30 comments already!

Organic on a Budget - From produce to baking needs, this 120 Cheap Organic Foods list will make your transition to organic foods much easier and affordable. | ifoodreal.com

I thought I would share all the foods we eat organic on a budget because everyone is curious what I buy. Besides eating clean and real food, we eat 80% organic (certified or not), pesticide free and chemical free food. Organic label isn’t always the best or necessary, I will share my common sense tips on how to save money by eating almost organic without paying a lot of money.

Once we ditched processed and convenience foods, gazillion of toxic cleaning supplies, paper towels and etc. tissues, we suddenly had so much money left to spend on real food. You will see how your fridge, pantry and wallet will clean up. Mine remind me of my grandma’s – only real food I can pronounce (quinoa counts) that is mostly organic. Remember, baby steps and do what you can!

FAQ and Myths

How Long Have You Been Eating Organic?

I am forever grateful to my kids for changing me for better. If not for them, I would still be drinking diet coke while punching in 0s on My Fitness Pal with one hand and holding a smoke with another one. In 2007, I was researching formulas for my son and that’s when I came across organic food vs. non-organic. I ended up feeding him mostly with organic formula. If I had a baby now, I would breastfeed way longer but back then I was too young.

In 2008, my same son was having an ear infection after ear infection, and that’s when I learnt the truth about dairy. I started buying it organic. Then my 2nd son was born and I learnt even more. Every year is a milestone and an improvement.

MY LATEST RECIPES

What % of Your Food is Organic?

Last month, a few things happened in our lives: we watched GMO OMG documentary after my mom was diagnosed with a tumour. After that, we went 80% organic, 20% left for social life outings and when I can’t find a certain organic product. It’s life.

Organic on a Budget - From produce to baking needs, this 120 Cheap Organic Foods list will make your transition to organic foods much easier and affordable. | ifoodreal.com

How Much Do You Spend on Groceries?

Alex asked me that last week. I honestly don’t know and there is no point to know. We are an average middle class family, with average income, my grocery bills are not through the roof and it is our health we are talking about. I strongly believe I will pay for it later in pills and treatments if I keep eating Round Up sprayed vegetables, fruit, milk, eggs etc. – it is everywhere!

I have done my budget before and for 4 us we were spending $800. Now it’s a bit more with growing boys. I really don’t buy anything except real food. All packaged and processed stuff costs more in many cases. Plus we eat meat only once a week now. Plus we eat very simple and nothing fancy. You can tell it by my recipe ingredients.

Organic on a Budget - From produce to baking needs, this 120 Cheap Organic Foods list will make your transition to organic foods much easier and affordable. | ifoodreal.com

I also look for deals and sales, and stock up. Sometimes reduced organic items are still fine. Like this organic chicken was to expire next day and was $4 off. I bought a few at only $12 each, cooked one the same day and froze the rest. Definitely even a small deep freezer is a must.

Buying Organic Is Expensive

Um, it’s not! Buying 2 organic bell peppers for $5 in February is not necessary. Those $5 can get you a 4 lb bag of carrots. If I had 4 kids maybe it would be but average family with 2 kids can do it. And really do as much as you can! Organic is slowly becoming more affordable.

Trust me, when you start buying more organic you will see how less of variety products you will buy. One mom asked me where I get organic grapes. She loves adding them to her oatmeal every morning. I don’t buy organic grapes in winter because they are ridiculously expensive, so I add organic raisins – dried grapes, which cost $10 for a few lbs at Costco.

Organic Milk Is Double the Price

Organic on a Budget - From produce to baking needs, this 120 Cheap Organic Foods list will make your transition to organic foods much easier and affordable. | ifoodreal.com

A gallon jug of organic milk costs $9, I always hear that argument from parents “It’s double the price!”. OK, my kids are not calves, they do not need to drink that much cow’s milk. My kids drink water and delicious green smoothie recipe on a day to day basis. They add milk to cereal and I rotate between organic cow’s, almond and soy milk. They drink organic juice and chocolate soy milk as a treat. Spinach has more calcium than milk, so do many other vegetables. I taught my kids to eat vegetables well over the years and you can do the same => 5 ways to make kids eat healthy.

Organic on a Budget - From produce to baking needs, this 120 Cheap Organic Foods list will make your transition to organic foods much easier and affordable. | ifoodreal.com

I will let you Google and form your own opinion about dairy. You might want to read this eye opener article on milk. Keep in mind that dairy industry is a huge business. They are in business to make money and to assure you drink 100% Canadian milk. Where else could our milk be from? China?! Or how about some chocolate milk after exercise to refuel?! Here is ingredients list of a chocolate milk:

Organic on a Budget - From produce to baking needs, this 120 Cheap Organic Foods list will make your transition to organic foods much easier and affordable. | ifoodreal.com

What here is good? Milk produced from cows vaccinated with drugs, fed with GMO grains that been sprayed with Round Up?! Or GMO white sugar?! Again sugar! Or poisonous carrageenan?! Do you think artificial colour is healthy?!

