What Should I Feed My Family?

Updated on January 13, 2015
K.A. asks from Phoenix, AZ
31 answers

I have a friend who has been telling me all the horrible things that can happen to my family if I continue feeding them meat, cheese, milk, etc. I had no idea there were so many chemicals added to our food! I don't want to go overboard, but honestly I am a little grossed out and afraid to feed my kids! I went to the store and bought soy milk, but am a little turned off by the taste and color. I guess it will just take some time. Where do I find organic meat, cheese, milk, veggies, for affordable prices? I have tried to do the research on-line, but am getting no where. Does Costco carry organic dairy or meat? Does Wal-mart? Or do I have to go to one of those expensive grocery stores? I apologize for going on and on--I am just overwhelmed! Thanks

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So What Happened?

Wow, thank you all for your advice. I feel a little less afraid and informed! Thanks again!

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C.

answers from Denver on

Super Baby Food is a pretty good book to look at--although it can be a little intense. There are recipes for toddlers too! If you're in Denver, Sunflower Market and Vitamin Cottage are two great bets for organic foods. We try to focus on being healthy--lots of fruits and veggies and plenty of non-processed foods. Otherwise, I can tend to get overwhelmed too. There are sites that tell you the "top 10" things to eat organic. I try to start with those and not stress TOO much if I buy other things non-organic.

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T.H.

answers from Tucson on

I eat organic everything. I get my groceries at Sunflower market and Trader Joes. I even make all my own organic baby food :-)

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E.C.

answers from Denver on

If you are looking for affordable organic food I would reccomend shopping at Sunflower Market (Yale and Colorado). WalMart now has many organic products also as does Safeway.

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C.D.

answers from Denver on

Hi K....

I watched an infomercial one night about this topic,and I bought the book, and the research in it was horrifying. However, I had to remember what God has promised (to those who believe in HIs words). "For I know the plans I have for you" say the Lord..."Plans to prosper you, and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future".
4 necessary things:

1. Prosperity
2. Hope
3. Future
4. Security

Most people cannot afford to go to health food stores for their groceries...But...
1. Walmart sells similar dairy products...
2. Safeway has organic foods, chips, dairy, breads, vegetables...
3. Vitamin Cottage has discounted vegetables as well some times discounted milk and cheese.

I have become more relaxed in the foods I serve my family, for two reasons...
I know that no matter what, "God is in charge" of their lives...
And, when I pray each night, I ask that God place a hedge of protection around my loved ones, ask that He give His angels charge over them, and ask for Him to give my family "traveling mercies" wherever they go. It is all about "trusting Him".

He is our Provider, our Great Physician, our Comforter, and our very present help in times of need...

I hope this has helped you K....
If you don't have a church family, may I suggest Southeast Christian Church in Parker on Jordan Rd. Very family oriented.

Love,
C.

1 mom found this helpful
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P.B.

answers from El Paso on

My favorite saying is: Everything in moderation... It is very expensive to buy everything organic- and most of us do not have that kind of budget! You can find lists on the web of "top 10" things to buy organic, as well as lists of fruits/vegetables that are more likely to absorb the chemicals/pesticides. (For instance, I only buy organic strawberries, but would never pay more for organic bananas..)

I would say first of all is tell your friend you know she means well, but to just STOP! You are not killing your family by giving them regular milk and meat. We are living longer today than at any point in history, so freaking out is not necessary. Having said that, we do tend to have pretty atrocious diets in this country. My advice (and what I am doing) is to first do everything I can to eliminate processed foods from our diet. I am fortunate to stay home with my kids so I have time to bake and cook more from scratch instead of buying convenience foods (this is actually cheaper too!!) After I got used to that, I started switching to whole grains when making bread (I still use some white flour because my family just won't eat 100% whole wheat, I just buy unbleached instead) and buying pasta, etc. Then I decided which fruits/veges I would only buy organic and then made that change (I go to local farmers markets and buy in season items as much as possible, in the winter I buy those fruits/veges that I want organic of at one of the local health food stores.) I still buy regular milk and meat (I just cannot fathom spending the outrageously huge prices for those things!), but I have reduced our USE of them. We drink more water and eat more beans and vegetables than we did before.

