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The cost of eating organic?

So within the last year or so, I've been eating a much healthier diet. I've gone from eating many processed, packaged foods, to eating more fruits and veggies, leaner meats, etc... I want to "pure" up my diet even more and am contemplating shopping for groceries at a natural grocer. I'm wondering if anyone else has made the switch and what kind of cost increase (or not) they've noticed. I'm a full-time student, so I'm hoping it's something I will be able to incorporate into my budget. Thanks in advance!

Mon. Jun 26, 5:01pm

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Yeah, that's the thing about organic eating that is so difficult--it definitely costs more. I am a member of a co-op but really cringe every time I shop there because it does cost more. I will say, though, the produce is tons better. A nice alternative that may be less costly is shopping at local farmer's markets. They are not necessarily all organic growers, but locally grown food that hasn't been shipped across the world usually has many of the same benefits. Basically, I've decided to do the best I can and eat healthy, whole foods as much as possible, but have decided I'm not going to put myself in debt to do that.

Monday, June 26, 2006, 5:10 PM

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Be brave and just go there! Often organic does cost more, but it's getting better as it has become so popular. I find the natural foods store is the most expensive. Trader Joe's has lots of organics that are very reasonable. Even our Cosco is carrying a lot more organic, and so are the local regular markets. The farmer's markets are an excellent way to find organics. Some cities have organic produce delivery companies, or you can do CSA, community supported agriculture, where you sign up for a season and pick up fruits and veggies like once a week.

Monday, June 26, 2006, 7:24 PM

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The organic produce at my local farmer's market is only slightly more expensive than the regular produce at the chain grocery store. The regular produce at the farmer's market is significantly cheaper.

If pesticide residues are what you're concerned about, you can pick and choose which produce to buy organic - some organic foods (apples, peaches, pears, grapes, winter squash, spinach and green beans) have a much lower toxicity index (the measure Consumers Union developed for measuring pesticide residues) than their regular counterparts, while others don't show as much of a difference. Check out this report: for more information.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006, 9:02 AM

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Same poster as above. Another good link:

They also have a wallet-sized guide that you can print out that tells you which produce has the most pesticide residue.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006, 9:05 AM

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