I’m not going to sugar coat this because this is something that is more important than most people realize.
And I’m not going to debate research or any other opinions on the subject because I have personally witnessed on many occasions the impact that conventional and organic food can have on the body. And anytime there is Leaky Gut involved, this becomes much more important.
I have had clients who were eating an extremely healthy diet but continued to struggle with issues until they finally made the switch to organic.
And it’s because of two reasons…
1. With Leaky Gut Syndrome, your liver is already under stress so the addition of even the smallest amount of toxic pesticides, preservatives, and other chemicals is oftentimes enough to push things over the edge.
2. With Leaky Gut Syndrome, you’re already deficient in many key nutrients and conventionally raised food is lower in these nutrients. And your body needs as many nutrients as possible in order to replenish its nutrient stores and heal.
But buying organic doesn’t mean that you have to shop at Whole Foods or some other high end grocery store and pay premium prices in order to get the healthy food you need.
There are plenty of other options available and I’m going to share with you my own resources and how and where I get the best organic food at the best price for me and my family.
Local Organic Food Sources
Farmers Market are growing at such a fast pace that they are popping up in almost every city these days. This is great because it’s helping smaller local farmers and businesses reach the public where they can’t necessarily compete in local grocery stores.
And there’s no doubt that eating local food from local farms is best because the produce is allowed to fully ripen instead of being picked way too early and transported half way around the world to your dinner table while ripening unnaturally and losing vital nutrients.
But in my experience, there are also some downsides to farmers markets. First of all, you have to be careful because not all produce is organic so don’t assume just because it’s at a farmers market that it’s the best quality.
And because farmers markets are becoming more and more popular, I’m finding that prices are also beginning to increase because it’s becoming more of a fad and the demand is there.
In the past, I’ve used Farmers Markets as a source for local organic produce, high quality free range organic eggs, raw milk, and raw cheeses.
Oftentimes you can find local Farmers Markets easily by simply typing the name of your city along with “farmers market” into your search engine. But I also use this great website resource below.
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
Not too many people are familiar with CSAs yet but they are beginning to gain ground and become a more popular choice for getting local organic produce.
The concept is simple in that instead of paying for and buying your produce as individual items and paying per pound, you instead buy a share or part of a share of the produce directly grown from the farm. So whatever the farm grows each week you get your share of the yield.
The biggest downside is that you don’t necessarily get to choose exactly what you want. Instead you get what the farm grows so be sure to check with the CSA to see what crops they grow. You also typically pay upfront for your share as a lump sum.
And if the yield is particularly good them you can get far more than your money’s worth. But on the other hand, if there is a late season freeze and the crops are slow then you can also have a week or two with less than normal yield.
I have belonged to a CSA for a couple of years and I love it. You can literally get some of the best produce for the cost of conventional produce in the grocery store or even cheaper. You can’t beat it as long as you’re not picky as to what you get.
I also use the Local Harvest website below to find local CSAs.
Local co-ops are one of my favorite resources for getting organic food because they tend to give a little more control over what is ordered while still getting some great prices.
But a co-op typically works by getting a group of people together who all want to take advantage of buying in bulk and sharing the cost and savings.
Then whoever leads the co-op is responsible for contacting local farms, distributors, or other sources to get the best prices on bulk orders and order accordingly for the entire group. Then after the produce is delivered, it’s divided up equally amongst the co-op members.
I am part of a couple of co-ops that are both quite different in the way each on operates. One co-op that I belong to operates more like a grocery store where you place your order ahead of time and have the freedom to choose exactly what you want from a list of the best deals that week. They also carry an array of all natural and organic meats, eggs, raw butter, raw milk, raw nuts, and various dry goods.
The other is a smaller fruit and vegetable co-op that isn’t quite as flexible. You provide input as to your preference but in the end, the majority wins.
There are some great resources for finding co-ops but I’ve found one in particular to be the best which is to find your local Weston A. Price Chapter who are always active and in the know about any local co-ops or other organic food sources. Just look up a local chapter near you and ask them for some resources.
Another resource is to again, use the Local Harvest website.
Direct from the Farm
I saved the best for last. It’s unfortunate that our food supply has gotten so far off-course today with tip toeing around rules and regulations that there’s really only one true way to find out if even the organic meats, eggs, vegetables, or milk is truly the best quality.
And that’s by talking directly with the farmers themselves.