I think the key, as I said before- is moderation. It is easy to get so caught up in all of this, freak out, freak other people out and try to make all of these changes in a day because you are freaked out! So stop, take a deep breath, make little changes until you are comfortable and used to them, do a little research until you find what you are happy/comfortable with- and go with that. And remember to take all that you hear and read with a grain of salt- because nutritionists/scientists are constantly updating/changing their recommendations and everybody has an opinion!

Good Luck, I hope this was helpful!
P.

1 mom found this helpful
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A.W.

answers from Albuquerque on

I too have a hard time with healthy food. i have found out stew is good for you. Chicken with the bone (remove after well cooked) potatoes, carrots, water, and pinto beans. just cook the chicken and beans in the crock pot over night and throw the other stuff in an hour or 2 before it's time to serve. You can add anything you like also. Boulion cubes are great to use also. you will never want fried food again!

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B.M.

answers from Albuquerque on

I wouldn't stress out about it too much. There is more options that you may think. Walmart carries Horizen milk which is organic. They also carry some organic veggies and fruits as well as some granola bars ect. However, you really have to look to find the organic produce. (Also, when your at Walmart, you should tell one of the managers that they should increase their organic section. I have heard that they started carrying more organic stuff after numerous request for it). There is a place in NE ABQ that I believe carries organic/free range meat it's called Keller's, I believe that it is off of Eubank and Candelaria.
The organic stuff is always a little more expensive (suprisingly since they put less in it, and do less to it), but I think that it's worth the extra money to make sure you have a healthy family.

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L.W.

answers from Santa Fe on

I try to feed my children well, and find it challenging as I live in a some community with only one store, a Smith's. Also very limited budget. I go to a neighboring city and stock up at Trader Joes, buy speciality products at whole
foods, bulk rice milk at Wild Oats, etc. An option I have heard that can help is joining a co-op. Either a local one, or one that will truck orders in. There is the Tuscon cooperative, which I believe can be accessed online as Shopnatural.com. You need to place minimum order, but the cost of things like frozen turkey patties and specialty breads much lower than same items a t Whole Foods. Also there are Gluten Free sites online, etc, for those with allergies.
As for the soy, what I have heard, is that it is not good for boys,as it messes with their hormones,...that it was used as a form of catrastion for monks, as it brings down sex-drive...
Personally I try to rotate my childrens diets switching between soy, rice and goat milk. Also hoping to get into a house with yard so we can grow our own food. During warmer months, farmers markets can be good,...and sometimes there are farming coops where you pay a fee and get a box of miscellaneous seasonal fare.
I have just been reading My Year of Meats, and it is an entertaining but sad eye-opener.
Goodluck, and for those interested in helping out there are groups like Union of concerned scientists ([email protected]____.com) and http://www.Care2.com, that has a variety of health and environmental issues. For those with food allergies there is Food and allergy anaphylaxis network(FAAN). Sometimes there are moms/parents groups such as Holistic Mothers. And there is a mothering magazine, out of Santa Fe that has a website, believe it is just http://www.mothering.com.
Best of health to all,
L.

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A.K.

answers from Denver on

King Soopers has tons of organic food in every section of the store. Their prices are reasonable. You can also find organic food at the Costco in Superior (near Boulder). Once you start buying it, you will find ways to save. It is SO WORTH IT to buy organic. You will probably save all of the money you're worried about in future doctor bills you won't have. Also, do not use Splenda (Sucralose) as it is a neurotoxin which is very bad for your (and your kids) brains. They could end up with nervous disorders or at the very least migraine headaches.

Organic Valley has reasonably priced milk and cheese, Annies and Naturally Preferred brands make pastas and pasta mixes, Cascadian Farms distributes frozen veggies and fruits. Earth's Best makes cookies, baby food, crackers...They are all comparable to regular genetically modified food, but way better for you, and they taste awesome!

Once you get onto a few mailing lists, you will start getting all of their coupons... Good luck!

Also, there is a delivery service called denver.doortodoororganics.com that delivers weekly or biweekly all over the Denver metro area and suburbs for fresh local produce.

