Tips On How To Buy Food Products At Lower Prices

Have you been thinking of buying food products online? There are many benefits that come with it. One of the benefits is that you don’t have to leave your home to make the purchase. All you need to do is to place an order on your computer and the product will be delivered to your doorstep.

Another benefit is that you can’t buy anything on impulse as you don’t have to wander down aisles stocked with appetizing food products. This not only saves you money, it also protects you from eating unhealthy foods.

Most online stores tend to sell their products at low prices; therefore, when you buy from them you tend to buy at very low prices which saves you a lot of money.

The internet has many types of foods to buy from; therefore, it’s much easier to find the specific food that you are interested in buying. Instead of spending hours trying to look for a given product, you only need to type your keyword and you will get your desired product.

While buying products online gives you the above benefits, the main drawback is that many online sellers tend to charge very high shipping fees especially for small items. While this is the case, this doesn’t mean that you have to pay a lot of money to get your food item. Here are two of the best ways of reducing the cost of the product that you want to buy:

How to Buy A Food Product At A Lower Price

Use Food Stamps

Food stamps are usually provided to families that need assistance in buying food and food products. To buy the food product using the stamp method you only need to contact the retailer and ask him/her whether he/she will accept the stamp. You should then go ahead and place your order. You should then wait and the order will be delivered to your door step. It’s good to note that it’s impossible to buy tobacco, non-food items and prepared meals using the food stamp program.

Discounts

As mentioned above, many online stores offer great discounts to their customers. In most of the cases, the online stores give discounts during special occasions such as Christmas. To save money it’s wise that you buy your food product at this time as you have higher chances of attracting higher discounts.

Conclusion

This is what you need to know about buying food products online. Remember that there are many unscrupulous online sites that are out there to rip you off; therefore, you should always do thorough research about a given site before you part with your money.

Use the Labels on Foods to Find the Green Products

When purchasing your groceries you can check the labels to find the food with the most nutritional value and green production methods.

Check out the following information:

The Ingredient List

Natural foods are usually lower in salt, sugar and saturated fats. Heavily processed foods are likely to be high in sodium to assist in preservation. Understand each ingredient and how it affects the finished product.

Which Animal Does the Food Come From?

Some animals and fish are protected because of many factors. You are most likely to run into a threatened fish product. You can get a handy pocket guide that tells you the best choices for seafood and good alternatives at the site Sea Food Watch.

Which Country Does the Food Come From?

All labels should have on there the “country of origin” of the food product. This is supposed to tell you what country the food comes from, but in reality it could tell you just where the food was processed and packaged. You may have to dig deeper by visiting the manufactures website to see where the food actually originated from.

In addition to the manufacturers label the USDA also provides the following information on the product package.

100% Organic; tells you all the ingredients used in the production of this food stuff are organic.

Organic; tells you that at least 95% of the products ingredients are organic.

Made with Organic Ingredients; at least 75% of the products ingredients are organic.

Organic Ingredients Noted on the Ingredients Statement; Less than 70% of the ingredients are organic.

You can get more information on food labeling from the FDA’s website.

Ambitious Action Is Required to Mend the Global Food Production and Pricing System

Ahead of the June G20 Summit, the charity Oxfam launched a campaign, called Grow, and at its US launch Oxfam America President Ray Offenheiser said that the entire food system as we know it is fundamentally broken.

Even if we leave aside the questionable ethics of commodity price speculation on basic foods in a world where people starve in one place while food is thrown away in another, there is something badly out of balance with food production.

It is not wholly clear what sparked the recent E Coli outbreak in Germany, for example. First Spanish cucumbers, then German bean sprout seeds and now seeds originating from a company in the UK have been identified as being the cause, though so far without as yet any hard scientific proof.

This is a good illustration what Offenheiser was talking about. Often we do not know where our food has come from, how it has been produced and how far it has had to travel from seed to supermarket. At the same time we do not know whether the farmers who produced it were making a fair return for their effort or were eking out a living while struggling to survive themselves on the uneven playing field that is the global food market.

One of the five key areas where Oxfam’s Grow campaign was calling for action was in providing aid to small producers in developing countries. 500 million small-scale food producers in poor countries feed nearly one-third of humanity.

The charity argues that while investment in smallholder agriculture should be tailored to the particular contexts of the farmers, its ultimate aim in working with small farmers is to shift towards the least external inputs possible while increasing productivity.

