Cheap Food: Are We Paying For It Later?

As I got out my usual morning banana today, I was inspired to contemplate the sticker that adorned the peel. It read, “Healthy homes eat organic.”  I thought to myself, “Marketing ploy or truth?”  Over the next two weeks, I’m going to share my observations, and my tricks, to help you enjoy full flavors, stay within your food budget and build your immune system. After we examine some truths, we can then decide whether my banana sticker holds any value and can make the claim it does.

I’m a self-proclaimed “clean-eater”, which basically means I choose organics for the main contributors to our diet: dairy, meats, fruits and vegetables.  We generally choose a healthy conventional (non-organic) option for extras like chips, crackers, cereals, cookies and pastas.  Healthy-conventional means it has no high fructose corn syrup, artificial dyes or flavors, msg, or harmful preservatives or hormones added.  Occasionally though, I give in to my penny pinching desire and purchase a cheap produce or dairy item, and I am always paying for it later. I’ll explain why.

Recently, I bought several conventional items that I normally purchase in an organic brand: cheese, butter, avocado, and bananas. I didn’t really expect to notice a difference in the taste, but boy was I wrong! The cheese (cooked in a grilled cheese sandwich) had a chemical taste to it that was obvious, as I had cooked for the kids with an organic version previously that tasted much better. I used the butter on air-popped popcorn (a frequently eaten snack in our home), and I quickly noticed its bland taste and pale coloring compared to the organic kind we generally use.  I found the same to be true with the avocado, bland coloring and lack of richness in its flavor. The banana had quite a distinctly different taste that was almost not palatable to me. I noted the difference to others via Facebook and had many comments from similar eating friends that they had noticed that as well. These are just a few examples that I’ve noticed along the way.  Therefore, as a friend noted, I agree that you’ll be “paying for it later” when you eat that  item and hardly enjoy its flavor.

If you’ve never done taste-testing with organic foods before, give it a try. Some of my favorite and most noticeable choices to compare are bananas, butter (try pasture butter for a rich flavor), milk, and eggs (farm-fresh are much brighter in yolk coloring).

Next week we will examine your immune system’s response to your food choices, as well as my suggestions for conscious grocery shopping.

About Heidi Morris

Rochester Hills mom of three. Loves life, loves family, loves to share new and interesting things with everyone. Contact her today at [email protected]

Comments

  1. Heidi, as a proprietor of a supermarket that sells a wide variety of organic foods, as well as a full selection of conventional foods, I look forward to your comparisons. Would you be interested in my store using some of your observations next to the products “tested”?
    thom welch

  2. Laurie Eckles says

    Heidi, As a farm girl turned city, I do remember the days of fruits and vegetables from our garden. I fondly remember when Dad planted corn at 2 week intervals so his beloved family could have sweet corn regularly. He would plant “edible soybeans” so my mom could soak and grind them up to her heart’s content. We were regularly “treated” with gum, as long you were patient enough to chew wheat for an hour. Who knew dirt was a major source of fiber??

    So, if you’re willing to pay a few cents more, I am willing to respect those who …. planted, hoed, weeded, mosquito-squashed, picked, shucked, de-bugged, ended, cored, scalded, cooled, froze, canned, pickled, etc.

    We didn’t do fresh eggs (but, we did have an old chicken coop that we played in. Does that count???) I also know that ground hogs are from the Devil.

    And, I still like creamy Jif peanut butter. Love, Laurie

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