Changing how we eat

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Joined: 05/05/07
Posts: 366
Changing how we eat

(aka Food Inc changed my life)

Okay, I know Ruth was talking about this before. I hadnt seen the movie at that point. We watched it this week. If you havent seen it, I would recommend it. Its an eye opener for SURE.

We are changing how we eat. One thing at a time, but wondered if anyone else was doing or has done the same? What tips or ideas do you have for me?

First step: We have decided to eat local meat and buy local produce whenever possible. Free range, grass fed. We are super lucky to live in West Michigans "salad bowl" so we have this opportunity. I joined the Co-op (35$/yr) and can order from the many local farmers once monthly. Everything from meat to soap. Not ready to go that deep yet, but starting with the meat, eggs, produce and other food items from this coop. Also, our farmers market starts next week- bi-weekly.

What are you doing to supply clean, healthy food to your family? What advice or tips can you give a processed food junkie?

I never realize just how monopolized and corporate our food supply is. I never understood what a disadvantage the certified organic farmers were at. Its a bit scary and Im ready to change.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I applaud you and agree. I haven't seen that movie, but we are trying to change our ways too.

We order our meat from a family business and it is delivered to us three times per year. I get my cleaning and personal hygiene products from Melaleuca (everything from toothpaste to laundry detergent). We are working on the produce - currently buying from the supermarket because the local farm delivery didn't work for us (we were spoiled by organic delivery services in Vancouver and haven't found a local equilvalent). From what I have read on these boards, we switched to whole milk too.

We try to eat less and less processed stuff, so DH bakes all our bread (he keeps a sour-dough starter going) and I have sworn off canned soup as a pantry staple. We make our own chicken stock and freeze it for use in cooking. This summer, DH wants to build a kitchen garden at the back of our house to grow vegetables and herbs.

Joined: 06/29/08
Posts: 1096

Many of my friends here do "farm shares" where they get a whole load of fresh produce (whatever is ready to pick) each week. I'd love it if it came in smaller quantities but it's just way too much food for us. Healthy food yes, but still too much.

I go back and forth, unfortunatly, between "good food" and "cheap food."

I prefer to buy organic/free range/etc, but am sucked in by the BIG BUY's of chicken and stuff in the grocery store. In all foods though, I'm trying to cut down on the amount of meat I use. Like in casseroles, I'm upping the veggies and cutting down the meat.

I do make as much as I can from scratch. I make my own bread. What I would LOVE is to figure out how to make my own "cream of chicken soup" equivalent.

There's a fantastic farm stand literally like a few blocks away but it never opened last year (I don't know why). But when Miles was a baby, we used to walk up there a few times a week for fruits and veggies.

Jumarse's picture
Joined: 02/27/07
Posts: 5219

We live in a rural area, so buy as much as we can locally and save money elsewhere. It's hard....there was a challenge to buy only US made products instead of China, etc, and I liken it to that. It's very hard when prices are cheaper or are easier found for products you'd prefer not to buy, but are almost "forced" into. We still pay more for local abx/hormone free milk, veggies, organic meat, etc, but in my mind it's worth buying other products cheaper and probably ending up with the same total cost in the end.

ETA- as far as meat costs go buying local, it's not really *that* much more expensive. Chicken might be 4.29/lb in the grocery store, and 4.99/lb for the local organic, at least here. Same with beef, etc. I know Colleen and Kelly have bought 1/4 cows, we just don't have that cash up front to buy all at once or storage space, otherwise the cost would be very similar or less than in the grocery store. I don't worry as much about buying organic fruits/veggies...if there's a pesticide farm within several miles of an organic farm, the pesticides still get into the water table...so I don't want to pay more for something labelled "organic", when really it's gotten good doses of pesticides from the water table or run off. But I will buy local produce over big box store every time, just doesn't have to be labelled organic for me.

Allie01979's picture
Joined: 10/10/07
Posts: 4706

unfortunately we don't do much in terms of organic eating. The only thing DH and I do is make our bread. Our budget is tight and organic shopping it so expensive, I'd really prefer to do it though. I should watch that movie and see if it will change our ways.

toothy35's picture
Joined: 02/20/06
Posts: 4578

we have been trying fdor years to buy local and get away from corporate food........and we've never seen the movie.....
i live right off the water...so i can go down to the docks anytime for fresh seafood....i get my eggs down the street, but we are really thinking we are gonna get our own chickens.......danny stops at the local produce stand every friday after work and gets our fruits and veggies for the week...........and we just picked up half a cow.....which was grass fed ......it broke down to 2.95 lb.....for super fresh beef....it is a huge expense upfront......935 bucks for 317lbs of beef ...... we used to belong to a meat club at our local butchers, too.....but i got out of that a couple years ago.....but i really need to get back into it......
so i try.....but as far as being completely processed free.....no way......is till like boxed cereals, i dont' make my own bread, but i buy it straight from nissen/hostess at their bakery(when i can......if not walmart) and i buy babyfood......i have made a lot of changes.......but need to make sooooo many more........
oh and i used to use melaleuca.......i loved all their products........if i can ever find it in the budget to switch all the chemicals out of my house again over to melalueca....i'd do it in a heartbeat!!!!!!!!!! but i don't buy fabric softener anymore, i use vinegar.......LOL......i clean with vinegar alot....but still have chemicals.......

