice and variety, Tesco with variety, price and more environmentally friendly with packaging, and of course Aldi has the best price but not quite so much organic variety. 

The list below are considered the worst culprits for highest amount of pesticides/insecticides and therefore are the first lot recommended to change to organic.

DIRTY DOZEN: (Highest in pesticides)

  1. Strawberries

  2. Spinach

  3. Nectarines

  4. Apples

  5. Peaches

  6. Pears

  7. Cherries

  8. Grapes

  9. Celery

  10. Tomatoes

  11. Sweet Bell Peppers

  12. Potatoes

The effects of pesticides on the vitamins and minerals contents of foods:

Effects on Soil and crops when farmers across the world began to rely on chemical pesticides meant a drastic change in soil health followed. When the health of soil is compromised, the nutritional value of the food it yields is compromised as well. “The United States government estimates that levels of trace minerals in fruit and vegetables fell by up to 76% between 1940 and 1991" says Cleeton. This change is tied directly to the widespread increased exposure to pesticides. Read more here

CLEANEST 12: (Lowest in Pesticides)

1. Onions 2. Avocado 3. Sweet Corn (frozen) 4. Pineapples 5. Mango 6. Sweet Peas (frozen) 7. Asparagus 8. Kiwi 9. Bananas 10. Cabbage 11. Broccoli 12. Eggplant

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