The USDA says that if 95% of a food product is made up of organic ingredients, it can get labeled organic.
Organic food is typically richer in nutrients, and free from pesticides and potential bacteria found in non-organic food.
If you are beginning to seek out organic food in the South Sound, you’re likely making changes to improve the health and well-being of your whole family. We can help with that!
But it is hard to know when and why to spend extra on the organic variety and where can you find the real stuff that will really improve your diet? (Shameless plug: Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce)
Here are our favorite organic grocery shopping tips.
1. Know What “Organic” Means
Food must meet certain standards in order to get labeled “organic” by the USDA.
Items can be labeled 100% organic, organic (95-99% organic,) made from organic ingredients (74-94% organic,) or specific organic ingredients may be listed.
Organic products have been produced without antibiotics, growth hormones, petroleum-based fertilizers, or pesticides. They must meet certain standards approved by the USDA, including lengthy application, record-keeping, and inspections.
The word “natural” is not synonymous with organic. Natural labels are not regulated by the USDA and may be somewhat misleading. If you’re at one of our 3 stores, we make it easy. Just ask one of our friendly employees who are always happy to help!
2. Intimate Grocery Shopping Experience
Healthy eaters have learned that shopping the perimeter of the grocery store can provide them with a more nutritious diet, as most stores put their fresh produce along the perimeter. But at Tacoma Boys, our local stores are more intimate, and we have great fresh food throughout our entire store!
Focus on providing yourself with a colorful variety of fresh fruits and veggies. The rainbow of colors reflects a variety of vitamins, minerals, and photo nutrients.
Your body also needs two servings of protein a day. It can help you repair tissue and build muscles and bones.
Lean proteins like fish, chicken, and turkey can decrease your appetite and increase muscle strength. Salmon and other fatty fish are also a great source of Omega 3’s, which can lower your blood pressure and help reduce your risk for a heart attack or stroke.
An organic seal on meats means they have only been fed organic feed, and they have not eaten any bi-products of other animals. All organic meats have been subject to regular inspections by USDA-certified inspectors and we carry a wide variety!
3. Don’t Forget Your Fresh and Local Dairy
Organic dairy products typically contain more vitamins and no antibiotics. They have higher levels of Omega 3’s, iron, and Vitamin E, all of which have impressive health benefits. And we carry lots of local organic dairy products. As fresh as it gets!
Many dairy products contain potassium, calcium, and Vitamin D that are essential for the health and maintenance of your body. If you don’t drink milk, consider picking up some drinkable yogurt, smoothies, almond milk or pre-portioned cheeses to strengthen your bones and immune system.
4. Check Out The Weekly Specials
Shopping organic can take a little more time than ordinary grocery shopping. So be sure to check out your weekly specials before heading to the store, and plan out your meals accordingly. Sign up for our weekly specials here and stay up to date on all of our featured items of the week to save you time in store! And we’re always here to help, so feel free to ask any of our friendly employees if you need help finding something specific.
5. Whole Grains For The Win!
Organic whole grains are one of the great reasons to shop organic. They just taste so good! They are loaded with nutrients that include fiber, protein, and antioxidants. Whole grains can lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some forms of cancer. Whole grains have everything we need to fuel our day for work, kids and families!
Whole oats, brown rice, and rye are all great investments in your and your family’s health.
Grocery Shopping Tips
Shopping organically can be a tricky change, but we make it easy at Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce. You can save time with a quick trip in and out, and keep your family eating well by following a few simple grocery shopping tips.
For more information on healthy eating, read our blog today.