Earlier this week we discussed which fruits and vegetables matter most when it comes to spending money on organic. Today, we’ll continue by discussing other areas where spending money on organic foods matters and how to prioritize to make the best choices based on your family’s financial abilities and needs.
Eggs are one of the BEST foods on God’s green earth in terms of nutritional value. They are nutrient dense, contain healthy and necessary fats, and are packed with protein. In other words, they’re a major bang for your buck! Your best option is eggs from local, pastured, humanely and organically raised chickens. This is another time when it’s imperative that you KNOW YOUR FARMER. Just because your local farm hasn’t been certified organic doesn’t mean your eggs aren’t being raised that way. Even if they aren’t certified, pastured eggs are still better than store-bought organic eggs because they are more nutrient dense. That’s because their mommas are exposed to sunshine, eat real, whole food, and have a chance to get the exercise they need. Happy, healthy chickens = good eggs! Since local, pastured eggs are such a super food this is one of the best places to spend for quality. If you can’t afford to use pastured eggs for all your cooking needs consider using them in their natural form (sunny side up, hard-boiled, etc.) or in raw applications like smoothies and salad dressings. For items like baking, use a flax egg replacer where the difference is less obvious.
Milk follows eggs in importance of organic, pastured, spend your money here, in my opinion. That’s because eggs are so versatile and can sub in when you can’t afford organic, pastured meats. However, milk is still important. I personally consume little to no milk. It’s a personal taste, preference, and opinion. In my opinion, anyone over approximately two years of age doesn’t need nor should have milk, particularly milk that isn’t from a human being. I realize, however, that most American families do consume milk on a regular basis in some form or another. Since milk is so widely consumed, and raw, pastured milk can be very nutrient dense, I believe this is a time that it’s worth spending the money. Of course, this includes all milk products from cream to yogurt to butter. Start small and build your way up if you can’t afford for all your dairy products to be raw and pastured, or at least local and pastured. Begin with milk, then butter, add cream, and then try products like yogurt, sour cream, etc. Consider learning to culture different types of dairy at home, it will save you a significant amount of money. Start with yogurt, it takes a while, but doesn’t take more than about 10 minutes of your time and is WAY cheaper than buying it from the store if you use a lot of it. This also allows you to flavor and sweeten it anyway you like so you have healthier options available. Then try making your own butter and butter milk, sour cream, cheese, etc. as you gain skills, equipment and knowledge. (Note: Spend the money to buy pastured, local milk if you wish for yogurt making. However, take into consideration that if you are culturing your yogurt with heat raw milk will no longer be raw. Check out Cultures for Health for cultures that allow you to make yogurt on your counter top and without a heat source if you’d like to use raw and keep it that way.)
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