Healthy Eating Doesn’t Have to be Hard: Organic Foods Made Easy

organic lifestyle, lessons in joyful living

The benefit of eating organic

Organic foods often have more beneficial nutrients, such as antioxidants, than their non-organic-conventionally-grown counterparts and people with allergies and sensitivities to foods, chemicals, or preservatives often find their symptoms improve after adopting an organic lifestyle. It doesn’t have to be difficult to make the change. I’ve even found a way to get it delivered to my door!

 

So, what’s in a name…

While many food labeling fads are merely marketing madness – think gluten free organic soap, it really is a thing – that doesn’t mean you’re going to want to eat it. Unless Whole Foods was considering this for washing your mouth out with… nah, never mind. 

 

Your quickie guide to Organic Food Production:

  • Grown with natural fertilizers (manure, compost).
    • Conventional – Grown with synthetic or chemical fertilizers.
  • Weeds are controlled naturally (crop rotation, hand weeding, mulching, and tilling).
    • Conventional -Weeds are controlled with chemical herbicides.
  • Pests are controlled using natural methods (birds, insects, traps) and naturally-derived pesticides.
    • Conventional – Pests are controlled with synthetic pesticides.
  • Livestock are given all organic, hormone- and GMO-free feed.
    • Conventional – Livestock are given growth hormones for faster growth, as well as non-organic, GMO feed.
  • Disease is prevented with natural methods such as clean housing, rotational grazing, and healthy diet.
    • Conventional – Antibiotics and medications are used to prevent livestock disease.
  • Livestock must have access to the outdoors.
    • Conventional – Livestock may or may not have access to the outdoors.

 

The “Dirty Dozen”

This is where your budget is best dedicated when choosing organic produce. It’s what we call the “Dirty Dozen” and while it can vary from year to year, mostly it consists of the following:

  • Apples
  • Bell Peppers
  • Cucumbers
  • Celery
  • Potatoes
  • Grapes
  • Tomatoes
  • Greens (Kale, Collard, Spinach & Chard)
  • Summer Squash
  • Stone fruits (Nectarines, Peaches, Plums & Apricots)
  • Berries (Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries, etc.)
  • Hot Peppers

 

The “Clean Fifteen” explained

These are lower in pesticides and chemicals, typically because of their production methods and/or the fact that we do not eat the external parts of the produce.

  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Mushrooms
  • Cabbage
  • Sweet Corn
  • Eggplant
  • Kiwi
  • Mango
  • Onion
  • Papaya
  • Pineapple
  • Sweet Peas (frozen)
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Grapefruit
  • Cantaloupe

 

What you can do to make it even easier…

Get it delivered. If you are as *ahem* busy/lazy as I am, then shopping is not your idea of a good time. So, what do you do when you want healthy, organic produce delivered because you don’t feel like hitting the local farmer’s market? You order Farm Fresh to You – that’s right. I’ve had produce delivered for a while now and I love the convenience of it.  I’ve have been using Farm Fresh to You for my weekly deliveries – and I couldn’t be happier. Good quality, reliable delivery, great selection and prices. Check them out and use promo code KIMB7474 for your chance to save on your first order.

 

Organic produce delivered to YOUR DOOR. Whether you choose a family sized mixed fruit and veggie farm box for home or an organic snack box for the office, it couldn’t be easier. Farm Fresh to You makes it easy to try new things too – like romanesco cauliflower, it’s pretty and tasty. Other benefits of FFTY for your organic produce delivery are:

  • Option to add and remove produce from your delivery and create a “never send” list
  • Flexibility to change your box type, size and delivery frequency
  • Ability to add artisan farm products like fresh eggs, organic dairy, pickled veggies, honey and jams (you HAVE to try the shrubs!)
  • A newsletter with recipes, stories from our farm, produce tips and event info
  • Convenient delivery to your door, left quietly in the cool of night / morning
  • And the ability to help end hunger on a sustainable local level – this year alone, they donated over 100,000 lbs of organic produce to local food banks provided over 10,000 Farm Fresh To You boxes to individuals and families facing hunger.

 

Try a couple of our raw vegan family favorites this summer:

Avocado Romaine Wraps

2 grapefruit – peeled, seeded and segmented
6 shallots or 1 small white onion – sliced finely
juice of 4 limes
1 avocado – cut into chunks
Go Raw Spicy Fiesta Sprouted Seed Snacks
sea salt and pepper to taste

Wrap mixture with leaves of fresh romaine lettuce and enjoy

 

Gazpacho

Juice, chop or blend
4 tomatoes
½ cucumber
¼ bell pepper
1 garlic clove
2 stalks celery
1 teaspoon sea salt

GARNISH with any or all
Diced avocado
Chopped fresh herbs your choice
Diced red bell peppers
Chopped scallions
Olive oil
Red wine vinegar or lemon juice to taste

Serve and eat! Makes 2 servings

Sunshine Smoothie

best made with VitaMix

Peeled grapefruit
Large handful of kale
1 cup pineapple or mango chunks
2-4 sprigs fresh mint
1/2-1 cup water plus ice

Blend all on high until smooth, enjoy (makes enough for 2 servings)

Food for thought

Organic food is pricier because it’s much more labor intensive to produce. Getting certification is expensive and organic feed for animals can cost twice as much. Organic farms tend are typically smaller than conventional farms. Fixed costs and overheads are distributed across smaller produce volumes without government subsidies.

  • Buy in season and buy local – Fruits and vegetables are cheapest and freshest when they are in season and when the cost to transport them is reduced. Find out when produce is delivered to your market and where it originated from so you’re buying the freshest food possible.
  • Shop around – Compare the price of organic items at the grocery store, the farmers’ market and other venues (even the freezer aisle).
  • Remember that organic doesn’t always equal healthy – Making crap sound healthy is a common marketing ploy (remember gluten free soap?!) in the food industry and organic baked goods, desserts, and snacks are usually still very high in sugar, salt, fat, or calories. Read food labels carefully and judge accordingly.