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Posts tagged ‘Robyn O’Brien’

How to protect your children in today’s health landscape — a plea to parents

by Robyn O’Brien, founder, Allergy Kids Foundation.

The landscape of children’s health has changed. If you have any doubt whatsoever, ask your grandmother. Did she have friends juggling breast cancer and play dates? What about autism and allergies? ADHD and diabetes?

And while there were other things that they worried about, as parents today, we sit beside each other on the sidelines of soccer fields, in concert recitals or in the pews at church, and with few words spoken, we understand that things have changed.

Today, 46 kids are diagnosed with cancer every day. It is the leading cause of death by disease in children under the age of fifteen. Diabetes, obesity, asthma and food allergies are a tsunami of conditions raining down on the health of our children. And autism now impacts 1 in 88 American children.

Our grandmothers weren’t navigating these statistics. We know that it hasn’t always been this way. And we see firsthand how hard it can be, as we share the heartache of a friend, witness the grief of a sister or help a neighbor struggling with the cost of care. We say our prayers at night, grateful for the blessings we have received and mindful of how quickly things can change.

Our children have earned the title of Generation Rx because of how pervasive these conditions have become. The number of US kids with autism is up 78% reports the CDC, impacting 1 in 54 little boys, while 1 in 3 is overweight or obese, triple the rate of 1963, reports the American Heart Association, and 46 kids are diagnosed with cancer and 1,500 Americans – moms, dad, sisters, brothers, children – die from cancer every single day.

It didn’t used to be this way. And as this landscape of health has changed so quickly in such a short time, it begs the question: Why? Why have our families become so allergic? Autistic? Diabetic? Cancer stricken?

Since when did the landscape of childhood feel like a landmine of disease?

A lot of theories are out there, enough to cause doubt and confusion, but mounting scientific evidence, from the President’s Cancer Panel to the American Academy of Pediatrics, urges us to protect the health of our children by reducing our exposure to environmental toxins, especially those now found in and on our food.

With the President’s Cancer Panel and Stanford University urging pregnant moms and those with children to reduce their exposure to artificial ingredients now found in our food supply (things like artificial growth hormones in dairy, weed and pest killers used so frequently on our fresh produce as well as other artificial ingredients), we find ourselves reading labels in grocery store aisles – no longer just for fat and sugar content, but also for the list of allergens, artificial colors or genetically modified ingredients or any indication of the manufactured chemicals that they may contain.

And while the task can be overwhelming, we do it anyway for the love of our families. We find the strength, tenacity and courage to continue to move forward, asking questions, researching and reading, trying to do everything we can to reverse this tidal wave of disease.

And we are not alone. Thankfully, more corporations in the traditional food sector and those in the organic industry are doing what they can to help us. Some have been doing it for a long time, others are just beginning to make change. But the important thing is this: we are all doing what we can, where we are, with what we have, recognizing that the health of our country depends on the health of our children. Because while our children may only represent 30% of the population, they are 100% of our future.

So we have a choice: to let their health conditions bring us to our knees or bring us to our feet.

And when we decide to stand, we do so out of love, knowing that we do not stand alone. Millions of citizens in countries around the world stood for their right to know what is in their food, and now, millions of Americans who share this deep concern are doing the same.

A corporation will always have the right to make a profit, but Americans should also have the right to know what we are eating, so that together, leveraging this collective information and insight, we can protect the health of our country.

See Robyn O’Brien’s excellent talk at TEDx in 2011:

About the Author

Robyn O’BrienFounder, Executive Director, Allergy Kids Foundation.

As a former food industry analyst, Fulbright grant recipient, author and mother of four, Robyn O’Brien brings compassion, insight and detailed analysis to her role as the founder of the organization and her research into the impact that the global food system is having on the health of children.

Click here to view the Allergy Kids website.

