Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Organics

I've had my fair share of paranoia about the foods we eat, how they affect our health, and finding the "right" diet for my family and myself.  It can be a little overwhelming.  I read somewhere that up to 30% of cancers are caused by diet.  Anyway, I'm starting to digress, but this article on CNN yesterday caught my eye. 

It summarizes the findings of the Environmental Working Group (they have some interesting fact on sunscreens as well) where they determined which types of produce contain the highest level of pesticides, mostly due to their soft outer skins.  According to the article, ""You can reduce your exposure to pesticides by up to 80 percent by buying the organic version of the Dirty Dozen,"":

The Dirty Dozen

Celery
Peaches
Strawberries
Apples
Domestic blueberries
Nectarines
Sweet bell peppers
Spinach, kale and collard greens
Cherries
Potatoes
Imported grapes
Lettuce

On the flip side, there are other types of produce that don't have the high levels of pesticides because they have thicker skins:
 
The Clean 15

Onions
Avocados
Sweet corn
Pineapples
Mango
Sweet peas
Asparagus
Kiwi fruit
Cabbage
Eggplant
Cantaloupe
Watermelon
Grapefruit
Sweet potatoes
Sweet onions

As much as I wish I could buy only organic produce all the time, it's not always possible (or affordable), so I think I'll try to consider the lists above and buy organic where there is a significant advantage to do so.
 
Do any of you worry about these things or have certain philosophies on the way you buy your produce?
 
I recently found out that an organic farm in Wisconsin (Harvest Moon Farms) will be doing weekly produce drops at my office building from June to October.  I decided to split a full share with my co-worker, so I'm really excited to be able to have a variety farm-fresh fruits and veggies each week from a farm that is all organic (and supports genetic diversity in their plants....that's a whole separate topic!).  After splitting the cost two ways and dividing it by 20 weeks, it was really only about $17 / week.  Plus, it saves me some shopping!  :-)
 
I know this post was not that exciting, but just thought I'd share.  I'd love to hear your thoughts as well!
 
P.S.  Can you tell I've watched Food Inc.recently?  :-)

1 comment:

The4Bells said...

I just recently heard something about sunscreens and it got me thinking about it since it has been sunscreen weather. I need to do some research on what kind to get!
Sounds interesting about the farm food you'll be getting... have to take some pics and posts about it, would be interested in seeing it.

And have not seen or read Food Inc but keep meaning too since I've heard so much about it!