Now, you could buy organic milk, add full of antioxidants cacao powder, maple syrup (honey) and give your child a treat. The only reason why it’s not sold in stores is because it costs more to produce and we are so used to cheap food. Our fault?! Yes and No. Let’s stop supporting something that is ruining our health with our own money!

Why We Disrespect Our Food?

I can’t tell you how many times I silently watched my friends throw out food. Kids don’t finish dinner – garbage, leftover sour cream in a serving bowl from taco night – garbage, chips after party – garbage. I would make my kids finish their food or eat it myself, wrap and refrigerate leftover sour cream for tomorrow’s leftovers, put chips back in the bag and close with a tie. Because it is food, we spent money on it, money we worked hard for and because we should respect our Earth. I was brought up that bread is the most important food on the planet as our ancestors worked hard for it.

Today food in America is unbelievably cheap majorly thanks to GMOs and that’s why people throw it out. 11 million lbs of food is being thrown away in the US every hour! We are definitely not starving but rather overeating and abusing food! I often think if all my friends were buying organic food like I do, they wouldn’t be throwing it out because it costs more and requires more work to source.

I Can’t Afford Organic Meat

Do you know what is recommended amount of protein from meat per person per week? Half a pound. That is like 1 large chicken breast. The rest – plant-based. We became these meat eating monsters polluting the Earth for no reason except money!

Do you know that cow’s poops are more damaging to planet than CO2 from cars?

How gross?! It is killing us and the planet. And it is not only fast food restaurants, it is the fitness industry as well. How much whey and meat products they recommend to consume in order to be lean?! Unbelievable! I fell a victim of the trend last year and so glad I woke up before they killed my liver and me. It is really a separate topic. So are the chickens shot with growth hormones for large breasts because we love breasts!

So, you really don’t need to spend more money on meat. Buy locally raised, preferably from a farmer, meat. And eat more vegetables!

Where Do You Shop?

My biggest tip for you, once you know what you like to eat, is stock up. Buy a lot, store or freeze. For example, I buy a few packages of pasta, a few jars of peanut butter and many lbs of beans at a time. My kids love apples and bananas so I buy 5 – 6 lbs of each, refrigerate extra apples and any brown bananas become clean eating banana muffins or go into superfood green smoothie.

I have never set my foot into Whole Foods.

Costco: I shop there once every few months => my healthy Costco shopping list.

Farmers Market: June-November once a week I shop at a local farm stand where produce is not certified organic but not sprayed and grown in the most natural way as possible => farmers market haul.

The Real Canadian Superstore (Canada): Twice a month for organic fruits and veggies November – June (selection depends on a day). Plus there is organic/natural aisle with pantry staples and fridge with dairy products.

Trader Joe’s (USA): If you have one near by shop there but read labels as not everything is healthy and organic. They say they sell non-GMO products but I don’t believe that because they refused many times to go through testing. Buy only organic and read labels.

120 Organic Cheap Foods

 

Organic Fruit

Organic on a Budget - From produce to baking needs, this 120 Cheap Organic Foods list will make your transition to organic foods much easier and affordable. | ifoodreal.com

With fruits as with vegetables, it pays off to buy seasonal. And know your Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen – conventionally grown 12 items that retain most pesticides and 15 with the least amount. It will help you spend your $s wisely. I never ever buy non-organic Dirty Dozen anymore.

Organic on a Budget - From produce to baking needs, this 120 Cheap Organic Foods list will make your transition to organic foods much easier and affordable. | ifoodreal.com

Source: GMO Free USA

Winter:

Apples

Bananas

Oranges

Grapefruits

Kiwi

Lemons

Summer (local pesticide free):

Berries – blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries

Stone fruit – peaches, apricots, plums

Grapes

Melons – watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew

 

Organic Vegetables

Organic on a Budget - From produce to baking needs, this 120 Cheap Organic Foods list will make your transition to organic foods much easier and affordable. | ifoodreal.com Organic on a Budget - From produce to baking needs, this 120 Cheap Organic Foods list will make your transition to organic foods much easier and affordable. | ifoodreal.comOrganic on a Budget - From produce to baking needs, this 120 Cheap Organic Foods list will make your transition to organic foods much easier and affordable. | ifoodreal.com

Just like with fruit, I buy organic veggies by season (including season in California and Mexico), following Clean Fifteen and Dirty Dozen rules. June – November once a week I shop at a local farm stand where produce is not certified organic but not sprayed and grown in the most natural way as possible. November – June back to supermarket I go.

