Saturday, December 26, 2009

organic produce

As today's public service announcement, here's information from Dr. Mercola. It's expensive to eat organic, and even though that's my real desire (so many darn toxins in life in New Orleans, don't need to eat them) I can't always do so. So, this helps me make the determination of what's most important to get organic. The first chart - things that are least important to buy organic (though, the picture is broader than just pesticide load: there are some serious human rights violations especially with conventional banana production); second chart - things you really should.

Of course this all gets complicated because the overwhelming majority of vendors at the farmers market do not grow organic. It's far more difficult to do that it here in the South than other places (as my own experience - and research - has shown). So when faced with local or organic choice, it's always a tightrope walk for me. I avoid the Georgia peaches because they laughed at me when I asked if they spray them, and I avoid the fellow who says, "Pesticides are the least of your worries - I grow one mile downstream from a nuclear power plant! Why do you think everything looks so good and big?!" I talk to the apple man about which sprays he applies and when, and I hit strawberry season early (and freeze a bunch), before they spray.

I wash produce well - especially those on the high pesticide load chart - and consider peeling when conventional.

Sigh. Eating well is complicated!

The following 12 foods have the lowest pesticide load when conventionally grown. Consequently, they are the safest conventionally grown crops to consume:
Broccoli Eggplant Cabbage Banana
Kiwi Asparagus Sweet peas Mango
Pineapple Sweet corn Avocado Onion

Meanwhile, these 12 fruits and vegetables had the highest pesticide load, making them the most important to buy or grow organic:

Peaches Apples Sweet bell peppers Celery
Nectarines Strawberries Cherries Lettuce
Grapes (imported) Pears Spinach Potatoes

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