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Brenda is a fan of clean eating for its healthy and anti-inflammatory benefits, but organic and non-GMO foods are a challenge on her tight budget. She’s figured out a little trick, and now shows up regularly to the local farmer’s market… late.
It turns out that at the end of the day, most sellers are posting lower prices or willing to bargain down the price of their organic goods. The result is that Brenda always leaves with a full basket and a happier wallet.
The idea of switching to organic, non-GMO, and natural products can be intimidating at first for sure. But happily, there are some tips and tricks that can make it a little easier and more affordable!
Sourcing Organic Foods
Many people find it easier to look at this process as a journey of progressive steps as opposed to an overnight change. Keep in mind that every change you incorporate into your life is a net positive for your health!
Try starting with the dirty dozen, a list put forward each year by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) of the most pesticide-ridden produce that should be purchased organic. The list changes a little each year according to what their investigations yield.
For example, kale is on the list for the first time. With the growing interest in eating kale, and the number of recipes popping up on the internet, demand and production have surged for this leafy green. As a result, corporate farming has boosted its cultivation, and pesticide-laden kale has hit the grocery stores.
Here is the 2019 list of produce to buy organic that has been put forward by the EWG:
- hot peppers.
For any non-organic produce you buy, consider cleaning with a store-bought or homemade wash.
The simplest wash is a pure vinegar spray – simply spray and rinse thoroughly to boost the cleanliness of your produce. When time allows, soak produce in water with just a dash of vinegar in it – a quick ¼ cup to a sink full of water will do the trick.
Other clean eating options include subscribing to local produce services. These are weekly or twice-monthly services that deliver a selection of fresh produce, with the options contingent upon seasonality and location. You don’t always get to choose exactly what you will get, but for many, this becomes a fun adventure of trying new things that they would not have thought to buy in the past! There are similar options for clean meats.
Sourcing Non-Toxic Products for Your Home
To detox your home, first look to switch out all fragranced and scented products.
Opt for diffusing essential oils, using non-toxic soy candles, or simply simmering cinnamon sticks or lavender flowers in a potpourri warmer to sweeten your indoor environment. Take a tip from your grandmother and freshen carpets with plain baking soda instead of scented chemical products.
Remember that your home is a closed environment and that once toxins get in, it is hard for them to ventilate out, in fact, chances are that your indoor air is more toxic than the air outside.
When weather permits, make it a habit to open windows even for a short time to ventilate, and also consider options like air purifier units and purifying air filters.
Most commercial cleaning products are toxic as well, and their promise of killing bacteria spells serious harm to the body’s microbiome. Further, many contain BPA, a known hormonal disrupter that the body may store in the fat, liver, and brain.
Homemade natural cleaning options are easy, effective, and inexpensive, and recipes abound on the internet. Fortunately, an increasing number of non-toxic options are becoming available at the local grocery store.
Or, if you’d rather, you can order them online… here are some of our favorites for household cleaners:
The Environmental Protection Agency has created the Design for the Environment logo to let consumers know which products are safest for people and pets, and a list of products that have earned the logo can be found here.
The Environmental Working Group also has its own guide for healthy cleaning which includes helpful ratings of consumer products. It can be accessed here.
GoodGuide is an excellent resource for non-toxic personal care and cleaning products, and can be accessed online and via a convenient app! Learn more about it here.
Clean, non-toxic, organic, and non-GMO choices that you make are a sure investment in your health, home, energy level, and mental clarity. What steps can you take today for a new beginning and a healthier you?