Potatoes

Onions

Carrots

Garlic

Beets

Sweet potatoes

Baby spinach

Spring salad mix

Kale

Broccoli

Cabbage

Tomatoes

Bell Peppers (green house grown without sprays)

Organic on a Budget - From produce to baking needs, this 120 Cheap Organic Foods list will make your transition to organic foods much easier and affordable. | ifoodreal.com

Summer: Locally grown produce you can see in farmers market haul.

 

Organic Frozen Fruit and Vegetables

Organic on a Budget - From produce to baking needs, this 120 Cheap Organic Foods list will make your transition to organic foods much easier and affordable. | ifoodreal.com

Strawberries for red smoothie

Mango for coconut mango ice cream; kids love to eat frozen fruit as a snack

Corn for cauliflower shepherd’s pie

Peas gets thrown right before serving into easy miso soup and healthy instant ramen

Mixed Vegetables make 15 minute delicious frozen vegetables stir fry.

 

Organic Dairy

Organic on a Budget - From produce to baking needs, this 120 Cheap Organic Foods list will make your transition to organic foods much easier and affordable. | ifoodreal.com

The only dairy me and Alex eat is Greek yogurt as a condiment, a bit of butter for sautéing like in healthy mushroom stroganoff, a bit of cheese sprinkled on stuffed portobellos. That’s it, we really limit dairy. It didn’t happen overnight and I went through a huge withdrawal but now I could care less. It was way easier for Alex – at age of 40 his cholesterol was so high, he got prescribed Crestor. Well, not for my husband – he quit dairy in a day LOL.

Kids love bagel with cream cheese, toast with butter and cereal with milk. I get it, they are kids. That’s why I buy organic, mix up soy and almond milk with cow’s and make them green smoothies almost every day. I do limit dairy even for them. For example, a lb of butter lasts us 4 – 5 months.

Milk

Greek yogurt

Butter

Cheese

Cream cheese

 

Organic Eggs

Organic on a Budget - From produce to baking needs, this 120 Cheap Organic Foods list will make your transition to organic foods much easier and affordable. | ifoodreal.com

A dozen for $6 on average. No way around it. There are many eggs on the market: free run, cage free, omega, from neighbour etc. My own opinion after a long research is the best are organic. Lisa from 100 Days of Real Food has a good post about egg labels (useful info in comments too).

I also do not buy egg whites any more as I learnt how harmful high protein and low carb diets are (how I stopped being afraid to eat), plus organic egg whites are almost $7 a carton. Forget about it!

 

Organic Cereal

Organic on a Budget - From produce to baking needs, this 120 Cheap Organic Foods list will make your transition to organic foods much easier and affordable. | ifoodreal.com

My kids do not like homemade granola or cereal, it is not happening (however, occasionally I make healthy homemade cereal for adults). They will eat a bunch of celery and broccoli before they eat that. So, I buy organic cereal, mostly Nature’s Path. Many of their cereals are lower in sugar and are made with wholesome ingredients. They vary so read the label. I also cook oatmeal from scratch using quick cooking steel cut oats with hemp and chia seeds.

 

Organic Seasonings and Condiments

Organic on a Budget - From produce to baking needs, this 120 Cheap Organic Foods list will make your transition to organic foods much easier and affordable. | ifoodreal.com

Salsa

Balsamic vinegar (next bottle will be organic)

Ketchup

Liquid aminos (soy sauce)

Avocado oil

Extra virgin olive oil => 3 Healthy Cooking Oils I Use

Coconut oil

Himalayan pink salt

Raw apple cider vinegar

Mustard

Non-GMO cornstarch

Vegetable bouillon cubes

Spices

Organic Canned Goods

Organic on a Budget - From produce to baking needs, this 120 Cheap Organic Foods list will make your transition to organic foods much easier and affordable. | ifoodreal.com Organic on a Budget - From produce to baking needs, this 120 Cheap Organic Foods list will make your transition to organic foods much easier and affordable. | ifoodreal.com

Tomato sauce

Tomato paste

Diced tomatoes

Pumpkin puree

Salmon

Tuna

I buy tomato products both in glass jars and BPA free Kirkland cans. Tomatoes are acidic and when in contact with steel, harmful chemicals will leach. Wild salmon and line and pole tuna are the best options and we probably eta some BPA with those – it’s life.

