Eating healthy for you and the planet on a budget

From years as an environmental activist I have a good idea of what you absolutely need to buy organic for you, your family and the environment. I also know what is OK to buy conventionally when the purse strings are tight. Here’s the skinny…
I buy all grass fed meats and always organic eggs. The reason for grass fed meat and organic eggs is for higher Omega 3 content as well as animal cruelty concerns. I also ask the non-certified “organic grass fed” farmers to see photos of their farm and if they have used antibiotics this year or pesticides on their fields. We are depending on farmers to be honest here, but if in doubt I throw in I am highly allergic (which no one actually is) and some of them come clean.
Produce is more complicated to explain, but a few environmental organizations have done testing and published results on the big offenders. I attached a wallet card to look at for details.
For instance, broccoli grows well without pesticides and thus has little to no residue when it gets to the grocery store. In contrast, one apple or peach will give a toddler many times the EPA limit of pesticides.  We simply don’t buy things that are very expensive organically and contain high pesticides when grown conventionally (e.g. organic grapes are a treat).
Better yet, get it (nearly) free! Many apple trees go unpicked and gardens sit fallow. Grow your own (start a compost because dirt is the expensive part) and pick other people’s fruit for nearly free organic food. You can also volunteer on organic farms (Google WWOOFing) and share the burden of growing tonnes of different food by starting a garden collective where a bunch of friends grow a lot of one thing and trade.
Also, NEVER buy “Organic” farmed salmon which is BS, or any farmed salmon at all. Pink and chum salmon is very sustainable and cheap with much cleaner Omega 3s.

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