Do you want to live a healthier lifestyle? Consider learning how to cook and eat more organically! Organic food products are grown naturally, without using human-made substances like pesticides or growth regulators.
Moreover, animals that are reared for organic meat are not given antibiotics or hormones and usually live happier lives. Here are some ways to cook organically!
Benefits of Organic Food
There are countless benefits to eating more organically. For starters, there are proven links between gluten intolerances and herbicides; many scientists argue that pesticides and herbicides are why so many people now struggle with eating gluten.
There’s also evidence that organic fruit and vegetables have more vitamins and nutrients in them – for example, take a look at this study that shows how organic tomatoes have more vitamin C than their non-organic counterparts.
It’s a similar story with organic meat. As well as the obvious – fewer pesticides – organic meat has more antioxidants and omega 3 and less cholesterol. It’s also better for the animals and the environment.
If you’re wondering how to cook more organically, here are some of our top tips!
Buy Organic Food
The first step to eating more organically is, unsurprisingly, to buy more organic food. You can purchase all sorts of organic food in your local superstore and health stores.
The dirty dozen and the clean fifteen
In particular, pay attention to the ‘dirty dozen‘, which are 12 types of fruit and vegetables that you should always buy organically. This is because they have the highest chance of being contaminated by pesticides.
The dirty dozen are: tomatoes, pears, grapes, strawberries, celery, nectarines, spinach, apples, kale, cherries, peaches, and bell peppers.
As well as the dirty dozen, there’s the ‘clean 15’. These are fruit and vegetables that have the least pesticides. While it’s still a good idea to buy organic versions if possible, you will usually find fewer pesticides in these foods.
The clean 15 are: onions, avocados, papaya, sweetcorn, sweet peas, pineapple, mushrooms, eggplants, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, kiwi, cantaloupes, cabbage, and honeydew melon.
How to find cheaper organic food
It’s no surprise that organic food is expensive. It can only be grown in select environments to keep pests away. However, there are a few clever ways to save money on these products.
- Purchase an organic food box. Often, these will be cheaper than buying all of the items in a store, and you might get a discount if you subscribe to a food box service. There’s also the added benefit that organic food boxes will come straight to your door!
- Visit stores in the hour before they close. Many perishables – such as fruit, vegetables, and meat, will be marked down during this time. They may go out of date on that day, so you might need to freeze them or make them into a meal quickly.
- If you know an organic farm, they may do special deals at their own farm shop.
Grow your own vegetables
Another excellent way to ensure that you get high-quality organic fruit and vegetables – and to save money – is to grow it yourself. You will need some outdoor space to do this, but even a balcony will suffice for certain fruits and vegetables.
Some of the best foods to grow are beetroot, tomatoes, peas, and potatoes. Of course, what vegetables you can grow will depend on where you are based – you might not produce much in Minnesota’s freezing winters, for example, whereas Florida and California have year-round growing weather.
Use fewer ingredients
Fewer ingredients mean that there are fewer opportunities for your final product to not be organic. This does, of course, mean that you’ll have to change your recipes somewhat. Here are some of our tips.
Search online for ‘simple recipes’ or ‘few ingredient recipes’. Many food bloggers focus on easy, basic recipes.
Add flavor through vegetables rather than complex seasonings and sauces. For example, you can give most meals a great taste by frying onion and garlic (and chili if you like spice!) before incorporating the rest of your food.
Purchase kitchen tools that will help you use fewer ingredients. For example, this tagine pot from Uno Casa circulates moisture, keeping food succulent and eliminating the need to add more sauces. It also creates its own non-stick surface over time, so you will eventually be able to forfeit oil.
Get rid of flour and sugar
When changing your recipes, flour and sugar should be the first to go. These food products contain high levels of pesticides – which can cause intolerance reactions in many people. As we discussed above, this is part of the reason why so many people struggle with gluten intolerance nowadays!
You can purchase organic flour and sugar, but these can still cause other health issues, such as a heightened risk of cardiovascular disease when you consume too much sugar. Plus, organic flour and sugar are still very processed.
Eliminating flour and sugar from your diet will help you be more creative with your cooking and focus on whole foods.
There are so many benefits to eating organically – and it’s easy to make a start! Even if your first change is adding some organic fruit and vegetables to your shopping cart, it’s a small step to help your overall health – and we are sure that you’ll start feeling the benefits before too long.