Organic on a Budget - From produce to baking needs, this 120 Cheap Organic Foods list will make your transition to organic foods much easier and affordable. | ifoodreal.com

Peanut butter

Tahini

Oily products like peanut butter should not come into contact with plastic for the same reason as tomatoes. They are not acidic but absorb chemicals from plastic. Same with dairy – I do not wrap my cheese in plastic anymore => glass container. However, all dairy products come in plastic and I haven’t come up with a solution for that unless you bring them home and transfer to glass containers immediately. It probably would help to discard food that touched plastic but I haven’t gotten there yet. I’m still thinking.

Organic on a Budget - From produce to baking needs, this 120 Cheap Organic Foods list will make your transition to organic foods much easier and affordable. | ifoodreal.com

Beans

I do not buy canned beans because organic canned beans in BPA free cans are ridiculously expensive ($3 for 14 oz can). I buy dried beans in bulk, cook and freeze (in BPA free bags once cooled) => how to cook dried beans.

Organic on a Budget - From produce to baking needs, this 120 Cheap Organic Foods list will make your transition to organic foods much easier and affordable. | ifoodreal.com

Applesauce

I also make my own applesauce and freeze (in BPA free bags once cooled).

 

Organic Sweeteners

Organic on a Budget - From produce to baking needs, this 120 Cheap Organic Foods list will make your transition to organic foods much easier and affordable. | ifoodreal.com

Honey

Maple syrup

I’m so proud to say the only sugar we eat is raw and unpasteurized honey and maple syrup (Costco was out of organic one). And mostly in baked goods, on top of pancakes or applesauce waffles, and to cure colds, coughs and sore throat. That is it for sugar for us, yay! And I’m even more happy to say we do not eat much of sweet stuff overall. We used to buy agave syrup (nectar) but apparently it is as processed as is high fructose corn syrup. Yikes!

 

Organic Snacks

Organic on a Budget - From produce to baking needs, this 120 Cheap Organic Foods list will make your transition to organic foods much easier and affordable. | ifoodreal.com

Corn tortilla chips

Raisins

Nuts

Pumpkin seeds

Sunflower seeds

Mary’s Gone crackers

Taste of Nature granola bars

Pretzel crackers

I bake a lot of muffins and my kids’ favourites are: clean eating banana muffins and whole wheat chocolate muffins.

 

Organic Whole Grains and Such

Organic on a Budget - From produce to baking needs, this 120 Cheap Organic Foods list will make your transition to organic foods much easier and affordable. | ifoodreal.com

These are your money savers! Buy grains and beans in bulk section or in big bags at Costco, and you are laughing. So cheap and keeps your family full. I make A LOT of soupscurries, stir fries and casseroles with various grains and seeds.

Quinoa

Brown rice

Lentils (green, red, brown)

Split peas (green and yellow)

Buckwheat

Oats

Pasta (whole wheat, brown rice)

Organic on a Budget - From produce to baking needs, this 120 Cheap Organic Foods list will make your transition to organic foods much easier and affordable. | ifoodreal.com

 

Seeds

Organic on a Budget - From produce to baking needs, this 120 Cheap Organic Foods list will make your transition to organic foods much easier and affordable. | ifoodreal.com

Seeds are awesome! They boost nutrition of any meal. I add them to oatmeal and smoothies.

Chia seeds

Flax seeds

Hemp hearts

 

Organic Popcorn

Organic on a Budget - From produce to baking needs, this 120 Cheap Organic Foods list will make your transition to organic foods much easier and affordable. | ifoodreal.com

OK, this discovery of mine really blew my mind last year. We used to buy bags of microwave popcorn. A thought about ditching microwave pushed me to find other ways to make popcorn for kids and after I read this we were done. Organic popping corn is cheap, so is the popcorn machine or a stove top pot.

 

Organic Baking

Organic on a Budget - From produce to baking needs, this 120 Cheap Organic Foods list will make your transition to organic foods much easier and affordable. | ifoodreal.com

Whole wheat or spelt flour

Vanilla extract

Aluminum free baking powder

Cinnamon

Unsulphured molasses

Unsweetened and unsulphured coconut flakes

Non-GMO chocolate chips

Organic on a Budget - From produce to baking needs, this 120 Cheap Organic Foods list will make your transition to organic foods much easier and affordable. | ifoodreal.com

Cacao powder

Not to be confused with cocoa powder. Cacao powder is less processed and has way more nutrients and antioxidants than cocoa powder. Cacao can be substituted 1:1 for cocoa in recipes. I love it!

 

Organic Bread Products

Organic on a Budget - From produce to baking needs, this 120 Cheap Organic Foods list will make your transition to organic foods much easier and affordable. | ifoodreal.com

Bread

Tortillas

English muffins

Bagels

All made with sprouted grains and seeds, and are organic. Favourite brands: Dave’s Killer Bread, Food for Life, SiIver Hills Bakery (Canada).

