Below is a cute little fellow that I found in our kitchen, no tail of course the cat, a couple of days ago when we got home from a day of shopping. These little lizards are everywhere right now. So cute!
I know people are always saying how organic is more money but there are costs from not buying organic or pesticide free. The cost is your health. Eating pesticides is not good for you. Are you going to spray chemicals on your fruit and eat it or let your kids eat it? No. Then what's the difference if someone else has for you? They have done many studies to show that pesticides can't just be washed off and goes deeper into the food. There is a list you have probably seen regarding the the dirty dozen(most sprayed foods) and the clean 15(least sprayed with pesticides. If you can't buy all of your food organic at least buy those that are on the list below. (you'll notice that alot of the conventional ones on the list that are safe to eat have skins that we peel off before we eat anyways.)
Buy Organic: Peaches, apples, bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, blueberries, cherries, pears, grapes(imported), spinach/kale/collard greens, lettuce, potatoes.
Okay to buy conventional: onions, avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, mango, sweet peas, asparagus, kiwi, cabbage, eggplant, canteloupe, watermelon, grapefruit, sweet potatoes and sweet onions.
Why does organic cost more money in the first place? Here is a great paragraph I found athttp://ofrf.org/resources/organicfaqs.html describes it in detail for you.
"The cost of organic food is higher than that of conventional food because the organic price tag more closely reflects the true cost of growing the food: substituting labor and intensive management for chemicals, the health and environmental costs of which are borne by society. These costs include cleanup of polluted water and remediation of pesticide contamination. Prices for organic foods include costs of growing, harvesting, transportation and storage. In the case of processed foods, processing and packaging costs are also included. Organically produced foods must meet stricter regulations governing all these steps than conventional foods. The intensive management and labor used in organic production are frequently (though not always) more expensive than the chemicals routinely used on conventional farms. There is mounting evidence that if all the indirect costs of conventional food production were factored into the price of food, organic foods would cost the same, or, more likely, be cheaper than conventional food. Cost, however, is very dependent upon market venue and consumer product choice. It is possible to consume a moderately priced diet of organic foods by purchasing directly from farmers at venues such as farmers markets, and by choosing unprocessed organically grown foods at the grocery store."
Ways to buy organic/pesticide at a less costly price to you.
1)One way to cut costs on your fruit and vegetables is to eat in season. You will notice that they are always less money in season. Have you tried buying bell peppers these past months? They are quite expensive and most are from Mexico. They are not in season but will be very soon. Then you'll see the prices drop.ket.
2)Check out your local farm/Farmers Market. There is no middle man when you buy your fruits and veggies this way. It's from the farm to you! Some farms you can pick your own, which is even less money. Also go to the Farmers Market when they are about to close. They will make some great deals with you because they would rather not have to take as much back with them. These tomatoes below I buy at our Farmers Market.
These girls sell tomatoes and basil. At the end of their stand is a $1 bin , for soft tomatoes,that they keep adding to it during the market. I actually don't find very many soft tomatoes, but I don't tell them that. lol! The softer ones I use for my pasta sauce. This bunch was only $2! A great way to use tomatoes is to make lovely tomato bruschetta, which I did and the recipe is at end of blog.
So if you want to buy local and eat pesticide free produce you can find the deals. Also like the paragraph above said. The more we buy organic the more the prices will come down. Let's support our local farms!!!!!!
We also found a Strawberry/Rhubarb Pie(no dairy) at our Farmers Market.
Down the street from us is Buttonwood Winery,their whites and pinks are vegan, during the summer they sale peaches. These are some of the best peaches and they don't use pesticides. Did you know that there are different varieties of peaches? Not just white and yellow I mean varieties like apples? I just found that out this year too. Oh, can you smell them? Yum.
If you bring back the box that the peaches are in you will get 50cents off your next purchase. My last purchase was for my in-laws and us and the cute little older man that works there gave me the mom discount. I think he likes me. hee hee. Hey whatever works right?
Regarding some healthy kids snacks. I usually have some cut up veggies and fruit sitting out on the kitchen counter for Keaton to grab. Perks of summer, an abundance of fruit and cucumbers! (We love cucumbers). When his friends are over I'll put out a spread like this so they have a variety. Sometimes I'll put out a hummus dip or something as well. It's amazing how much growing boys can eat! I find if you have good food out like this they will eat it. If you let them into the pantry they will find that bag of chips or crackers, we rarely have chips, and they will eat that.
Tomato bruschetta is so easy to make and cheap. The only thing I had to buy was the baguette. If I had yeast on hand I would've made my own and it would have been even cheaper to make. An appetizer like this at an Italian restaurant for 6 pieces try $8. We got about 10 pieces costing about $2.20. We still have left over baguette.
You can adjust according to taste and how many people you are going to serve this to.
1 lb. fresh tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1T. Olive oil
5 basil leaves, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 baguette or less
1 garlic clove
Finely chop tomatoes and put in a small bowl. Add the garlic, basil and olive oil. Add Salt to taste and a bit of fresh ground pepper. Let sit so flavors can develop.
When ready to use. Heat oven to 400 or broil on low.
Slice bagutte into 1/2 inch or less, diagonal slices. Brush one side with olive oil and place the oiled slices down on baking sheet. Put into oven until a light golden color. If you are broiling pay attention because they can burn quickly! Once you take out of oven, rub a garlic clove over the oiled side of the baguette slice and top with tomato mixture. Enjoy!
Have a great weekend!