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K.L.

answers from Phoenix on

Safeway has an organic line (milk, yogart, some veggies,...) they are not too expensive. I think that Frys also has an organic section. I shop at Trader Joes for some of the basics. Meat is a little bit more difficult, but places like Sunflower Market (cheeper), Sprouts (more expensive) and Wild Oats (most expensive) will have organic meat products. Trader joes has some meets, but they do not have a ton. I am not sure about Walmart, but I think they do because my mom shops groceries there.
I hope this helps, I know I get freeked out too!

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G.S.

answers from Denver on

I don't really have the time to read through all of the responses posted, but just wanted to tell you that I have a friend whose family owns and sells organic meats to stores and restaurants all over the country. He told me that aside from buying organic, costco meat is the best meat you buy. I try to buy as much organic as I can. King Soopers has a FANTASTIC organic section. I buy these organic Kamuth puffs for Katja. They're like those Gerber puffs without all the added nastiness. She absolutely LOVES those things and eats them by the handful. I also buy Annies products a lot. I just put in a request to costco to carry their Mac&Cheese and they are stocking it now for a great price. I like to buy organic Milk at Target. It's affordable and really tasty.

I've heard that soy products aren't really good for babies because of the amount of estrogen in soy. I also recall hearing a report on CNN about soy being blamed on early puberty.

Hope this helps. I'll try to post some other stuff when I have more time.

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A.

answers from Albuquerque on

There is so much varying nutrition advice out there. Yes, in commercially raised meat, there are a lot of undesirable chemicals, hormones, antibiotics, etc. But if you still want meat, find a better-raised source. But expect to pay for it. The more you learn about food and agriculture, the you'll learn about how political it is! The best way to get the best food is to get as close to the source as possible. I try to know the farmer of what I eat. OR grow your own.

If you'd like to learn more about this perspective on eating, visit http://www.westonaprice.org
and http://www.westonaprice.org/basicnutrition/characteristic...
This way of eating touts eating REAL milk, REAL eggs, REAL meat, REAL fats, raised properly and eaten as people have traditionally done for centuries. It's changed my life!

As for getting organics at mass marketers like Wal Mart or Cosco, just remember than whenever something is produced on such a huge scale, something suffers, whether it be production methods, wages paid, how the farmers are treated, etc.

Finally, the meanings of organic and free range are not always clear. Free range means an animal has "access" to outside. But often that really means there's a small door the animal never goes through, the animal is still in overcrowded conditions and still must be fed antibiotics to deal with that. That's why it's best to know the source of your food, if possible! Good luck. Once you truly start learning about how food is produced and what is healthy, it's very hard to ignore and turn back!

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K.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi K.,
I too am trying to feed my family healthy stuff and I know how difficult it is to figure out! There are two stores in the valley that have excellent products that I shop at: Sprouts, and Trader Joes. Sprouts has great produce and all of their meat is hormone free. Trader Joes has better prices on milk and cheese/eggs (organic - hormone free). It takes some but I have found by shopping around at these stores and then picking up some items at Walmart, it can be really affordable to eat right!
Good luck!
~K.~

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B.K.

answers from Phoenix on

I am right there with you - I get wigged out when I read labels. That being said, we are not movie stars, so shopping at AJ's, Whole Foods, etc. is not really an option either.

I have had really good luck combining three stores, Sunflower, Target & Costco. You have to really check prices, Sunflower might have something WAY cheaper than Target, and vice-versa. Costco has begun carrying some organics as well.

And lastly, I do my produce shopping at Farmer's Markets when I can, there is a great one in downtwon Chandler. It is just one farmer with his stuff, but it is WAY cheaper than the grocery store, and it comes straight from this guy's farm. I don't beleive that he is strictly organic, but the stuff sure tastes like heaven. I bought canteloupes from him that almost needed to be juiced, they were so moist!!!

And just remember, at the end of the day, if you keep your kids away from ALL soda, candy & french fries you will be doing a thousand times better than most moms.

Good luck!!!

