5 Easy Steps to Start Cooking Organic

It is easy to get discouraged if you are seeking organic product options in stores like Whole Foods, where one creative meal may wipe out your entire weekly budget. Here are a few simple steps you can take to start cooking organic without taking a ding to your wallet.

Check out your local farmers market or growers co-op. You will often find amazing organic vegetables and fruits at very affordable prices.

Most food stores are stocking more and more organic products at affordable prices. Start with lettuce such as Romaine for a Caesar salad, or Arugula if you prefer a peppery taste. Add shaved organic carrots and radish or cucumber and top with an organic salad dressing.

Ask your local farm if they can refer you to a local free range chicken farm for chicken and eggs. They can also refer you to the best place for organic beef. Don’t need half a cow? Check with family members or friends who might want to pitch in and share.

Pick & Choose. Start purchasing organic items for those foods that typically have very high pesticide residue if purchased in non-organic form. The list includes: apples, peaches, nectarines, strawberries and grapes, as well as, celery, spinach, sweet bell peppers, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes.

Read those labels. Only items marked 100% Organic are truly an organic product. Even if you don’t purchase all organic foods, you can avoid the following ingredients: MSG (monosodium glutamate), hydrogenated oil & partially hydrogenated oil (trans fat), high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, food dyes (blues, reds, yellows).

Organic foods are grown without chemicals or pesticides, and are preservative-free, so they may spoil faster than products containing preservatives.

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