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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Organic on a Budget 5/18

Since my family has been making some new food choices in hopes of living a longer/healthier life we have adopted a few "food rules." Make no mistake, we ENJOY eating, we eat meat, AND we live on a budget - but we are not deprived. This may or may not be similar to your life style... and that is okay. But, here I will share a rule that we have adopted. You can adopt this rule too, or not. Either way, it will be okay with me. =)

Cut Back on Canned Foods

Remember the big media alert that BPA (the chemical bisphenol) was in baby bottles? People started throwing out their plastic bottles and checking other plastic items from BPA. To replace those bottles and other food storage containers people started buying BPA free plastics, or better yet glass.

Well, it is a lesser known fact that BPA is also used in most can food can liners. Some studies have linked BPA to reproductive abnormalities and a higher risk of breast and prostate cancers, diabetes, and heart disease. Consumer reports tests of canned foods, including soups, juice, tuna, and green beans, found that almost all of their samples contained some BPA.

While cutting out canned food totally just isn't possible in my home, we are doing our best to eliminate as many as possible. One of the canned items we bought a lot of previously was beans. We're trying to buy more dried beans instead to eliminate this item. We're growing tomatoes this summer in abundance in hopes of canning our own (in glass jars) to eliminate the need to purchase canned diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. We've been buying our tuna in pouches instead of cans and not too long ago their was some great coupons so we've been getting them free or cheap! And, we purchase our juice in BPA free plastic, not cans.

I recently left my can opener at my parent's coffee house on a Saturday and didn't realize it. It wasn't until Wednesday that I realized I had misplaced it. That's when I realized I haven't been using my can opener near as much, meaning we haven't been eating as many canned foods!

If you are like me, eliminating canned foods all together is just impossible, but I challenge you to take a look at what canned foods you are purchasing and look for alternatives. Just eliminating a few canned foods from your diet could do a lot of good! Plus, fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables retain more of their nutrients, texture, and flavor. So, it will be a win-win!

If you are joining me on a new food journey I hope you will leave your comments below. Feel free to speak about what your family is doing or hoping to do. And, if you have any advice for me or others leave that here too! Just remember to keep it helpful, upbeat, and positive.

If you are a new reader you might want to read some of my older "Organic on a Budget" posts HERE.

Have you got questions? Are you on your own quest to eat wholesome and/or organic? If you've been shopping a little differently as well and the labels have got your brain in a fog... email me or drop me a comment here and I'll be happy to help you find the answers your looking for! Sometimes shopping in a whole foods store can be overwhelming and leave you with more questions than when you came in!


armywife said...

I have adopted the same strategy and I find that we enjoy our food more, since we are eating more fresh foods. We also go to the Farmers Market once a week and buy what we will cook that week there. I seem to be cuting down on how much I go to the grocery store and am still staying wihin my monthly budget. Thanks for the great advice.. I enjoyed reading it..

Good Food Mom said...

The only thing that I still buy in cans sometimes is fruit, I have five small children and having a can of peaches in the cabinet mid-winter is a great convenience but I can't stand the thought of anything I give them having chemicals in it, I highly recommend everyone to go to to try to find a CSA program, I have never tasted cleaner more wonderful produce, meat, fruit, eggs in my life! I grow things at home also but am not producing near enough for this crew yet! Thank you for the great article!

Simply Susan Jewelry said...

I had a poor experience with a CSA a few years ago. I would love to hear from your readers some of their experiences with CSA's

armywife said...

We are participating in a CSA for the first time. I read a lot of positive and negative comments from people about it. My husband and I ultimately decided to try it. We are on week 2 now, will pick up the 3rd week's amount on Saturday. So far, we have been very pleased. We get about 10 lbs each week and have been told that in the summer to expect more like 15 lbs. It really helps me come up with new ways to cook things so that it is all used. I also get to be creative in the kitchen which I like. We also are getting in all of our servings of vegetables a day. I am really enjoying it, but we do get a smaller amount that what I have seen others say they got in the past. I have started canning; my best friend suggested that to me. She said that helped her a lot last year when someone gave her a ton of tomatoes.

Michelle said...

Thank you so much for this post! I had just head on the radio about how pregnant women are now being advised to stay away from canned goods due to the BPA in them. I was never aware of this and really need to look into it more. Thanks for the info!

Good Food Mom said...

Simply Susan, if you go to my site you can see pictures of what we get every week with our CSA as it changes all year, it will vary greatly from CSA to CSA. I realized when we signed up that we accept some risk, we live near Nashville and just had massive flooding, our CSA lost almost all of their Chickens so we are not getting very much Chicken right now, of course. I love the fact that over the winter our CSA has a Harvest package with lots of things that they have canned from the farm in glass jars! I am sorry to hear you had a bad experience their are always Farmer's Markets also, good luck!

Good Food Mom

Hot Chica in Me said...

I did not know about this issue with can food. I just wanted to have my family eat healthier, fresh food and include more vegetables. I have significantly decreased my can usage and re-vamped my pantry eliminating an entire shelf used previously for cans!! I got to place some regularly used pots and pans there and even the kids love it, cuz the
pots and pans are easier accessible! Thanks for the info!