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Non organic primal eating - thoughts please!

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  • Non organic primal eating - thoughts please!

    Hey all

    Hubby and I have been eating along PB lines for a couple of months now and are doing really well. Both losing weight at a steady rate and feeling more energetic than we have in years

    ..however I am concerned about the low budget aspect of what we are doing. We are living on benefits as hubby is out of work and so our food budget simply doesn't allow us to buy organic/grass fed produce. We tried to initially...but it meant we simply couldn't buy enough food to last us the week so we made the decision to go back to 'ordinary' and 'value' produce. As much as I cringe every time I buy it all I have to remind myself that it won't be forever and is a necessary evil so we don't go hungry.

    I am interested in hearing your thoughts on how to minimise the negative effects of eating non-organic foods. My periods were never particularly regular but since starting PB I haven't had one at all and that can't be good can it?

  • #2
    I eat conventional, non-grass fed meat at restuarants. Its part of my 80/20, although I would love to eat just organic meats or grass fed beef, I dont do this all of the time because I have a life lol! However when at the grocery store, or market, I buy organic, free range chickens, and grass fed beef only. Its expensive, yes. As far as budgeting, I consider myself a person who makes very little money, and spend a good amount of it on food. I have less money for lots of other things, but its a priority thing to me. I have no idea what your financial situation is, if you have children or not, or a large amount of monthly bills/responisibilties, so I feel a little presumptious telling someone "you can afford it!" when I have no idea what other(financial) factors are at play. I am on a very tight budget, and manage to get enough meat and other proteins to cook dinner 5 out of 7 nights. It involves a little planning, and I can only really afford to buy chicken, fish, and pork products. Grass fed beef is the real wallet-breaker! So I dont buy it often at all.

    2 whole organic chickens from whole foods (2 at $13-$15= roughly $30)
    yeilds
    4 breasts
    4 thighs
    4 legs
    4 wings

    Fish
    16 oz wild sockeye salmon at $12/lb (previosly frozen)
    I buy 3 lbs, so thats 48 oz at roughly $40
    yeilds 8, 6 oz portions

    One package local, organic bacon $6

    Pork chops 2.5 lbs (roughly 4 10oz chops) $20

    Pastured, organic eggs $12 (2 cartons)

    Pastured, organic butter $5 (200 grams, 2 sticks)

    Coconut oil $7

    misc veggies, nuts $20


    This is a good amount of food for an entire week, possibly more, for two people. I regularly buy this exact list at whole foods. Its around $135-$150, depending on what other little things I pick up, like cheese, wine, or chocolate. If you split the groceries with the Hubs, then thats around 75 dollars for one person. Thats a pretty good deal for one week of meals, including some lunches and breakfasts (bacon and eggs, left overs from dinner, ect). Could your budget allow for this every other week, instead of every week?
    Last edited by lmyers04; 06-06-2010, 05:01 AM.

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    • #3
      I live on $1100 a month and eat non-organic foods from the supermarket. I feel better not eating all the processed crap I used to eat.
      I do not worry about it being organic. I do what I can afford to do.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by canadianwoman View Post
        I live on $1100 a month
        Woah how many are you feeding?

        I eat grass-fed organs, that's it.
        .`.><((((> .`.><((((>.`.><((((>.`.><(( ((>
        ><((((> .`.><((((>.`.><((((>.`.><(( ((>

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        • #5
          Originally posted by canadianwoman View Post
          I feel better not eating all the processed crap I used to eat.
          I do not worry about it being organic. I do what I can afford to do.
          This sounds like very good advise
          Retirement has afforded me the ultimate affluence, that of free time (Sahlins/Wells)

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          • #6
            Originally posted by canadianwoman View Post
            I live on $1100 a month and eat non-organic foods from the supermarket. I feel better not eating all the processed crap I used to eat.
            I do not worry about it being organic. I do what I can afford to do.
            You do make a very good point there...especially re the processed crap...I used to eat loads as well so I should feel better about it.

            To explain our situation in slightly more detail there's 3 of us - me, my hubby and our very lively 6 year old son (who eats twice the amount I do ) . Our budget is around 40-60 per week (so that's around $60-$80 per week if Google is right?).

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            • #7
              Let's just say it's still way better than eating processed crap. Cuting out sugar, grains and the garbage oils/additives is the most important. Rest is just taking it to the next level.

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              • #8
                My suggestions:

                Eat fruits/vegetables with the least pesticide residues:
                http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2009/ma...cides-in-food/

                Eat mostly beef (naturally low omega-6 levels, even in grain fed)

                Eat leaner cuts and add fat from kerrygold butter (pastured and pretty inexpensive) or coconut oil/milk

                Eat canned fish, sardines are an excellent, cheap, low contaminant source of nutrition. Wild alaskan salmon is also very cheap in cans.

                Eat lots of eggs. Organic omega-3 eggs only cost around $3 a dozen.

