Variety of fruits and vegetablesYou’re more conscious of what you eat today than before. It makes sense since conventional farming practices are producing food with pesticides and other toxic substances. What you eat could cause a number of illnesses.

So now you choose to buy organic fruits and vegetables. But such products are typically pricier than your average produce. How do you manage costs while still staying healthy?

Buy Local or in Bulk

Locally-sourced food means you get produce without the chemicals that keep it fresh as it goes through shipping. You can find local food items in weekend farmers’ markets; if you live in an area with easy access to small farm operations, you can visit those, too. Buy off the land if and when possible.

Not only do you ensure the safety of your food, but you also save money in the process. Local produce may cost less because you’re not paying extra for import prices.

If you run a café, restaurant, or catering service, buying organic fruits and vegetables in bulk would be more cost-effective.

Locking in the Freshness

The thing about buying in bulk is that you may have more than you need at any given time. So you need to make the fruits and vegetables last longer.

You’ll need to delay the ripening process, which occurs fast when ethylene-producing food (e.g., apples, ripening bananas, tomatoes, etc.) sits next to ethylene-sensitive food (e.g., asparagus, carrots, eggplants, leafy greens, etc.). You need to keep these items away from each other to prevent the speed of ripening and spoilage.

You can also keep certain items out of the fridge, like tomatoes, and put them in room temperature storage. You can use a special container to keep moisture away. Meanwhile, you can freeze items like blueberries, celery, cucumbers, onions, mushrooms, and cabbage to keep them longer. You need to blanch these in hot water to kill bacteria before putting them in below freezing temperature.

Organic produce may cost more than conventional products, but the latter could cost you more in the long run. With industrial farming practices leaving chemicals in fruits and vegetables, your inexpensive food may mean expensive hospital bills in the future.  With natural farming practices, you ensure the freshness of your food and protection for your health.