PHOTO: SEAN DREILINGER

http://gmoawareness.org/2012/09/29/protect-your-children/

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Robyn O’Brien The Post I Hesitated to Share

Robyn O’Brien: Of 22 industrialized countries, we have the highest obesity statistics in the world and 41% of us are expected to get cancer in our lifetimes.  The post I hesitated to share:

 

Inspired Bites with Robyn O’Brien

Food and Chemicals: Learn What You Can Do to Protect Yourself

I have hesitated to share this piece.  Perhaps it is out of fear, perhaps out of heartache.  But the fact of the matter is that a growing number of people that I love and care about are wrestling with cancer in their families.  

So when a friend sent over this picture, who happens to be the 46 year-old sister of CNN’s Miles O’Brien, I thought; “What am I afraid of?”  If cancer looks like this, how scary can the information be?  

And as my heart wrestled with my ego, love triumphed over fear, and I am posting this.  Cancer can’t beat love, and my hope is that one day soon, we will have Less Cancer.

In 2010, a report for the President’s Cancer Panel said approximately 41 percent of Americans will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime and about 21 percent will die from cancer.

Genetics don’t change this quickly, but the environment does.  And obesity and being overweight are now considered a major risk for certain forms of cancer.

In part, these statistics are due to an increased diagnosis and longer lifespans, but the President’s Cancer Panel also states:

“Some chemicals indirectly increase cancer risk by contributing to immune and endocrine dysfunction that can influence the effect of carcinogens,” the report said.

“Children of all ages are considerably more vulnerable than adults to increased cancer risk and other adverse effects from virtually all harmful environmental exposures.”

So while obesity may be an obvious epidemic that’s getting a lot of attention in the press – the food industry even jumping on board to become part of the solution – it appears that cancer is increasingly a silent epidemic: the American Cancer Society reports that 1 out of 2 men and 1 in 3 women are expected to get cancer in their lifetimes.

Combine that concern with the fact that the USA:

  • of 22 industrialized countries, the U.S. has the highest obesity statistics
  • 2/3 of Americans over age 20 are overweight
  • nearly 1/3 of Americans over age 20 are obese

And it’s obvious we’ve got a problem, not only a mounting health care crisis, but with 1 in 2 doctors experiencing burnout and stress due to the increasing burden its putting on our health care system, it could prove to be a health care tsunami.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.  Just because we have inherited a food system that has been built up over the last several decades, using cheap inputs that makes real food seem expensive and chemically intensive agriculture that routinely douses our food crops with toxins does not mean that we have to embrace this system going forward.

In our current system, our taxpayer resources go toward supporting the crops that are increasingly used by the processed food companies in the packaged and processed foods that are available 24/7 on shelves in gas stations, vending machines and elsewhere.  The majority of these same crops have also been genetically engineered to withstand increasing doses of chemicals or to synthesize and create their own insecticidal toxins internally. That’s the food and agriculture system that our tax dollars support.

But do we want it that way?  In light of the obesity rates and the Presidents Cancer Panel report, is this the food that we want to be cheap and available?  Or would we rather have our taxpayer resources put towards fruits and vegetables, supporting farmers that are growing their crops without the use of a controversial technology that has either been banned or requires labeling in over 40 other countries around the world because no long term human health studies have been conducted to see what the impact of eating crops genetically engineered to make their own insecticide might be on a developing baby, pregnant mother or someone with cancer?

We have a right to know what we are eating, especially in light of the evidence showing the role diet plays in disease.  It’s not a big ask.  Consumers in other countries, from France to Australia, Japan, even China and Russia have been given that right to know if there food has been engineered with this new biotechnology.  We are told the fat content, sugar content, protein content and allergen content of the ingredients that are in our foods.  Yet we haven’t been told if the ingredients have been genetically engineered and hardwired to withstand increasing saturation of the chemical industry’s products.

In light of the fact that 41% of Americans are expected to get cancer in their lifetimes and 21% of us are expected to die from it, isn’t this a fundamental human right that should be afforded to all Americans until those human studies have been conducted?

