Why organic? I can’t afford organic food! Organic food is so expensive! What makes it different?
Organic seems to be a bit of a buzz word lately and seems to be getting into the press more and more these days. But what is it all about and why should you try it?
I am no expert and I don’t work for any organic food companies or organisations who promote organic food I am an every day consumer who has a limited budget. I shop with thought and consideration and I have a weekly budget, however I do shop organically for the majority of my food shop where I can.
Organic food, which I am sure you are aware is basically food and health products which contain natural ingredients. These ingredients are taken from nature and not from scientifically created additives and chemicals which are in some products. Normally organic producers also have high ethical standards, their products on the whole are ethically and environmentally considerate and do not contain controversial products such as rainforest palm oil (which seems to be in nearly everything these days!). People with allergies may turn to organic produce because when looking at the label it is clear what the product actually contains, the ingredients are recognisable and familiar and not a list of numbers and letters which you have to decipher.
Organic is the old way of doing things. In years gone by the farmer would fertilise his crops with manure, he would rotate his crops and companion plant to prevent the spread of pests and diseases. However as we consumed more and more food the industry reacted and in our bid to get cheaper and cheaper food it reacted. And its solution to the problem? Chemicals. Whereas before the farmer would rotate his crops and grow different crops each year he could now plant the same crop over and over again on his field, spraying it with chemicals to prevent diseases and to keep pests at bay. Less concerned with quality of crops the supermarket pushed quantity and availability. Growing large amounts of chemically enhanced plants to produce large wields in order to stock the supermarket shelves.
So as you are reading this you are probably thinking this is all well and good however I cannot afford organic food, that kind of thing is reserved for the rich and not people on a budget like me. I buy my tomatoes for 69p so why would I want to pay £3.00 for them? Whilst on paper it appears more expensive my weekly shop is the same cost now as it was when I used to shop in supermarkets. Whilst more and more supermarkets are introducing organic ranges of products making organic swaps will not work. If you simply swap a few of your normal items to organic instead you will definitely notice your bill increase. In my opinion your shop is either organic or it is not. You have to not just change what label you buy but your shopping habits too. Whereas before you might have relied on packet meals and ready prepared items you now have to think fresh and seasonal. This will of course involve more thinking and preparation but in my opinion it is worth it. After you have started eating organic going out for meals is never the same, everything seems so bland!
Ok so now I have ruled supermarkets out as a good source of getting your organic produce what are your options?
First of all grow your own – Growing your own vegetables is rewarding and saves you money. For those with little space just grow things which tend to be expensive such as lettuce it is so easy to grow your own!
Secondly you can join a vegetable box scheme. I personally use Able and Cole for my weekly shop and although I started using them purely for their vegetables I now get everything from them. They offer everything you could want from your weekly shop (think making fresh now and not packet food, although they do sell ready prepared things for those who want lazy days) vegetables, meats, dairy products (the brown cow yoghurts are a must!), dried goods and cereals as well as household products from names such as Ecover. Their customer service has always been fantastic and any problems have always been quickly rectified. They also deliver all year round and in any conditions (even in the snow!) and they only charge £1.25 for delivery which is considerably cheaper than some supermarkets. They can also organise to leave your shopping in a safe place so you don’t even have to be in to accept your order. There are other schemes available however I cannot comment on them having never tried them out.
These are my thoughts on organic. Are you an organic convert or thinking of going organic? Let me know I would love to hear from you!
These are of course my own opinions and not those of any of the companies mentioned above. I do not receive compensation for any of my mentions or reviews. Links to the companies and products mentioned can be found in the links section here.