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Friday, March 6, 2009

When is it Worth Buying Organic?

You know what? I have a secret admirer. Or a secret Santa. Or maybe just a thoughtful friend who knows me REALLY well. You see, out of the blue, I began receiving Everyday Food, a Martha Stewart magazine. Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I took a few minutes to peruse that first issue and that's all it took; I was hooked! I immediately earmarked recipe after recipe, thrilled to liven up my weekday menu. I couldn't believe there were so many EASY and QUICK recipes using ingredients I commonly have on hand. (Martha, I love you but you usually cook with stuff I just don't have and I'm not in the position to shop for each meal.)

In the latest issue (April 2009), I read something and wanted to share it with you. I've seen this information before, maybe in an email (?) but now that it's in print right in front of me and the source is named, I thought I'd share it... I'm quoting Jovana Ruzicic, a spokesperson for the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting public health and the environment:

When is it worth buying organic?

If you're concerned about pesticides in conventionally grown produce, buying organic is a good option -- but it can be expensive. To get your money's worth, stick to organics for the 12 fruits and vegetables that contain the highest levels of pesticides when grown conventionally (based on data from the FDA and USDA):

  • apples
  • bell peppers
  • carrots
  • celery
  • cherries
  • grapes (imported)
  • kale
  • lettuce
  • nectarines
  • peaches
  • pears
  • strawberries

Regardless of what type of produce you buy, wash it thoroughly with water before eating or cooking.

I've also read that veggies that grow in the ground, such as potatoes and carrots, are also high on the Must Buy Organic list and that makes sense to me.

I purchased a product at my local Roots Market called Biokleen Produce Wash and I love it. It's made in the USA and it's not tested on animals (nor does it contain any animal ingredients). It simply contains lime extracts, grapefruit seed and pulp extracts, surfactants from coconut and/or corn, cold pressed orange oil and filtered water... that's it! You simply soak your produce, rinse and enjoy. I grew my own lettuce for the first time last year and it was comforting to soak my greens before consuming, knowing I was getting all that yuck off my yum.

Ug. I've got Spring on the brain. I've got my local farmer's market on the brain... I want fresh local produce and I WANT IT NOW. (I'm channeling my best Varuca Salt from Charlie and the Chocoalte Factory there.) Who's with me?

6 comments:

dana said...

i would add bananas to your list as well. even though they have a tough skin and are "immune" to pesticides, you should buy them fair trade b/c of the appalling working conditions and lack of compensation, if you buy them at all.

MoziEsmé said...

I want a secret admirer like that! And farmers' markets sound really good right about now...

Alicia Braun said...

I loved all of the crafts--but my 2 favorites would be the tie-dye fun and allrecipes--can't choose.

Lisa at EWG said...

Hey, it's great to see our guide featured here - thanks, Andrea, for spreading the word!

If you're interested in our grassroots campaign to pass comprehensive federal chemical reform, lemme know.

It's called the Kid-Safe Chemicals Act and we're working hard to move it forward in Congress - together with concerned parents, activists and bloggers.

You can learn more about the legislation and our grassroots campaign on our Kid-Safe web page: www.ewg.org/kidsafe. Together we can make this much-needed change.

LWeigard said...

Nice blog! If we can't afford to purchase 100% organic across the board, most people can at least single out these few!

ConnieFoggles said...

Thanks for the list on what food to purchase in organic form. I've always wondered about that.

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