Friday, July 11, 2014

How to Eat Organic on a Budget

Let’s get all of the myths out of the way right now: Eating organic over non organic is not only better for your body, but it doesn’t break the bank.

In fact, in order to receive the same nutrients as seven organic oranges you would have to eat twenty-one non organic oranges. That’s why Lindsay Marie, the founder of Kaleidoscope Art Collective, has been eating organic for five years as an eco-conscious vegan as well as a single mother.

“Organic items will give more energy because the chemical pesticides drain us and suppress the immune system,” says Lindsay.

“You can feel safer knowing these chemicals aren’t present.”

Lindsay began eating organic because she wanted to feel healthier. Since discovering that nutrition and health go hand in hand, she says she’s felt much healthier since the shift in diet.

“Everything I buy is organic, if possible,” says Lindsay, who swears she can taste the difference in organic food versus non organic food, contrary to the speculation of others. “It is so worth it to know my food and drinks aren’t chemically saturated.”

Lindsay understands that eating means more than keeping yourself alive and that what you are truly is what you eat. But understandably choosing organic over non-organic can appear pretty pricey when starting out. Before you go on a shopping spree and spend your whole month’s budget on expensive health foods, it’s important to do your research in terms of what’s in your area. As it turns out, even in Edmonton eating organic is closer to home than you think.

“I get my organics primarily from superstore,” says Lindsay, who picks up most of her shopping list in the organic isle. The mother of one also recommends shopping for frozen organic foods and bulk organic foods at Costco, H & W Produce and Amaranth Whole Foods.

Lindsay’s budget for the week is $20-$30 dollars.

If buying all organic the next time you go shopping seems daunting, Lindsay recommends stocking up on plenty of organic celery, carrots, cucumbers and apples, which are not only inexpensive but fantastic for juicing – something she loves to do to get the nutrients she needs on busy days.

Trey Capnerhurst, a nutritionist from Edmonton who spends only $50 per week to feed her family of four, recommends shopping for food more often in order to lower the cost.

“Shopping more often can lead to a smaller food bill, fresher food and more exercise,” she says.

Trey’s weekly budget includes organic foods such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, eggplant, tofu, onions, green onions, apple juice, garlic, mushrooms, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and celery. She finds these foods at the farmers market or grocery stores such as Safeway or Save On.

Other options for shopping organic in Edmonton are Blush Lane, Planet Organic and Earth’s General Store near Whyte Ave.

Lindsay believes becoming healthier starts with what you eat and carries on through the new energy you have to contribute to society. She holds free clothing swaps for friends and upcycles clothing in Kaleidoscope Art Collective, where old clothing is recreated as artistic designs. Lindsay also works to mentor youth from the street at iHuman through art, music and fashion.

“I feel strongly that eating organic local foods is a choice everyone should be up to the challenge to take,” she says. “[You’ll] discover just how easy it can be to shop and eat in such a way, not to mention all the delicious vegan/vegetarian restaurants [in Edmonton].”

For more information on Kaleidoscope Art Collective, please visit https://www.facebook.com/KaleidoscopeArtCollective. And for more information on eating organic, read more of Trey’s thoughts on her website http://gifts-of-nature.blogspot.ca/2011/10/organic-in-edmonton-cheap-readily.html.

Article published in Edmonton Woman Magazine's May/June 2014 issue.

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