The CEO of the world’s largest biopesticides research and development organisation based in the US also argues that investment in small farmers is needed and has said that his company’s focus on the research and development of low-chem bio-pesticides, bio-fungicides and yield enhancing agricultural products is aimed to help farmers provide safer, healthier foods to consumers without compromising the quality of their land and ultimately the environment on which we all depend.

He, also, has said that it is scandalous that in such a diverse and rich world so many people still suffer malnutrition and starvation and that lack of investment and resources mean that many developing world farmers are faced with an unacceptable choice between producing enough food and draining their land of precious goodness in the effort to do so.

Plainly there is some agreement from both the charity sector and organizations within the food production system that action is needed and even on where it should be targeted.

The June 2011 G20 meeting did announce an action plan. It called for a big increase in productivity and greater transparency in commodity markets as a way of curbing volatility in food prices. It proposed an agricultural market information system (Amis) to provide accurate and timely information on crop supply, demand and food stocks and promised to give special attention to smallholders, especially women, in particular in developing countries, and to young farmers to improve productivity.

As Oxfam and other campaigners pointed out afterwards, however, without any detailed figures, targets or deadlines much of the announcement could be seen as empty rhetoric.

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier De Schutter, summed up his reaction to the action plan by saying it had addressed the symptoms but not the root causes of the problem. His view was that it was only a step in the right direction when the current situation called for an ambitious jump forward.

Copyright (c) 2011 Alison Withers

Middle East Unrest Exposes Food Production’s Vulnerability to Oil

Oil prices have climbed to almost the heights of two years ago as a result of the popular uprisings across North Africa and the Middle East and there is no telling whether they will rise further or how long they will stay that way.

Meanwhile, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation reported that food prices had risen in February 2011 above their previous peak in 2008 and warned that they could rise even further as the unrest continues or spreads further.

All this emphasises the vulnerability of food production because of its dependence on oil and petroleum products for much of the process, starting from the production of synthetic fertiliser and continuing through industrial-style farming to the transport and processing of produce before it reaches the shops.

The connection between oil and food production and the effect of oil prices on food prices has been well rehearsed, and it is ironic that these democracy movements should have first emerged in protest at high food prices, among other things, in an area that is a major oil producer.

But the most interesting piece of recent news is an article in the China Post, Singapore, on March 7 2011. The piece, reporting on a workshop among scientists, revealed that unrestrained manufacture of what it called “cheap” pesticides and their overuse was causing problems throughout Asia’s rice paddy fields, which it said was destroying the surrounding ecosystems and actually allowing pests to thrive and multiply.

It reported that the problem was that poorly-trained farmers who were under pressure to raise crop yields were relying too much on these chemical pesticides. According to one of the participating scientists, George Lukacs, of Australia, large outbreaks of pests, called “pest storms” have been reported in China as a result.

All this suggests that the alleged benefits of cheap oil-dependent pesticides are far outweighed by the consequences of their over-use and it all reinforces the urgent need to give farmers across the world access to equally cheap but more environmentally friendly agricultural products, particularly pesticides, in order to reduce the dependence on synthetic pesticides and the reliance of oil in the food production process.

Equally important is the need for farmers to have widespread access to proper training in their use.

Research into alternatives to the older generation of synthetic, chemical-based pesticides has produced many safer, low-chemical products from the biopesticides developers. They include biopesticides, biofungicides and yield enhancers that harness use natural ingredients to which local pests and plant diseases are vulnerable.

They include crop solutions to protect soy beans, corn and wheat as well as a variety of vegetables including protection from bacterial diseases in tomatoes and peppers, to provide protection from soil diseases in potatoes and biofungicides to protect leafy vegetables from fungal diseases by harnessing the powerful biochemistry of Bacillus subtilis, a bacterial microorganism that is commonly found in the environment.

These low-chem agricultural products also leave little or no residue in the foods produced and in the land, so that damage to the surrounding ecosystem is minimised. They make it possible for farmers to increase their crop yields by cutting down the losses from diseases without depleting the land’s goodness.

It is possible that the turmoil in North Africa and the Middle East and consequent uncertainty about oil supplies will give governments across the world the incentive to accelerate their processes of getting alternative, natural and more environmentally friendly, less oil-dependent agricultural products through the registration and licensing processes more quickly and available to farmers more cheaply.

It may be hoped also that the result will be healthier, more natural and affordable food for all consumers around the world and better protection for the environment on which we all depend.

Copyright (c) 2011 Alison Withers