ETA: all that and when i got up and walked into my pantry.....it is processed carbohydrate central!!!!!!!!!!!!! so i do what i can, but i don't see myself making my own cereal or pasta anytime soon........LOL...and campbells soups.......i cook with them all the time.....i do make my own broth "sometimes"......but not enought......i still buy it......and i go through a gallon sometimes a gallon / 1/2 a day of milk.......we get it from whatever place is on danny's way home....LOL.......
i guess ultimately, i buy for savings not always for the best nutrition........

Joined: 05/05/07
Posts: 366

That is just it- it is much more expensive (more than double on some grocery items like butter, eggs).

I have looked into the cow thing. It is a big $$ upfront. My fear is it wont get used before it gets freezer burn. And what cuts mean what, how much of each cut would I need/get. So confusing to a newbie. So, since here the cows are available for pick up in the fall (oct/nov timeframe) we are thinking of it.

We have a butchers down the street we have used for most things for almost 3 years. I asked yesterday some questions. While he cant claim to be certified organic he does buy local meet, which all the farms make the claim on grass fed/free range, so in turn he processes the "clean meat" he called it on site each morning. And while that isnt "perfect" Im content with on site butchering.

I agree, there are things I just really like that are not organic (coffeemate, cereal just to name a few). I am certainly not changing everything today. Maybe eventually I will learn to due to new choices, but for now we are starting small.

Interested in learning about the cleaning products. The Coop sells them, I am going to check them out on my first shopping date (3 weeks!) I place my "order" starting Monday. Prices really were not too terrible, definitely higher on some things, but also lower on others.

toothy35's picture
Joined: 02/20/06
Posts: 4578

"Pharmer25" wrote:

That is just it- it is much more expensive (more than double on some grocery items like butter, eggs).

I have looked into the cow thing. It is a big $$ upfront. My fear is it wont get used before it gets freezer burn. And what cuts mean what, how much of each cut would I need/get. So confusing to a newbie. So, since here the cows are available for pick up in the fall (oct/nov timeframe) we are thinking of it.

We have a butchers down the street we have used for most things for almost 3 years. I asked yesterday some questions. While he cant claim to be certified organic he does buy local meet, which all the farms make the claim on grass fed/free range, so in turn he processes the "clean meat" he called it on site each morning. And while that isnt "perfect" Im content with on site butchering.

I agree, there are things I just really like that are not organic (coffeemate, cereal just to name a few). I am certainly not changing everything today. Maybe eventually I will learn to due to new choices, but for now we are starting small.

Interested in learning about the cleaning products. The Coop sells them, I am going to check them out on my first shopping date (3 weeks!) I place my "order" starting Monday. Prices really were not too terrible, definitely higher on some things, but also lower on others.

we use our tax $$ for the cow.......that's why we are just getting ours now, but
nov is usually the best time to get a cow......at least here in new england......the farmers don't want to "store" the cow all winter......but they do......LOL.......at the farm that i buy at.......they raise/slaughter all in house...and they flash freeze......i, obviously, go through beef alot faster than you would.......but i've been doing this for YEARS.....since sarah and max were babies......and i have never had it get freezerburn......they package it differently than a supermarket......no styrofoam trays with sarahwrap.......it's all in a thick paper material, and flash frozen.......my burger this time is in a plastic tube.....it has usually been the paper , too........i hope it's just as good, cuz i think i have 80lbs of burger........i just do burger, steaks, roasts and kabobs......i don't keep the organs.......even though i have heard you can just grind the heart up for more burger......but blech....

Joined: 06/29/08
Posts: 1096

Yeah, I think if you can do it, "locally grown" is actually the cheapest way to go. But you have to live in the right places, lol. I live on an island with no cows, lol. But shopping at produce stands saves a TON, I find.

So basically for me to get the "best" that I can, I'd have to go to whole foods for everything which just isn't in my budget.

And yeah, I've tried making my own granola, and it's fun, but I also still buy cheerio's and don't plan to stop any time soon.

One of the things I found facinating from Food Inc (I think it was that, maybe a different book) is how much corn is in the american diet. And how much it's really not supposed to be (from high fructose corn syrup among other things). That's something that always makes me stop and think.

chefkel's picture
Joined: 08/06/07
Posts: 2190

That movie changed everything for us!

