Why switch to organic?
If you find yourself standing in the produce aisle, trying to decide between the organic apples and the non-organic apples, consider this: while your “regular” apples might be less expensive, they can carry a hefty environmental and social price tag.
“Agriculture has a huge environmental footprint,” says Laura Telford, national director of Canadian Organic Growers. “Getting things to market quickly can mean ignoring the environmental and social costs. These things will add up and have an huge impact on our health.”
Here’s how you can make the switch to organic, without breaking the bank.
1. Grow your own food
“The best thing you can do is to develop a relationship with food and growing,” says Telford. Whether you’re growing herbs on your kitchen counter or heirloom tomatoes in your backyard, growing your own food can help you develop better eating habits and make you think of food in a new way. It doesn’t cost much to bring home a few seeds and some soil, and you’ll have the satisfaction of putting together a great meal with fresh, pesticide-free ingredients from your own garden.
2. Buy produce in season
Have you ever noticed that the box of strawberries sitting in your grocery store in the middle of February is more expensive than it was last July? Eating with the seasons can help shave money off your food bill. “Fruits and vegetables are a big entry point for people who are starting to buy organic, because they’re relatively inexpensive and often local,” says Telford. The farmers’ market is a great resource for finding fresh, seasonal produce. To make sure that what you’re buying is organic, don’t be afraid to ask the farmer for proof of organic certification, if it’s not already on display. “Any organic farmer will not be shy about showing you that certificate,” says Telford. Scope out different vendors for the best quality and price.