 

Organic Meat and Fish

Organic on a Budget - From produce to baking needs, this 120 Cheap Organic Foods list will make your transition to organic foods much easier and affordable. | ifoodreal.com

We eat meat twice a week. We really cut back on animal products in the last few years. After talking to doctors, dieticians and holistic nutritionists I knew we had to. Here is a very good article about animal products and health, particularly how they activate cancer genes.

Chicken: I get it from a nearby farm. It is not certified organic but it is grass and veggie fed, free running and without any antibiotics. Almost organic to me. The grass on the farm is not sprayed. I think this is better than Lilydale (Perdue, Harvest, Coleman, Tyson) organic chicken. Commercially raised organic chicken is not that innocent… Not to mention regular chicken which is not what it used to be. Read everything about chicken 2017 => The Truth About Chicken.

Venison: My mom supplies me with some from their hunting trips. It is wild, however she mentioned it might occasionally end up eating in some farmlands sprayed with what?! We don’t know. We cannot physically trace each wild deer so we hope they don’t eat a lot (if any) of sprayed vegetation. That’s the best I can do. I mostly use ground venison in all recipes calling for ground meat.

Turkey: I buy free run ground turkey at a local butcher occasionally.

Organic on a Budget - From produce to baking needs, this 120 Cheap Organic Foods list will make your transition to organic foods much easier and affordable. | ifoodreal.com

Sockeye Salmon: We eat fish about once every few weeks. We stock up our freezer with wild salmon every summer. Much cheaper than at stores. Species of salmon vary every year. Living near the ocean helps to eat only wild fish. When we are out, we go to a fish market and buy salmon and shrimp caught in a deep sea in Alaska. I would never ever buy farmed fish like Atlantic salmon, tilapia, shellfish and nothing fresh or frozen from Asia.

 

Organic Coffee and Tea

Organic on a Budget - From produce to baking needs, this 120 Cheap Organic Foods list will make your transition to organic foods much easier and affordable. | ifoodreal.com

Our favourite brand from Costco. Research shows a cup of black organic coffee is good for you. You coffee should be organic and not from a Keurig machine (environment and taste killer).

Organic on a Budget - From produce to baking needs, this 120 Cheap Organic Foods list will make your transition to organic foods much easier and affordable. | ifoodreal.com

Same with tea. I buy organic tea only, mostly loose leaf – plain black, Earl Grey, green tea.

 

Protein Powders

Organic on a Budget - From produce to baking needs, this 120 Cheap Organic Foods list will make your transition to organic foods much easier and affordable. | ifoodreal.com

Protein powders – really not real food but if you work out, it helps in many ways. Check out clean protein powders I like.

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Organic on a Budget - From produce to baking needs, this 120 Cheap Organic Foods list will make your transition to organic foods much easier and affordable. | ifoodreal.com

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Organic on a Budget - From produce to baking needs, this 120 Cheap Organic Foods list will make your transition to organic foods much easier and affordable. | ifoodreal.com

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Organic on a Budget - From produce to baking needs, this 120 Cheap Organic Foods list will make your transition to organic foods much easier and affordable. | ifoodreal.com

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Organic on a Budget - From produce to baking needs, this 120 Cheap Organic Foods list will make your transition to organic foods much easier and affordable. | ifoodreal.com

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Organic on a Budget - From produce to baking needs, this 120 Cheap Organic Foods list will make your transition to organic foods much easier and affordable. | ifoodreal.com

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Organic on a Budget - From produce to baking needs, this 120 Cheap Organic Foods list will make your transition to organic foods much easier and affordable. | ifoodreal.com

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Organic on a Budget - From produce to baking needs, this 120 Cheap Organic Foods list will make your transition to organic foods much easier and affordable. | ifoodreal.com

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Organic on a Budget - From produce to baking needs, this 120 Cheap Organic Foods list will make your transition to organic foods much easier and affordable. | ifoodreal.com

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Organic on a Budget - From produce to baking needs, this 120 Cheap Organic Foods list will make your transition to organic foods much easier and affordable. | ifoodreal.com

This post may contain affiliate links. When you buy a product I make a small commission without any extra cost to you. In return, you can enjoy free recipes as well as savings on your favourite products. I also shared Clean Eating Ingredients I Buy and Kitchen Appliances +Tools I Use. Please buy local, organic and fair trade whenever feasible.

30 Comments

  1. Katy

    Wow Olena! Thank you for taking the time to write this eye opening article for all of us! You make it seem so easy, and I bet it is easy with small steps. I go through phases of trying to eat organic only and then giving up because there are so few people that I know that eat organic. Not to mention the Ukrainian parties that I always go to 😉 I will need to start with baby steps. I love all of the recommendations that you give, you mention every possible thing in your pantry. I will have to reference this page often!

    Reply
    • Olena

      Hi Katy. It took we a few weeks to get it together and so happy you girls appreciate it! I knew it would be a lot of work but I really want to spread the word that eating organic is so possible. It hit me last month how much easier than I thought it is. I was pushed to do it by circumstances and now am so grateful it happened although it was terrifying at first!
      I don’t know anyone in person who eats organic like me but there are a lot of people who do and care! I see them in stores grabbing same food as I do and empty organic shelfs make me happy, honestly. The more we buy organic, the more we support health and sustainability. Ukrainian parties can fall into 10-20 or whatever % of your non-organic menu. I understand it is hard, been there. We have a rule to eat vegetarian when out to avoid most dairy and meat because those are GMOs 100%.
      And last but not least, don’t be scared to let people know you eat organic and share everything you know. People listen and today they might think you are a hippie, in a year they will be drinking organic green smoothies. I have a friend who is VERY butter, meat and just everyday American ingredients but she loves to cook. So, after a few years being friends with me she just bought same blender as me and started making green smoothies. Me and her, both, thought we would never see that day! LOL. She is taking baby steps too. It took me over 8 years to get where I am today, so you will be way ahead of me already LOL.
      I have other friends converting to organic foods and eating more plant-based. Cancer, sick kids and allergies are so on the rise today and seem to affect almost every family. Any research you do it all comes down to what kind of food we put in our body. So, do what you can and be proud of every step you make!!!

      Reply
      • Katy

        It’s definitely baby steps and finding alternatives that will produce the same yummy foods that I’m used to! Thanks for the research and all of the help! So many people are getting skeptical if organic is really organic or not.. Some people I know say that it’s all the same and won’t make a difference but it really does over time.

        Reply
        • Olena

          Organic might not be prefect but I always say it is the best available to me right now and I’m going for it. It’s up to each and every one of us to educate ourselves and make the best possible decision what food to put on the table. I personally refuse to be a science experiment until scientists figure out IF Round Up doesn’t cause tumours. Something tells me that won’t be the case as many studies have already shown…So, organic it is for me!

          Reply
  2. Kayla Byer

    Thank you for taking time to educate us on the benefits of organic. I follow your blog and love every recipe I make. You have made our transition to organic much easier. I definitely think spending money on organic far outweighs the negative effects of GMO’s. If you haven’t heard of NORWEX products you should check them out. Recently switched to them and love it. There towels etc can be used and clean amazingly with just water. I have never had such clean windows with water. Thanks again for all your work. Will be taking this post to the grocery store with me.

    Reply
    • Olena

      Hi Kayla. You are very welcome and so glad you enjoy my recipes.:)
      I have a friend who swears by Norwex! She loves it. I, honestly, can’t get past the cost but I think those products probably last a lifetime. Maybe one day.:) I found a glass cleaner recipe in the comments of this post and it works OMG. I have never seen my windows so clean, ever! Probably just like you.:) I use small towel and this spray (maybe someone would like to try it, but I know you are happy with your Norwex right now): 1/4 cup alcohol or cheap vodka, 1/4 cup white vinegar, 2 cups water, and 2 tablespoons cornstarch. Mix together and put in spray bottle. Unbelievable results! I also made this laundry detergent and it is amazing too. Dish and dishwasher soap…um, not so much LOL.

      Reply
      • Marina | Let the Baking Begin!

        Speaking of dish soap, if you’re really wanting to try something completely natural and something that definitely works, try mustard powder. Before we came here, and before they had dish soap available for a reasonable price in Ukraine my mom would use mustard powder to degreese dishes. I don’t know how it works with running water, but we would add a couple tablespoons of mustard powder to one large bowl of hot water, wash the dishes in that water and then rinse the dishes in the next bowl of clean water. Might not be the most comfortable way to do it, but definitely better than using the chemicals from the dishwashing liquid 🙂

        Reply
        • Olena

          Interesting. How would that differ from baking soda I wonder… I use it a lot to scrub pots and sink. I ended up using barely any dish soap now because frankly everything washes quite well without it, especially in warm water and if washed right away. With the amount of cooking I do I barely ever have a sink full of dishes. Dishwasher is hard…I went back to tablets and might look into buying some healthier powder or liquid. I just can’t live with dirty dishes that homemade dishwasher soap leaves me with…

          Reply
  3. Carrie

    Thank you for such a detailed and informative post!
    What are your thoughts on slow cookers/ crock pots? I recently read that they can leach chemicals.