Our 1/2 cow (grass fed) is coming in June.. so happy!
eggs, produce etc is all bought at the weekly farmers market

brandifawn's picture
Joined: 05/28/07
Posts: 348

I haven't seen the movie, but we are trying to eat more healthy/organic/less processed around here too. I found that what was my biggest problem was the old habits of doing quick and easy meals that my mom made a lot when I was kid since money and time were both so short and my brother ate enough for a whole family himself my mom would use the processed stuff to make things cheaper. To reteach myself to use the fresh ingredients about a month ago I signed up for a meal planning site, www.thefresh20.com and they plan 5 dinners using 20 fresh ingredients per week and keep it under $75 and under 30 minutes of cooking. So far everything I've made has been awesome and I have been even farther under the $75 she quotes since I buy the meat in the weeks ahead when it goes on sale and really that is the biggest expense.
I do go to the farmer's market once a week and buy everything I can there. I use a local butcher for a lot of the meats I buy, but do get some at Publix too when the sales are hard to beat. I am working on making my own bread and do it occasionally, but have also found an awesome local Cuban bakery that has the BEST bread (and empanadas).
Slowly we are changing what we eat. It has started with dinner and has made its way into breakfast and lunch a bit at a time. For snacks I try to buy organic when I can, which is getting easier as there are more options and I am finding coupons for organic stuff a lot more lately, too. I hope we get completely there in the next year or so, but it's hard to make the change all at once.
For cleaning products we have switched to Shaklee in the last 6 months as well. they have lots of other products too and I plan to start using some of them in the future, but, again, a little bit at a time Smile

luangwa's picture
Joined: 06/29/07
Posts: 8898

We've been eating like this for years, way back before it was common. The rest of my family always thought I was a little weird. LOL

I shop at a local butcher shop who does gaurantee that he only buys from local 'certified organic' farmers. The taste of it is incredibly different than a cut of meat from the grocer's shelf. And, it is not that much more, if fact I honestly think it's chaper than Kroger. Julie calculated it out for me once and I think it was around $3.00 a lb. Obviously I'm not buying filet mignon. Just grnd beef, round steak, prk tndrloin, boston butt etc.

I also buy free range organic eggs. Honestly, I could care less that it's double in price, because it's still cheap. Like $2.69 for 1 1/2 doz. as opposed to what? $1.29 for the normal stuff? Yes, every dollar does add up but it's not say $12.00 as opposed to $6.00 KWIM? I also feel like I pay out the nose for milk at $6.50 a gal. But, as often as Jax drinks milk, I'd rather know he wasn't comsuming Bovine Growth Hormones. But, I also don't have 5 children that are drinking it. If I did, I'm certain we couldn't afford it. Unless I cut their clothing budget, and we all know that wouldn't happen. ROFL

We do eat certified organic cereal, mostly because it is lower in added refined sugars, but still tastes like something you want to eat. Kashi is well loved here.

YooperGirl8's picture
Joined: 10/24/08
Posts: 1095

I've saved that show on my Netflix to watch. Really, this post itself has made me start thinking. Grace has been drinking organic milk since we switched her from formula. We do have farmer's markets, but the one we found last year was outrageous in terms of $$$$$. I'm going to try another one.

Joined: 06/09/06
Posts: 3264

Deb, the farmer's markets around here vary greatly in price (and quality, too). My favorite is very high in quality and price - but there's another that is much better in price but the quality isn't as good. What I've found is that if we can consume the food we buy within a day or two of buying it, it'll be fine - and the prices are impossible to beat. Thankfully, it's on my DH's way home from school so it's not that huge of a hassle to go there often.

"msmama" wrote:

I do make as much as I can from scratch. I make my own bread. What I would LOVE is to figure out how to make my own "cream of chicken soup" equivalent.

Ditto - that would be great!

I still haven't finished watching Food, Inc.! I was so disturbed and horrified by the first 20 minutes or so that I just haven't worked up the courage to finish it.

So yeah, I've been buying as much produce as possible from the farmer's market. The thing to look out for are the produce that will never be grown in your area... avocados, for example, come from Mexico and Peru (mostly). So it doesn't really doesn't matter that much where I purchase them, as far as I can tell. I have such a love/hate relationship with avocados, anyway. They're pricey and the period of time from achieving ripeness and going bad is about 10 minutes. lol But Noelle loves them and they're so good for you - so I usually buy them at Whole Foods, because the price isn't that different but the quality tends to be a tiny bit better. I can get 2 for a dollar at a farmer's market, but have yet to get one that wasn't rotten. Sad

Also, check out the latest 'dirty dozen' of foods to try to buy organic: http://green.yahoo.com/blog/daily_green_news/332/the-new-dirty-dozen-12-foods-to-eat-organic-and-avoid-pesticide-residue.html Some foods I just can't justify buying organic because they're so pricey, like strawberries - so Noelle and I 'give strawberries a bath' in water and about 1/2 teaspoon of Dawn and you wouldn't believe the dirt, etc., at the bottom of the bowl!! it's sick.

I make our own bread and laundry detergent and today made my first ever batch of homemade yogurt! I also use either Method or vinegar to clean.

I would LOVE to grow our own fruit/veggies, but about 95% of our property is shaded. Sad But I did check out a GREAT book from the library, called "Mini farming : self-sufficiency on a 1/4 acre," by Brett L. Markham. Highly recommend. For now, I'm growing rosemary and basil in pots on our front sidewalk. lol Not ideal, but it's the only place we get full sun and we use those two herbs a lot in cooking.

