I originally wrote this in 2004. I think it is still good advice.
Healthy eating does not require an all or nothing approach. While it would be ideal to grow all our own organic foods, starting with perfect soil, growing all of our own fruits and vegetables, raising our own meat fed on only perfect grasses and feed that we grew ourselves, and on from there, it is not very realistic for most
people to do this. The information can be overwhelming and the urge to jump in completely is well founded. It can also be discouraging. With all the bad foods out there and the bad foods that look like good foods, we can start to wonder if there is any way to really find and eat healthy food.
Every little bit helps. If you can only change your diet one item at a time, you will feel and taste the benefits. Do not give up just because you cannot go all the way right away. Some people never fully make the transition, but they are still better off for each meal or food item that is of better quality. I have tried to
go all organic many times over the years, and gave up because it was too expensive or too difficult to obtain good food. I always believed that I had to do it 100% or it was just a waste of time. When I went back to standard commercial and chemical laden foods, I always noticed that my favorite new recipes just did not taste as good this time, and that I was more tired and did not digest my food as well as I had been. It sometimes took a while for me to make the connection.
If you are unfamiliar with choosing and eating organic food or working on a limited budget, it is OK to start out with just a few items. This may mean making one entire meal completely from better foods, or by consistently using one or two organic ingredients. Over time you will get a feel for which brands you like best, what is cost effective, and how to find what you really want. Often small natural food store have a co-op program that you can buy into and get a discount on their products. These stores are usually more than happy to special order products for you, too. If you simply cannot find a local supplier look for food online. You will be surprised how many things can now be ordered and shipped directly to your home. Ask around! You can often find local sources for things
like eggs, milk, and produce who do not advertise. Call your chamber of commerce and your county extension office for advice on finding these people.
Do not let the urge to be a perfectionist stand in the way on your path to eating healthier and more delicious food.