Explore Coverage

Living Maxwell

Better Choices

New to Organic? – Start with This Inexpensive Breakfast

One question that I get a lot is “How should a person get started with organic food?” One complaint I hear a lot is that organic food costs too much.

Let me both answer this question and address this complaint with a story.

Last week, Brian, a new friend of mine, came to me for some food-related advice. He wanted to know what he could be doing to eat healthier, as he was “crashing” in the middle of the afternoon. Brian was very concerned that his eating habits were negatively impacting his ability to perform at work, which would impact his ability to make money.

He did not know much about organic and was very concerned about the price. When I started talking about organic food, the first words out of his mouth were “Hey, I don’t make $20,000 per month.”

Brian went on to tell me about the fast-food breakfasts that he had been eating and he didn’t think it was the cause of his problem.

While I can’t say for sure these egg McMuffins with sausage were the exact cause of the problem, I know that they weren’t helping. Aside from the fact that the nutritional value of this food has to be very poor, it is also full of GMOs and synthetic growth hormones, neither of which is good for the body.

So, what I suggested to Brian was that he transition into organic food slowly and begin with breakfast. I threw out the idea of starting with an organic breakfast comprised of organic oatmeal with an organic banana and sweetened with organic palm sugar.

Again, he mentioned his concern about the cost and I told him not to worry.  I said that I didn’t think it would be more than $4 or $5 dollars. As it turns out, I was very far off from that price range.

Let’s take a close look at the cost. Since he doesn’t live near an organic market and might not have found the ingredients so easily, I did the shopping for him and this what I came up with.

Bag of Organic Palm Sugar: $4.99
Organic Oats: $0.73
Organic Bananas: $0.52

Those were the prices for what I paid but he certainly was not going to eat the whole bag of organic palm sugar nor was he going to use the whole bag of organic oatmeal. Let’s assume he used 1/20th of the bag of organic palm sugar and 1/2 of the bag of the organic oatmeal.

The cost of this breakfast now breaks down like this.

Organic Palm Sugar: $0.25
Organic Oats: $0.37
Organic Bananas: $0.52

Total Cost of this Breakfast: $1.14

My $4 to $5 original estimate for this breakfast was way, way high.  Approximately 400% too high.

As you can see, this is a pretty easy way to get someone started with organic. While palm sugar may be a new ingredient for people, bananas and oatmeal are certainly not.

And what was Brian’s take of this organic breakfast? He said “I felt full of energy and it was a hearty breakfast.  You’re ready to start your day……This slow transition into organic has been a healthy epiphany about how food can change your day.”

The next time you meet someone who wants to get started with organic food or is nervous about the high cost of organic, please share this post with them.

Because the more people we can get eating organic, the better.

A message from Tradin Organic

Why Tradin Organic is Prioritizing Regenerative Organic Farming

At Tradin Organic, we believe that regenerative organic farming is key to growing healthy and nutritious food ingredients — for now and for future generations.

And in Sierra Leone, we have grown the world’s first Regenerative Organic Certified cacao.

Learn more.

Go deeper

Living Maxwell

Better Choices

How Do Your Favorite ‘Organic’ and ‘Made with Organic’ Snack Bars Rate? Take a Look at Cornucopia’s Scorecard

When you are in the checkout line at the supermarket and looking for a nutritious snack to satiate your hunger, take caution when selecting an energy bar.

The energy or snack bar market is big business — a $9 billion industry — and many people are easily fooled by the slick marketing that food companies employ to get you to purchase their products.

The absolute first thing to look for is a certified organic snack bar — one that has the green and white USDA organic seal on it.

Go deeper Arrow

A message from Tradin Organic

How Tradin Organic is Helping Coconut Farmers in The Philippines

For more than a decade, Tradin Organic has been working with local partners in The Philippines to bring a diversified range of organic products to the market, such as coconut oil, tropical fruits and even cocoa.

The company is helping to support local farmers by assisting them with technical support and organic certification, in addition to paying Fairtrade premium on top of the organic premium.

Learn more.

Living Maxwell

Better Choices

Top 10 Herbs by Nutrient Density

By now, many of you may be familiar with the “ANDI Scores” when you walk into the produce section of Whole Foods Market.

Created by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, ANDI stands for “Aggregate Nutrient Density Index” and ranks a food’s nutrient density on a scale from 1 to 1000.

The ANDI scores are calculated by evaluating an extensive range of micronutrients, including vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidant capacities, and by dividing the nutrient level of a food by its caloric content (N/C).

For context, kale, a dark leafy green, scores 1000 while soda scores 1.

Go deeper Arrow

Living Maxwell

Better Choices

Have We Been Misled? 5 Organic Foods That Should Make You Think Twice

I spend an inordinate amount of time learning about the healthiest and newest organic food products available. Through my research at the various trade shows — most notably, Natural Products Expo East and Natural Products Expo West —  talking to industry contacts, roaming supermarket aisles, speaking with as many well-informed food people as I can and reading books, I have come to the following conclusion:

You can take almost any food in the world and some health expert will have something good to say about it while a different health expert will have something bad to say about it.

So, what I do is educate myself as much as I can and then make my own decision about whether I should be eating it or not.

The following five organic foods seem to be the most controversial. While books could be written on all of the foods below and by no means am I covering all of the pros/cons of each, I will try to highlight the most salient points.

Go deeper Arrow
livingmaxwell: a guide to organic food & drink