Health gurus will tell you that the only way to eat is all organic, all natural, only grass- fed beef... They try to make you believe that it's an all or nothing situation.
But, I live in the real world. I don't have an unlimited food budget. I have 6 people to feed and I can't spend all my money on organic foods- and truthfully, some of them aren't any better than the regular foods ;)
So what do you do if you're on a budget? Be smart about how you shop. If you have access to a farmer's market, talk to the farmers. Many of them practice organic farming, but because of the cost involved in being certified, aren't. You can get organic fruits and vegetables at the farmer's market cheaper than you can in the store.
If you do have to shop at the store, use the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists to help you decide what to buy organic and non- organic.
In the last 10 years, the organic food business has exploded. With revenues of $27 billion in 2010, the movement continues to grow exponentially. This growth is good, because it gives us more access to healthier foods, but it can also create a problem.
Focusing on the quality of food (where it came from, how was it sourced, how was it grown...) can lead many to an unhealthy obsession with healthy food. They get to the point where their obsession with what they eat creates an imbalance with the rest of their life.
"It's good to eat healthy food. But if a focus on healthy food begins to crowd out the rest of life, then that focus is becoming a problem." Dr Steven Bratman
Even for those who don't need to lose weight, obsession about the quality of food can lead to unhealthy eating habits. This can deprive the body of nutrients it needs. It can also lead to over- spending and unnecessary debt.
Just like in everything else, moderation is the key. The next time you're grocery shopping and picking up vegetables, be wise about which ones you're picking. Take small steps now to change your family's diet and soon you'll realize that it's been weeks since your kids had a bowl of sugary cereal =)