The chemical industry says “no”.  And without labels, they are able to claim that there is not a single documented case of any harm that has come.

And while correlation is not causation, without labels, how do we know if the escalating rates of pancreatic cancers, stomach cancers and pediatric cancers aren’t a direct result of eating foods hardwired for chemicals? Raised body mass index increases the risks of cancer of the breast, colon, prostate, endometrium, kidney and gallbladder, then just as sugars are labeled, shouldn’t ingredients hardwired for chemicals be labeled, too?

The claim, “no evidence of harm”, is not the same as evidence of no harm.  And mounting scientific studies are highlighting the role that chemicals used on our food crops and the toxins in our environment are having on our health.  And the toll isn’t only impacting the health of our loved ones, but health care data is also showing the toll that diseases are taking on the health of our economy.

Other countries have exercised precaution, labeling these ingredients so that consumers could make an informed choice and so that industry could be held accountable.  Until those studies have been conducted to determine what the long-term impact might be of eating genetically engineered foods during a pregnancy or a battle with cancer, perhaps it is time that we label them here, too.  Foods produced without these chemicals shouldn’t be labeled for only those that can afford to opt out.  They should be labeled for all Americans.

And while the chemicals in foods aren’t the only concern, there are certainly others, with the jury still out and since the FDA does not require pre-market food safety testing of these ingredients, given the growing burden that cancer and obesity are placing on our country and our economy, the value of adding two words “genetically engineered” to an ingredient label could far exceed any costs that may be incurred.

To learn more about how to get involved and join the growing number of Americans who believe we have a right to know what we are eating, please visit Our RIght To Know and Just Label It.  To learn more about efforts to beat cancer, please visit Less Cancer.

http://blogs.prevention.com/inspired-bites/2012/08/28/food-chemicals-and-cancer/

 

 

Food Looks the Same Today, But Is It?

Such great information here.  Laura

 

Inspired Bites with Robyn O’Brien

by Robyn O’Brien

The landscape of food has changed.  Not only is it available 24/7 and  marketed to us using mobile apps and Internet games, but it is also full of lots of ingredients that just didn’t exist when we were kids.

So while our food may look the same, it now contains  artificial, engineered and genetically altered ingredients that are so new that patents have been filed on them in the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Not necessarily something any busy eater wants to hear.  Especially a busy parent who is doing his or her best to simply get the kids to eat.

But we are quickly learning that the ingredients in our foods – the good ones that include vitamins and minerals and the ones that have the potential to cause harm – have a lot to do with the health of our families.

And if you are just getting started on trying to eat a little cleaner or reduce your families exposure to artificial ingredients, you may be hearing about something called “genetically engineered foods.”  If you haven’t heard about them, you’re not alone.  While countries around the world labeled these ingredients when they were introduced in the 1990s, we didn’t here.

So a lot has changed in our food in the last decade, and given the juggling act that most of us perform on a daily basis, coupled with the fact that these new ingredients were never labeled, it’s no surprise that we are only just beginning to have this dialogue around the labeling of these ingredients here in the United States.  States like California, North Carolina and other have taken a lead on it.  But the dialogue is now being held at the national level, with millions of citizens calling on the FDA to do the same.  So we put together a short Q&A, working  with researchers who have not accepted funding from or developed patents for the corporations developing these new products, to pull together this information for you.

FACT SHEET: GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOODS

Questions and Health Concerns

What are genetically engineered (GE) foods?

These are foods created from the insertion of a gene, bacteria or virus from one species into a different species to produce a desired effect, usually resistance to herbicides or insects. The terms genetically modified (GM) and genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) are typically used interchangeably with GE.

Are they the same as foods from traditional breeding?

No. Traditional breeding between the same or similar species, such as crossing two types of corn or apples, has been done for thousands of years. GE foods, only developed in the past few decades, are created in a lab and are between different species.

What kinds of food are genetically engineered?

