1/23/12

Organic /can/ be accessible.

Our friend Max at Living Maxwell has made an entry on his blog about a dinner for two (at home) for less than $15. He even posted a picture of the receipt from the store, so that he can show that he wasn't making idle boasts, and that he really did manage that feat for that price. A similar meal in a restaurant would have easily ran to $15 per person.

That being said, I think that his receipt highlights something important: organic food is no longer for just the elite and wealthy. The prices for some of the things he bought are comparable to the conventional versions, and in New York City, there are a bunch of different places that are happy to sell them to you at those prices. Furthermore, I'm noticing that even at the regular grocery store that's near my apartment in Washington Heights has organic food in it, priced similarly to what I'd pay further downtown.

Mind you, if you didn't have the money for the tomatoes and the walnuts, that meal would still have been excellent with some beans of your liking, or some tofu. It would have certainly been delicious with just the veggies and the quinoa, but I think Max wanted something a little more elaborate and varied.

In fact, were you to make the sauerkraut yourself at home (which is fairly easy to do), you could bring down the cost even further! But look at the price of his avocados, and the Kalamata olives. Both those items are priced at roughly the same as conventional versions. Same with the quinoa. For the record, that small amount of quinoa cooks up to a whole lot of food. It seems pricey when you cost it per pound, but when you get it home, you only need a very little bit to make lots of food.

There's this quote that the lovely Colleen Patrick Godreau says all the time: "Don't do nothing because you can't do everything." If you can't afford to get all the food that you purchase as organic, do the best you can with your budget and time constraints, and get what you can. If you can't cook at home every night, then do so once a week, and expand from there! It doesn't need to be an all-or-nothing proposition. Eating healthy and supporting organic foods can be workable, if you're willing to be creative, like Max has, with a simple shopping trip, and a few spices from home. It takes a bit of planning, but it's well worth the effort.

Thanks for the blog post, Max!
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