You have a limited amount of money to spend at the store, but you want to do as much as you can to avoid potentially toxic chemicals and ingredients. Do you spend your hard-earned money in the organic food section, or do you spend it in the organic cleaner and soap section?
Not everyone can afford to deck their entire house out in organic, all-natural, eco-friendly, fair trade, made of recycled materials, and hand-picked soaps, shampoos, cleaners, drinks, food, and toilet paper. Regardless of whether you shop at only Whole Foods or you have found that your local grocer has enough “green” stuff for your liking, the truth is that many environmentally-friendly items do cost more than their less righteous brothers and sisters. So what should you do, if your shopping budget is limited (as mine is, too) to getting the most bang for your buck?
If you ask me, I say invest in the organic foods.
Because we take food directly into our bodies, which uses it as fuel for our cells, the “cleaner” that food is, the better off you will be. Ingesting truckloads of pesticides, genetically-modified organisms, and potentially toxic ingredients isn’t really a great way to feed your body. You wouldn’t consume it if it was laid out on a plate in front of you, so you shouldn’t do it if it’s hidden in the foods that you eat, either. That’s the simple truth. I realize we can’t always avoid that stuff, but when we can, we should. In addition, organic fruits, vegetables, and meats are better for the environment as well as the workers who harvest it all, making it a win-win all the way down the supply line.
Organic cleaners and soaps, while worth the expense if you can afford them, are not as important as food in my book. Yes, toxic cleaners are dangerous. Yes, they can harm the environment. And yes, the companies that make them profit off the destruction of our natural world. But we don’t directly ingest them (hopefully!) into our systems and process them through our bodies. Please don’t mistake my thoughts on this to mean I am in favor of buying crappy cleaners and soaps; rather, I get emails all the time from readers asking about this issue and I decided to finally write an article about it. Food, for me, is more vital to spend my money on than hand soap is. So if I had to pick, I would always pick organic foods over organic soaps.
One solution to the “this vs. that” issue is to grow some of your own fruits and veggies as well as make your own home cleaners and soaps. This way, you can get the benefit of safer products while not spending a fortune at the grocery store. In fact, my post The Natural Way To Clean Everything In Your House is a good place to start if you are looking for easy, inexpensive ways to clean your house using nontoxic ingredients. That way, you can spend your grocery budget on organic food and not really worry about cleaning products.
But if you’re not the type to make your own anything at home, and you’re on a limited budget, I recommend you spend your money on organic food rather than organic soaps and cleaners. Your body, and the entire food chain leading up to your purchase, will thank you!