There are currently six major foods sold in the U.S. that are typically genetically engineered. These are listed below with the percent that are genetically engineered according to the United States Department of Agriculture:

  • Corn 88%
  • Soybeans 94%
  • Cotton (Cottonseed oil) 90%
  • Canola 90%
  • Sugar beets 95%

Because most of these are used widely, about two-thirds of processed food contains a GE ingredient. Conversely, the vast majority of raw fruits and vegetables are not GE. Organic foods, by definition, can’t be GE.

Does genetic engineering improve the nutritional quality of foods?

No. There are no GE foods on the market in which nutritional quality is enhanced beyond a non-GE food counterpart.

Is the act of genetic engineering precise?

No. The entire foundation of GE is that the introduction of one foreign gene, bacteria or virus into a plant will activate one protein, producing one desired effect and nothing more. But this ignores basic science – the chances of harmful unintended consequences with GE are substantially increased:[i]

One gene often creates multiple proteins

  • The location of the gene often varies, which can affect whether it produces the desired protein or not
  • The insertion of the gene can disrupt the genetic blueprint of the plant
  • The new gene can either silence other genes that were normally active or activate other genes that were silent
  • A promoter (typically a virus) is usually added that helps the gene activate a desired protein. However, it may also activate other proteins that were silent, which could lead to harmful effects on humans.

What evidence of harmful effects are there?

The deadliest incident occurred in the food supplement l-tryptophan, which had been used safely by millions of people as a sleep aid for decades. However, when a Japanese company produced a GE version in the late 1980’s, thousands of people contracted an extremely painful, serious disease, EMS, that killed at least 37 and left thousands with disabilities, including paralysis.[ii] The FDA subsequently removed virtually all l-tryptophan off the market, although only the GE version was linked to EMS.

It’s more difficult to detect harmful conditions such as cancer, birth defects, toxins or allergies, since they have other causes and/or can take longer to develop than EMS. Moreover, the FDA doesn’t require GE foods to be labeled, so most people don’t know they’re consuming them. This makes it virtually impossible to isolate and track them.

However, numerous credible animal studies all over the world have shown disturbing results. For example:

– In Scotland, GE potatoes fed to rats showed lowered nutritional content and suffered damaged immune systems, smaller brains, livers and testicles and enlarged intestines[iii]

– In Australia, a harmless gene in a bean engineered into a pea produced immune reactions in mice, indicating allergic reactions and/or toxins[iv]

– In Austria, a government study showed that mice fed GE corn had fewer litters and fewer total offspring[v]

– In France, a study found that GE corn previously thought harmless revealed hormone-dependent diseases and early signs of toxicity in rats[vi]

Harm to animals doesn’t necessarily prove harm to humans. However, it is a definite indication that more studies should be done. This hasn’t happened.

How is safety testing done in the U.S.? Is it adequate?

The FDA is responsible for food safety. However, it doesn’t do any testing on GE food and doesn’t require any independent tests. The only studies done are by the same companies developing the foods and they’re not required to give all their data to the FDA. They only need to declare their studies are adequate and that the GE food is safe. By and large, GE food safety is self-regulated.

The bottom line

Plants can be genetically engineered to be resistant to pests or herbicides. But in the process, there is evidence they may be causing harm to human health as an unintended consequence.

To learn more, please visit Just Label It


[i] Commoner, Barry, Unraveling the DNA Myth: The Spurious Foundation of Genetic Engineering, Harper’s, Feb. 2002.

[ii] Crist, William, Toxic L-tryptophan: Shedding Light on a Mysterious Epidemic, 2005, available athttp://www.seedsofdeception.com/Public/L-tryptophan/1Introduction/index.cfm.

[iii] Ewen, SW, Pusztai, A, Effect of diets containing genetically modified potatoes expressing Galanthus nivalis lectin on rat small intestine, Lancet, Oct. 16, 1999, 354(9187): 1353-4.

[iv] Prescott, V et al, Transgenic Expression of Bean α-Amylase Inhibitor in Peas Results in Altered Structure and Immunogenicity, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2005, 53:9023-9030.