Meat is my biggest challenge. The free range, grass fed, organic meat is sooooo expensive. I feel so conflicted about it, because I hate the practices of the industry, but I just can't afford $5/pound of organic chicken or $8/pound of organic beef! Sad I feel kind of stuck right now, because we don't have tons of alternatives for protein (my DH thinks that beans aggravate his digestive system). If anyone has any ideas about protein for main courses that doesn't involve meat or beans (or tofu, because my DH is picky), I'm all ears!

luangwa's picture
Joined: 06/29/07
Posts: 8898
EmilyC3's picture
Joined: 10/27/07
Posts: 1170

"YooperGirl8" wrote:

I've saved that show on my Netflix to watch. Really, this post itself has made me start thinking. Grace has been drinking organic milk since we switched her from formula. We do have farmer's markets, but the one we found last year was outrageous in terms of $$$$$. I'm going to try another one.

We used to go to the one on Dam Neck Road in Va Beach all the time.

I really do wish I could buy less processed food.... I really need to watch that movie. Hopefully it will give me the kick in the bum I need.

mbowman's picture
Joined: 08/22/07
Posts: 1063

Where we live it's very difficult. There are farmer's markets available in Wichita, but we're a small suburb and it's not always convenient to get there. When I do go, I purchase meat and produce. I normally buy meat at the local grocery chain, but I only buy if it's a product of USA. I've planted my garden and hope to get the majority of my produce from it this summer. I bought fresh eggs a few months ago and totally freaked out my family. My hubby refused to eat them. But I may go ahead and buy them again for my kids and myself. They were only $1.25/dozen. A friend's SIL has chickens and was bringing in way too many eggs for awhile. I don't know what she normally charges or even if she normally sells. I'd really like to buy a cow or a half cow. My SIL's dad is a rancher and raises cattle. But like was said before, we'd need to save some moolah first.

I'm going to have to watch that movie. Maybe make hubby watch it too. May open his eyes a bit.

Anyone read the book by Barbara Kingsolver? I think it's about when her family spent a year only living on what they could grow/purchase within a certain mile radius. One of my good friends is really into organic and local grown after reading her book. I think she recently joined a co-op also. I may check into that as well.

YooperGirl8's picture
Joined: 10/24/08
Posts: 1095

I have a recipe for homemade soup somewhere since DH can't eat the canned stuff. I'll look tomorrow.

Emily - We went to the one on Dam Neck, but I was :eek: at the prices. I may need to give it another shot. Did you go to the one in Norfolk on 26th street?

Ruth - That article made me sick. It makes me want to just suck up the drive to TJs to get the organic produce.

And on that note...strawberry picking is HERE in our area. Anyone ever canned anything before?

Joined: 08/20/07
Posts: 1567

That movie freaked me the eff out. Some post talked about making small changes at a time. For us, the first thing we did was refuse to ever buy Tyson chicken again. I was ticked b/c I just bought a big bag of chicken nuggets at Costco for Kaylee. I immediately threw the whole thing in the trash after watching that movie.

I wish we could buy all organic, too, but it's just not feasible. I try to look at it in terms of "everything in moderation." As long as we're not loading up on tons of processed stuff, I feel like we do okay. I try to buy lettuce and carrots organic, and if a certain item of produce is the same price organic as it is not organic, I'll get it.

I may get 1/8 of a cow at some point - several friends have started going in together on local cows.

We only buy milk that is made w/out the growth hormones.

Basically, I try to make the best choices I can, but I try not to be too hard on myself if we have some processed things, etc.

kristimcw's picture
Joined: 08/03/07
Posts: 1914

"Pharmer25" wrote:

That is just it- it is much more expensive (more than double on some grocery items like butter, eggs).

I have looked into the cow thing. It is a big $$ upfront. My fear is it wont get used before it gets freezer burn. And what cuts mean what, how much of each cut would I need/get. So confusing to a newbie. So, since here the cows are available for pick up in the fall (oct/nov timeframe) we are thinking of it.

We have a butchers down the street we have used for most things for almost 3 years. I asked yesterday some questions. While he cant claim to be certified organic he does buy local meet, which all the farms make the claim on grass fed/free range, so in turn he processes the "clean meat" he called it on site each morning. And while that isnt "perfect" Im content with on site butchering.

I agree, there are things I just really like that are not organic (coffeemate, cereal just to name a few). I am certainly not changing everything today. Maybe eventually I will learn to due to new choices, but for now we are starting small.

Interested in learning about the cleaning products. The Coop sells them, I am going to check them out on my first shopping date (3 weeks!) I place my "order" starting Monday. Prices really were not too terrible, definitely higher on some things, but also lower on others.

We have elk meat in the freezer and it is wrapped in that white freezer paper and it doesnt seem to get freezer burn either. I have not noticed it at all and this elk is from two novembers ago.

The certified organic label is very difficlut to acheive. you have to prove a certain number of things about your soil, land, etc for years prior to certification, keep records on everything that goes on your soil and what your animals eat. We have looked into it.......DH is one though that if you eat beef you have to feed it out because it will taste better......feed it out means......grain, grain and more grain.

We have cows, but no room to have them butchered.....doesnt help DH gets elk all the time. You thought a bovine cow was huge, you should see how much meat an elk (bull or cow) produces.

