With all the food information out there about how eating organic is more important than ever, balancing what’s convenient and what’s organic can be hard. Here are a few simple rules that can help you keep your sanity and eat healthy organic food:
1. Get a food shopping buddy. Going food shopping with a family member or a friend can help you make the most of your time in the store. You can get through your list quicker by dividing up the items, while spending some time with that family member or friend.
2. Know what is a must-buy organic and what you can do without. You’re standing in the cereal or milk aisle looking at the organic versus the conventional products and you’re torn which one to buy because the organic version is so much more expensive, sometimes double the price. In general, buy organic for meats and for any produce that you will most likely eat the skin (i.e., peppers, apples, lettuce). Learn which stores have the best prices for organic items.
3. Just because you’re eating organic doesn’t mean it’s good for you. This is a common mistake even health-conscious consumers make. Just because that cheese or that brownie is organic, it may not be healthy. Carbohydrate and fat content must be considered. Especially if you are watching your weight, it makes no difference if you’re eating a greasy meal or an organic greasy meal. Both will affect your weight and health.
4. Know what “organic” really means. Now more than ever, grocers are advertising organic foods to consumers. Some grocers have become sneaky in their advertising and their food labels. According to USDA regulations, a product called “100 percent organic” must contain all organic ingredients. If the label just says “organic,” a processed food product can have up to 5 percent non-organic ingredients by weight — if those ingredients are on the USDA’s “national list” of approved non-organic ingredients. Keep this in mind when you’re shopping and if you want organic foods, buy 100 percent organic-labeled food items.
5. Be honest with yourself. It’s unrealistic for most working women on the go. Set goals for yourself. For example, try to bring your lunch from home, ensuring that lunches Monday through Friday are organically prepared. Don’t stress yourself out if you opt for dinner from the local pizzeria once in a while and know it isn’t organic. We can’t all eat organic all the time.