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R.K.

answers from Phoenix on

one thing i hav found out with meats u really hav to read the package and it will tell u of the additives, pork has it alot and its ashame because walmart has good prices but their meat has lots of stuff added

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R.S.

answers from Tucson on

Do what you can to feed them healthier foods but don't let your friend freak you out. Talk to your doctor and ped. about what foods you feed your family and ask their opinions. Your children need meat in their diets and you should always do what YOU feel is best for them. Good luck!

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K.

answers from Albuquerque on

Hi, I just this summer came to the same shocking revelation! I have been trying to really watch what my boys eat especially avoiding high fructose corn syrup and the other junk. I don't know exactly where you live but I have had a lot of luck with Vitamin Cottage as a place to get organic diary, tomato sauces (much cheaper there!), applesauce, breads, mac and cheese and kid type foods. You can buy whole wheat pasta at the regular grocery store fairly cheaply. When in doubt try and make something from scratch because then you know what is in it. I make cake from scratch (not hard) and pancakes from scratch. I always try and think like my grandmother or great grandmother would have done and just go simple with my meals and with what I make. Spagehetti is a good example, sauce pasta and a salad. Our generation is so used to pre-made stuff. It has been a new adventure for me but you can do it! K. in Albuquerque Oh also these are the foods most likely contaminated try and always buy these organic: apples, celery, cherries, grapes, nectarines, peaches, pears, potatoes, raspberries, spinach, strawberries, and bell peppers.

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T.R.

answers from Colorado Springs on

Walmart and Cosco both carry organic foods. Eversave.com is a good place to get coupons from.

T.

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T.H.

answers from Phoenix on

First off, don't let your friend scare you! My son has lots of food allergies/intolerances so I have started really reading lables too. I also have a friend who has extensive knowledge of healthy foods to eat/cook for your family (she has several degrees in health related subjects). She also has a son who has allergies/intolerances and even has made cheese and bread from scratch until she found brands without "junk", lol. I am not to that point but still, here's what we do in a nutshell. I shop mainly at Henry's, VERY good prices (better than grocery stores/wal-mart/target, etc) on fruits and veggies and most of what they carry is organic. I would pick and choose what organic products you use, not all of them need to be organic really if you can't afford it. Certain items have more potential for taking in pesticides, etc. and so they would be better in organic form if you can. Also, Henry's sells meats without hormones etc. Also, try and buy GRASS fed beef, not corn fed. I would stay away from soy milk. Soy is a plant based hormone and is NOT good for us (bad thyroid impact in women) and is bad for our kids too. Email me directly if you would like a link to my friend's website that has medical study info on the bad effects of soy. She and I are working on a healthy cookbook for families right now as a matter of fact because we both have found it so hard to "know" what is good to feed your family when most stuff out there is filled with soy, transfats, preservatives and colors. I make a lot of stuff at home, chicken and rice and veggies, beef roast with potatoes and carrots, lentils are another great protein source that are super good for you to boot. There are a lot of options out there, and some of the stuff you CAN get at wal-mart, target, safeway, etc. But, just be careful when you see "Organic". Wal-mart has a line of organic stuff but it is certified organic for Wal-mart standards, not national standards. That is a whole other issue, the differing degrees of organic. Also, Smart and Final used to carry milk without hormones, I haven't bought it from them in a while so I don't know if they still do but it was also much cheaper too. Oh, another alternative is Rice milk, you can make that at home VERY cheaply. Again, if you need more info, email me directly. I would be happy to share what I have learned since I recently started going through this process myself, it can seem overwhelming at first but it really isn't bad. Just don't let people freak you out over stuff!! Hang in there!

T.

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L.M.

answers from Phoenix on

There isn't anything wrong with feeding them meat, cheese, milk, etc. My son is 3 and he barely eats meat. But loves Grilled Cheese, Mac n Cheese, 1% lowfat milk, and he eats a variety of Chinese Food (stirfries, veggie chow mein, etc), pastas, etc. He is 34lbs, 3 ft tall, and pretty healthy. He does have Ezcema and food allergies to Eggs (but able to take flu shot), Corn (which includes Corn Chips, Tortillas & chips, Cornbread, cornflour, corndogs, etc) and no nuts or shellfish until he is 4. Plus although he may not be allergic to Soy Milk he was until recently, and it is an acquired taste plus it does give him blowouts and although he's not allergic to the BErries group anymore, we give him moderate amount of strawberry jam.

