Category Archives: Locally Grown Food

Organic on a Budget? These Tips Will Show You How!


While most consumers now understand the benefits of consuming organic foods for both their family and the environment, many still shy away due to price concerns. Once difficult to find, organically grown meats, dairy products, fruits and veggies have become much more affordable as their availability has increased, yet they can still be a bit more expensive to purchase than the less healthy, commercially produced versions. If this price difference has kept you from incorporating more healthful foods into your diet, consider using these tips from Mopfrog of Atlantic City to help you go organic easily, even on a tight budget!

Focus on Ingredients

One of the best ways to keep organic foods within in budget is to focus on purchasing basic, versatile ingredients instead of pre-packaged, convenience type foods that only last for one meal. For instance, purchasing a large bag of organic rice will help you create several meals for your family instead of just one pre-packaged, seasoned rice side dish.

Switch Slowly

Eating organically is not something that must be implemented all at once. Instead of overloading the budget with huge purchases of organic foods, use a more gradual approach. For example, when you run low on a specific item in your pantry or fridge, opt to replace it with an organic one. After only a few weeks, you will find that you are eating a much healthier, more organic diet without bankrupting your grocery budget.

Eat Seasonally, Eat Local

Learn to eat what is in season! Watch for both the harvesting schedule of local growers and seasonal specials on certain items in the grocery store, such as strawberries and blueberries in the spring, tomatoes in summer, apples and potatoes in the fall and citrus in the winter. This will often be the least expensive times to purchase these items for several months or even the entire year, so consider buying in bulk and freezing or processing the excess to use throughout the year.

Opt for Store Brand Organic

Popular brands of commercially processed foods always cost more and this fact often holds true in the organic food industry too. To save money, experiment with store brand organic products. In most cases, the taste and quality will be just as good, yet the price will be far less.

Take Advantage of Quantity Discounts

The freshest, least expensive organic foods will usually be the ones grown locally. Develop a relationship with reputable growers in your area or search them out through farmer’s markets, roadside stands or direct farm sales. When you find a great deal on delicious, organically grown meats, fruits or veggies, purchase them in quantity and learn to freeze, can or dehydrate the excess for future meals.

Change Up Menu Plans

Another great way to enjoy the quality of organic foods on a budget is to change up menu plans a bit. Learn to make delicious soups with veggie trimmings and the rich broth made from poultry or beef bones or substitute protein-rich foods like beans for some or all of the meat in traditional recipes.

With smart shopping and a bit of creativity, you may soon find yourself enjoying a pantry, fridge and freezer full of delicious organic foods, even on a budget!

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Spice Up Your Holiday Dinner Menu with Locally Produced, Seasonal Foods

Preparing and enjoying delicious meals with family and friends is one of the high points of the holiday season. For those of us who enjoy living an eco-friendly lifestyle, it makes sense to choose and use ultra-fresh, locally grown and harvested foods to prepare these feasts. Finding these ingredients can be difficult, however, especially in urban areas or those with very short growing seasons. If you would like to utilize local foods in your holiday dinners and baking this year, here are some tips to help you find the best local and seasonal foods available in your area.


Base the Menu Around Available Foods

Making the commitment to enjoy all the benefits of quality local foods may seem stifling at first. Instead of a trip to the grocery store for ingredients that may have been picked green, frozen for months or processed inhumanely, it will be necessary to think about the food you are eating and search out the dedicated growers who nurture it. These farmers take pride in making sure that no chemicals or genetically modified foods make their way onto your plate.

Eating locally grown foods also requires a willingness to enjoy the seasonal aspect of food. Before modern refrigeration, food production and transportation methods allowed grocery stores to stock every food all year long, people truly enjoyed eating through the each season of the year.

From the first tender greens of spring to the warming soups and stews filled with root vegetables harvested in the late fall, each food was consumed at its freshest and most nutrition-filled peak of perfection.

To recapture the essence of seasonal eating, center your holiday menu around delicious fall fruits, robust vegetables and locally produced pastured turkey, grass-fed beef, wild caught fish or country hams. In many areas, local vineyards and micro-brewers can also provide exceptionally delicious wines and beers, as well.

Sourcing Local Food

If you have been a fan of local food for a while, you may already know where to find many of the ingredients you will be using to prepare your feast. If not, here are some suggestions that can help.

  • Local honey, eggs and produce such as oranges and grapefruits, root vegetables, squashes, pumpkins, kale, cranberries, dates, chestnuts, Brussels sprouts and other cool season foods may still be available through farmer’s markets or a community supported agriculture venture known as a CSA.
  • Look for specialty items like hams and pastured turkey through local classified ads or through Local Harvest, a nationwide database of farmers who produce and sell quality, local foods.
  • Remember to check with friends, family and neighbors who grow organic fruits and vegetables and see if they have some that you can purchase to include in your menu

Be Flexible

When returning to the healthful, sustainable practice of eating seasonally, there will be times when a food you want to use is not yet ripe, or is no longer available. This may be very evident when cooking traditional recipes, such as those often used for holiday dinners. To avoid this issue, first determine what local foods are available in your area and then build the menu around them. Be willing to make equal substitutions. For instance, if a pastured turkey is not available in your area, but grass-fed beef is, consider changing up the menu and having a beautiful Beef Wellington instead of roast turkey.

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