Hey, it’s Coach Josh, and as I write this newsletter, I’m doing a little late-night snacking on a batch of organic cucumbers (marinated in vinegar, yummmmm) from my local farmer’s market.
Now, you’ve probably heard that there are benefits to eating organic, but if you’re like most people, you may still be a tad confused about the whole “organic” thing (as is proved by all the organic-related emails that regularly come through my inbox).
Perhaps you’ve wondered, what exactly makes something “organic” and why is it better than the regular stuff? Or maybe, what makes organic produce so darned expensive, and is there any way to enjoy it without burning a hole in my wallet?
Coach Josh to the rescue.
We’ll start with some boring (yet helpful) definitions.
For a food to be certified organic, it must meet certain USDA criteria. For vegetables and fruits, this means that the produce must be grown without using most conventional pesticides, fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge, bioengineering, or ionizing radiation.
There is other criteria when talking about meat, but for today, we’ll stick with produce.
The benefits of eating organic, particularly produce, are that produce grown under organic standards have been shown to be more nutritive, possessing greater phytochemical, vitamin, and mineral content.
In other words, you get a lot more of the good stuff and a lot less of the potentially harmful stuff—pretty much a great trade-off any way you look at it.
As far as cost is concerned, if you’re buying organic produce at a typical supermarket, then yes, you will generally pay considerably more than the conventional versions of these same fruits and veggies.
That said, a simple solution is to shop elsewhere for your organic needs. A great solution that I use myself is to buy a “share” of the season’s harvest at a local farm, known as CSA (community supported agriculture). Basically, I’ve got all the organic produce I could dream of, from June through Thanksgiving, for a very reasonable price.
You can get a list of local CSA farms near you by visiting localharvest.org
Another alternative to joining a local CSA is simply stopping by your local farmer’s market. Health food stores are a third option, but I’d recommend checking out circulars and going for what’s on sale when shopping at these outlets.
Organic produce that is fresh and in-season can be just as affordable, if not more so, than the regular stuff at the grocery store.
Buying in bulk can further decrease costs. As we all know, that 5-gallon tub of mayonnaise is always a steal compared to the cost of the equivalent 20 individual jars.
Remember, produce will always be cheaper in-season, so stock up at the right time and then freeze the rest (frozen produce can easily last months once purchased and will still taste great; simply thaw and enjoy). This gives you the double-whammy savings of buying in-season and in larger quantities. The end result—fat-burning, healthy food at a massive discount!
Now, before I go, it’s important to know that some “healthy” foods can be really bad news. You see, while we’ve been led to believe that fish is one of the healthiest food choices around, what you probably didn’t know is that there are 4 specific types of fish—all very common—that you should literally NEVER eat due to incredibly high levels of contamination that can and WILL hammer the delicate cells of your body with toxic inflammation…
In the end, this toxic inflammation build-up contributes to achy joints, premature aging of the skin (and less visible organs like the heart, kidneys, and liver), difficulty shedding excess weight, cognitive decline, forgetfulness, feeling blue and moody, and so much more…
Take it from our colleague and top medical doctor, Dr. Phil Spiess; avoid these 4 types of fish like the plague: