Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Eating Organic: Our food journey

I thought I would start to share our food journey to organic produce and perhaps share some ideas on what we buy each week (& why), meal planning and recipes. I will also share my thoughts on key things to buy organic if you are on a budget.

Before children this would have been one of those post had I read on a blog, I would have simply scrolled on by. However now, I am so interested in growing healthy children - healthy from real food and traditional wisdom. I hope even if you aren't super interested in nutrition this perhaps gives you some food for thought on your our food journey. 

I was inspired by reading over at The Beetle Shack. Emily from The Beetle Shack has set a challenge of eating organic for $150 per week. Now we definitely spend more than this on food per week, so this got my attention! 

About 18 months ago we switched everything we buy to organic. It had been a gradual process of beginning to buy some organics at coles and woolies and either shopping at our local farmers markets for fresh produce or through an online delivery company (Lettuce deliver).

I want to say here that buying and eating 'organic' does not necessary mean eating a healthy and nourishing diet. There are many fad organic foods and foods so many believe are healthy hat I would not touch or feed to my family.

If I am able to buy an item that is not certified organic, however I know that it was locally grown without the use of pesticides, in a sustainable and ethical way (in the case of meat/ poultry) then I will. Organic certifications costs a lot of money and for many farmers its simply not worth it. 

After much research we decided that in order to be getting as much nutrition from our food (and not from artificial supplements) we needed to be eating organic produce that had been grown in soil rich in nutrients and beneficially bacterial.

There are many reasons why eating organic is important, soil is the most important. Your food is only as nutritious as the soil in which it is grown.  Conventional soils are so depleted in nutrients added to this produce is sprayed with an array of  chemicals - although conventional produce may look perfect, its nutritional content is certainly not.

Of course there is the cost to eating organic produce. 

We definitely spend a lot of money on food. I would find it hard to say how much, however I would think at least $250 - $300 per week would be normal.  Now that I am not working - this is going to have to change.  

Up until recently we have been visiting our local farmers market each week for fresh produce, however since Milly's arrival have been using Lettuce deliver. In addition to this I would visit our local organic shop at least once a week to stock up on eggs, raw milk, cream, yogurt and butter. Plus an order with GRUB or Feather and Bone at least once every 2-3 weeks for our (grass-fed) meat. Non perishable items like washing powder, toilet paper, tissues etc are purchased from woolies online usually once a month.

We are not into artificial supplements, however the two things I do buy for our family are fermented cod liver oil and bovine gelatin over at GPA Wholefoods - I will tell you why in the next post. Talk about superfoods - these are real traditional superfoods!

So this is how we shop. Next I will tell you what my usually 'shopping cart' looks like.

Do you eat organically grown produce? If you only eat some organic, how do you decide what you buy thats organic vs conventional. Please share 'how you shop', I'd love to hear from you. 


  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I haven't gone to full organic- just a few bits here and there, where budget allows. I have shifted from buying whatever produce I like, to choosing local, in season stuff only. It's a start! It's so expensive, isn't it- sustaining a family!

  2. A really interesting post Natalie! I too have become more conscious of eating good food and making wholesome food for my children. I try and buy organic products whenever possible. Eggs are so much better!

    I do my meal planning and shopping at a large outlet once a week. But I think I might buy my dry food online and go to our beautiful local green grocer and butcher once a week so that I get the best produce (and I think it'll be much more relaxing too!)

    I was recently referred to Jude Blereau @ Wholefood Cooking blog and I've brought her book "Wholefood for Children". Once I get it I will let you know what it's like if you like.

  3. Thanks Sascedar. Local and seasonal is such a great conscious way to eat. Yes it is expensive and this is only food!

  4. Great post Nat, we pretty much eat a combination of organic and local, seasonal produce. We’re very similar to you. I first started changing my shopping ways back at uni, getting organic or local produce as I could afford (1 the first couple of weeks, 5 items after the first few months etc) until where we are now, which would be 75% organic.

    We spend around $335 a fortnight, and even that is a struggle right now saving for the wedding. I'm interested to see you can buy Raw Milk?! That's wonderful, I can't find any around these parts.

    We try to avoid Woolies and the major chains as I feel they undermine the smaller businesses and I also don't like in Woolies case, how they are part of the Pokie culture etc. Though I admit we sometimes have to go there, but we've only shopped there 4 times this year which is down on previous years, preferring our local IGA, local health shops, independent famers and butchers.

    We have just taken an exciting leap though and became owner/members in an organic farm which I will share more about soon over my way!

  5. thanks so much for sharing. i am quite new to your blog and i had found so many of your nutrition articles and links useful after recently transitioning to a traditional diet.
    we grow some of our own vegetables, have chickens for eggs but everything else is bought from the health food shop or the supermarket. we also spend at least $250 a week on food. we try to by organic where we can but being in a rural area find it quite difficult.
    off to check out the beetle shack's blog to see what the challenge is all about.

  6. Thanks Nicole. Great idea buying dry food online if you can - the less to carry with two children the better! Thanks - I recently went to a seminar with Jude Blereau and bought that very book. It is just wonderful. I am sure you will think so too.

  7. Thanks for your comment Stace - really looking forward to reading about your new venture, how exciting!

  8. Hi Jo, lovely to have you joining us :) and so glad you find the links useful. hopefully in the near future more organic produce may pop up - and great that you grow some of your own.

  9. Hey nat! loving your posts. Where are you buying this raw milk? The only unpasturised milk I've found is cleopatras bath milk. Hopefully see u sat xx

  10. Great post! I'd also like to know where you're getting your milk as I've only found Cleos or Swampys. We somehow manage $150 on groceries a week. I think being realistic with how much fruit and veg we actually eat has helped a lot. We used to get a mixed box sent from our organic grocer and I was always shocked at how much we didn't eat, and we really tried! Haha. Farmers market has been great for scoring bargains as well.


Thanks for your sharing your thoughts. I love hearing from you and will respond to any questions in the comments sections. Natalie

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