No matter how committed you are to feeding your family healthy foods, a tight budget makes it more challenging. Food manufacturers who produce affordable packaged foods generally include more GMOs and toxic ingredients in their formulations. Organic foods, from produce to meats, are always the more expensive choice. In a recent article, the author offers some guidelines for buying groceries on a tight budget.
She recommends you begin by identifying foods it is best to avoid:
Non-organic dairy because of the hormones and antibiotics as well as the GMO feed given to the animals
Non-organic meat because of the hormones and antibiotics as well as the GMO feed given to the animals
Anything containing corn, soy, or canola in any form because it is almost certain to be GMO
Anything with chemical additives like artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
Anything that is likely to have been doused in pesticides
Anything containing neurotoxins like MSG, fluoride, or aspartame (along with other artificial sweeteners)
Here’s what you need to know about the chemistry behind these foods:
GMOs, or genetically-modified foods, have not been tested for their long-term affects in human beings. But there is evidence in peer-reviewed studies of links to growth of grotesque tumors, premature death, organ failure, kidney and liver damage, and severe allergic reactions.
Livestock animals that provide meat or dairy products are frequently fed growth hormones, antibiotics, and GMO feed. Growth hormones are known to cause opposite sex characteristics in developing children, early puberty, cancer and infertility. As we now know, overuse of antibiotics is causing a potentially deadly resistance.
When you look at the label to note the ingredients of a food and you see additives, colors, flavors, and preservatives, it is likely most of the real nutrients are gone. These highly processed foodlike substances are very hard for the body to break down, and what few nutrients remain are less bioavailable. They also frequently cause allergic reactions, headaches, and they have been implicated in ADD and ADHD.
Pesticides are widely used in conventional farming, and even the Environmental Protective Agency acknowledges they cause health problems. They warn of possible “birth defects, nerve damage, cancer, and other effects that might occur over a long period of time.” Infants and young children are particularly at risk.
The water supply is loaded with fluoride, a neurotoxin implicated in lower IQs, infertility, cancer and hardening of the arteries. Nearly all packaged food on grocery shelves is seasoned with MSG in one of its many names, and many low calorie foods and diet drinks are sweetened with aspartame. These are excitotoxins that may cause brain cell death, resulting in decreased IQs, headaches, depression, and seizures.
So what should you buy?
Buy non-organically grown grains with few or no additives include wheat flour, brown rice, pasta, coucous, quinoa and barley.
If you can’t afford grass-fed organic meat, buy hormone and antibiotic-free. The government does not allow the use of hormones on poultry or pork. The label “free-range” is essentially meaningless.
Check out local farmers and buy your eggs there. Substitute daily meat meals with beans, hormone-free eggs and organic milk products.
The fruits and vegetables that are safest to buy non-organic are avocado, pineapple, mango, sweet peas, asparagus, kiwi, cabbage, cantaloupe, watermelon, grapefruit, sweet potato, and onions. Corn is safe in terms of pesticides, but it is almost all now grown from genetically-modified seeds. Whole Foods Market guarantees their corn is non-GMO. While that is not the place to shop on a budget, you might want to stop there just to pick up a few ears of corn for dinner.