Do you buy Organic produce for your family? Fruit and Vegetables? Bread? Meat? Milk? Eggs? Which foods do you think are most important? Switching to organic food can be overwhelming to begin with because it seems so much more expensive. I’ve been talking to my local suppliers and I have some ideas about how we can make going organic a little easier on the family budget.
The basic principle of organic farming is to achieve optimum quantities of produce and food of high nutritional quality without the use of artificial fertilisers or synthetic chemicals. It does not use genetically modified foods, growth promoters or hormones – organicfood.com.au
We have had a lovely morning. The kids and I drove down to Anglesea, a sleepy sea side village about twenty minutes from where we live to visit our favourite Organic Fruit and Vegetable shop…McGains Nursery and Organic Food Store.
I have known Pam and Peter since I was a little girl as I grew up spending summers playing on the beach with their daughters and nieces. One of the best things about shopping locally and from smaller suppliers is they are often on hand to chat about their produce. I bailed Peter up and asked him his advice on what to look for when shopping organic on a budget…
- Look around and compare prices…some organic things might be equal to or cheaper than their conventional cousins…I got a 2kg bag of organic apples for $6.90 today when the conventional apples were $5.90 for 1kg!
- Talk to your supplier…today I learnt that Peter’s strawberries, which were $5 for two punnets, were not certified organic but were grown without the use of nasty chemical sprays…Peter knew this because he knows the suppliers!
- Buy in season…fruit and veggies that are fresh and are in season will last a lot longer, giving you more time to use them and…less waste! Peter’s Organic grapes were the same price as conventional ones, the difference being they hadn’t been frozen or refrigerated for weeks and they had been hand picked and handled with care….might I add, they were delicious!
- Grow what you can…Well, this is my tip but I’m pretty sure Peter would agree as he owns and runs one of the best Nurseries on the Surf Coast. Put in some silverbeet, some herbs…maybe a lemon tree. You don’t have to have a full market garden to grow a few staples in your own back yard. The money you save buying those things can be spent on something else…like wine…just a suggestion.
- Don’t Stress…If you can’t afford to buy everything organic, don’t sweat it! Mix it up and just do what you can. Decide what is really important to you to have free from nasties and go from there…I like to make sure my dairy, meat and as much of my fruit and veg is organic while other things, like nuts, bread and pantry stores I’m a little bit more relaxed about.
To finish our trip, we couldn’t resist calling in to our favorite cafe for a warming Soy Chai Latte after a quick walk on the wild and chilly beach…
If you don’t have many small local suppliers of organic foods in your neighbourhood…go online!!! It’s amazing what can be found these days from fruit and veggies to bread, from cleaning products to cacao…it’s worth shopping around. You might like to start with Organics on a Budget a fantastic online shopping resource.
Happy Apple Stack
To celebrate our stocked up fridge and pantry we made these Happy Apple Stacks for afternoon tea. Being gluten free, healthy and satisfying…this is my new favourite mid-meal munchie. If you are on a low fodmap diet, spread your nut butter on some celery or use it as a substitute for hummus dip with your favourite low fodmap veggies.
Home Made Nut Butter
100g Brazil Nuts
100g Dry Roasted Cashews
100g Dry Roasted Almonds
2 tbsp Macadamia Nut Oil
1 organic, fresh, crunchy and delicious apple of your choice.
Whizz in your food processor until the fine crumbs release their oil and begin to hold together. Add your macadamia nut oil to create a smooth, spreadable consistency.
Spread your nut butter on your freshly cored and sliced apple and dick around for half an hour making it look beautiful, decorating with extra nuts and flowers and photograph for facebook - alternatively….just stand at the kitchen bench, knife in hand and slice and spread like I usually do!!!!
Do you have any more hot tips for buying organic produce on a budget? I’m sure there are lots more great ideas out there…please leave us a comment and share your experiences and advice!!
Be sure to catch tomorrow’s Good Food Friday Post…we have a special deal from our friends at Organics on a Budget!!!