I buy some organic and some not. I am not rich either and can not afford to buy everything, food or clothing or otherwise, organic. I pick my battles and do the best I can. When I first went vegan I really tried to avoid every possible company that exploits labor and so on. But it is near impossible when you live in a capitalistic society. Often even small companies are owned by or controlled by larger ones that are quite exploitive. There are a lot of vegan foods I eat that are not possible to grow locally either, such as coconuts, almonds, and bananas and coffee. I am just not willing to give them up entirely. Maybe someday. I do try to buy chocolate and coffee fairtrade since those are some of the most controversial crops. I also try to buy things like apples and potatoes organic since they are high pesticide foods and the skins sometimes are treated with stuff like shellac (animal derived). I have an apple tree in my yard and use those too in the Fall and early winter. And I grow my own garden in the summer and try to preserve some of that. Even if you live in an apartment you can still grow small pots of herbs or lettuce etc. Growing your own food can be very healing.
As a recovering anorexic myself (weight restored but barely), I had to learn to be more relaxed with food and to not be so strict with food rules and what I would allow myself. I used to be gung ho against processed vegan food and even made my own plant milk for a while (flaxseed and water) but started allowing myself to enjoy an occasional bagel or vegan cream cheese and so on. I still try to eat whole foods and eat healthy, but I can appreciate an occasional batch of cookies with some vegan sugar in them, or a cliff bar, and even recently bought a vegan cold cereal (crispy rice) to make rice crispy bars with peanut butter. Probably one of the cheapest dessert/snacks I have made in years aside from the brown rice syrup lol. It's not the end of the world if I buy a bag of oranges that aren't organic because they were $2 cheaper. I'd rather a person live in a way that is sustainable long term (for their own health and mental sanity too) than give up in frustration because they can't be 100% pure and perfect.
In the end, only kindness matters. - Jewel
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