How to Know if You are
Buying Organic Food

Deciphering organic food labels is pretty simple. Here is a basic rundown of what to look for on the label;

  • "100% Organic" means the food was made with 100% organic ingredients.
  • "Organic" means the food was made with at least 95% organic ingredients.
  • "Made With Organic Ingredients" means the food was made with at least 70% organic ingredients.
  • The USDA Organic Seal (shown here) is what you want to see to be certain the food is organic.

For produce sold loose, not in packaging, check the price sticker;

  • A five-digit number that starts with a 9 means the produce is organic.
  • A four-digit number means the produce is not organic.

Best Ways to Buy Organic Food

A scary fact about buying organic produce in a grocery store is that it most likely was shipped there across the country, or at least a few hundred miles away. Fruit is often picked before it is ripe, sprayed with wax to preserve it, and stored for weeks or even months! 

Hands down the healthiest way to buy organic food is to grow it yourself. Gardening is one of the best things you can do for your health. Aside from enjoying healthy food right outside your door, you also get the benefit of digging in the Earth, which is all kinds of good for you! If you don't have your own yard, don't fret! There are plenty of other options. 

If you really want to do your own gardening but have no yard, you have a few options. Many things can be grown in a container on your porch, balcony or windowsill. Any room that gets sun would work. Herbs are especially great to grow in small containers.

You could also join a community garden. You pay a small monthly fee (usually paid for one growing season at a time) and you get your own little plot. The downside to this is you must go there, lugging all your gardening tools with you. 

The next best option is to go to a farmers market. Most cities and towns have a farmers market.

Another option is to join a CSA, which stands for Community Supported Agriculture. There are CSA's everywhere, and they all have different prices and paying options. Some of them even deliver to your house.

Supporting your local farmers is a great way to eat healthy, save money, and build community. We vote with our dollars, and the more people that buy organic food, the cheaper it will get overall.

A really great website for finding farmers markets and CSA's is here: click here to go to the Local Harvest website

Most grocery stores these days have a separate organic section, and there are also many local co-ops to shop at, as well as some chain health stores such as Whole Foods and Natural Grocers. These are all more spendy options, but at least organic food is easily available.

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