If you could protect future generations, reduce pollution, reduce the toxic load in our environment and bodies, build healthier soil, assist family farmers, promote biodiversity – all while eating tastier food, would you?
Benefits of Buying Organic
Pollution, toxic load, depleted soil, and a harder market for family farmers are all results of industrial agriculture. When non-organic farms use synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, the environment affects are far reaching – in addition to polluting the local environment on the farm, drift and water contamination cause the pollution to affect other communities downstream from the farm as well. All of the chemicals used drastically increase the toxic load in the air, the water, the soil, and even in our bodies when we consume the food. The aggressive techniques used in industrial agriculture are also responsible for depleting the soil of necessary vitamins and nutrients – which in turn causes our foods to be less healthy now than they were years ago. Yet despite all of these negatives, industrial agriculture has taken off and is threatening the livelihood of family farmers. When you buy organic food, you’re helping to reduce pollution and the toxic load, improve soil, and support family farmers.
Organic groceries come from farms that use techniques like biodiversity and feeding the soil to promote the healthy growth of their foods, rather than the destruction that we see in the wake of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. If you walk through an organic farm, you will find a variety of animals and bugs that are working together to keep the unwanted pests away from the food. Using compost and old-fashioned farming techniques to improve the soil creates a healthier environment as well as food that tastes better. In 2007, the Organic Farming Research Foundation reported a total of 13,000 organic farms, pointing out that the organic agriculture industry has been excellent for family farmers, with the industry growing at a rate of about 20% per year.
Obstacles to Buying Organic
If you poll your friends, you might be surprised to find out how few of them are purchasing organic groceries, usually with one of three reasons – education, cost, or location. Many people do not buy organic foods simply because they are unaware of the benefits of purchasing organic or the differences between organic and non-organic foods. We, along with many other websites, are committed to filling this knowledge gap by helping people to learn why buying organic is a good idea. People are also hesitant to purchase organic foods because of the cost difference between organic groceries and their non-organic counterparts. Another reason some people do not buy organics is not knowing where to find organic foods. The good news is that we have great advice to help solve those last two obstacles and show you how to save money on organic groceries.
How to Save Money on Organic Groceries
1. Look for sales – keep an eye out in your area for sales on organic foods. More grocery stores are frequently adding and expanding the organic selections in their stores, so watch the sale flyers in your area to find a sale near you.
2. Use coupons – check newspapers, store ad flyers, and the internet for coupons on your favorite organic brands. If you can’t find any, you can also go to the website of the brand and email them to see if they have a coupon or advertising list – they may be able to email you coupons to help you save money on the organics. For an extra bonus, use coupons on the organic groceries when they’re on sale to save even more money.
3.Buy in bulk – freeze, store, and preserve the groceries to allow you to enjoy your organic foods even when they’re not on sale.
4. Shop together – if you have friends or family who also want to buy organic, you may find better deals if you shop together or in a co-op. Don’t have a lot of room for storing food or a stockpile of groceries? Splitting groceries can help you get the bulk discount without the space issues of preserving or freezing food.
5.Earn the discount – depending on your area, you may have a CSA (community supported agriculture) near you. When you purchase a CSA share, you often have the option of working on the farm (sometimes it is required) and you receive a crate of organic food at regular intervals. Not only do you have the food, but you know exactly where it came from and you supported a local farm – great wins!
[Editor’s Note: If you want access to coupons for organic and non-GMO products, click here to sign up for a Naturally Savvy Get Healthy Challenge.]
Written by Joanna Liberty for Mamavation.