    Reply
    • Olena

      Hi Carrie. Well, I definitely stopped using my Cuisinart multicooker with Teflon coating. Even a year ago I thought it was OK. I’m OK using ceramic coated slow cookers because ceramic, glass and stainless steel are the safest cooking pots out there right now. I understand they are not perfect but no matter how hard I try I can’t seem to avoid all harmful elements 100%. Still end up with something somewhere touching and leaching, so I do my best. The talk is slow cookers might leach lead. I found this interesting post where lady took different slow cookers for testing. I don’t use it often and am OK to use ceramic one. It’s like BPA in very small amounts is OK but not OK to buy all canned goods with BPA lining. I do what I can and what is reasonable to a point. I stopped using microwave, removed teflon, don’t cook in aluminum foil, bake with unbleached parchment paper, drink from glass and stainless steel bottles, no plastic containers or anything (I even bought stainless steel straws for smoothies). So, I’m OK with maybe (!) small amount of lead in slow cooker occasionally. That is a maybe. If there will be a safer appliance on a market soon I will definitely buy it. It’s like my Ninja Ultima blender has a plastic jug but all of them do – Blendtec or Vitamix. Glass is not feasible. It doesn’t contain BPA but I’m sure it contains many other not good for us chemicals. But drinking green smoothie outweighs maybe(!) leaching those chemicals in my food. It also doesn’t get heated.

      Reply
  4. Vickie

    Wow, thank you for all the hard work that you put into this post! Lots of information and just what I needed. I have a few questions: Popcorn…we make it on the stove…I will be switching to organic in the next store run (something I had forgotten to do since reading a past post of yours), I see you say stove top popping method is ok…my question is what would be the best oil to use? Would it be better just to invest in an air popper. We enjoy popcorn fairly often, especially as a tv snack if dinner was served early. Also by cutting out dairy, did that cut the need for high cholesterol meds. altogether? (I understand that this may vary from person to person) I do not know how I would live without cheese. What is the best kind of cheese to use in small amounts…say on pizza…which by the way do you have a clean eating veggie pizza recipe??

    Reply
    • Olena

      Hi Vickie. Yes, stovetop in a stainless steel pot is fine. I wouldn’t use aluminum popcorn pot.
      From what I have read, and there are many opinions and I’m not an RD or nutritionist, coconut or avocado oil are best for high T. Again, there are different types of them. Best is to buy virgin, cold pressed, unrefined (extra virgin) oil. Avocado oil from Costco might not be the best one judging by the price and colour. It has to be dark green and extra virgin like this one. I would buy a good one from Whole Foods however good coconut oil is widely available. Here read more about oil. I definitely wouldn’t use olive oil for high heat. I should switch to sautéing only in coconut oil myself and use olive oil raw.
      My kids love popcorn too and it is a healthy snack if cooked properly. It is good for us. They like to make it themselves too that’s why I use an air popper. However, I think inside is made out of aluminum but at least popcorn is out of there fast. I mean I can do so much…I stopped heating butter in that plastic thingy on top and they do it in a pot on a stovetop. My husband burnt popcorn on a stovetop so bad once, they need an air popper. I’m not cooking popcorn as well, they can do it. So, air popper it is.:) My 8 year old us fully familiar with our gas stove and can cook and bake, so that’s off my shoulders. Him and his 4 year old brother manage quite well in the kitchen while I’m on a couch LOL.
      Yes, as soon as Alex stopped eating cheese his cholesterol dropped right away and already 6 years he is fine! I mean we eat dairy very occasionally, incorporated into a recipe mostly. Once in a while it won’t kill you, it is fine. Deprivation is not good. I think any organic full fat cheese is OK. I crave it sometimes and have a few little slices and am good. It gets dangerous with wine when I relax so I don’t do it. For pizza I’m using organic shredded cheddar cheese from Costco (Canada). It doesn’t contain cellulose that prevents it from sticking so less chemicals. You can grate your own too. I’m currently researching about yeast and posting pizza recipe with homemade organic whole wheat dough is on my list, so stay tuned. I also want to freeze dough in batches. I cannot find organic ww dough anywhere!!!

      Reply
  5. Vera (VerasCooking)

    Great post Olena! Very much needed too. I’m in a process of cleaning my pantry, and switching to organic. Food babe and ifoodreal are my new best friends, seriously 😉 Food babe have helped to understand how to read food labels, and understand ingredient lists; Ifoodreal definitely helped me to apply it in my kitchen as I knew nothing about clean eating before. By the way, on my last visit to Bellingham Costco I saw organic unbleached flour on a shelf. I don’t recall seeing it there before. Or do you look for particularly whole wheat one?