"toothy35" wrote:

we use our tax $$ for the cow.......that's why we are just getting ours now, but
nov is usually the best time to get a cow......at least here in new england......the farmers don't want to "store" the cow all winter......but they do......LOL.......at the farm that i buy at.......they raise/slaughter all in house...and they flash freeze......i, obviously, go through beef alot faster than you would.......but i've been doing this for YEARS.....since sarah and max were babies......and i have never had it get freezerburn......they package it differently than a supermarket......no styrofoam trays with sarahwrap.......it's all in a thick paper material, and flash frozen.......my burger this time is in a plastic tube.....it has usually been the paper , too........i hope it's just as good, cuz i think i have 80lbs of burger........i just do burger, steaks, roasts and kabobs......i don't keep the organs.......even though i have heard you can just grind the heart up for more burger......but blech....

sorry, that is just flat out nasty...

Also, it does take money to butcher an animal. This may be TMI and more than you all want to know, but it is what it is...........there is a 'kill' fee, a fee to process to get it to hanging weight, they the have to actually butcher it, wrap it, and that takes money.....You also have to transport it to a USDA inspected place to have that all done, so add in fuel costs....... So when you get the organic farm raised....etc etc.......it isnt just the meat you are paying for.

We have a massive 1/2 angus/1/2 longhorn that we would love to butcher, but DH says it is not the right tiem to butcher. He says you want it after it has grazed on nice juicy green grass all summer and not after it has been grazing on the dead brown cured out grasses. he says that makes a difference.

Sorry I am babling........this is coming back to me in waves....

kristimcw's picture
Joined: 08/03/07
Posts: 1914

I am really scared to watch that movie. I buy a bunch of processed stuff........I really dont have the time or energy to put out the effort.....there is a place in the town I shop at that is all natural, organic, foods.....it does cost an arm and a leg....

dozen farm raised eggs $3. We do have a chicken coup on our property, but it is in disprepair and we have been talking about re building it and making it more safe for the kids to go gather eggs and for the chickens. dogs and coyotes could get in now and no more chickens........wood is piled up all around it and that is a place for rattle snakes.....So until we get that clean up......:rolleyes:

I do want to eat healther and my neighbor sells wildtree products too........it is seasonings and stuff that are supposed to be better for you...no msgs.....preservatives.....etc.....I just havent had the extra to invest a whole bunch right now.

right now she says she is going to just teach me how to cook from scratch and so when we have the time to do that for a few days I will.......

EmilyC3's picture
Joined: 10/27/07
Posts: 1170

O...M...G.... I just watched an hour of that movie and I am just sick. I am really upset with myself because I always thought that Tyson and Smithfield were "good quality foods." Wow, just.....wow....

Joined: 05/05/07
Posts: 366

"EmilyC3" wrote:

O...M...G.... I just watched an hour of that movie and I am just sick. I am really upset with myself because I always thought that Tyson and Smithfield were "good quality foods." Wow, just.....wow....

Wait until you get to the part about Monsanto and the soy beans. Just sick what they do to the farmers. I have never used much soy, but checking labels its in everything! That is what fired me up about the processed stuff. Its totally bogus.

Karrie5's picture
Joined: 05/29/08
Posts: 2993

I haven't see the movie yet. I want to, and I really want DH to watch it too.

We have a garden (we didn't have it last year since we were moving and we missed it! but we've already got it started this year) and have tons of veggies from that. We freeze a lot of it so we can have our veggies all year long.

We have our chickens now so in a couple more months we will start getting eggs from them. We plan on getting a few more each spring to keep the flock going and so we can butcher some.

We are hoping to get another half cow this fall. We got a 1/2 of a cow in nov 09 and still have some burger in the freezer. This is wrapped in plastic wrap and it's still fine. FYI...That whole cow cost $847.60 to the farmer and $264 to get it processed. DH and I were just talking about how we'd like to get a couple of cows to raise for the meat too. I wouldn't mind getting a couple milk cows too. But not sure how DH would feel about that since he'd be the one milking them. He worked on a dairy farm milking cows from 14-24 years old so he might be over it. lol Or then again, it may make him feel young again.

I just buy the regular milk. We go through 5-6 gallons/week and there's just no way I can afford the good stuff. Sad Hence the reason for wanting the milking cows.

I'd love to make my own bread, pasta and cereal but with working full time I just can't find the time for any of that. I have done granola before and the kids loved it.

I make my own laundry detergent and use vinegar for almost all of my cleaning.

But with all that being said, we still consume too much processed food. Sad I can rarely buy organic and processed is just cheaper, that's the bottom line, I only have so much money to spend on food.

Karrie5's picture
Joined: 05/29/08
Posts: 2993

"Pharmer25" wrote:

Wait until you get to the part about Monsanto and the soy beans. Just sick what they do to the farmers. I have never used much soy, but checking labels its in everything! That is what fired me up about the processed stuff. Its totally bogus.

