This past week was my first week grocery shopping organically. I knew going into this it was going to be a slow process and I wasn't going to be able to switch everything all at once. I would love to get to the point that we are buying 75% organic and most of my food is from scratch. This is a TALL order for someone who this time last year considered her part of cooking was dialing the phone, pouring the bowl of cereal for the kids and popping the frozen pizza in the oven.
So where to begin......I had no idea really. I started doing research. Have you ever heard of Sara Snow? She grew up "first generation organic" and now has a t.v. show. I saw her on Jon and Kate Plus 8 and googled her. She has great information and suggestions on starting out on the road to organic.
The first thing Chris and I did was make a list of the top 10 foods we use. Sara suggests this because these food will have the great impact on us. Our list included
I knew some of these things were going to have to wait like the chicken. I still had 2 weeks worth of chicken in the freezer left. Rice and Pasta are going to take a mixed approach. I will eventually buy them and then mix 75% white rice to 25% organic and build to 100% from there. This week I went with the salsa, spaghetti sauce, chicken broth, cereal for the kids and a box for Chris, turkey deli meat (I don't think this was organic, but it was hormone and antibiotic free)
Next, Sara recommends switching over animal products. Organic is best, with hormone free---antibiotic free being the substitute. With this in mind, I bought organic milk, organic eggs (can't use them yet---this has a story), organic butter, and hormone free mozzarella cheese.
On to Fruits and Veggies. Some F&V are considered "Cleaner" than others, meaning they have a lower pesticide or chemical residue. Sara recommends starting with the "Dirty Dozen" of F&V to switch over. Let me just tell you....not an easy task in January.
The Dirty Dozen include:
Sweet Bell Peppers
The "Clean" F&V include
Frozen Sweet Corn
Frozen Sweet Pea
Now I can tell you.....7 of the things on the clean list we usually don't eat and on the dirty list we eat 10. Talk about being off balance!!! I was having a hard time finding most of the "dirty" F&V. This week I did buy organic apples, salad mixture, carrots, zucchini, applesauce, and red peppers.
As far as cost, I found that since I was making such an effort to buy organic, it didn't make much sense to then fill up on prepackaged junk food. So I ended up actually spending less on groceries.
I have been trying to eat more F&V this week. But in spirit of full disclosure...my body wanted High Fructose Corn Syrup!!!! I have splurged and had an ice cream sundae one day and a dessert from The 99 Restaurant another----and boy did they taste good : )
Like I said....it's a slow process. We are moving in the right direction. Take last night as example, I made chicken fajitas and we had it on Whole Wheat wraps....this is a BIG deal for me. You notice I said me? That's because the kids have been eating whole wheat bread for years.
So I am up for suggestions. Is there anything you recommend we try or do?