I look for the organic labeling PLU code (Product Look Up). PLUs are a system of numbers that uniquely identify bulk produce sold in grocery store markets. It’s usually a 4-5 digit code for fresh produce and packaged items. The PLU code has various attributes, which include the commodity, variety, growing methodology (e.g., organic), and the size of the produce. I am mostly interested in organic food status.
Learning to eat what’s most natural and learning to grow our own food sources will become a necessity.
Sign up for our newsletter. We’ll be revisiting Herbalist and Earth Practitioner Marguerite Nesteruk, of Resonating Earth next month. We last visited Marguerite and discussed the importance of Biodynamic Farming at One Gun Ranch in Malibu, CA.
The Organic Food Wake Up
Almost every morning, I have a smoothie for breakfast that consists of approximately 14 items. Mostly supplemental, some greens, two choices of organic frozen fruit; berries, banana slices, pineapple, HUmineral ResCue Antioxidant, and HUmineral Raw Liquid Mineral. One banana serves up seven days of smoothies. My goal is always to reduce sugars, so you only need a sliver of banana or a similarly sweet and a few pieces of frozen pineapple. If I use strawberries, only 1 or 2, if making for one. Most new smoothie makers make enough mix for days and try to finish it the same day or leftovers on day two; it may not taste the same. Remember you are making it for one, so reduce all your additives for the ideal 8-16 oz smoothie.
Organic Food Choices
There are choices for less expensive organic selections in small natural and organic markets. Additionally, Whole Foods 365 and the Kroger Corporation, which owns 13 food store brands in the United States, also offers organic choice. Kroger is celebrating ten years of its Simple Truth and Simple Truth Organic brand.
I tend to shop in smaller nutrition specialty stores that offer lots of organic and chemical-free choices. But if shopping organic can’t be a part of your regular program, making healthier overall choices is best. Try shopping for organic sale items and shopping a few times a week for fresher food rather than storing up for a month on more expensive organic items. Organic items need to be consumed in a more timely manner than preserved choices.
Make sure your meat selections are organic, grass-fed, and grass-finished. Grass-finished means it comes from cattle that lived on a strict diet of grass and forage for their entire life. Grass-fed may be used to label meat from cattle that started on a grass-fed diet but could have received supplemental grain feed or finished on a fully grain-based diet.
My go-to choice of meats I do consume is from Black Wing Meats. They are one of North America’s leading providers of clean, pure organic pastured, healthy, grass-fed, grass-finished, wild, and exotic meat suppliers, using no synthetics. Black Wing Meat and Old Mill Country Store, located in Antioch, IL, are two entities supplying clean and pure proteins to the food industry. They are one of the original founders of the ostrich industry in the US and are now a leader in game meats and organic proteins. They have been selling directly to consumers, food service, grocery markets, and restaurants nationwide and internationally since 1997.
Organic grass-fed/grass-finished beef growers are safer than non-organic grass-fed/grass-finished because growers of grass-fed animals can not keep their neighbors’ chemical sprays from infecting their pastures. Organic pastures are tested yearly to be certain they are free of synthetic chemicals.
If you don’t have many organic food choice shopping markets, check out your local Farmer’s Markets. Most cities have them. A great place to visit for fresh, organic, and local eats. If you live in a warmer climate, you probably experience year-round markets; colder climates, seasonal. It’s a good idea to get to know your local farmers and support their farming.
Organic is about health as much as it’s about the choice, flavor, vibrant color, and satisfaction in the meal, whether you are cooking for one daily or a dinner party.
By Candice Nicole