Organic Food: Healthy Food Ideas For The Ordinary Shopper

by Millie Kay G. on October 3, 2008

Healthy food ideas and options are now more available than ever. Here are some of the organic food items I enjoy shopping for.

organic food, healthy food ideas

With everything going green lately, it’s no surprise that organic food is becoming more widely available. A few months ago, I read Michael Pollan’s book In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto and another book called Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, also available in MP3 CD (the Library Edition). Thanks to those titles, I became more interested in diversifying the meals I eat and serve. However, since most of my organic food experience boils down to being pelted by falling pecans in the neighborhood each fall, it’s time for me to take a closer look at what kind of organic fare is available — and if the prices are right for me.

Organic Staples

The biggest retailer in my area happens to be Walmart. I’ve seen organic fruit there — and it looked gorgeous. I’ve also seen organic milk there. One thing I’ve tried is Del Monte’s Organic tomato sauce, which I got for 44 cents a few months ago. Like many other organic food products, it was a little pricier than the regular tomato sauce I usually buy, but the label had a coupon printed on for 50 cents off two cans for my next purchase. Apparently, Del Monte offers organic products ranging from peas and carrots to diced tomatoes that would be great in my favorite lentil-black bean chili.

Organic Fruit

What about organic fruit? I was surprised to learn that family favorites like bananas and pineapple are available as organic products from Dole, which also has frozen organic fruit. I could mix up my own organic smoothies!

Organic Ingredients

I don’t always have time to hang out by my stove, but Amy’s Kitchen looks like it’s always open. This line uses organic ingredients in their food — and with selections ranging from pizza to pot pies and beyond, I would enjoy it more than drive-thru fare.

Organic Beef

Where’s the organic beef? I don’t eat a lot of meat because of a family history of high cholesterol, but the next time I need chicken-fry steaks, I just might check out what’s available from the Oklahoma Food Cooperative. Many of the products are Certified Organic, from cattle that were pasture-fed. At $6.50 a package, the chicken-fry steaks cost less than going to a restaurant for them.

Organic Breads

In the last few years, I’ve been baking my own pizza dough, English muffin bread, and cakes. That much baking takes a lot of flour power, so when I’m ready to try organic baking products, I can turn to King Arthur Flour. I’ve been drooling over their catalogs for years, but with their organic scones and muffin mixes, I can widen my repetoire. Although the organic blueberry muffin mix does seem luxe at $7.50, the taste just might lure my family away from the usual convenience store cupcakes. Of course, if you don’t want to go the DIY route, you can try out an organic bakery like Farrell Family Organic Bread.

Organic Coffee

So many of us can’t start our days without coffee. Since I seem chronically unable to find a Starbucks, I wouldn’t mind trying LION Coffee’s organic coffees. Kona Gold Vanilla Macadamia, oh my!

Organic Pet Food?

Also, thanks to brands like Newman’s Own Organics, even my pets can have an organic diet. For serious pet lovers out there with the budget to spare, healthy foods can now extend to your four-legged companions.

Organic Items Online!

If I can’t make it to stores like Whole Foods, the local grocery store or the farmer’s market, then I can scan the organic pickings at From milk, snack foods, sweeteners, and more, I can fill my pantry with all sorts of organic items. Combined with the site’s Subscribe and Save feature, I wouldn’t run out of anything either.

Overall, some organic foods seem expensive compared to the regular items I buy, but knowing that my food doesn’t have potentially harmful additives and preservatives might be worth the peace of mind. What about you? What kind of organic foods do you recommend?

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 PJ Hamel October 4, 2008 at 6:45 pm

Hi Millie – Thanks for the kind words about King Arthur Flour. I’d like to recommend our 100% organic white whole wheat flour – whole wheat flour with a “white flour” taste. I’m one of the test bakers in the kitchen at King Arthur, and it’s my favorite flour. Give it a try sometime.And thanks again – PJ Hamel, King Arthur Flour baker/blogger

2 SVB October 5, 2008 at 9:48 am

Hi PJ,

Thanks for dropping by! I learned quite a bit from Millie’s post as well — great resources here for organic food items. I’ll definitely be checking out your products. 🙂

3 Glenn October 5, 2008 at 2:58 pm

Millie, I found Michael Pollan’s book very influential as well. Familiarising myself with local sources of organic food was very important. And using your blog to familiarise others is a great thing to do.

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