[v] For the full study in English, seehttp://bmgfj.cms.apa.at/cms/site/attachments/3/2/9/CH0810/CMS1226492832306/forschungsbericht_3-2008_letzfassung.pdf

[vi] Seralini, G-E et al, How Subchronic and Chronic Health Effects can be Neglected for GMO’s, Pesticides or Chemicals; International Journal of Biological Sciences, 2009, 5(5): 438-443.

This Fact Sheet is provided by: Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, www.oregonpsr.org.

http://blogs.prevention.com/inspired-bites/2012/09/11/food-looks-the-same-today-but-is-it/

Wondering if Food Allergies Are On The Rise? EpiPen Sales on Track to Bring in $640 Million This Year, a 76% Increase Over Last

 

 

Robyn O’Brien:  Wondering if Food Allergies Are on the Rise? EpiPen sales on track to bring in $640 million this year, a 76% increase over last yearhttp://nyti.ms/SqMiFi

As Child Allergies Rise, So Do Sales of an Antidote

Karen Kasmauski for The New York Times

A nurse at Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn, Va., displays epipens in a kit provided for the school.

By 
It has become an all-too-familiar story in schools across the country: a child eats a peanut or is stung by a bee and suffers an immediate, life-threatening allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis.

If parents and school authorities know about the allergy and a doctor’s prescription is on file, a nurse can quickly give an injection ofepinephrine, saving the child’s life.

But school nurses in many districts face an agonizing choice if a child without a prescription develops a sudden reaction to an undiagnosed allergy. Should they inject epinephrine and risk losing their nursing license for dispensing it without a prescription, or call 911 and pray the paramedics arrive in time?

After a 7-year-old girl died in January in a similar case in Virginia, the state passed a law that allows any child who needs an emergency shot to get one. Beginning this month, every school district in Virginia is required to keep epinephrine injectors on hand for use in an emergency. Illinois, Georgia and Maryland have passed similar laws, and school nurses are pushing for one in Ohio. A lobbying effort backed by Mylan, which markets the most commonly used injector, the EpiPen, made by Pfizer, led to the introduction last year of a federal bill that would encourage states to pass such laws.

Mylan has also lobbied state legislatures around the country directly and is passing out free EpiPens this fall to any qualifying school that wants them.

“When a child is having an anaphylactic reaction, the only thing that can save her life is epinephrine,” said Maria L. Acebal, the chief executive of the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network. “911 doesn’t get there fast enough.”

The efforts are an acknowledgment of the rising rates of food allergies among children and a handful of deaths from allergies across the country. In many schools, children carry their own epinephrine injectors in their backpacks to use themselves, if they’re old enough, or the devices are stored on their behalf in nurses’ offices.

Read the rest at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/08/business/mylan-invests-in-epipen-as-child-allergies-increase.html?_r=1&smid=tw-share

Eat to Beat Cancer: It’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

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In 2012, about 577,190 Americans are expected to die of cancer, more than 1,500 people a day

Written in memory of Jarren Donatini, who lost his brave battle with cancer at the age of 4  1/2.

In 2012, about 577,190 Americans are expected to die of cancer, more than 1,500 people a day.

Cancer accounts for nearly 1 of every 4 deaths in our country.  Every school day 46 kids are diagnosed with pediatric cancer.

Scientific evidence suggests that about one-third of the 577,190 cancer deaths expected to occur in 2012 will be related to overweight or obesity, physical inactivity, and poor nutrition.  In other words, 1 in 3 of the cancers affecting about a quarter of us could be prevented.

Why aren’t we talking about this the way we are talking about obesity?

Obesity is the playing field we are currently on.  If you’ve put on too many pounds, “Don’t buy that extra soda…cheeseburger…bag of chips” we are told.  Personal accountability becomes the talking point, and the blame can be shifted from the provider (the food industry) to the user, we the eaters.