I’m very particular about this so you better believe that I either call or more often visit the farms that I buy from directly. I want to see the cows grazing in grass covered fields like they should. I want to see the chickens pastured and eating natural bugs, insects, and feed like they should. I want to see that the animals are healthy and the conditions are clean. And any good farmer will gladly welcome you and tell you that you should do the same.
If a farmer isn’t welcoming you to their farm then that’s a red flag.
And I’m far more particular about my meat sources than anything because there are so many loopholes that getting the highest quality meats can be quite difficult.
For example, it’s not only important anymore to get grass fed beef but to also make sure that it’s grass finished. Many farmers advertise their beef as grass fed which is great for achieving the perfect ratios of Omega 3 Fatty Acids.
But many then turn around and corn feed their cattle for the last few weeks to fatten then up in order to make more money for the weight. But the problem is that even in the last few weeks, the corn will completely alter the Essential Fatty Acid composition of the cow.
So I always check directly with the farmers that I buy my meat or other animal products from.
And when you go directly to the farm you can also get some great discounts. We get the best grass fed and grass finished beef for just about the same price as grocery store beef by buying in bulk. We buy either a quarter or half of a cow and store it in our deep freezer. And this way you also get all different cuts of meat including steaks and fillet which is a nice bonus.
Here are a couple of resources that I use for finding local farmers that offer a variety of meats:
Start Your Own Organic Food Garden
One of the best ideas for getting organic produce for the absolutely best price is to start your own organic food garden.
My husband and I actually started our own little garden as a side project and it’s turned out to be quite useful. It’s great for those days or weeks when you need a little more produce on hand.
And don’t think that you need a green thumb to do this either. In all honesty, I have a hard time keeping my house plants alive.
But there are plenty of books and guides that will walk you through it just like this one:
If I can do it, you can too!
Utilize the Power of the Internet
Of course there’s always the possibility that you live in some area void of health conscious people or local farmers. Or maybe you’re just not interested in becoming that involved with your food (although I do highly recommend it if you want the best for the best price).
So now with the power of the internet, you are able order farm direct and get some of the highest quality meats delivered directly to your doorstep.
Although I haven’t personally looked for a similar company outside of the US, I’m sure they do exist and with a little bit of looking you’re likely to come up with something. Otherwise, you still have the other resources above.
US Wellness Meats
I have been ordering from US Wellness Meats for a little while now and I’m really enjoying how easy it is. And from all of the research that I have done, they are a very high quality trusted source.
All of their meat is flash-frozen (which is best) and shipped to you extremely quickly packed with freeze packs to ensure that everything remains frozen. And the shipping is free and already factored into the already reasonable prices that they offer.
I will continue to order at least some of my meats from here, especially the specialty ones that are harder to get locally. I like to rotate my meats as much as possible and get a good variety. But you can’t beat the convenience.
Here’s the link to US Wellness Meats
They also have some fantastic resources on their website that you can take a look at too like these tips on how to properly cook different meats:
You now have no excuses!
That should pretty much cover just about all of your options and I’m sure you can easily find one or more ways to avoid paying a premium for organic food in the grocery store.
And trust me when I say that I’ve heard just about every excuse there is as to why people just can’t get high quality organic food to help improve their health.
So now that I’ve given you my personal resources and shown you where to buy organic food for cheaper than grocery store prices, you have no excuses not to.
Watch this video – Top 7 Foods for Getting Rid of Leaky Gut
Karen Brimeyer is a nutritionist, functional medicine practitioner, and health consultant. She has helped over a hundred personal clients heal their leaky gut, digestive problems, lose weight, and resolve their chronic symptoms and conditions.
She is the owner of Optimal Self-Healing in Tampa Bay Florida, a private nutrition and health consultation business and author of the Leaky Gut Cure program.
Karen has worked with a wide variety of populations from new moms to athletes overcome their health problems and achieve optimal health.
Karen found her passion for nutrition as a teenager. While striving to achieve optimal health by following the widely accepted diet and nutrition tips of the media and conventional medicine, she found her own health declining rapidly with the development leaky gut which led to digestive problems and chronic fatigue.
Unwilling to accept her situation, she set out to determine the truth about health which led her through her own research as well as studying and working with some of the best holistic doctors and holistic practitioners in the fields of nutrition, functional medicine, and life coaching.
She has since applied her knowledge with herself to overcome her own leaky gut and achieve an unprecedented level of health and wellbeing. Her happy and healthy pregnancy and now two-year old son, TJ, are a testament to the health she has achieved.
To find out more about this program, click on Leaky Gut Cure