This is part of it that I really want DH to see. He works for the local grain elevator. They were a Monsanto distributor, they switched to a different brand recently. He seems brainwashed by it all. lol

Joined: 06/29/08
Posts: 1096

I've actually found recently that I can get organic free-range eggs at the grocery store for cheaper than regular eggs. That's one "fresh" thing that I seem to find coupons for regularly.

Also for the organic thing - I guess different states have different rules, too, and there are different organizations that can "prove" you "certified" and they all have different rules. All that to say that basically, when you buy "organic" it doesn't always mean the same thing.

"sera22" wrote:

That movie freaked me the eff out. Some post talked about making small changes at a time. For us, the first thing we did was refuse to ever buy Tyson chicken again. I was ticked b/c I just bought a big bag of chicken nuggets at Costco for Kaylee. I immediately threw the whole thing in the trash after watching that movie.

I wish we could buy all organic, too, but it's just not feasible. I try to look at it in terms of "everything in moderation." As long as we're not loading up on tons of processed stuff, I feel like we do okay. I try to buy lettuce and carrots organic, and if a certain item of produce is the same price organic as it is not organic, I'll get it.

I may get 1/8 of a cow at some point - several friends have started going in together on local cows.

We only buy milk that is made w/out the growth hormones.

Basically, I try to make the best choices I can, but I try not to be too hard on myself if we have some processed things, etc.

That's what I think. I make my own bread, but still feed my kid fruit snacks, you know.

I figure what I can do is better than nothing. And hell, still better than I ate growing up and I haven't grown an extra arm yet or anything.

"luangwa" wrote:

Homemade condensed soups.

http://www.food.com/recipe/homemade-condensed-cream-of-chicken-or-mushroom-or-celery-soup-397758

Thanks!! Do you think you could make a big batch and keep it in the fridge? To get the ease of a can of soup, too?

chefkel's picture
Joined: 08/06/07
Posts: 2190

The only thing we can't afford to buy organic is chicken.. we eat SO MUCH chicken per week and he cost here is x3 of the Foster Farms chicken breasts.. anyone heard how Foster Farms is compared to Tyson (which we stopped buying)

price comparison for our cow we bought

Whole Foods grass fed ground beef 5.99/lb
grass fed steaks (varying) 16.99-22.00/lb NY or Rib eye etc... expensive!
average Safeway grocery store ground beef not organic and corn fed 3.99

Our cow when all is said and done comes to 5.69/lb for everything .. ground, steaks, roasts etc..
we are getting approx 85lb of meat .. it is all butchered and frozen into airtight packages for us. we got a 1/2 cow and we are dividing it with 2 other couples.

if you can find friends to go in on it with you.. do so it's SO MUCH BETTER than regular beef I can taste the difference!

Here is a good article.. I printed and keep on my fridge list of fruits and veggies you should buy organic.

http://hubpages.com/hub/organic

Jumarse's picture
Joined: 02/27/07
Posts: 5219

"msmama" wrote:

I've actually found recently that I can get organic free-range eggs at the grocery store for cheaper than regular eggs. That's one "fresh" thing that I seem to find coupons for regularly.

Also for the organic thing - I guess different states have different rules, too, and there are different organizations that can "prove" you "certified" and they all have different rules. All that to say that basically, when you buy "organic" it doesn't always mean the same thing.

That's what I think. I make my own bread, but still feed my kid fruit snacks, you know.

I figure what I can do is better than nothing. And hell, still better than I ate growing up and I haven't grown an extra arm yet or anything.

Thanks!! Do you think you could make a big batch and keep it in the fridge? To get the ease of a can of soup, too?

Exactly this. I grew up eating Spaghettios, ravioli, my Mom let me play with Comet scouring powder in the sink, etc.....we've grown wiser in what are better choices for our children and ourselves, but simply cannot be 100% organic, non-processed, etc. Time is a big factor in deciding what food choices will work for a family, so I'll continue to buy cereal bars, canned ravioli, boxed cereal, etc....but am able to buy organic meats and local veggies when they are in season. Maybe I'm bad, but I feel zero guilt about not doing "more". We are lucky and live by a lot of fruit and veggie farms as well as farms with livestock, chickens, etc. If we didn't, I'm not entirely sure I'd be able or willing to purchase what we do now.

luangwa's picture
Joined: 06/29/07
Posts: 8898

Emily, you can double or triple the batch. I have made 5 quarts of it at a time and then freeze it in 14oz portions (the size of a can of soup) in ziplock bags.

EmilyC3's picture
Joined: 10/27/07
Posts: 1170

"Jumarse" wrote:

Exactly this. I grew up eating Spaghettios, ravioli, my Mom let me play with Comet scouring powder in the sink, etc.....we've grown wiser in what are better choices for our children and ourselves, but simply cannot be 100% organic, non-processed, etc. Time is a big factor in deciding what food choices will work for a family, so I'll continue to buy cereal bars, canned ravioli, boxed cereal, etc....but am able to buy organic meats and local veggies when they are in season. Maybe I'm bad, but I feel zero guilt about not doing "more". We are lucky and live by a lot of fruit and veggie farms as well as farms with livestock, chickens, etc. If we didn't, I'm not entirely sure I'd be able or willing to purchase what we do now.

