Mmmm Tacos! Last week, I posted this picture of my delicious healthy spin on tacos onto my Facebook page. These babies tasted amazing!
"Thanks to @thewholejourney I found these amazing organic sprouted corn tortillas! They are made of only organic sprouted corn, water, lime and salt. Doesn't get much better than that! I topped it with some delicious grassfed beef, red peppers, red onions, garlic, tomato and avocado!"
That day, I received the comment below from one of my amazing followers.
It made me a little sad for two reasons. For one, it sucks people feel like they have to be perfect and buy organic/grassfed food in order to make changes to be a healthier version of themselves. And for two, there is a very big misconception that eating organic/grassfed or healthy food in general has to be expensive and totally break the bank. Because it doesn't. Here was my response...
"It was so delicious and not too pricey! The total comes out to only $3.35 for the meal. That's a lot less than what most people spend when going out to eat and usually cheaper than a subway sandwich. But instead Of getting low quality food that can cause all sorts of health issues, I get a delicious meal that is PACKED with nutritional goodness! Here is the breakdown of this meal:
4oz serving grassfed beef: $1.50
Quarter avocado: $0.38
Chopped Tomato: $0.22
2 Organic corn tortilla: $0.70
What I mainly focus on is buying high quality meats which I get organic grassfed beef from trader joes for $5.99 per lb and organic chicken from $1.99 - $2.99 per lb. I choose to spend a little extra per pound on meats because non-organic is full of so many toxins and antibiotics that wreak havoc on our immune system and cause us to store body fat. I save money by not splurging on processed packaged foods, I rarely eat out, and I cut back on Starbucks. When I actually thought about all the unnecessary things I was spending my money on each week, I realized that there was lots of little things that I was splurging on which made it a little hard to make the argument that buying organic foods was really breaking the bank. Organic eggs are also very cheap to buy and make as meals too so you don't always have to go for expensive meats like beef.
If you absolutely can't afford to buy organic protein, then go for the leanest cuts of meats possible since toxins are stored mostly in the fats. Then, grab some organic eggs and use the dirty dozen chart to find safe non-organic foods to eat until you are ready to transition to organic. You'd be surprised how cheap sweet potatoes and onions are and how easy to incorporate them into your meals.
And lastly, try not to think of paleo/whole 30 as an all or nothing thing. Try to just do the best you can with what you have! Just because you can't afford organic, doesn't mean you can't cut out inflammatory foods like gluten pastas and replace them with white or brown rice. Just do the best that you can right now and build off of that!"
She was super thankful and said that when you break it down per meal, it really wasn't that bad. She admitted to drinking too much Starbucks coffee each week. The best part was that she was so excited because she went to the store, shopped the outer aisles for fresh ingredients, and bought her family the healthiest foods she could afford. All without breaking the bank!
I think where we as Americans get confused is that in the US, we eat the cheapest food on the planet because of farm subsidies which give us access to very low quality foods that are genetically modified, fed GMO feed, sprayed with tons of pesticides and pumped with antibiotics.
Therefore, since our low quality food is priced so cheaply, it makes buying say a dozen eggs for $1.50 per carton to now buying a dozen organic eggs for $4.99 per carton seem super expensive. But really we are talking about .13 cents for a low quality egg vs .42 cents for a high quality egg which is only a .29 cents difference per egg. So for me personally I'd rather pay .29 cents extra per egg and invest that money into my health rather than in the hospital later. This goes the same for comparing organic grassfed meats to conventional meats.
Another way to look at organic pasture raised meats vs. conventional meats is that besides avoiding all the toxins that are making you sick and fat, you will also get many more nutrients like vitamin E & C, beta-carotene and health-boosting omega-3 fatty acids and CLA "conjugated Linoleic Acid"from a healthy organic grassfed animal. When you eat meat from a conventionally raised animal, you are not only eating the toxins, hormones and antibiotics from the animal but also the toxins and pesticides from the GMO-feed that they consumed throughout their entire lifespan.
As you can tell I am a big fan of eating organic meat but I don't want to neglect the importance of eating organic produce because that is another major source of how chemical toxins are getting into our bodies. Luckily, we are able to metabolize and excrete many of the pesticides that we consume on a daily basis, but chronic exposure of pesticides sprayed on the produce we've eaten over a lifetime means that we always have high levels of pesticides in our bodies. A study came out recently showed that eating an 80% organic diet can reduce the amount of circulating pesticides in the body by nearly 90% in just 3-5 days! Now if that isn't motivating then, I don't know what is!
I admit it, when I first started my transition into buying organic food, I thought the prices were outrageous! And sometimes I still do depending on the store I go to and how overpriced the meat is. But when I took a step back and realized that I was investing in my health now so that I don't have to pay for it later on down the road in medical bills, then it looks a WHOLE lot cheaper. Plus, when I really started to do price break downs of food, like I did above, it really wasn't very expensive compared to some of the silly stuff I was spending my money on each week.
Simple shopping swaps that may help justify spending more on organic food each week:
1 pair of underwear from Target $5.99 vs. 1 pound of organic grassfed beef from Trader Joes $5.99
1 grande mint tea from Starbucks $2.67 vs. 1 bag of organic baby spinach $1.99-$3.99
1 tall Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte $4.45 vs. a dozen organic pasture raised eggs $4.00-$4.99
1 bottle of Essie Nail polish $8.99 vs. 1 pound of wild caught salmon from Trader Joes $9.99
1 Energy Drink $3.50 vs. 1 pint of organic tomatoes $3.50
1 pack of Gum $1.25 vs. 1 bunch of organic bananas $1
Maybe your splurge items are different from these, we all have them. The point is, we all have some non-essential items that we buy on a weekly basis that we can cut back on which will allow us a little extra spending money for quality foods. And like I told my reader above, it's not about being perfect nor is it an "all or nothing" kind of deal. It's about doing our best we can to incorporate more healthy organic foods into our diet so we can start lowering our exposure to these chemical toxins and live longer healthier lives!
Links on how to get thrifty when buying organic:
EWG's Dirty Dozen/Clean Fifteen Shopping Guide
Eat Wild's Farm Directory for grassfed meat, dairy and eggs
Find Real Food App (apple) from the Weston A Price Foundation
Local Harvest farmers market locator
Seasonal Food Guide - Buy seasonal produce to save money
What are some of your favorite tips for saving money when buying organic food?
Disclaimer: We earn a small commission if you use the highlighted links to purchase the products mentioned in this post. We recommend only products that we would use in our own home or that we would recommend for our clients. Your purchases help to support our blogging activities such as creating yummy recipes to share with you and also helps us to bring even more helpful nutrition and training information to you on a weekly basis. Thank you for your continued support and for helping us continue what we LOVE to do!