We all know that organic living is better for us (and the environment) but what about the annoying reality that is ‘cost’? Like it or not we live in a society where everything costs money, even the non-tangible – C’mon People! Time is money!!! So, in a world where prices are rising and convenience is king, is it possible to make the switch to organic living?
Below are some simple tips and tricks I have learnt along the way that make the transition to organic produce easier and (dare I say it) fun!
Swap your Supermarket for a Super Market!
If you hate the Thursday night turn-style experience that is your average ‘megamart’ then you owe it to yourself to visit a community market. Not only is the produce amazing but the atmosphere will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy for the rest of the day.
Rather than pushing past each other to get to a grumpy checkout teen you end up engaging with the people that grow the produce or chatting with the person next to you about which fruit tastes best at the moment! You can take you dog, or just go there for an organic lunch/breakfast while listening to local music.
We are spoiled for these markets in Perth. Below I have listed a few but for the full list head to my Perth Markets article.
Subi Markets – a well loved Perth fave!
- Every Saturday, 8am – 12:30pm
- Subiaco Primary School, 271 Bagot Road, Subiaco
Canning Vale Markets – Very cheap, very cheerful!
- Every Sunday, 7am – 1pm
- Cnr South St and Bannister Rd, Canning Vale
Grower’s Green Community Markets – Live music, cooked breakfast and dogs allowed!
- Every Sunday, 8am – Noon
- South Fremantle High School, Lefroy Road, Beaconsfield (next to Freo)
- www.lovefreo.com/2010/06/19/freos-new-growers-market (On one of my favourite blogs – www.lovefreo.com)
City Farm Farmers Markets – What an inspiring place!
- Every Saturday, 8am – Noon
- 1 City Farm Place, East Perth
No time? No worries!
If you don’t have time to get down to a farmers markets, get your produce delivered right to your door! There is now a great range of businesses that deliver certified organic produce to your home either through a tailored shopping list or through the seasonal box system.
These seasonal boxes are becoming increasingly popular as a budget friendly foray into organic food. They come at a set price, offer a great variety of the tastiest local-grown fruit and veg and they are super convenient!
Most boxes come with a guide to how many people they cater for and I have seen boxes for one starting from $30 (www.organiccollective.com.au) up to large family boxes between $50 and $70. Some come with a small delivery fee of around $5 or $10 – which is less than most supermarket home delivery and nowadays probably the petrol to get there!
You can specify if you don’t want certain items or alternately if you have any can’t-live-without-items you can let them know those as well. Choose wisely though (as I will explain next) to get the best bang for your buck and the smartest choice of organic goodies. Some great companies that offer the box system in Perth listed below;
- The Organic Collective – www.organiccollective.com.au
- Organic n Green – www.organicngreen.com.au
- Perth Organics – www.perthorganics.com
Know your enemy…
An apple a day may not keep the doctor away after all. Recent tests on Australia apples found over 42 residual pesticides which are at a level that means even peeling will not prevent you ingesting at least a few potentially harmful chemicals. In 2011 apples topped the list as the worst offenders in terms of residual pesticides whereas onions showed little chemical traces.
This is why it is important (especially when budgeting) to know the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen. There are some things that should be considered ‘organic essentials’ and others that are not going to really matter all that much. This is a great principle to be aware of if you are watching your pennies – if you splurge on organic apples, celery and strawberries and you can afford to relax a bit on your onions, sweetcorn and pineapples!
See my lists and information about the Clean Fifteen and the Dirty Dozen.
When you compare the reasons to go organic with the slightly higher cost associated, there is no contest! Below I have listed some of the most important reasons that incorporating organic food into your lifestyle is the right move;
- It tastes better! – healthy soil, healthy plants, healthy ecosystem, healthy you
- Organic farming is nicer to our water – they not only conserve it but protect it from nasty chemicals and nitrogen leaking
- Consuming organic produce reduces health risks associated with the chemically-grown alternatives!
- Organic farmers promote and protect biodiversity – instead of wiping out ecosystems with pesticides and other chemicals they use natural techniques like crop rotation and companion planting to grow their food in harmony with nature
- Supports local farmers – Less travel, less trouble, less carbon.
I hope this helped you on your way to becoming organic! If you have any other tips or want to drop me a line about how it went please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org