Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Where I Shop for Organic Produce

I have to apologize for not posting more frequently.  I'm finding it more difficult to do so as we approach the holiday season.  I'm so busy!

Anyhow, on to the subject at hand:

When my husband and I were making the decision to move back to the East Coast from California, one of the stipulations I had was that I needed to have my favorite stores within a short distance.  Two stores, that's all I was requiring: Trader Joe's and Costco.  Once I knew that they were located close to my new home, I was satisfied. I love Whole Foods, but if I were to shop there exclusively, it would break my bank.  Trader Joe's offers a great selection of reasonably priced organic foods.  Costco also carries some organic items.  Whatever I cannot find at these two stores, I will pick up at Roots, my local health food store.

I decided to "bring you along" to these stores on one of my shopping trips to give you a breakdown of what certain foods cost.  Bear in mind that these prices and items are representative of  Montgomery County, MD, which is a high cost of living area.  (Obviously, prices may vary significantly depending where you live.)


I buy organic carrots at Costco.  I'm going on memory here.  I pick up a 10 lb. bag for approximately $7.00.  That's cheap!  Sorry, no photos.  Nothing fancy, just a warehouse.

Some friendly staff whom I see on a weekly basis. 

Trader Joes:

organic walnuts, approx. 1lb.:  $5.69
organic russet potatoes, 5 lb. bag: $3.99
organic D'Anjou pears, 2 lb. bag: $2.49
organic navel oranges, 4 lb. bag: $3.79
organic Roma tomatoes, 12. oz. pack: $3.29
organic basil, 2.5 oz. pack: $2.99
organic limes, 1 lb. bag: $1.99
organic bananas, each: $0.29
organic tricolor bell peppers, 3 ct. pack: $4.29
organic kiwis, 6 ct bag: $1.99
organic gala apples, 2 lb bag: $2.49 
organic broccoli crowns, 3 ct. pack: $3.99 
organic grapefruit, 4 lb. bag: $4.49 
organic avocados, 4 ct. bag: $3.79

 I love health food stores, they speak my language!


organic spinach, 11 oz. box: $5.99
organic green chard, 1 bunch: $2.69

I find these prices to be very reasonable.  If you don't have a Trader Joe's store near you, take the time to shop around for a grocery store that carries reasonably priced organic foods.  Another option is to search for organic farms in your area.  Local Harvest is a great site for locating farms all over the United States.  Fresh, local, organic produce will always be best.  Less transit/delivery time means more nutrition! The Green Smoothie Girl, Robyn Openshaw, has some tips on how to decide whether or not to buy organic when on a tight budget.  Check out her YouTube video here.

In the next few posts I will list sites that carry non-perishable organic foods, introduce you to the "Dirty Dozen" of pesticide-laden produce, and feature a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm.

The holidays are upon us!    I wish you and your loved ones a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Enjoy the Journey!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Why Eat Organic?

I love roses!  I love to have them billowing and sprawling over my fence.  I love arbors cascading with Lady Banksia or Cecile Brunner with their intoxicating heady fragrance.  So I had my husband plant some for me in the yard.  There was one condition about my roses, they had to be able to survive and thrive without my attention.  If they give even one sign that they are weak or fussy, they will get ripped out.  I have no patience for a fussy rose.  So what did I do?  I bought antique roses which have withstood the test of time.  The type in this photo is called Pinkie (Antique Rose Emporium).  These roses may have grown by the side of a barn perhaps, unattended or cared for in decades.  The roses I hate?  They  are the ones that have been crossbred for long canes, color or what have you.  They need to be sprayed, pruned and fed special concoctions of rose food.  Avoid what has been tampered with!  The same goes for food.    People have been growing food organically for thousands of years.  Organic heirloom seeds cultivated in mineral rich organic soil produce the most nutritionally dense food.  Yet it seems that man has become too smart for his own good.  Profit, not good health, has become the focus of food production.  The solution? Buy organic foods!