Even though I wish that I could be 100% organic and non-processed, I know that will never happen. Mainly because my kids are such picky eaters and that is all they will eat. I am not going to starve them. That and the fact that organic is so expensive. The Navy just doesn't pay DH enough. I think the thing that really had an impact on me was seeing the cattle and chicken "farms." I always knew they were gross, just didn't know they were that gross. I am not going to go throw away the big bag of tyson chicken breasts that I just bought or anything, but I am definitely going to think twice at the grocery store before I just go throwing chicken and cow parts in my cart.

critterskunky's picture
Joined: 09/06/07
Posts: 1629

Wow. This post has definitely got me thinking, not that I wasn't beforehand, but more so. Cost is a factor for sure, but I think I really need to learn more about what organic means for different products-- like, does it really matter on a thick skinned fruit or veggie-- before I just start making changes. We do a lot of processed foods, which I know isn't good, and MSG, as DH is asian and a lot of asian foods have MSG (well the yummy ones at least!).

We had an experience a few weeks ago where we went to an organic non-MSG tofu place and DH and I both got sick immediately--and I never get sick. So never again. I joked it wasn't unhealthy enough and that's why we got sick.

I don't know if I am going to see that movie or not-- I'm on the fence when it comes to knowing things I'd rather bury my head in the sand about. I will likely end up seeing it though.

luangwa's picture
Joined: 06/29/07
Posts: 8898

"msmama" wrote:

That's what I think. I make my own bread, but still feed my kid fruit snacks, you know.

I figure what I can do is better than nothing. And hell, still better than I ate growing up and I haven't grown an extra arm yet or anything.

I'm not sure if you and I are close to the same age group. I'm not 100% positive this is truth, but I recall an article in rebuttle to this train of thought. The amount of arftificial preservatives/chemical type of flavor enhancers in the same brand of canned ravioli that I ate as a kid has greatly increased over the years. I'm just using this as one example, but it applies to all things processed today.

StateChick's picture
Joined: 03/22/07
Posts: 3629

"critterskunky" wrote:

Wow. This post has definitely got me thinking, not that I wasn't beforehand, but more so. Cost is a factor for sure, but I think I really need to learn more about what organic means for different products-- like, does it really matter on a thick skinned fruit or veggie-- before I just start making changes. We do a lot of processed foods, which I know isn't good, and MSG, as DH is asian and a lot of asian foods have MSG (well the yummy ones at least!).

We had an experience a few weeks ago where we went to an organic non-MSG tofu place and DH and I both got sick immediately--and I never get sick. So never again. I joked it wasn't unhealthy enough and that's why we got sick.

I don't know if I am going to see that movie or not-- I'm on the fence when it comes to knowing things I'd rather bury my head in the sand about. I will likely end up seeing it though.

I also like to live in denial, Cristina! Wink I need to keep eating my Little Debbie Cakes. hehe.

Sadly though, I think I eat far worse now than I did growing up. We ate mostly fresh deer and pork, and veggies from the garden when in season. My mom did use the "cream of" soups and she didn't usually bake fresh bread, but the bulk of our fruits and veggies were fresh, although we had more (obviously) in the summer than the winter. We had apple and peach trees, we picked grapes once a year and made jelly, ate a ton of strawberries when they were in season, made pickle with our cucumbers at one grandma's house...my other grandma always had a garden too [eta: this was the "farm garden" for everybody] with potatoes, collards, cabbage, brussel sprouts, squash, zucchini, watermelon, canteloupe and more tomatoes than you could shake a stick at. Then she made her own spaghetti sauces from her own tomatoes and herbs...oh, what I'd give for some of that.

My dad's milk cow just died and he sold his other cows, but he is thinking about getting some more. They don't have pigs anymore.

I don't currently live on the farm, but we do have land there, and when we have the $ we'll build and move there (hopefully within 5 yrs)....hopefully I can pick up where I left off...

[also eta: Deb, the strawberry freezer jam recipe on the sure-jell insert is really good with strawberries and peaches!]

PaulaJoFSU's picture
Joined: 08/12/07
Posts: 4019

I don't buy Tyson! I have heard enough of the movie that I can't do it! Honestly, I can't watch it. Not now anyway, I by no means financially able to buy everything I want how I want it (or sure I will ever be)?!

Mallory just stated today how Caleb's mom asked if they wanted to go in on a family cow! I think I may write to her and see what my options are (if it isn't already called for)!

I feel lucky enough to live in a state that has the regulations it does, but I try my best. That said, we still have LOTS of changes to do!

luangwa's picture
Joined: 06/29/07
Posts: 8898

I have to admit, I have not seen this movie and I'm sure I don't want to see it. Although, I am considering it.
We also are not 100% organic or natural by any means. We consume our fair share of unhealthy snacks. I always have a HUGE container of Goldfish in my cupboard. For some reason, Abigail is eating Gerber Puffs and other made for baby snacks. I DID NOT feed these to Jax. ROFL Amazing how we will lower our 'standards' for the sake of convenience, isn't it? Like everyone else, I do what I can to provide healthy food for my family, but at the same time I'm not opposed to the occasional 'quick' boxed meal. KWIM?

toothy35's picture
Joined: 02/20/06
Posts: 4578

mmmmmmmmmmmm little debbies...........LOL.........ya, i don't eat organic either.......i just eat as local as i can(i live in new england.......so all winter, i have to eat whatever the farm stand imports) and i buy in bulk because it saves me $$ .......and fresh beef is the best!!!! i am definately not going to watch this movie.......i like to live with some denial.......i wash my fruits and veggies real good.........and my good beef is usually served with a side of processed something or other.....LOL.....oh well......i think i thought i did better than i actually do.....wrong!!

