Saturday, March 15, 2008

affording organic meat

In most cases organic food is more expensive than its conventional counterparts, but there are a few tricks you can use to maximize what you get for your organic dollar. One of the most expensive foods to buy organic is also one of the most important... meat. If you are vegetarian or vegan, then you'll have to wait for my organic veggies tip... coming soon.

I've noticed recently that the same organic producers sell their products under their own label, as well as under supermarket labels... I don't know if this happens in other countries, but it happens in Australia, where I live at the moment.

For example, the same organic chicken farm sells under its own name, as well as through Safeway, but the Safeway branded chicken is at least $2/kilo cheaper. This also happens for other organic products, not just meat. You can tell by looking at the producer number on the organic certification logo.

Another way to save on organic meat is to buy it when it is on sale and freeze it. Buy as much as you can afford to at the time, up to about 3 months supply (if you have enough room in your freezer) any more than that and it might start to go funny before you eat it.

You can also look for meat that is a couple of days before its due date and has been heavily discounted... but make sure that it still looks and smells fresh, and cook/eat/ freeze it straight away.

My final tip for getting the most out of your organic meat dollar is to buy a whole organic chicken and use every last bit of it...
I roast mine in the oven and then strip all the meat off to use in salads, casseroles, risottos, soups etc. Then I boil the carcass with a pinch of salt, and some veggies and herbs (if I can be bothered, just salt will do) and make a delicious homemade organic chicken stock, which I use to make soups, risottos, and drink plain as a broth.

I also use the stock for making really yummy rice (with stock instead of water) or mashed potatoes.

If my toddler is going through an anti-vegetable phase then he will usually eat a creamy soup made by cooking veggies in chicken stock and then blending it. A cooked potato or some rice added before blending will make the soup nice and creamy without adding dairy products.


OrganicMania said...

This is such an important topic - affordability of organics. It's hard to find good information and tips, so I think this will be quite helpful to people. In the US, organics are generally about 25% more than conventional foods. Is that true in Australia too? said...

Great blog, thanks for sharing your tips and knowledge! I will be interested to read your post about organic fruit and vegies. I have just experimented with ordering organic groceries online here in Australia, which seemed good value:
I really like their concept of a 'seasonal box', and I enjoyed the surprise collection of fruit and veg, and was happy to know that everything was truely in season. Would love to hear more about your experiences.
Will be forwarding your URL to some like-minded friends!

Annie said...

Thanks for the comments :-)

I've just posted on a similar topic, affording organic fruits and veggies (which are very expensive in Australia):

Organic meat and produce varies wildly in price here, sometimes it's as cheap or cheaper than conventional alternatives, but other times it is 2 or 3 times as expensive!

That's why I'm going to start growing some of my own :-)