This probably isn't an earth-shattering revelation to anyone, but if you feel like experimenting, try to buy a week’s worth of healthy food for a family on a budget of, say, $50-75. Food manufacturers that target lower income shoppers with more affordable products tend to include more GMOs and toxic ingredients in their offerings.
It just isn’t possible to stick to my usual food restrictions. Generally speaking I avoid:
- Non-organic dairy because of the hormones and antibiotics as well as the GMO feed given to the animals
- Non-organic meat because of the hormones and antibiotics as well as the GMO feed given to the animals
- Anything containing corn, soy, or canola in any form because it is almost certain to be GMO
- Anything with chemical additives like artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
- Anything that is likely to have been doused in pesticides
- Anything containing neurotoxins like MSG, fluoride, or aspartame (along with other artificial sweeteners)
Sometimes, when you’re looking at someone else’s situation while you are comfortably backed by a loaded pantry, it’s easy to be judgemental and tell them what they “should” do. The thing that we must all remember is that when times are tough, a person may be down to these two options with a two week grocery budget:
1.) Buy strictly healthy organic foods and feed your family for perhaps 8 out of the 14 days.
2.) Carefully select which standards you will relax to keep the tummies of your family full throughout the wait for the next paycheck.
Usually, I have an enormous stockpile of non-GMO dried foods and a flourishing garden to serve as a back-up for whatever non-toxic items are being offered at a reasonable price that week. Because I’ve recently moved and am rebuilding my pantry from the ground up, I have no such stockpile right now. I am at the mercy of the food manufacturers.
When your budget is extremely limited, the normal healthy eating suggestions of shopping only the perimeter of the store or visiting the farmer’s market will not suffice to feed a family. As much as you may want to dine only on locally grown, fresh organic produce, a $50 farmer’s market spree will only get you through a few days if you are totally reliant on only this food.