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                • #9
                  In my household, eating grass-fed beef is a goal to aspire to. After a lengthy unemployment, and currently supporting myself on temp work, I buy grocery store meats, fish and chicken on sale, about half my produce is organic (if it's cheap), and I take Omega 3 supplements. I do buy pastured butter (because the flavor is soooo much better) and organic cream (cost is only a tad more at WF). The best possible diet? No. But much better than I was eating before, and I haven't been sick in a long time. Didn't even get the flu this year, the first time in eons! "Some day when I'm rich" I'll eat exclusively grass fed, but in the meantime I have more energy than any 3 conventionally-fed 20-year-olds -- and I'm 57! You're doing fine for your family, and you can do better as your situation improves. Something I keep reminding myself -- it's hard to cook healthy meals if I can't afford a kitchen!

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                  • #10
                    Oh, yeah, what Ry said about canned fish! I can get sardines for .79 per can at the local Grocery Outlet. They're not the cute pretty ones, but they're sardines and mighty tasty. Wonderful on a salad. And Trader Joe's has most excellent canned wild salmon at a good price. And he's right about eggs. Splurge on eggs, if your budget allows. Lots of bang for your buck if you can afford the best eggs.

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                    • #11
                      I went to a Whole Foods for the first time yesterday, and I did not experience the sticker shock that I was expecting. It's definitely more expensive, but if you aren't buying useless stuff like candy, Coke, and Budweiser anymore, you can shop there without obliterating your food budget.

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                      • #12
                        Just read your comment about your periods. How old are you, dear one? I began perimenopause at age 39 and started skipping periods. Could just be coincidental with your change in diet. If you're concerned you could have your hormone levels checked.

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                        • #13
                          Eat away...

                          Originally posted by TCOHTom View Post
                          This sounds like very good advice
                          I agree. Don't get me wrong...I understand some people's concerns about pesticides and chemical fertilzers...but I grew up on a farm where we used both, plus organic fertilizers (a.k.a., manure) and some natural means to curb pests attacking the crops as well. For example, our animals were fed grains and hay in the winter, but also free-grazed as well, so this was technically a combination of the "organic" and "non-organic" methods.

                          To make a long story short, I would argue that the quality and most likely nutritional value of the food produced in this manner is in general superior to that grown/raised in what is labeled a totally "organic" method. In other words...I'll take an apple from a tree that was sprayed to keep the worms out of it and a salad of greens that are more robust and vibrant because they may have had a little Miracle Grow sprayed on them in a farmers truck-patch, to get the added nutritional benefits from the food.

                          I guess my argument (and it is probably an unpopular one, and admittedly not founded in science, both rather a point of view supported by my life experiences) is that "stronger" foods make for a stronger body. If a food is more vibrant/healthy, couldn't it be argued that in some aspect, it would be more nutritionally beneficial for us to consume?

                          As humans, we have developed vaccines to ward off grave illnesses, such as polio, and patted ourselves on the back for it. We have developed chemicals (soap, hydrogen peroxide) to kill germs when we wash our hands or clean a wound, and call these advances. We consume multi-vitamins, fish oil and other man-processed suppliments, and say we are "living healthy". However...why is it when we consider the food we consume, do we seem to develop a (sometimes) over the top concern over if a farmer used a chemical to provide to his consumer a better product...one that would feed to his own family?

                          I fully admit that I do not advocate the over-processed condition of what man has done to a lot of our food, nor the super-steroid methods of some meat and poultry industrial farms...or the super bug killers (like Paris Green, which is no longer used) but not all of your farms or producers use these methods. Yes, on our farm, we vaccinated our animals and fertilized our crops, but this was done to prevent disease and help keep them healthy.

                          My advice...is the same that was mentioned above...do the best that you can afford. Not all "non-organic" food is bad, nor would I argue, all "organic" food the best that you can consume. Wash your vegetables, try your farmers market for values, and make the best choices that you can afford. You will still be light-years ahead of those consuming the crap.
                          Last edited by Phil-SC; 06-06-2010, 07:07 AM. Reason: spelling

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                          • #14
                            Thanks for the suggestions and the link Ry will keep those in mind when menu planning

                            ...sorry to hear others have to manage on silly budgets like we do...but it's nice to know I'm not alone in my "Some day when I'm rich" dreams

                            I'm 36 primalpatty. I have a doctor's appt on friday about something else so might ask for some hormone bloods as I've never had a gap this long before, even when I was mega stressed.

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                            • #15
                              I just thought I'd add my 2p from my experience eating primally on a student budget in the UK!

                              I definitely agree that organic is not a must when the budget is tight. I generally only buy is when the price is comparable to conventional produce. As far as meat is concerned, I have far more trust in conventional beef and lamb in the UK then I do in meat in the US (I'm American, studying in Scotland). Even regular beef and lamb is very unlikely to be the grain-fed and CAFO fattened stuff that you find in the US. In Scotland especially, I just make sure to buy Scottish beef and lamb and I feel pretty confident that it was grass fed for the great majority of its life.

                              Also, I don't know if you have a Morrisons near to where you live, but that is where I usually shop and I've consistently been very impressed with the quality of their meat and fish. They butcher most stuff in store and have a great selection of cuts, including cheaper ones like breast of lamb, beef stewing shoulder, shin beef, heart, liver, etc. They also tend to have a pretty good selection of reduced price meat which is approaching its expiration date, but is still good. I either use it right away or bung it in the freezer for later and I've never had a problem with reduced quality or spoilage. I got a 2.6 kg rib of beef the other week for half price, which has been super tasty and should do at least six meals for me and my flatmate!

                              All in all I think the UK is a great place to eat primal!

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