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Clever Organic Food Shopping

Eat healthier - and keep mom Earth healthy, too. Ecobiters bite into - organic, chemical free, cruelty free and locally grown. Spending a bit more for organic produce is worth it since it tastes better, provides more nutrients and isn't laced with poisonous pesticides.

The following are practical tips to help get the most out of your organic food dollar. Making 'green' choices when you shop can have far-reaching benefits.

Organic food is neither fad nor fashion – its about quality, family food at prices that don’t cost the earth.

Some people, whilst not minding what they eat or expose themselves to in their busy lives, take a much more cautious approach for their newborns (when they come along!). One of the biggest sectors in the organics industry is natural and organic skincare, clothing and nappies for children. Once the sleepless nights are under control, and life once again becomes manageable  many new parents start to think about the choices they are making for their own health, plus the overall impact their choices will have for the environment they are leaving their children with.

Reports this month published a story on its investigation targeting which organic items you should buy and which are OK to skip. On the buy list: fruits and vegetables including apples, peppers, celery, cherries, spinach and strawberries. Also, meat, poultry, eggs and dairy.

Whether you’re shopping at a supermarket or a farmer’s market, here are the signs of a high-quality, healthy food:

It’s grown without pesticides and chemical fertilizers (organic foods fit this description, but so do some non-organic foods)

It’s not genetically modified

It contains no added growth hormones, antibiotics, or other drugs

It does not contain artificial anything, nor any preservatives

It is fresh (if you have to choose between wilted organic produce or fresh conventional produce, the latter may be the better option)

It did not come from a factory farm

It is grown with the laws of nature in mind (meaning animals are fed their native diets, not a mix of grains and animal byproducts, and have free-range access to the outdoors)

It is grown in a sustainable way (using minimal amounts of water, protecting the soil from burnout, and turning animal wastes into natural fertilizers instead of environmental pollutants)

If the food meets these criteria, it is most likely a good choice, regardless of whether it’s labeled local or organic.

The bottom line remains to look deeper than a label when it comes to your food. Most often, you will find foods that meet these high standards not at your local supermarket but from a sustainable agricultural group in your area.

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