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07/07/14

Cost prohibitive: Is organic eating setting up population for dieting failure?

Strolling through the aisles of an organic food store or supermarket, you'll hear at least a little grumbling and complaining if you listen closely enough.
Most of it comes in the form of a question: "How are you supposed to eat healthy, if you can't afford it?"
That question often haunts organic food as most who contemplate going down that path when it comes to eating better often assume that overly high grocery bills aren't necessarily worth it, particularly those families on a tighter than usual budget.
Organic strawberries?
Flax seed?

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Aloe Juice?
A lot of time when it comes to those aforementioned items as it relates to pricing, perception often isn't the reality. That's not to suggest that some organic foods and supplements don't carry a higher price tag than the "regular" items, but buying organically isn't always going to break the proverbial bank, as long as you know how to shop.
Aloe Juice, for example, is remarkable when it comes to ensuring digestive health and wellness, and a bottle can cost as much as $30, certainly more expensive than the average orange or cranberry juice from the local market.
But those who scoff at the cost have to understand that Aloe Juice isn't the same as your run of the mill apple juice as far as consumption. Aloe Juice is a few cap fulls per day, not an entire glass at a time for multiple members of the family. Sure, Aloe Juice is a luxury of sorts, but shouldn't scare you away. A larger bottle can last you at least a few months.
As for fruits and vegetables, the organic route is a little more expensive but hardly a budget buster when you compare the entirety of the items.
Where the "organic" tag line gets expensive is when you talk about made to order products and foods for those who incorporate gluten free or vegan lifestyles, or cereals, breads and cleaning products that are free of certain ingredients.
In those situations, the benefit outweighs the cost involved, particularly when you're trying to stay away from harsh chemicals as a result of an illness or ignoring certain food groups thanks to allergies or personal preference.
The real proof of organic versus non organic is in the pudding, or in this case the ingredients within various items. Additional sugar, high fructose corn syrup or other additives make so called healthy foods less enviable for those who check labels. Organic usually limits what's added and thus makes what you're eating more from the earth so to speak and less genetically altered.
What does that mean aside from spending a little more money? How about peace of mind knowing that you're actually eating healthy, even if it is going to cost you. If the average grocery bill for a family of four is $250 per week, add about another $50-75 to that when you're eating organically. That's another $200 for food, and that's money that might be able to be made up in other facets of life, whether that means killing a few cable channels or lowering that cell phone bill.
Granted for some cutting back to eat and live organically isn't an option, and grocery store food is just going to have to do for now. But if you're given the opportunity to visit or buy from an organic food store, don't quickly kill the idea or dismiss it as nothing more than fantasy food shopping.
Turns out, you might not only like the food itself but also be pleasantly surprised that the money coming out of your pocket won't be the disheartening experience you assumed.

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