But that’s like telling a drug addict to walk past a dealer every day of the week and abstain.  Food is everywhere in our culture, available 24/7, and promoted with a marketing budget that rivals the FDA’s budget itself.  And as much as we don’t want to talk about diet-related disease (it hurts to go there), it’s time that we talked about cancer and food.

According to the American Cancer Society, about 5% of all cancers are strongly hereditary. However, most cancers do not result from inherited genes but from damage to genes occurring during one’s lifetime.

Genetic damage may result from internal factors, such as hormones or the metabolism of nutrients within cells, or external factors, such as tobacco or chemicals.  41% of Americans are expected to get cancer in their lifetime, and the average age of cancer diagnosis in children is ten.

So what does food have to do with it?  Scientific evidence is mounting and so are the questions.  Doctors are MD Anderson have called it “The Doorknob Syndrome” – a patient, newly diagnosed, is advised in office of the radiation and chemotherapy procedures, and as he or she turns to go, with their hand on the doorknob, turns to the oncologist and asks: “Is there anything that I could be doing with my diet?”

It’s an important question, and one that the doctors want to “upstream” as they say. In other words, they want to help educate patients about diet-related choices before they reach the oncology offices.

Does eating food that has been genetically mutated cause mutation of our cells?  No long-term studies have been conducted.  Do the chemicals sprayed on these foods contribute to the damage?  Ethical concerns around feeding trials that breech medical ethics tend to stop that research from being conducted. In other words, with no human trials, no pediatric trials and no prenatal trials, we are the human trial.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that the overall costs of cancer in 2007 were $226.8 billion.  That number is almost too big to fathom.  If you were to count one billion with seconds (not 226.8 billion, but just one billion), it would take you 31.7 years of continuous counting. To get to two billion, would take 63.4 years, to get to three billion…well, you get the picture.  With $103.8 billion for direct medical costs (total of all health expenditures) and $123.0 billion for indirect mortality costs (cost of lost productivity due to premature death), we have to address this growing tumor on our economy.

Oncology researchers suggest, “The toxicity of chemotherapy and other drug treatments for cancer has extended beyond side effects such as nausea and nerve pain. It has now extended to a patient’s ability to pay the mortgage and buy groceries while undergoing care, said the author of a study looking at the financial impact of cancer treatment.”  A study conducted by researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle found that as cancer patients’ survival time increases, so do the chances they will declare bankruptcy.

According to Dr. Lorenzo Cohen, Professor and Director at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, “This is the first generation predicted to live fewer years than their parents. The incentives are all wrong. In medicine, we’re financially rewarded for treating the sick, but not for helping people get or stay healthy.”

Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease among U.S. children between infancy and age 15.Every school day 46 kids are diagnosed with pediatric cancer. Among the major types of childhood cancers, leukemias (blood cell cancers) and brain and other central nervous system (CNS) tumors account for more than half of new cases.

White children are more likely than children from any other racial or ethnic group to develop cancer.

And September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.  We didn’t have one of these when we were kids.

But the landscape of children’s health has changed.  And so has the landscape of food.  According to Dr. Lorenzo Cohen, Professor and Director at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, “the recommendation from the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the American Institute for Cancer Research is an emphasis on a plant-based diet and reduce processed meat and red meat for cancer prevention and the same recommendations for cancer survivors. The new guidelines from the USDA also recommend a reduction in protein from animal sources.” And while MD Anderson is talking about this, are pediatricians?

They didn’t have to when we were kids.  We didn’t have a month designated to childhood cancers.

And our kids shouldn’t have one either.

Having held onto the moms who have lost their little ones and looked into the eyes of dads that have cradled a coffin, the heartache is immeasurable.

