11 hours ago
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Organic or Bust...Your Budget That Is
I want to be able to provide honestly good and healthy meals for my family. It is a quest I am on. I know a lot more than I used to. For better...or for worse, I am a LOT more educated than I used to be about what is actually good for us and what "they" want us to believe is good for us. But, the problem with having this new knowledge is that now you can't continue to do things the way you were doing them before. That "box of stuff" that used to be a major staple in your pantry--that you used to plop down in front of your family without any trepidation whatsoever--you now know is not fit to be fed to the poor dog.
So, if your are like me, you start to learn how to cook more meals from scratch. You learn how to make your own bread. You buy more fruits and vegetables...and you learn new ways of baiting your child into eating some of them. You start to feel good about yourself. Confident even. It's kind of a primal thing to be able to feed your family from the work of your own hands. I am WOMAN. Hear ME roar...kind of feeling.
Isn't there always an "and then"?
You keep reading, keep educating yourself and one day you find out that all those fruits and veggies in the supermarket might not be as healthy as you thought they were. All those pesticides and poisons--not to mention that the blimey soil the stuff was grown in probably had no nutrients to pass along in the first place due to being so depleted of life by our wonderful corporate farming techniques. You find out that the flour and sugar you have been baking with has been bleached and processed beyond recognition and the vegetable oil in the cupboard is actually some sort of evil homogenated substance that no one should be consuming--let alone the people you love.
Then you learn the word "Organic" and you are instantly transfixed and enthralled. You find your way to a new or at least new to you store that sells only organic or naturally grown food. You feel like a kid in a candy store. And then...
There it is again.
And then, you turn that bag of organically and locally grown spelt flour over and spy the price tag. The needle scrapes the record, the music stops, you feel a trickle of cold sweat drip down your back. Holy SHIT!! Two pounds of flour is gonna cost you $15 bucks!!!???? Two pounds is not a whole hell of a lot of flour folks. Just in case you were wondering.
That budget you have been trying to stay within just popped like an over-inflated balloon and flew out the window. If you were having trouble feeding your family before "this health kick" (as some people might call it) how the hell are you going to make ends meet now?
Now, I do want to say that I really do believe that locally grown, organic food is more precious than gold. It is worth every penny that is asked for it (well, unless you are shopping at some yuppie gimmicky store that takes pride in gouging it's customers--I choose not to shop at these types of establishments, thank you very much!) I know that these small family farmers work hard to produce food of the highest quality and I also know that it is extremely expensive in order to be certified "organic". I am not saying that their food and products are not worth the price--I am only lamenting the fact that I am not independently wealthy enough to be able to afford to buy all of them.
It can be rough. I ain't gonna lie. You definitely have to set priorities. Do I buy all organic and locally grown food these days? Honestly, no. I do what I can. I try to support the local organic store as much as I am able. My son loves bacon so I have made organic bacon one of my priorities. I cook more organic brown rice instead of white flour pastas. I buy organic whole wheat flour--but not necessarily the local grown stuff. I make daily decisions a little bit at a time to change the way my family eats. It's not an all in thing. But, it gets closer and closer. Is it frustrating sometimes? Oh ya. As Calamity Jane says over at her wonderful blog, Apron Strings, buying organic ice cream is not really what it's all about.
Any thoughts...please share.