Monday, March 28, 2011

Zucchini Boats

Shopping For Organics

Organic food is, virtually more expensive than nonorganic food, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be, especially if you’re on a budget and in college like myself. Knowing where to shop is one of the first obstacles to shopping for organics and most college students can’t afford farmers markets or Whole Foods every other week.  Instead, your likely to find them shopping at HEB or another conventional chain grocery such as Wal- Mart because of the cheaper prices. Well the good news is that you can still shop healthy and organic at a chain store, you just need to know where to look.
The first thing you need to be aware of is the different organic labels that appear on different products in the store. There are three different labels for organic products. The first and most common form of organic label is the USDA certified organic seal, which means that it is made of 95-100% organic materials, such as Horizon milk. The second sign you need to be aware of is the “made with organic” label on the front, this means the product contains between “70% and 95% organic ingredients, a Luna bar is a good example of this. Then there are the products that are “less than 70% organic” which sometimes is only cited on the back of the label so you need to be a bit more wary when buying these products since their tends to be a small percentage of organic ingredients in the product. Cliff Bars are a good example of this since the label indicates that they are made with less than 70% organic materials.  Another way of finding organic products is to look for green tags where the prices are shown on each shelve, the organic products are usually marked with green prices tags, but this is not the same in every grocery store.
When shopping for organic products you should be on the look out for sections or isles that are strictly designated for organic products. This is where you need to be careful, because these are the items that can put a dent in your wallet.  The most important rule when shopping for organic materials is to make a list of the things you would strictly eat organic and buy those designated products and then the rest of your grocery list can be used to spend on non-organic products.   A quick tip for anyone that is just starting to shop for organic products would be to start buying organics in sections. One of the best items to buy organic would be a dairy product such as milk or eggs.  Another reason I tell people to start with dairy is because these products are relatively cheap in comparison to other organic products and now that more and more conventional supermarkets are starting to carry organic products, the prices are starting to go down across the board.
I hope some of these tips can be helpful in someway the next time your at the grocery store. Happy shopping.