Pesticide and hormone-free products often have a premium price tag, meaning that organic food can seem like a luxury for anyone on a tight budget. But there are ways to buy good food without draining your bank account.
Craig Minowa, environmental scientist with the Organic Consumers Association, offers these tips:
* Learn to buy big -- Many health-food stores have bulk sections, and if you fill a bag with organic cereal, you may end up paying less for it than you would for the nonorganic variety
* Form a buying club -- If a bunch of people pool their grocery lists, they can often special-order directly with the store
Sarah Bratnober, communications director at the Organic Valley Family of Farms, advises:
* Follow the 80/20 rule -- 80 percent of the benefits come from 20 percent of the purchases; think about what your family eats the most of, and make sure that those products are organic
Barbara Houmann, spokeswoman for the Organic Trade Association, says:
* Buy fruits and vegetables in season -- you’ll save money by focusing on what's easily available
If you do manage to get more organic into your diet, you won't regret it. Organic produce isn't just healthy and better for the environment, it tastes better, too.
* Newsweek June 14, 2007