I only go to Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods for things I CAN’T get at the farmers market, so that’s where you should do most of your shopping, especially since you have access to them! These days, many farmers markets take food stamps, so find out which organic farmers do, and stick with them. Local, and in season is the way you want to eat all year round!
And organic is incredibly important unless you want to ingest a ton of chemicals. Pesticides, chemical plant food, GMO’s, you are risking ingesting all of them if you don’t go organic, and depending on what study you believe, you are opening yourself up to all kinds of health risks by doing so.
But you don’t necessarily have to find a farmer who is certified organic. Many farmers don’t want the hassle of going through all the red tape and fees the government makes them go through to get certified, so they just practice organic farming without the certification. You have to talk to the different farmers at the farmers market and ask them questions about how they grow their food, they’ll be happy to tell you! Much of the food I buy is organic, but not certified by the government to be organic.
By the way, it’s grass fed beef you want, not grain fed. Grains are bad, grass is good. Again, it’s important because cows aren’t designed to eat grains, they are designed to eat grass. Think of grains for a cow as processed junk food is for us. They eat grains (and soy), and get fat, and sick. Plus, most conventionally sold beef is from cows that are packed together in feed lots, they never move, and disease spreads everywhere, so they are pumped full of antibiotics (the biggest use of antibiotics aren’t for humans, it’s for animals sold for meat). I don’t want to eat beef from a cow like that. Do you? The answer to that question should answer how important it is to eat grass fed beef.
Chances are there is a farmer at your local farmers market that sells grass fed beef. Seek them out and see if they accept food stamps. If not, keep looking. And there’s always the internet, where I bet with a little research you could find an online grass-fed retailer who can help you out with your food stamp problem.
And one more thing you can do to insure you getting organic food is to grow it yourself! There’s nothing better than eating food you grew yourself. And you don’t need a big backyard, get creative with whatever space you have, and bring in planters if necessary. Hydroponics is also very popular these days. Just don’t use any plant food, pesticides, or gmo seeds and all your food will be organic!