So last time I went to Costco I got so excited. There was so much fruit there! Crates of peaches and nectarines and boxes of oranges, tangelos, cherries YOU NAME IT! I grabbed a cart full of stuff and I was looking at the nectarines. In small letters on the side it said that they have been treated with some sort of unpronounceable something to conserve freshness. My gut feeling was to put it back so I did. I got a box of oranges, some avocados, mangos I think and some cherries. Then when I got back home I read on the box for the oranges that they too have been treated with a bunch of hard to pronounce things and now I'm just bummed! I love my daily orange juice and was so stoked to have found somewhere to buy in bulk. Now I'm not sure what to do. One organic mango costs close to 2 dollars! I bought 8 peaches yesterday that were all organic (and absolutely divine!) and I think they cost me like 7 dollars or something which I guess isnt so bad but thats like one meal only. I'm thinking continuing to eat fruit that has been sprayed in such large quantities cannot be good so I have to start buying organic but I'm sort of not doing amazing with the money right now. Any tips? I am set on the bananas which I get from whole foods and they are organic and only cost like 21 dollars which is awesome but I'm not a big banana fan lately. Does anyone know if Whole Foods offers cases of other fruit? The boxes of bananas are right underneath where the bananas are displayed but I dont think I've seen boxes of other fruit and figure it might be really expensive to get that. What do you do when youre on a budget?
Focus on whole, fresh, & ripe if you can't find organic.
I buy from Sam's Club (so, basically the same thing). Some of the things I get, like the baby spinach, are certified organic, others are simply non-GMO or fair-trade, and others are plain old conventional. I know some people to whom eating organic is most important, and will choose cooked organic vegan food over conventional raw produce. I'm not that way. I much, much prefer to eat raw without worrying too much about organics. If I can get them for a reasonable price, then great. But if you're on a budget, I don't think it's that big of a deal.
If I were you, I'd pick a couple things to buy organic (like grapes, say, or greens) that are usually sprayed to high heaven or aren't that much different in price, but overall to just buy what you can afford.
awesome advice Sydney! I never know whether I should buy non organic. There are some things like melons and bananas that feel like they can be non organic because of the thick peel but I still prefer the feel of organic. I dont know if its just in my head but I like the taste a lot more of organics. I definitely always chose organic greens!
that is awesome! Thanks for sharing :)
No problem! :)
I like this one: http://www.whatsonmyfood.org/
You can look up any food and find out exactly what's on it.
I think PAN who put that site together is one of the most important non-profits around:
Pesticide Action Network North America (PAN North America, or PANNA) works to replace the use of hazardous pesticides with ecologically sound and socially just alternatives. As one of five PAN Regional Centers worldwide, we link local and international consumer, labor, health, environment and agriculture groups into an international citizens’ action network. This network challenges the global proliferation of pesticides, defends basic rights to health and environmental quality, and works to ensure the transition to a just and viable society. http://www.panna.org/about
very cool! What an amazing resource. Thanks for sharing :)
Yes you can buy any fruit at Whole Foods by the case if they have enough of it around. And they give you a discount for buying a lot. Like eight personal watermelons was considered a case for me. And they gave me a percentage off. I get bummed about the same things. One good thing about Cosco is that they do carry some organic greens, so grab those. I also don't like when the fruits have been treated with weird ish to stay good. I have been eating more bananas (organic) and buying watermelons (conventional). Then with whatever I have left in the budget I get some nice organic fruit. However, not as much as I want! LOL.
Should I just ask them if they have boxes or cases ready to buy in the back or should I just pick out a whole bunch and they just calculate it at checkout? I usually get my greens from the health food store and dont seem to pay too much for those. Whole Foods has great boxes of salad greens and baby spinach that I just loooove! Its usually only 5 bucks a big box of them. I want to just be able to get as much fruit as possible too! And all organic :)
First I'd recommend farmers markets, naturally (no pesticides) locally grown is first on my list, then organic. I never buy conventional but it's better than not eating fruit/veggies, just focus on getting the dirty dozen produce organic, the rest can be conventional if you can't find or afford.
And when you go to markets, try going at the end of the market when farmers don't want to take home what's left, often they are willing to make a deal on bulk purchases at the end of the day. You can also get deals on ripe produce, one farmer I visit sells 25-30 lbs of ripe tomatoes for 15. Keep them in the fridge and they last for a few weeks. That's about 0.50 cents a lb for pesticide free delicious tomatoes.
Any farms in your area? Often if you get to know the farmer, know they grow without pesticides, and want to save money, ask if you can pick your own produce and often you can get it for peanuts since much of the cost for farmers is the labor to pick. Any co-ops or CSA's in your area? Check those out for reasonable naturally grown produce.
Depending on where you live, you may be able to find a produce distributor in your area that sells to the public. We're lucky to have one here in the Phoenix area, check around in your area, they can save you a lot of money on organics.
And as mentioned already, Whole Foods does give you 10% off any case purchase. This is often still the case when things are on sale. They had an organic blueberry sale recently and got 1 lb pints for 1.90 each, plus 10% off the case of 12! Even better than wholesale at this price, but was only a one day sale, so you have to keep a lookout for them. Checkout their facebook page (each store has their own) where they list all their sales in advance.
You can do it on a budget, just have to work at it a little :)
Noticed you live in the Richmond VA area? Try http://www.amysorganicgarden.com/ and here's a list of co-ops and farmers markets (looks like a lot!) http://richmondgoodlife.com/richmond_farmer_markets.htm and here are more http://www.americantowns.com/va/richmond-local-food
Wow Mark what amazing tips! And thanks for finding out about farmers markets in my area. I already go to one and have a crop share but its kind of a joke. We get one grocery bag of veggies a week and that is it! When you get a case of fruit from whole foods do you just grab a whole bunch of them or do you ask someone that works there if they already have cases of them? The banana's are already in a huge box but Ihavent seen any of the other fruits in cases, just some on display.