Well, DUH. That seems pretty easy doesn't it? But how many of us really think about that? When was the last time we all sat down and really discussed your personal/family goals for your lifestyle, for eating habits, for reducing the size of your eco-footprint. I can tell you that we never did as a family until recently.
I've had quite a few people ask about being more organic, but they really don't know where to start. One friend actually had her doctor say it was almost impossible to get rid of High Fructose Corn Syrup from your diet. WHAT?! A doctor?? That really floored me and motivated me to put together a post on getting started. It's sad that our medical community, for the most part, lacks a lot of knowledge on nutrition. If you are interested in cleaning up your eating habits and the food you feed yourself and your family, then you really need to make that moment happen. Decide to do it. It really is that easy. BigDaddy and I talked about our game plan and then we had a family meeting with the munchkins about being "healthy" and treating the earth better. But even then, we didn't talk about specifics. As Queen Bee of the house, it was my duty to really figure all of this out, come up with a plan and then execute. BigDaddy still doesn't want all the details, but he is my sounding board. And thankfully will eat just about anything. As will Sassy. BB, not so much, but he is getting better. What's really amazing is seeing the munchkins totally get into our overhaul. And honestly, it's more of a side effect. They see us, the parents, exercising and eating healthier and want to be like us. How easy is that?
I know what some of you are thinking.... Lunzy has really gone off the deep end this time. Growing a garden, buying organic, getting rid of processed foods, hanging her laundry. WHAT? But honestly, these are things I've been playing with for a while. With BigBoy I had a natural birth, used cloth diapers, and felt really good about getting more crunchy. I breastfed for a little over a year- no bottles mind you, and made a lot of my own baby food and then bought organic or at least all natural babyfood. The bottle strike was NOT my idea btw. But I went natural for him. Because at the end of the day, it wasn't about me anymore, it was about BB and his little body. I didn't want a bunch of junk in his little system. Then Sassy came along and I really thought I'd do much of the same. I was able to have a natural birth with her too, but unfortunately, she got the exhausted, married-single mom of two, instead of the totally fixated, focused mom of one. So she got some crunchiness, but not like BB.
So what do I want? I want to take it another step. Go Big or Go Home, right? Well, I'm not totally there yet and I'm a firm believer in moderation and using the 80/20 rule. And for most of us, doing something, ANYTHING is more than what we did before. So if 80% of what we eat is "good for us" than I'm pretty happy. Some total junky popsicle during summer once in a while won't be all evil. I'm going to stick with the Dirty Dozen List of produce, but not worry too much about the other stuff and produce that is peeled before you eat it. We are growing food in our own yard and will try to buy as much
I know what you are thinking again. But Lunzy, It's soooo expensive to eat organic. Yes, it is. Kinda. I'm not going to argue, it does cost more, but usually not that much more. I promise. If you are lucky enough to have a Trader Joe's or Whole Foods nearby by, it's ridiculously easy (we don't). Lots of stores now now carry their own label of organic, many times it's the same or CHEAPER, kid you not.I know Meijer and Martins have their own organic lines and Wally World has a ton of options for canned and boxed goods now. Side note: Walmart has Cascadian Farms products super cheap. I honestly thought is was some lame, cheapo label but then saw it at other stores for waaaay more. Newman's Own is also a great product line to look for.
You will find that if you are actually cutting out junk food and processed foods (which, btw is ridiculously priced for what you get--talk about expensive food!) overall you budget should be about the same. We cut out juice, cut back on processed foods and are making more meals and baked goods from scratch. Also, if you are buying pure, natural products, they usually last longer in your kitchen since you don't use as much. Plus they taste better. I buy maple syrup, not colored corn syrup for pancakes. It's more money, but I use less and it's soooo much better than Aunt Jemima. sorry Jemima, no offense.
So without further ado... cut to bright lights...
My Food Doctrine:
- Eat from our organic Victory Garden. :)
- Buy only organic dairy and organic, free range eggs. Just found a great post on organic eggs!
- Buy organic produce when listed on the Dirty Dozen. (Not worrying about other produce) Try to buy at
localfarms or farmer's markets. Also look for locallabels at the store. I'm still going to buy canned veggies. We already get the no salt added variety.
- Eat more in season, also called Slow Food eating. Learn how to can this year, possibly get a dehydrator.
- Significantly cut back on processed foods. When buying them try to buy all natural/organic and avoid Dr. Oz's yucky 5. We also don't do anything with MSG, excessive sodium, lots of nitrates, food dyes, or corn syrup. We've also decreased the amount of diet coke we drink and make sun tea or just drink more water.
- Make more meals from scratch. (Plan more batch cooking!)
- Buy organic/more natural meat and wild fish. Investigate
localgrass fed meat options like Polyface.
I'm here for you people!
Listed below are the top most and least contaminated produce items.
12 Most Contaminated
- Sweet Bell Peppers
- Grapes (Imported)
- Sweet Corn (Frozen)
- Sweet Peas (Frozen)
- Kiwi Fruit
Some other resources
www.organic.org Organic made easy. Life made better.
Environmental Working Group - this site is a wealth of information. Lots of info about home toxins, baby products, and every day chemicals