What you put in my body matters. What you eat - more specifically what you absorb and don't eliminate - has an impact on the structure and function of your cells, biochemistry, mood, to your wellbeing.
In the short run, organic foods can initially cost more than conventional grown foods. In the long run, eating organic foods may provide you with more nutrition, such as antioxidants. Antioxidants can help you have more energy, move more, recover faster, and feel better. Conventional foods can carry pesticides that can hurt the function of your mitochondria (your cells' main source for energy), wreak havoc on your DNA, organs, and - ultimately - your health and wellbeing.
I decided to create this list, due to feedback from folks who wanted ideas on how to save money when buying organic foods.
Here it goes!
Organic Proteins & Animal Fats
- Buy less commonly used parts of the animal (ex. picnic, butt, or brisket); slow cook or pressure cook them to soften their textures.
- Buy organ meat. These types of meats tend to be more nutritious in micronutrients, particular liver, which is a great source for vitamin A, vitamin K2, magnesium, & iron.
- Buy the whole animal or do a share with other folks (ex. gym, work, family or friends). Some companies, like Marin Sun Farms, allows you to buy the whole animal. It ends up costing less than if you were to buy parts of the animal at the store or farmers markets.
- Buy in bulk.
- Organic nonmeat sources for protein can be less expensive than organic meat sources. Check out Weston A. Price Foundation on how to prepare nonmeat protein sources. By doing the following, you will decrease the anti-nutrients (ex. phytates) and increase the nutrient availability of these nonmeat protein sources. If you have a weaker digestive track (ex. autoimmune condition), these added preparations may make it easier for you to digest grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds by reducing the amount of lectins that can wreak havoc on the digestive track lining. The following recommendations are discussed in more detail by the Weston A. Price Foundation:
- Soak legumes before cooking them (between 12 - 24 hours).
- Soak, sprout, or ferment grains before using them in preparations.
- Soak and dehydrate or lightly toast nuts and seeds before eating them.
- Check out farmers markets near closing time; produce may be discounted.
- Buy in bulk. Some stores (ex. Berkeley Bowl or Rainbow Co-Op) will charge you less if you bring in your own containers and bags when you buy in bulk.
- Buy in season.
- Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)! There are now a ton of options the Bay Area, one being Full Belly Farm.
- Buy produce in season and freeze your favorites for future use. My favorite fruits to freeze are berries.
- Use the whole fruit and vegetable (ex. eat the leaves of beets as a salad or sauté and roast the root part of the beet).
- Check out Imperfect Produce! They sell produce for 20% less and can deliver to your home.
- If you want to know which conventional produce to definitely avoid and which conventional produce is cleaner, check out The Environmental Working Group Website for The Dirty Dozen and The Clean Fifteen.
Cooking from scratch and limiting prepackaged consumption can also be another way to save money. If time is a determining factor, batch cooking (cooking in bulk and freezing parts of it for future use) can help make cooking from scratch less time consuming. I have posted plenty of recipes that you can batch cook on my website. Go check them out!
Additionally, a lot of us may be eating too much meat protein. Grass-fed and organic meats definitely cost more than conventional raised meats. Double check your proteins needs and determine if you can reduce your consumption.
Lastly, chew your food! It is free way to increase the absorption of your nutrients! By chewing, you release chemicals in your stomach (ex. HCL), mouth (ex. amylase) to break-down macronutrients (fats, proteins, & carbohydrates), destroy foreign invaders, and more. Chewing even stimulates your 'relaxed' response, so think of it as a mini-massage or meditation session.
Is there anything else I am missing? Feel free to let me know!
As always, I am here to help and work as a nutritional coach. I offer 15-minute free consults, if you have more questions.
Murray, M. Pizzorno, J. Pizzorno, Lara. (2012). The Encyclopedia Of Natural Medicine. New York, New York: Atria Books.
Bauman College with Rosie Ueng as lecturer. (2015) NC103.2 Lecture - Nutritional Biochemistry Lecture 2 - How Cells Make Energy