Over the last few years, more and more people have realised that organic foods provide a variety of benefits: Organic farming is better for the environment; organically raised animals are not given antibiotics and organic produce contains fewer pesticides/ chemicals – General studies of people with high exposures to pesticides have found high rates of certain types of cancers.
However critics claim that organic food is more expensive. Up to a few years ago, I would have agreed with them but here are my tips for cheap organic foods:
1) Visit your local farmers’ market
Local & seasonal organic foods are far more affordable at local farmers’ market than in a supermarket. The diversity of vegetables sold in farmers’ market is also higher and you will probably discover tasty forgotten veggies…
In brief, organic foods are not more expensive than conventional foods but organic foods sold by supermarkets are more expensive than conventional foods.
2) Eat more whole foods and less processed foods
Whole foods are foods that are eaten as close to their natural form as possible i.e. with minimal processing. As whole-foods are more nutritious you won’t feel as hungry and you won’t eat as much.
Whole-foods can be cooked without being “processed.” Convenience organic foods are often more expensive than traditional convenience food but cooking organic is easy. You can usually get some fantastic recipes from your organic stores and organisations such as TheorganicCentre.ie run very good classes – I did the raw food class last year and learnt so much*.
*I would also recommend “Cuisiner bio et pas cher” from Valerie Vidal to every French speaker reading that blog.
3) Grow your own vegetables
Ok, you can’t produce everything but why not give growing radish (the perfect starting point for a young gardener) a try? You do not need lots of space – see my balcony garden 😉 and you will soon realise that gardening can be fun and… extremely relaxing.
Here are some pictures from the recent Biocoop campaign titled “Notre bio n’a rien a cacher” (Our organic products have nothing to hide).
Biocoop is a chain of French co-ops and I just like their “naked vegetables” that have nothing to hide… 😉