    Reply
    • Olena

      Good for you, girl! I’m so proud of all Russian and Ukrainian girls starting to eat clean because I understand that cuisine relies heavy on animal products and we just didn’t have GMOs back then, so cream cheese, condensed milk and heavy cream it is. So, very proud of you, Vera!!!
      This kind of posts is very time consuming! Food Babe has no kids so she can definitely post them often and we need her!
      Gosh, I haven’t been in that Costco forever since our $ isn’t that good and Canadian organic market got WAY better in the last few years. Honestly, white flour is dead to me, even organic. It has no nutrition and no point buying it. I buy only organic whole wheat or spelt flours. Of course, if I go to Italy I would eat their pizza but their flour is WAY different too and I wouldn’t wanna miss the experience.

      Reply
  6. Emily

    I have been looking for a blog write up like this to tell me all the bits and pieces. THANK YOU. im from aus but all of your hints I can adapt to the shops around here 🙂 heres to a happy healthy CLEAN family <3

    Reply
    • Olena

      Exactly, as long as you know what to look for! Good for you and you are welcome! Be healthy – the most important thing in life!:)

      Reply
  7. Sue Ronson

    I have been buying the organic shredded cheddar cheese in your photo from Costco Vancouver. but now they don’t stock it any more. And i can’t remember the name of it to look it up online. Can you give me the name and suggestions on where else to find it? many thanks, Sue

    Reply
    • Olena

      L’ancetre. I saw it last week at Costco in Port Coquitlam. You can stock up and freeze. Unfortunately I haven’t seen it anywhere else shredded. All in small blocks for $6.

      Reply
  8. Jazzmi

    Great article and shopping list. I live in Surrey so have access to the same stores as you. One suggestion though to look into tea a bi more. I was really surprised to learn about the junk that is often on the teabag itself. The Food Babe has a good article on it with her recommended teas. I read her info with a grain of salt as she often wont’ provide research or support for her claims. Plus she’s in the US which has very different food regulations than Canada!

    Reply
    • Olena

      Hi neighbour.:) I know, I know. I read that. I agree with you. I drink many loose leaf teas. I like the taste without tea bags and use SS tea spoon brewer. In the evening I drink more of bagged teas because I like certain flavours. But yes, even a staple in a tea bag submerged in boiling water is leaching chemicals. Ugh. We grew up on lose leaf tea in Ukraine so I’m pretty used to it.:) Nice chatting with you.

      Reply
  9. Irene

    I used to buy soy milk until I discovered they contain phytoestrogens that can throw off hormone levels. Just something to think about.

    Reply
  10. Lisa

    Thank you so much… I am so glad I found this wonder PIN to read. I have received not so great news from my Dr. last week from numerous results, and I decided I needed to change everything. I am a little overwhelmed with all the food changes, just wanted o let you know this was a HUGE help and relieved so must stress. It is all so overwhelming. Its like learning a new language and fighting for your life all at once. thank you once again and God Bless you.

    Reply
    • Olena

      Hi Lisa. It will get better!!! Changes are hard. I’m having one of those days work wise and feel like pulling teeth but I have to do changes. I hope your health will improve. Actually by changing diet it WILL improve for sure.

      Reply
  11. Laurel

    Don’t forget that the more we choose organic, the higher the demand, the more that will be produced and then the prices will come come down for all of us!

    Without your guidance, recipes and encouragement I may have given up. This information is so useful for everyone myself included.

    Reply
  12. Olya

    Hi Olena! Thanks for summarizing the organic produce and what you opt to buy for your family! Very informative article. I like to use virgin coconut oil when cooking thinking it is a healthy fat, but recently I found some information on virgin coconut oil describing why it is bad for you (here is one example: https://www.pritikin.com/your-health/healthy-living/eating-right/1790-is-coconut-oil-bad-for-you.html) . Just want to know what you heard about virgin coconut oil since you research this kind of stuff quite a bit. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Olena

      Hi Olya. Sigh, I understand your confusion. I believe in moderation, also checking sources that publish info. I think this article explains the issue of coconut oil really well.

      Reply
      • Olya

        Thanks for the info! Sounds like moderate consumption is a key to all foods, including coconut oil. Thank you for the great recipes you share on your website!

        Reply
        • Olena

          It truly is IMHO. I do not think single foods are a cause of health problems, and it’s always good to look at both sides of the story and follow your gut. I know that American Heart Association bashed coconut oil, however they were avid promoters of low fat products for decades while listing mainly red meat recipes on their website. All real food in moderation is OK, even sugar (again quality and real like cane sugar) in moderation is OK, honestly.
          You are very welcome.:)

          Reply

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