Buying Better Quality Food: Organic and Free Range

07:00

It was around this time last year that Jono and I started looking into the food industry and thinking about the chemicals that we are putting into our body. We had just started weaning Zach, and knew that we wanted to feed him good quality food to help him develop and grow. We spent hours and hours, watching documentary after documentary, and decided we needed to change the way we shop and the food we eat.

Our change started with 'Vegan August' - a challenge we set ourselves, both to see if we could actually do it, and as a response to what we had learnt about the animal farming industry. I did wonder if we would stick to it after the month was over, but we didn't, although we have not gone back to eating the same amount of meat or dairy since.

We decided that we only wanted to buy good quality meat - free range and organic - wherever possible, and that we would only have it a couple of times a week, thus ensuring that it would not cost us any extra. Over the past year our meat consumption has slowly increased, but we have stuck to our guns when it comes to quality and we are still not eating as much as we used to.

The biggest change we have made meat wise is with chicken - something that we used to eat a lot of, but now have maybe once a week if that. Buying good quality, free range chicken is really expensive, so we now see it as a 'treat'. You really can tell the difference when you buy better quality, which means we're eating better meals too.


Something else we've focussed on over the past year is the amount of organic produce that we buy. I was lucky to have grown up with a mother who insisted on buying organic food, and at the time I really didn't get it. I thought it was a waste of money, when there was perfectly good food available at a cheaper price. Now though I've had a change in attitude, and after doing some reading I've realised that actually consuming lots of chemicals which are used as pesticides is probably not very good for me.

Currently about half of our weekly food shop is organic; partly because yes, it is a little more expensive, and partly because Tesco doesn't stock organic alternatives of everything. I tend to focus on buying organic fruit and veg as these are the things we consume the most, especially things which are listed as part of the 'dirty dozen'. I also make sure that we always buy organic milk for Zach as he drinks two bottles of the stuff every day.

We also buy a lot of organic snacks for him too, and we absolutely love Organix as their range is huuuuuge! If you haven't tried their Carrot Cake Soft Oaty Bars then you are missing out! I've found that there are so many more organic options aimed at children than there are at adults, so buying for Zach is actually really easy.


Obviously Jono and I are not experts, but this is just the way that we do things. We don't eat a particularly healthy diet (something that we need to work on!) and we eat out far more than we should - we are not perfect by any means! But by focussing on little changes over the year we have made some big differences in the way we eat, and the food we feed Zach, and this is just the start of our journey.

In the future I hope to reduce the amount of meat we eat a little more, focus on eating less sugar, grow some vegetables ourselves (my first attempt has been as successful as I'd hoped!) and just generally eat healthier!

Do you buy free range or organic food?


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10 comments

  1. Great post Chantal, definitely made me think a lot about our diet and habits. I was just saying to G the other day about eating healthier and buying better quality food! I am terrible - always buying lunch for work, I drink too much sugary, fizzy drinks and don't want to do that anymore. My problem is cost and convenience. I think we just need to sit down and work out what we want to change and do it gradually xx

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    1. Thank you Stacie, it's really easy to start making small changes, and we don't spend any more now than we used to - it's just about compromise. We can afford better quality meat because we buy less of it so it works out to cost the same xx

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  2. Very interesting post - I'm a vegetarian but my husband isn't and as I do most of the cooking/feeding of Isabella she tends to eat vegetarian too. She's at nursery three times a week, where she gets two meat meals a day, so I try to focus on vegetarian and fish based meals on the days she's at home. We buy some organic produce, but it's something I'd like to spend more time looking into and finding great local producers :) #MarvMondays

    Helen x

    http://www.treasureeverymoment.co.uk/

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    1. Thank you Helen - I think buying from local producers is brilliant, and is something I am trying to do more of too! xx

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  3. Great post. I have always been quite conscious of what I eat but became even more so once I started weaning my LO. Now she's getting older (she's 19 months) I have to avoid eating anything bad around her because she'll just want it. Like the previous commenter, my daughter gets meat regularly at nursery so she has veggie or fish at home (I'm a pescatarian). But it's definitely worth investing in smaller amounts of quality products; It definitely makes you appreciate the food too.

    #MarvMondays

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    1. Thank you! It definitely does make you appreciate the food more xx

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  4. A great post. I actually buy whatever I feel like {bad I know!} but I do like to buy foods that are good for a balanced diet.
    #MarvMondays

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    1. Thank you! I hope my post didn't sound to preachy, just wanted to share what we do, and I totally respect everyone else's choices too xx

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  5. Thanks for sharing, diet is such a huge thing and we try to eat healthy as often as we can. It's interesting to see what others are doing and whether it's helping. Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays. Kaye xo

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  6. Great post! I completely agree, its all about small changes that lead to big ones. A few tweaks here and there can make such a difference. We've just cut out read meat and have managed to keep it up for the last few months which feels great. If we could switch to organic that would be even better, something for us to think about :-) Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays. Emily

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