Thursday, 27 July 2017

Eating organic on a budget with The Soil Association

One of the many things I have been considering lately is switching to organic. Everywhere you turn on the internet there is someone else telling you what to eat or what not to eat. One of the things that I find about organic food is that it is usually pricey. However, with a bit of careful budgeting and meal planning I think that there is room for everyone to add a little bit of organic into their lives!

Five top tips for buying organic on a budget

  1. Shop in season – Buying organic fruit and veg when it’s in season gives you the best value for money. Organic fruit/veg has less pesticides and chemicals and also contains more key antioxidants. Eat Seasonably ( does the hard work for you by listing all the fruits and veg that are best to eat right now. This week, try: blackberries, runner beans and courgettes.
  2. Try the basics – If you’re new to organic, milk is a great place to start because it gives you lots of benefits. Widely available and more value for money, organic milk has around 50% more beneficial omega 3 fatty acids, and secures a good return for British farmers. And it’s easy to enjoy organic milk when you’re eating out– did you know that McDonalds and Pret a Manger only serve organic milk?
  3. Stock up on organic essentials – As they have a longer expiry date, organic store cupboard essentials can be great value. Items like organic baked beans, pasta and canned tomatoes are often be found for the same price as the same non-organic items. 
  4. Look for deals online - Bag a bargain on a variety of organic foods, as prices are slashed throughout Organic September. Find out more about offers and promotions on organic products in September: 
  5. Try a different cut of meat.  Eating less, but better meat is good for our health and the planet. Trying lower cost organic cuts like shoulder or belly can make a big difference to your wallet – and they have more beneficial nutrients too. Pop into your local butcher for advice on cuts, or make a weekly roast which can provide a couple of meals.

Some examples

  1. Kallo Stock cubes £1. 60 v Knorr at £1.75(organic 8.5% cheaper)
2. Clipper Everday Organic tea x 80   £2.60 v
PG Tips x 80 £2.50(organic is 5% dearer)

3. So Organic Cheddar cheese 270g £2.15 v
Cathedral City non organic cheddar 350g  £3.50(organic 20% cheaper)

4. Yeo Valley big pot £1.50 v Onken non organic big pot £1.50(on par)

Other products which are often close in price
- pasta
- tinned tomatos
- babyfood
- porridge own brand organic v non organic brands
- jams and honey
- houmous

Quick note about organic chicken
Organic chicken is clearly more expensive than non-organic. This is for two very good reasons! First, organic chickens have a much better life. Non-organic chicken are fattened much faster - they are usually slaughtered when they are 38-39 days old, and have much less room to roam. Organic chickens live twice as long (at least 80 days) and are fattened more slowly. Second, non-organic chickens are given antibiotics regularly, whether they are sick or not. This is becoming an issue that will threaten human health. Organic chickens are not given antibiotics unless they really need them. Giving antibiotics to groups of animals when they don't need them increases the likelihood of creating antibiotic resistant bacteria.).

Do you eat organic? What are your favourite brands?

Charlotte Lucy

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