The Beginning of Our Organic Food Journey


This past Saturday morning, a friend of mine from church held a Nutrition class about eating organic/healthy. She had lots of great food for us to try! I tried for the 1st time blackstrap molasses (loaded with iron) in my oatmeal, homemade flaxseed crackers w/hummus, a cucumber-lemon type tonic drink... just to name a few new items. A few weeks ago, when I had to stay home due to morning sickness, I watched the movie Food, Inc. My eyes were opened to some pretty horrible issues in the food industry in our country today. However, I was left with an uncomfortable feeling about what to do about it. Going to her class really helped me to figure out the next steps for our family.

If you are like me... I have been couponing and finding deals on all things. I won't buy it unless it is on sale for 40-50% and I have coupons. However, I was loading up my cart with crap I wouldn't/shouldn't normally eat. Mostly, very processed things. I've been what I like to think as healthy, and I wanted to support local farmers, so I would drive to Gilbert every two weeks and buy produce, then go visit my grandma. Slowly, I learned that not all things at my perfect little produce stand were so perfect and lots of times things were from other countries, etc. Not exactly what I was going for.

At the class, I learned to START AT THE TOP OF THE FOOD CHAIN AND WORK YOUR WAY DOWN. Start with meat, then dairy, then ultimately vegetables.

I knew from the video that pretty much all meats are loaded with crap i.e. antibiotics/hormones and that they have been genetically modified to have larger breasts for bigger meat. Rarely are these animals exposed to the outdoors, and the risk for e coli outbreaks are so much higher... Remember mad cow? Remember just this past week with the Romain lettuce recall due to e coli... I feel like this recent example should make us think... "How in the world is lettuce getting exposed to e coli?" Well, watching the video helps to explain that.

So, I did some research on meats and found it really difficult to find someone in my city that provides affordable meat. Is it so wrong to want to eat meat from animals that have actually been grazing in the GRASS!? I finally saw a commercial for Springer Mountain Farms chicken. They seemed trustworthy and met all my criteria, plus their meat was carried at Publix, Kroger (although I didn't see it there), and Earthfare. I also think that I am going to trust Publix Greenwise products for the time being due to the fact that they have the USDA Organic seal of approval on their products. However, I'm still on the fence about them, until I know more. I need to do more research there. These brands of meat are more expensive, however, I realized that I would rather eat meat less often or more sparingly than buy meat from other vendors that say "all natural," but really are NOT.

Another option that I am going to experiment in the next few weeks, is the Farmer's Market downtown Columbia. Hopefully, I can go with my friend and learn more about buying things from there. She buys almost everything from there, but as much as I admire her lifestyle... I am not there yet, nor completely convinced that I want to be there. However, I do want to go and learn and meet some local farmers that have kept good standards in place.

With vegetables, I have learned a few key things. 1)I've been following the Dirty Dozen Clean 15 guide. Some things do not have to be organic when it comes to vegetables, others it is a good idea. 2)You can do a vinegar wash on your produce to reduce the amount of pesticides that you ingest. Basically, you mix white vinegar with water and let stuff soak for 5 minutes. I haven't tried this, but I'm going to see how it effects the taste/how it works soon. I'll keep you updated.

Where we are at in our food journey:
-I am buying meat that is organic, just eating less (Hart's on game with this, too!)
-I am buying pasteurized organic milk
-I am buying organic grange-fed eggs (wishing that I could have my own chickens, but not sure what my neighbors would think)
-I am following the Dirty Dozen Clean 15 guide when buying produce. What is on the "dirty side," I'm going to wash with vinegar and see how that works out.
-I want to introduce/try out new grains/lentils/legumes to make healthy meals.

Tonight, Hart and I went to Publix. As I planned meals for this week, I switched out Meat Lasagna for Veggie Lasagna, and we have one major/normal for most Mexi-chicken dish planned. I spent $58 on groceries. I still used Southern Savers and I still used coupons and bought several things, like cereals, yogurt, cheese, some English muffins, orange juice that are still normal processed items. I saved a total $25. I was a little sad that I couldn't spend $40 on our groceries, but Hart reminded me that I bought a lot of organic items, and that I need to keep in mind that my wonderful coupon role model doesn't buy things like what I bought. So, I felt much better. At this point, I am trying to still spend about $250 on all things grocery/house related. So far, we are doing fine! I am going to the Gilbert produce stand tomorrow, so I will spend another $20 there for the next 2 weeks. I do not have time this next weekend to visit the farmer's market.

More to come on my reasons why the changes later!

1 comment:

  1. It's easy to get overwhelmed. And it's easy to find yourself stressing out and putting your faith and trust in food rather than the Lord. I'm not saying you're doing that...rather we've been there.
    We also like going to the Local Farmer's Market for research and relationships alongside the food. We really want to get to the place where we are farming a lot of our stuff and raising a few small livestock. So, we enjoy participating through the seasons at the Market and seeing the changes.
    I don't know if she mentioned it on Saturday, but you guys need to hit up the Local Farmer's Market in Asheville on the UNC campus. That thing is INCREDIBLE!!!
    Just remember to not stress out over isn't worth it. Be faithful to the knowledge and financial resources the Lord has given you. He is the ultimate Healer and sustainer of life.
    Feel free to keep asking questions!


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