So while none of us can do everything, all of us can do something.  And following the advice of MD Anderson, the USDA and other organizations, just might be a start.  Here are a few of their tips:

  • Eat less red meat and more veggies
  • Eat less salt and more spices
  • Drink less sugar and more water

Diet is not one size fits all, and cancer isn’t either, but if we can arm ourselves with knowledge and learn how to Eat to Beat cancer, we can work together to protect not only the health of our kids, but also the health of our country.

http://blogs.prevention.com/inspired-bites/2012/09/04/eat-to-beat-cancer-its-childhood-cancer-awareness-month/

 

Organics You Can Afford 9 ways to bring organic food within reach By Robyn O’Brien

how to afford organics-basket of veggies

In a world in which we are increasingly worried about the health of our families, the stability of our jobs, and all of life’s responsibilities, the simple act of trying to eat healthy often becomes a challenge.

And with so many Americans food insecure and on food stamps, talking about organic foods—produced without the use of all kinds of additives and ingredients—can often sound like a luxury that few, if any, can afford.

But as organizations from the American Academy of Pediatrics to the President’s Cancer Panel encourage us to reduce our exposure to everything from pesticides to artificial growth hormones, the fact is that we should all be able to feed our families foods that are free-from additives that are increasingly being shown to cause harm. (Wondering what the most contaminated foods are? Find out with The Dirty Dozen.)

More from Prevention.com: What You Need To Know About GMOs

So here are a few tips for those who want to start buying organic food but don’t want to pay the high price:

1. Go orgo-generic: Major grocery store chains like Safeway and Kroger, and big box food retailers like Costco and even Wal-Mart, now carry their own organic foods. And all foods labeled “USDA organic” are created equal, no matter where you find them. No need to upscale your grocery store when Wal-Mart gets it done.

2. Buy frozen: Frozen foods (like strawberries and fish) are cheaper than those that are delivered fresh. So if the prices on fresh produce are eye-popping, cruise on over to the frozen food aisle for a discount.

3. Eat with the season: Retrain your taste buds to think like your grandmother did. She didn’t eat strawberries in the middle of winter. Locally grown foods are usually cheaper than those flown in from another hemisphere, so if you eat with the season, you’ll be eating more affordably.

4. Skip the box, embrace the bulk: Food that comes in boxes costs more because of the packaging costs associated with designing those pretty pictures. When you buy in bulk, you’re not paying for all of the packaging—you’re paying for the food, which is what you wanted in the first place. So slide on over to that bulk food aisle in Safeway and look for noodles, cereals, and rice and beans.

5. Support the US economy and buy local: You can save money by becoming a member of a local farm (just like you became a member at Safeway or Costco!). How do you find a local farm, you ask? Well, thankfully, the USDA now has a list of online sites to help you find the closest farm near you, so click here to log onto the USDA site.

6. Comparison shop: You wouldn’t buy a car without comparison shopping, so before you even head out the door, you can compare the prices of organic foods at different retailers from the safety of your own computer at Eat Well Guide.

7. Coupons, coupons, coupons: Organic bargains are everywhere, so click on About.com’s Frugal Living page where you will find All Organic Links.

8. Grow one thing: If you’re as busy as we are, there’s not a chance in creation that you’re going to be able to feed your family off of your home-grown harvest, but you will find that growing a tomato plant can be incredibly inspiring. And it’s not as intimidating as it seems. So pick one thing to grow—you can do it (we all grew lima beans in cups as kids, right?)

9. Find a friend.  It’s way more fun to have someone cheering you on as you begin to make these changes. And remember, just as our little ones learn to walk by taking baby steps, you can do the same thing here. Do what you can, where you are, with what you have. Take those baby steps. Because before you know it, you’ll be off and running.

Need some more inspiration? Check out The Top 10 Reasons To Go Organic.

Read more: http://www.prevention.com/food/healthy-eating-tips/how-afford-organic-food?cm_mmc=facebook-_-Prevention-_-news-blog-_-OrganicFoodYouCanAFford#ixzz22cnItMt9

MUST WATCH The Toxic Tangle of Food, Government and Culture Robyn O’Brien

Please take 18 minutes out of your day to watch.

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