We have many friends who swear on the health benefits of chemical-free foods. We almost hate to bring the subject up, but it’s tough to ignore. Actually, we’re surprised at how many people think we are into this. So, the questions we receive are:
- How do we spend so little on groceries? (We spend approximately $800 per month, our cookbooks largely a response to the questions of how we do it.)
- How do you live such healthy lives? (We are all fit and healthy, and our diets are a big part of our lives, as Wendy explains in Love in a Diet.)
We have found organic eating is very difficult, and we wonder at the actual benefits. The organic section of every supermarket is 30-50% more costly than the rest, and the quantities are about half of what you would find just a few aisles down. And if you insist on shopping at supermarkets that are primarily organic (e.g. Whole Foods), you won’t come close to our budget.
Frankly, we believe a lot of families get drawn into the organic food industry without developing some proper principles in their kitchens. There are families who spend a great deal of money on organics – and that’s okay, we suppose, if they can afford it – but we’re just not there. We go with these principles in mind:
- Don’t bust the bank.
We’ve seen organics marked up greatly, especially when they’re bought in low quantities. We do the math and just can’t justify it for our family.
- Don’t be a fool for marketing.
My goodness, there are organic anything nowadays. Be smart and don’t assume that organic is automatically better than non-organic. This goes for all diet marketing out there (fat-free, too). Think through the marketing that comes with the package of food.
- Monitor the real results.
Really, is the organic corn flakes making all that big of a difference in your children?
- Don’t substitute organics for genuinely healthy foods.
We’d choose a healthy breakfast of eggs and fruit over organic cereal and fat-free milk. Consider this often. Just because “organic” is on the label doesn’t magically transform the food into a healthy alternative.
- Enjoy your diet.
We eat very well. Some eat vegan, vegetarian, organic, fat-free, etc. We don’t believe we’re missing out on much.
Are there other principles in your kitchen that you apply? Or, perhaps, you are all for the organic world. Please share your thoughts below. We’d love to hear from you.