What should I buy organic if I’m on a limited budget?
As a kitchen coach, I probably get asked that question more than any others. If I’m in an expansive mood, my answer can quickly veer into eye-glazing territory. I’m pretty passionate about organic food and tend to get long-winded when discussing things like the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15, the reasons why we want to avoid GMOs, the potential health risks of chemical pesticides, and, finally, how to clarify priorities since organic can be expensive.
But if I’m ever pressed to pick one single food to buy organic, the answer is quick and easy: apples.
Want a healthy snack that will fill you up without filling you out? Try plain, non-fat (or low-fat) Greek yogurt! It’s super-packed with calcium and live bacterial cultures and it’s low in calories, making it a smart snack choice.
I have a confession to make: For years now I’ve treated myself to wholesome, organic foods while buying my pets conventional pet food. Not off-brand mystery kibble or cat chow, mind you, but still. I blamed the cat; he’s a notoriously picky eater, and the one time I offered him a sample of “the good stuff” he turned his nose up at it and staged a hunger strike until I switched back to his standard 50-cents-a-can fare. I admit, I was secretly happy that he seemed to prefer the cheap stuff.
On many a Saturday night, if we get a particularly good choice from Netflix in our mailbox, and we don’t feel like dealing with the unpredictable adventures of dining out with a 9-month-old, we’ll opt instead to cook at home. But to make it a little more special than the typical weeknight meal, I’ll treat myself to grocery shopping at Whole Foods.
When I got married, I somehow assumed that some dormant gene would kick in, enabling me to stock my kitchen with everything needed to get wholesome dinners on the table, with one weekly trip to the supermarket. I thought that coupon-clipping and food budgeting would suddenly become second nature. And just like in my childhood, we’d eat around the dinner table as a family—not huddled over take-out containers on the couch, reruns of Scrubs playing on the TV.