There are countless reasons to eat organic food. It is the best choice for your health and the health of the environment. So why doesn't everyone go organic? There is a higher cost associated with organic food. It costs more to produce food naturally and that cost is passed on to the consumer. There are, however, some things that you can do to make the switch to organic less costly.
There are four basic things you can do to go organic for less money: grow what you can, spend your food dollars wisely, make most of your food from scratch and don't waste anything. Each article in this series will address one specific change you can make in each of the four areas.
Grow Your Own
Did you know organic potatoes are incredibly easy to grow? You just put an old potato into dirt and it will do the rest. I like to grow mine in containers; it makes harvest much easier. You'll want a potato that is past its prime and starting to sprout. This must be an organic potato; conventional ones have been sprayed with a chemical to stop natural growth and prolong shelf life.
Take the sprouting potato and put it under 6 inches of dirt. This can be in the ground, a planting pot, a bucket or even a heavy-duty sack. The potato can be grown in shade or sun, although a sunny location will give you quicker results. Once the potato shoots reach above ground, you can either just let the plant progress naturally or top it with another 6 inches of dirt. You can continue topping it as many times as you have room for. This allows more potatoes to grow in the new dirt. In 6 weeks, you will have small potatoes that are ready to use. You can leave them in the dirt longer for larger potatoes.
This method will work for regular white potatoes, red potatoes, yellow potatoes or purple potatoes. It won't work for sweet potatoes because they aren't actually a potato, rather a plant more closely related to Morning Glories.
Spend Your Food Dollars Wisely
Don't go for pre-made processed salads even if they are organic. A great example is potato salad; it is easy to make and the store-bought counterpart is usually loaded with excess sodium, fat and preservatives.
A basic potato salad is made by tossing cooked potato cubes and chopped hardboiled eggs with mayonnaise and mustard. You can personalize your salad in thousands of different ways. Add different chopped veggies and herbs; play around with the recipe until you find your favorite.
Make Your Food From Scratch
Organic mayonnaise is pretty pricey, it can cost more than $10 per jar. It is also very easy to make, if you own a food processor.
Put 3 egg yolks and 1 teaspoon of dry mustard into your food processor fitted with a multipurpose blade. Process until well blended, then slowly drizzle 1 cup of the oil of your choice through the feed chute with the food processor running. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and salt to taste, then process until combined.
Don't Waste Anything
I don't normally peel potatoes before eating them; the skins are loaded with fiber and nutrients. On those rare occasions that I do peel them, I never throw away the skins. The starches they contain make an excellent natural thickener. I boil the skins for an hour in a pre-made stock, then strain. The thickened stock can be used for soups, sauces or gravy.
I hope I have inspired you to look at affordable ways to go organic in your everyday life. Thanks for reading, see you in Part 2!
Heather Krasovec, creator of http://food-processor-reviews.net/ uses her extensive experience in food based industries to help consumers make the best choices when stocking their kitchens.
Photo Credit: Pioneerthinking.com
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