Eating Organic, You Can Do It…

Written by Bob Sonnenberg, Education and Outreach Coordinator, Whole Foods Cooperative

In the best of times keeping your family fed can be quite trying. With the economy in trouble and the safety and nutritional value of the food available to us questionable to say the least, the task becomes even more daunting. More and more people are deciding that organically grown food is the way to go. The Organic sector of our food system is the fastest growing despite the worsening economy. You don’t have to go very far to find information about the superior nutritional value and taste of organically grown food. Conventional agricultural is one of the top contributors to pollution of the air and the waters which are crucial to our health. The chemicals and unknown genetic material in conventional foods are responsible for the dramatic deterioration in the health of an increasing number of people.

The question then is, how do I deal with the high price of eating organic? Is it really higher? At some point you may come to the conclusion that you cannot afford not to eat organic. But you may not be there yet. What you need is a strategy to turn the system to your advantage. You may already have your own methods and strategies to eat well within your budget. You can apply all of those strategies to eating organic.

The Whole Foods Coop has been providing good food to the Erie Community for over thirty years. The Co-op is a community owned business. Over 4300 families own shares of stock in the Co-op. You do not need to be a member/owner to shop at the Co-op. You may be one of them or you may certainly know one. Owning a share is one of the ways to make good food more affordable. Member/owners receive a number of discounts not open to non-owners. There is the basic 2% discount on non sale items. Then one day of the month, a day that you choose you would receive 15% off on non-sale items. You also would receive an extra case discount on non-sale special order items. There are also items that are on sale for only member /owners.

Here are a few strategies that also can help:

  1. Use coupons-Many are available in the Co-op and online.
  2. Buy ingredients-processed foods (organic or otherwise) tend to be more expensive. The more time that you can add into your diet the less money needed.
  3. Buy by the case and stock your pantry with staples as they become available at good prices. At certain times shelf stable items are on sale at deeper discounts. Money saved can be used to purchase fresh ingredients when they are in season.
  4. Buy in bulk. Bulk can mean buying a little or buying a lot. Stocking your pantry when items are on sale is a safe bet.
  5. Cook. Bake. Preserve. Learn the skills that got other generations through tough times.
  6. Grow your own.

The Co-op was started by local people to help them get the best food available. That was and is our only business. We don’t carry anything with artificial colorings, sweeteners or flavorings. We don’t carry anything but organic and locally grown unsprayed fruits and vegetables. The water we spray and clean our produce with is filtered. That is the way it has been since day one. Thank you for your consideration.

Bob Sonnenberg
Education and Outreach Coordinator
Whole Foods Cooperative
1341 West 26th St.
Erie, PA 16508
No membership required.