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Healthy Meal Plans include organic foods

Posted May 14 2010 9:00am


Healthy meal plans should include organic foods as often as possible.

It’s true that organic foods (especially produce) are a bit more expensive than conventional foods, but for some foods, you really don’t want to skimp. If you are diligent when it comes to your grocery shopping, then you’ll know healthy meal plans that include organic foods are feasible if you catch weekly store specials.

Healthy meal plans that include organic foods are often easier to achieve if you visit your local farmers’ market because you’ll buy your produce directly from the farmer and you’ll save on the middle man charges.

I’ve covered many times the benefits of eating organic foods, but if you’ve missed any of the posts, I’ve written on the topic, I’ve included a few great recaps:

1) Foods experts NEVER eat

2) Organic celery is WAY better than conventional celery

3) Dr. Oz grocery shopping tips to buying organic foods

4) Quiz: Are you still buying as much organic food as before the recession?

5) Do you think that organic foods are safer for your health?

>>> Why should healthy meal plans that include organic foods?

Before going any further, I wanted to make sure I gave a quick explanation on the definition of organic foods.

Organic foods are foods grown or raised without the use of synthetic (chemically formulated) pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, or fertilizers. This method of farming allows foods to grown in nature as they were intended. It’s been reported that conventional farmers in the United States spray 2 billion pounds of pesticides a year on crops to compensate for poor farming practices. All these pesticides inevitably end up in the foods you eat.

>>> Here are a few other facts about organic foods:

* Conventional produce tends to have fewer nutrients than organic produce (I learned that during a farm tour with Slow Foods ).

* In fact, conventional produce may only have 83 per cent of the nutrients of organic produce. Studies have found significantly higher levels of nutrients such as vitamin C, iron, magnesium and phosphorus, and significantly less nitrates (a toxin) in organic crops.

* Some experts such as David Wolfe believe that organic foods might be the missing link to weight loss.

>>> How to include organic foods on a budget in your healthy meal plans:

There are some simple tips you can follow to include organic foods in your healthy meal plans that won’t break your food bank budget.

* Visit your local farmers’ market because you’ll not only get great deals on the produce, but you’ll also be able to get to know the person who grows your food.

*Make sure you check weekly flyers for deals on organic foods.

* There are loads of unannounced store specials and many organic foods once they are on sale are the same price as conventional … this is the perfect time for you to make the switch.

* Buy real foods and that will cut back on your food budget and allow you to buy more organic foods. Processed and pre-packaged meals/frozen dinners are quite expensive and can be easily prepared at home with the right set of recipes.

* Stop eating supersized portions! If you start eating normal size portions, you’ll logically eat less food and you’ll also need to buy less food. This means that you can allocate some of the dollars you were overspending on your foods bill to organic foods.

* You don’t have to buy all organic foods to start off. You might just want to start with the most important ones and work your way up. Many food experts believe that foods such as strawberries, apples (because most North Americans eat so many and they are heavily sprayed with pesticides), potatoes and milk should be organic. I switched to organic milk over a decade ago because a friend of mine advised me that as a woman … I should be concerned about the levels of hormones injected into conventional milk. I’ve never looked back and since then I also buy organic yogurt (which I often get on sale or use coupons to buy at a reduced price).

* If organic meats are beyond your budget, you might want to consider grain-fed or grass-fed meats which are a bit more reasonably priced, but they are so much better than conventional meats.

>>> The following two posts are excellent guides to help you determine which foods should be organic foods:

1) Dr. Oz grocery shopping tips to buying organic foods

2) Foods experts NEVER eat

Healthy meal plans that include organic foods are not an impossible task. You might have to do a bit more planning in advance, but in the long run … your body will thank you as you age.

Do you buy organic foods? Has the recession cut back your organic food budget or will you make concessions elsewhere in your life in order to keep eating organic foods?

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