Joined: 01/17/07
Posts: 508

I just started my "naturalizing" quest with the ceremonial chucking of our chemical sunscreens! Kayla - My oldest has been contact allergic to just about everything you can imagine since she was born. I have had a really hard time finding a sunscreen that didn't have chemicals in it!

I am trying to eat less processed food. I work full time and find it almost impossible to find time to make some things from scratch. On the weekends I like to cook up a storm, but during the week we do lots of shake and bake and rice a roni. Boy, I would love to find some homemade recipes for those types of dishes. I make cream of broccoli soup from scratch last night and while DH and I thought it was delicious, it started WWIII with the girls. Lots of crying and gagging, etc. lol.

My sister in law owns an organic dairy farm and we were recently there doing some research for a school project. I was APPALLED at the conditions that those cows live in. And just because it is organic does not mean they can't use antibiotics. All their cows get antibiotics to keep them from getting mastitis. Not to mention all the topical antibiotics that get put on the udders after each milking. To be honest, I may never drink milk again, lol.

They do have quite a bit of land and I have mentioned that I would LOVE to go in on some fruits and veggies if she does the growing..

Joined: 06/29/08
Posts: 1096

I do have one friend who changed EVERYTHING after seeing the movie.

She does an organic local farm share, so veggies get delivered once a month and she just eats her way through those. I don't think she does much meat or eggs anymore.

The thing is, she started this, then got pregnant, and went back (a bit) to her old ways. And the kid gets the processed stuff. The kid gets puffs and goldfish and pre-packaged snacks. And juice with high fructose corn syrup.
I have another friend who does it, too, but her kids are super picky and she ends up taking them to McDonald's a couple of times a week.

I mean, I guess I think, unless you actually have your own farm, it's IMPOSSIBLE to go all in, you know.

So, I pick and chose what's important to me and know that I'm doing what I think is best. For me, I try to do local as much as possible.

And for the chicken thing - I just read something recently that Perdue chicken is the first to be USDA certified...something (but I can't remember what, lol). But it was supposedly good. And Perdue was on sale at my grocery store last week so I bought a bunch, lol.

StateChick's picture
Joined: 03/22/07
Posts: 3629
chefkel's picture
Joined: 08/06/07
Posts: 2190

amazing.. and so gross.

We buy the organic mac and cheese I forget the name of the brand... I can read the ingredients Smile
Owen still won't eat it or any kind *sigh*

Joined: 05/05/07
Posts: 366

Interesting Candace...

I also wonder what the deal is with genetically modified food and cloned meat. I didnt even know such a thing existed!

We are changing things one small step at a time. Like I said, you could go way overboard but Im doing things I can live with long term. First step is meat. Once Ive tackled that we will work on the rest. Buying organic when possible and making new choices at the store that are more whole foods, less processed stuff is challenging for sure!! We will still eat the other stuff (love kraft dinner!!) but now it will be less frequent and not a twice weekly lunch date with me and Alex!

Joined: 06/09/06
Posts: 3264

about the genetically modified food..... it's a VERY interesting topic (that I'm still learning about!). You've probably heard of Monsanto - they're the ones who have done lots of the genetic modifications to seeds and are being big corporate bullies. We have a friend who is a horticulturalist and used to work for Monsanto, so we've had lots of interesting discussions with him about it. One of the things that he points out is that seeds have been genetically modified for a long time and people like it to a point, or at least like the end result. For example, enjoying your seedless grapes? That's a genetic modification. You could argue that some of the things Monsanto is doing is actually good - making plants that are disease and pest resistant could potentially help in the long run with being able to use fewer pesticides, etc. But at the same time, it's a little scary to think about the possibility that we may lose the 'original' seeds over time. And what Monsanto is doing to the smaller farmers is just wrong.

Anyway, it's a topic I still don't know much about - maybe someone more educated about all this stuff and chip in here. Smile

Joined: 05/05/07
Posts: 366

Interesting, Ruth. So much to learn. Sort of glad Im coming out of the closet!

FWIW- I bought some organic whole milk coffee creamer with real vanilla and cane juice flavor and its GROSS. The hydrogenated oil/corn syrup coffeemate is way better. haha

kristimcw's picture
Joined: 08/03/07
Posts: 1914

I do know that the longhorn breed does clone, but I am not sure about other breeds. I know it is very expensive to clone and that the commercial cattle person probably would not do it. But I dont know that for a fact.

I have not heard of them eating the cloned meat, because the mainly did the cloning as a genetic thing for breeding animals......