Local co-op makes organic produce more affordable

By: Meredith TerHaar Email
By: Meredith TerHaar Email

Panama City - Experts say eating organic fruits and vegetables is excellent for your health, but sometimes the expense turns people away. A local co-op is working to overcome that hurdle by offering fresh fruits and vegetables at a lower cost.

"That is why I started eating organic, I thought I was going to die," said Kathy Pickrell. For Pickrell, who runs the ESE program at Breakfast Point Academy, making a lifestyle change wasn't optional, it was a necessity. I was so sick, I worked and I slept and that was it, that was my life. I couldn't raise my arms, I couldn't hardly walk."

She started seeing Craig Bowlen, a licensed manual therapist about two years ago. He recommended she try eating organic, she has never gone back. "I feel 20 years younger," said Pickrell.

Having lost 90 pounds, Kathy is the perfect poster child for what eating organic and exercising can do. "When you eat organic food you don't need to eat as much, because the taste is so good that you feel satisfied."

But buying fruits and vegetables free of pesticides and chemicals can be expensive. That's why the two formed the "Organics for life" local co-op. "I said hey, why don't we get our friends together and see how many people we can add to this group to make it more affordable to eat healthy and eat better," said Craig Bowlen, a licensed manual therapist.

"We just couldn't not do it," said Pickrell, "The benefits that it gave me, it gave me a new life. As we talked about it, we just had to offer that to other people," said Pickrell. "It's a lot cheaper to eat healthy up front than it is to have that surgery for colon cancer or whatever else ails you," said Bowlen.

If you are interested in joining the "Organics for Life" co-op, send them an e-mail at organicsforlife@gmail.com. The group places orders every two weeks. The cost is $49 for a big box of fresh produce.


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