Thursday, June 25, 2009

I Buy Organic...But Only for Jessie

If money were no object, I would probably buy (mostly) organic. Unfortunately, organic food choices around here are somewhat limited and expensive. I really wish they would open a Whole Foods or something. Anyway, the only person in the family who gets to eat organic is our lucky little girl. Even then, I'm selective about what I buy that's organic. My main reason to buy organic is to reduce exposure to pesticides and growth hormones. Not everything is highly contaminated. It's worth paying attention to the "Dirty Dozen" list of foods to buy organic though. Fruits and vegetables that typically contain higher levels of pesticide residues include: apples, cherries, imported grapes, nectarines, peaches, pears, raspberries, strawberries, bell peppers, celery, potatoes, spinach. It's probably also a good idea to buy organic milk, chicken, and beef. Produce that doesn't contain significant pesticide levels include: bananas, kiwi, mangoes, papaya, pineapples, asparagus, avocado, broccoli, cauliflower, corn, onions, peas. Here's a full list of produce that have been ranked according to their pesticide content. As a general rule, it's a good idea to eat a varied diet and to buy what's in season.

I've also wondered how sustainable organic farming is... By sustainable, I mean, is it possible to feed the entire planet's population -- there are still starving populations around the world -- if all our food were grown organically. Here's an interesting Mother Jones article about sustainable agriculture.

One last thing. Some people have told me that organic food tastes better than conventionally grown food. I have tasted some of the organic stuff I've bought for Jessie, and yes, I definitely taste a difference, but I'm not sure I'd say that the taste is better. :)

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