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Seven Easy Ways to Eat Organic and Save

Last year Organic Week asked two Canadian nutritionists for some simple yet effective tips to eating organic on a budget:

1. Meal Plan

Before you shop, meal plan. “The average houshold wastes 14 per cent of their food because they don’t use it before it goes bad, especially produce,” says Julie Daniluk, holistic nutritionist and host of Healthy Gourmet on the Oprah Winfrey Network

2. Look for Specials

“There are often specials that can be downloaded from a store’s website before you go,” says Sarah Dobec, certified holistic nutritionist and in-store nutritionist at The Big Carrot Natural Food Market in Toronto. “It makes sense to stock up on non-perishable goods.”

3. Buy in bulk

Buying in bulk or by the case can also result in discount prices. “You just have to know ahead of time that you are going to use it,” adds Ms. Dobec.

4. Cook

“This is the season to buy organic,” says Ms. Daniluk. “Every August, I buy a big bushel of basil and make pesto. you have to be willing to roll up your sleeves and cook.” She advises organic shoppers to avoid the more expensive convenience and frozen organic foods.

5. Buy in season

Ms. Dobec says eating in season, the way our ancestors did, has an inherent wisdom. “In the winter, we eat warm starchy foods like sweet potato; in the spring, we get to cleanse with fresh greens; and in the summer, we eat foods like fruit that are high in sugar and water.”

6. Go meatless

“Cheese and meat are the most expensive things on the menu, and cooking with beans and lentils is a perfect option,” says Ms. Daniluk.

7. Prioritize your produce

Certain produce items tend to be highly contaminated with pesticides (buy these organic), while others tend to be lower in residue (buy these organic in season and conventional off season).

Both nutritionists say the Environmental Working Group analyzed pesticide residue levels in conventionally grown produce and concluded that consumers could reduce pesticide exposure by almost 90 per cent by avoiding the most contaminated foods and eating the least contaminated foods.

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