Here’s the lowdown: uy pesticide-free produce and natural meats, eat as close as possible to how these foods were created. Eat only real, unprocessed food, switch from boxed foods to whole. Start gradually. Cook from scratch, it will take more time…and cost more.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally behind this concept but I have to admit I find it hard to exercise in real life. It’s not a money thing – although we certainly have to be conscious of how much we spend at HEB – but it’s a time thing. It’s hard to cook from scratch every night – even though I know it’s the best thing. Even worse, our 4 year old has no taste for home cooked food, he primarily eats boxed crap. I know, I know, awful….right? I swear I’m just trying to get calories into my little flac-ito. He’s like 5% in weight – it’s a constant struggle. Anyway,
Here is how Simple Bites instructs us to eat whole foods on a budget:
- Eat less meat
- Emphasize grains and legumes
- Buy in bulk
- Avoid the “dirty dozen” – produce with highest conentrations of pesticides – and buy those organic (peaches, apples, bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, pears, grapes, spinach, lettuce, potatoes)
- Clean non-organic well with pesticide washes (equal parts vinegar and water or use a veggie wash)
- Buy locally and invest in a CSA coop. For Austinites, here is a great site with a listing of local community supported agriculture programs: http://www.edibleaustin.com/content/csas-resources-108
- Eat seasonally. Here is an excellent site listing all seasonal charts by state: http://www.fieldtoplate.com/guide.php ForTexans: http://www.pickyourown.org/TXharvestdates.htm
- Grow your own – this isn’t happening for us, we can’t even make the grass grow at Casa Lopez
- Preserve it when it’s cheap – canning, drying and freezing fresh produce. This seems like a rather large undertaking, and might be tackled last after the preceeding items on this list have been achieved.
- Forgo processed food – duplicate your favorites in the kitchen from whole ingredients so you can control what goes into your meals.
Baby steps. We’re trying.