Most grocery stores carry organic meat, produce, cheese and milk. You just have to spend the time to shop for it. Read the signs..ask the clerks for help. Best place to shop is Sprouts (www.sprouts.com) on Ray and Dobson or Trader Joes (www.traderjoes.com) or Whole Foods Market (www.wholefoodsmarket.com. And eventually most of the Henrys will become Sprouts so you can find more stores. But organic isn't cheap either. If you really want organic, then you have to buy organic everything not just what you've listed above.

Instead of buying jams, get the Fruit Spread or Preserves that state Lemon Juice, Fruit Pectin, and real fruit vs Corn Syrup. Everything has corn syrup in it as a cheaper sweetner.

Good Luck!

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S.B.

answers from Phoenix on

I work in a grocery store, and all I can say is that any or all organic food is very high priced, but good luck in your search, wether it's Fry's or Safeway or Basha's...it's all the same. hope this helps.

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H.M.

answers from Phoenix on

My absolute favorite store is Trader Joe's - there's a bunch of them in the Phoenix area. They have all kinds of organic stuff - all the dairy is hormone-free, the eggs are cage-free and on top of that it is very reasonably priced. They also make it fun for kids by having little carts they can wheel around and giving them stickers at the cash register. Give it a try - they're amazing!!!

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E.C.

answers from Denver on

THere are so many misconceptions and lies about meat and dairy it's ridiculous. I live on a ranch and have studied agriculture for along time alongside my entire family and honestly it's not true. Don't get me wrong there are some things that aren't good for you, but most everything you eat and drink from the grocery store is fine. Cattle in Colorado aren't injected with steroids(that is mostly done in other countreies). If you are concerned about meats you can buy them at Whole Foods or go to a butcher and buy fresh. We always have a cow butchered because the meat is fresher, we eat a lot of it and it is a ton cheaper that way. Don't buy organic fruit or veggies either. If there are sprayed with any kind of pesticides which all of them are reagrdless of what people tell you they come off when you wash them. Dairy is tricky because it depends on how it is processed. Do know that if you decide to go the organic route it is quite a bit more expensive and honestly on most things you don't need it. DOn't listen to other people because everyone will have a different opinion and voice on the matter. Research it yourself, call the state agriculture office and they can answer your questions or direct you t o the people that can. Get your answers directly from the source. I am only voicing my opinion because I am someone who hass raised it and grown it.

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L.M.

answers from Denver on

Hi K.,
I know exactly how you feel. When I was pregnant, the book I was reading told me the same thing and I started drinking organic milk. It was almost the double the price. Now that my son is 16 months, organic is pretty much the main source of our food and drink. Costco has a couple organic products, a huge bag or corn or mixed vege's, 3-pack of milk, a carton of green salad mix, and maybe some others. Most of my shopping is at vitamin cottage, since it's right down the street from my house. It is a little more expensive. I usually only buy the things on sale or not too high in price. Wal-mart is supposed to be coming out with there organic line, but so far I have only seen oatmeal. Vons/Safeway has the most organic product line in a grocery store I have seen and the products taste pretty good. If you have one in your neighborhood I would definitley check that one out.
Hope I have helped a little.
L.
www.WellnessFamilyBiz.com
www.babytalkhomemaker.blogspot.com

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J.L.

answers from Denver on

My sister is a vegetarian, so I'm always hearing about all the chemicals and hormones added to meat and all other foods. It would be great if we could all afford to go organic, but sorry, I can't! I do however eat a lot of soy products and so does my daughter. Honestly, she can't tell the difference between regular chicken nuggets and soy ones. The best soy products are the corn dogs, chicken nuggets, chicken patties, & riblets. I'm incredibly picky, so if I like them, most other people will as well. I also always buy soy milk for my daughter and organic milk for myself. She has always had Soy milk, so she has never had to get used to it. She really likes the vanilla soy milk as well. I will use the plain soy milk only when making smoothies because I as well do not like the taste of it by itself. No, you cannot buy organic meat anwhere for the same price as regular meat. Wal-Mart & Target are slowly getting more and more organic items, but I've never seen organic meat. If you really want to see how your meat is treated before it's packaged and sold to us in the supermarket, go to www.meetyourmeat.com Click on video gallery and watch the videos. It's really sad and disturbing. I no longer serve my family red meat. If you use a lot of ground beef try switching to ground turkey instead. It works just as well. Still not fixing the problem, but turkey is better than red meat. Sorry not the news you were looking for, but it's the truth. :o(

