Sponsored by Woolworths.
Back in the olden days there was never such a thing as ‘organic’ produce. Things grew in the ground and on trees and then we ate them. Simple. Then for a while genetically modifying food was the bee’s knees but, much like leotards and leg-warmers, we got over it and got back to our organic farming ‘roots‘. You might say the organic food industry is back with a veg-ence. Organic puns. I’m doing them.
I recently published a quiz on Smaggle to help my readers figure out if they’re a food snob. Through publishing this quiz, I figured out pretty quickly that I am indeed a giant food snob. I’m also the exact opposite of a food snob. I get really weird about some things like free range eggs but then I’ll veto a recipe because it has verjuice in it. I’ve never quite figured out what verjuice is or where you buy it so I really hate recipes that have verjuice in them. I’m the yin and yang of food snobs which is precisely where I stand on organic produce.
There’s nothing I’d love more than to skip off to my local organic market on the weekend and spend $100 plus on organic strawberries and pumpkin but I neither have the time nor the funds for such tomfoolery. I’ve always tried to make sure that I know where my food is coming from but it’s not practical or economical for me to only purchase apples that were tended by monks in blessed orchards. Here are a few tips for buying organic produce without breaking the bank.
Tips for Buying Organic
Buy in Season
A simple way to shop organic is to buy food that’s in season. Generally speaking organic produce should only be sold when that produce is in season. Organic means that the produce is grown with limited pesticides and without growth accelerants or chemicals. In Australia we’re in the middle of Spring so it’s the season to buy things like berries, capsicum, lemons , mandarins, broccoli, strawberries, limes, asparagus, cucumber, peas, spinach and zucchini. You can refer to the Australian Seasonal Food Guide for more information because it really helps to be informed of what you should be buying each season.
Check Out The Macro Organic Range At Woolies
I always have the best intentions to go to the markets on the weekends but I’m honestly just too busy (lazy) some weekends to make it there. My local Woolies has an organic section that always has the most delicious looking vegetables and fruit. It’s often a lot cheaper than buying from organic markets and you’re guaranteed that the produce is organic and you’re getting what you pay for. I also find that buying the odd organic head of broccoli or bag of apples isn’t that much more expensive than the regular produce.
Go Half Organic
If like most of the population you can’t afford to buy everything organic, simply buy some organic produce and go basic on the rest. Research shows that some foods are more likely to hang on to pesticides than others in the harvesting process, making them more harmful than other produce. Here’s a guide outlining which foods you should go organic with and which foods you don’t need to go organic with.
Sugar snap peas
Only Buy Produce You’re Going to Use
I’m repetitively guilty of buying expensive organic apples and then letting them turn to mush in the bottom of my handbag. It’s bad enough letting regular produce disintegrate in the vegetable crisper but it’s heart breaking when it’s $6 worth of organic zucchinis. Be organised and don’t be over zealous. Only buy what you need and what you’re sure you will use.
If you buy local produce it’s much more sustainable. You’ll be buying food that’s in season, that has a very low-carbon foot print and is as fresh as you can get. It also hasn’t travelled far which means it’s cheaper than imported goods. Win.