Thursday, October 15, 2009

Why The Frugal Hostess Would Rather Eat Organic Than Buy Shoes

The main reason The Frugal Hostess decided to do the Eat on $30 Challenge was that she wanted to prove to the world you could eat organic on a budget.  Or, maybe, she wanted to prove it to herself.  This is a constant debate she has with The Frugal Husband: that organic food may be a little more expensive, but with the right amount of planning you can do it without a major change in your food budget.

Sample conversation:

TFHostess: Erg, I’m hungry, I want some wine, whine whine whine, when will this Eat on $30 crap be over?

TFHusband: I could do Eat on $30 and drink wine, because I am super awesome and would stop buying organic food.

TFHostess: Um, what’s the point of that?  You wanna die from cancer or have a son with a small penis* just to be able to afford some wine?  [Point.  Set.  Match.]

(*Just read that chemicals in our food can be blamed for smaller penis size.  That’s right, ladies; use that in your next organic argument with the Hubses.)

Also, The Frugal Hostess has noticed that FruHubs (ya like that?) has been sneaking a lot of conventional produce into the house, under the guise of it being local (i.e., grown in this state) and cheaper.  Now, local is good – it racks up fewer food miles, supports the local economy, and makes sense from a larger “what you’re supposed to eat” perspective.  But The Frugal Hostess can’t help but wonder if buying local produce sometimes lets us feel better about wimping out on putting our money where our mouths (and stomachs) are when it comes to doing right by the planet.  Put another way, what is better: local pesticide or non-local organic?  (And, duh, local and organic is obviously the answer, but that isn’t always as easy as it sounds.)

FruHo realizes this is a nice, comfortable, yuppie dilemma to be in, BTW.  But she’s in it, so might as well try to sort it out.

Reasons to Eat Organic, according to The Frugal Hostess’s cursory Google research

1.  Less pollution of the air, soil, and water.
2.  Like, a lot less.
3.  Better for farm workers to not have to ingest poison all day every day.
4.  Chemical pesticides have been implicated in diabetes, obesity, cancer, autism, Parkinson's disease, male sterility, genital deformities, female infertility, miscarriage, infant deformities, ADHD, hormonally caused gender confusion, asthma, allergies, accelerated aging, and smaller penises in boys, amphibians, and other wildlife. 

Think about that for a minute. 

Have you ever asked yourself why it seems like some of the things listed above are happening at staggeringly increased rates now compared to when you were little or Olden Times or whatever?

Something else The Frugal Hostess found:

Don’t give up organic for local. Food that’s both local and organic is the gold standard. But while it’s true that food produced locally generally has a smaller carbon footprint than food transported across the country (or from another continent), the carbon emitted by transporting food is smaller than that released by growing it with chemical means. [emphasis by TFH] In fact, PepsiCo recently documented that, for its Tropicana orange juice, transporting the product accounted for only 22% of its carbon footprint.”

So, the conclusions drawn from TheFrugal Hostess’s extremely rigorous scientific research into this topic are:

1.  Local AND organic is best.
2.  If you have to choose one over the other, choose organic.
3.  There are ways to buy organic on a budget.
4.  But it takes A LOT of planning and organization.  Or organic-ization.  Ha.

More to come, lovies.

UPDATE: Duh, today is Blog Action Day on climate change, and TFH didn't even realize it.  How's that for serendipity?

photo by Rhett Maxwell

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  1. I am ridiculously thrilled that you managed to fit a penis reference into a post about this challenge. That takes some mad skillz right there!

  2. I think your whine and wine should be in a completely different budget. My reasoning is the individuals receiving food supplementation income still manage to procure their wine (or less sophisticated alcohol enhanced beverages). Have you ever been behind this individual in the check-out lane? "I have three separate orders" The first is WIC: orange juice, tomato juice, pineapple juice, cheese sticks. The second is the EBT card: ice, mini onions, olives, crackers (an array), cream of coconut, bagel bites, salsa, guacamole and tortillas. The third cash: diet coke, rum, vodka and a suitcase. Horrible just horrible prejudice, I know. But what do you expect from your warmongering conservative friend? I swear (although I don't remember the exact details) this happened to me! So go get your wine with your "Wine Budget!"


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