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F.D.

answers from Grand Junction on

K.,
I feel your pain. I have been trying to switch to organic for a while now. I'm half-way there. There are a number of resources available to you here in Grand Junction. First of all...as for the milk thing, you don't have to go "soy" to avoid the chemicals. Just look for milk that says organic or raised without hormones. Most major grocery stores carry organic dairy. There is also a company here in town that will deliver (yes, deliver!) organic milk to you as well as some cheeses, bacon and sausage (without all of the hormones and chemicals added). They also deliver bread from Great Harvest. They're called "Buddy's Wholesome Milk Products." It's pretty affordable. They only charge a dollar a month for delivery and their prices are comparable to the grocery store for the same type of product. As for meats and vegetables, you can buy organic at the grocery stores. Vitamin Cottage is always convenient. There's also a new store over behind Fisher's off 24.5 road called Farmhouse Premium Natural Meats. I just read about them in the local "things to do" guide. I intend to check them out soon. Other alternatives are independent ranches such as Homestead Meats out of Delta who sell direct to customers (however, I just read that Farmhouse is going to be carrying meat from them, so you wouldn't need to go through them. I think it might be a bit cheaper though if you buy in larger quantities. One last note, Safeway has it's own brand of organic that is usually more affordable simply called "organics".
Good luck with that. I know the sticker shock is hard to deal with. You just really have to figure out the benefits.
One more thing...speaking of chemicals in your food. Are you also aware of how damaging most of your everyday housecleaning chemicals are? I've switched my house over completely. I use safer alternatives which are definitely more affordable. Send me a message, I'd love to share my housecleaning tips with you!
Sincserely,
F.

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M.B.

answers from Denver on

Wow lots of info, I was looking at mamapedia for the first time and read your question. I use Town and Country Foods. www.townandcountryfoods.com they sell all natural and organic raw meats and veggies. The food is awesome the cost is awesome andmy family eats everything they sell. (very good for my 2 and 4 year olds) check them out and see if they can help you out. All of the food is antibiotic free, hormone free, Steroid free and tested each animal for any bacteria. Pretty cool company they even bring you a sample of food to try at no cost just to test and taste.

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E.H.

answers from Flagstaff on

For the meat I would actually recommend going kosher... which is probably organic also but going kosher is even better for you, (they don't let it rot some like the others do). I'm sorry I'm not sure where to get it in your area.

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J.L.

answers from Tucson on

Ok well alot of mixed OPINIONS on this board. Just a few things: Soy is excellent for you. Not sure where the facts come from stating its not. I am sure some Dr somewhere has reported bad things but ill take the boston medical journals publication on it view, it is actually really good for you and it has some very beneficial things in it for women. Second I agree WAY too many hormones in meat so those are good to buy organic but I wouldnt go nuts over buying everything organic. Lord knows my food stamps would not cover a totally organic diet. But I dont believe im putting my children in danger. Important things-*Lots of fruits,vegies,whole grains & water. And tons of exercise!!!

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K.E.

answers from Phoenix on

Sprouts is a good, mostly affordable option for organic stuff.

Good luck. It's tough once you start researching all the antibiotics and chemicals that go into your food. It can really freak you out!

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R.S.

answers from Tucson on

Definitely check out Trader Joe's. The have organic milk, cheese, eggs and meat for very reasonable prices. Probably the best deal in town. I also like that their dairy products aren't ultra-pasteurized. Soymilk is also often contaminated with heavy metals due to the way it is processed. Also there is the hormone issue with soy. Almond milk is yummy and more nutritious, as well as less processed. Good luck!

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