Here are some reasons why I feel it is important to eat organic foods:

1. To avoid all the nasty pesticides and chemicals that are used on conventional produce.  If we want to prevent diseases like cancer, we must eliminate exposure to as many chemicals as possible.  The soil conventional produce is grown in, is depleted of many of the essential minerals and nutrients that are so necessary for healthy food and healthy bodies.  In my estimation, you may just be doing your body more harm by eating conventional food even if they are fruits and vegetables.  Imagine the run off of these chemicals.  They don't just go away, but get absorbed into the soil, streams, lakes, etc.  

2. To avoid genetically modified organisms or GMO's for short.  I honestly think many people do not realize how harmful these are.  Part of the reason they don't alarm more people is because we still haven't seen the long term effects of this new venture into food production.  Certain foods have been rushed passed the FDA to the grocery store, doing harm those who will eat them.  The sole purpose behind the production of GMO's is profit, not your health!  The production of GMO's is rooted in pure unadulterated evil.  Need more info?  Watch The Future of Food - very eye opening!  Another important film is Food, Inc.  Did you know that the U.S.government subsidizes conventional produce?  That is one of the reasons it is cheaper than organic produce.  Yes, good ol' Uncle Sam is in bed with GMO manufacturers.  Vote with your dollars.  See where in your budget you can trim some fat and reallocate your funds to organically grown foods.  You can only stand to gain amazing health by eating an abundance of organically grown produce.  If you care to stay up to date with GMO production news (or any news that pertains  to new laws and information regarding healthful plant based diets), click here for Natural News.

3. To support organic farmers.  I love farmers' markets and road side stands, especially if they make an effort to grow organic produce.  Organic farmers use methods that sustain the health of the soil, water and environment.  Their methods promote health, not only for the plants but for our bodies as well.  These amazing people are swimming against the tide. Their competition?  Huge corporations that have the government backing them up and whose only purpose is to make as much money as possible. I will always advise to eat vegan/vegetarian but if you still decide to eat meat, please, eat organic.  Animals that are raised organically have not been pumped with hormones and have been given nutritious feed.  They have been raised humanely without the stifling confines that are commonplace with animals that are raised in conventional farms. Conventionally raised animals are given feed that is chemically treated and possibly non-vegetarian (meaning, they may be given ground up remains of other dead animals mixed with their feed - which has been identified as a cause of Mad Cow's Disease).  They may be forced to stand in their own feces and often do not have enough room to move around freely.  Happy, healthy animals will produce better meat. People can joke about PETA all they want, but until you see the horrible suffering that is inflicted on these poor animals, you would probably think twice about mocking such organizations.  If you can handle it, watch PETA's Earthlings.  I won't watch it - too graphic for me.  I also will not provide a link to the trailer for the same reason.  Farmers who make the effort to raise food responsibly and ethically should be rewarded for their efforts.

4. To eat more flavorful food.  I eat as much organic food as I can afford.  There are times however, when the price is too hefty for me and I opt for conventional produce.  Recently, I was shopping for organic avocados and noticed that the conventional ones were considerably cheaper so I opted to buy them.  When I cut them open I noticed that they were rubbery and tasteless.  My daughter usually comes around to steal my avocados when I have them for a snack.  She tried one and said, "That's okay mom, they don't taste so good."  Next time I went back to organic.  When I cut one open I found it to be as buttery, yummy and delicious as I expected it to be.

5. To nourish our bodies and help prevent disease.  If you are fighting illness, you will be fighting an uphill battle if you are eating the wrong foods.  Junk food is teeming with GMO's, chemicals and ingredients that have been scraped off of who knows where.  If you want to be healthy down to the cellular level, you must eat organic. To fight disease, eat organic raw (or mostly raw) vegan food!  I'll say it 'til I'm blue in the face.

I found some very tasty recipes that you should try. is a great source for raw food recipes.  Sarma Melngailis, who is a chef and owner of a fantastic restaurant in Manhattan- Pure Food and Wine, was featured in this post.  I'm dying to go to this restaurant.  Cucumber Pineapple gazpacho and Freezer Fudge are recipes that I have tried and love,  So delicious!  Check them out here!

Next post I would like to discuss where I shop for organic produce to make it affordable.

Enjoy the journey!