Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Did you know?

I don't drink much caffeine because it makes me too jittery, but I love tea that can give a "pick-me-up" when I need it! Organic India makes a great herbal tea called Tulsi. Tulsi has an energizing effect--similar to caffeine, but not nearly as strong. It has a mild herbal taste, and it never gets bitter--even if you leave it steeping for too long.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Eating Organic on a Budget had a great feature today about an author who succeeded at eating sustainable, organic, local, ethical food on the government minimum of $248 per month for 2 adults.

The author, Siobhan Phillips, bought all of her food items (including spices and oils) with $1.20 to spare for the month. She noted that her biggest challenge was buying meat and dairy. She did manage to buy a small free-range chicken for about $9 and one pound of local ground beef for about $6, knowing that this, along with some sustainable canned fish would sustain her for the month. She also conceded that there was very little dairy in the menu. Siobhan claimed to enjoy her new cooking routine--once she adjusted to the time commitment, which included preparing dried beans, making homemade tortillas, etc. She said that it was easier to stick to her budget because she had the benefit of a flexible schedule--something not afforded to many people--which allowed her more time to shop for and prepare foods.

As a nutritionist, I would love her shopping list, because I wonder how many fresh fruits and veggies she was able to eat. As you may know, using tons of legumes and grains are a great way to stretch grocery dollars, but it is difficult to include the recommended amounts of fresh fruits and veggies--especially organic ones, when you are on a really strict budget.

I don't buy always buy organic food, because of the prices of organic fruits and veggies. I choose organic grains and legumes when possible because they are still inexpensive and have a positive effect on the environment. There is a wonderful list called "the dirty dozen" which shows the foods that are most important to buy organic because of their high pesticide content. I've included the list from below, so that if you are trying to make hard choices about what veggies to buy organic, you can put your money to the best use.

12 Most Contaminated:
Sweet Bell Peppers
Grapes (Imported)

12 Least Contaminated:
Sweet Corn (Frozen)
Sweet Peas (Frozen)
Kiwi Fruit

Sunday, April 12, 2009


I'm starting my first apartment garden this year. So far I have sprouted some basil and lettuce from seed. They will live on the windowsills in my apartment, since I don't have any outdoor space here. I'm hoping to grow enough basil to enjoy all summer long with fresh tomatoes and homemade pizza!