Thursday, June 24, 2010

Eating safe produce

When my daughter visited last week from Boston, she noticed all of the changes I had made in food purchases since she last visited.  She was wondering if buying organic really makes a difference. 

YES, it does.

The Environmental Working Group  points out that if we eat the daily 5 servings of some fruits and vegetables (not organic) we could be consuming 10 pesticides a day.  Yikes! 

They put together a handy printout that you can keep with your grocery list when you are shopping for your produce.  It lists what produce is OK to buy that are not organic.  It also lists the top Dirty Dozen that you should avoid unless it is organic.  This will help you save money since organic produce is usually a bit more expensive than non-organic.

As with other foods, be sure to read the packages carefully.  Some packages claim to include organic ingredients, but that doesn't mean it is entirely organic.

Also, I've been finding that some at my local farmer's market, some farmers aren't selling their own produce - they're buying it from a distributor.  That's why I was finding produce there that wasn't in season yet.  Always ask about where the food came from and how it was grown.  Don't assume anything.

I was happily buying produce from my neighboring farmer who has an "honor system" cart at the end his driveway.  Every week, I would take my market basket and walk down to his cart and buy a few things - that is until the day a pineapple showed up on the cart - really?  Pineapples growing in Virginia?  That was my first clue that I wasn't buying what I thought I was buying.  He had been growing some produce but purchasing other stuff wholesale and reselling it.  Since then, I've found a different "local" farmer who is really local.

I'm finding that the only way I can be 100% sure of my food's safety is to grow it myself.  I wish I was a better farmer - I'm a slow learner, but I'm making some progress.

These are the things I've been learning about in the last 2 weeks.  I just wanted to share them with you.  Do some research for yourself and learn about what you are putting into your body.  You really will be surprised.

photo from this source


  1. I love that printout - thanks!

    I am so wishing I was a better gardener myself, I've never been so great with plants LOL I think next year I'm going to make a planned effort to have an actual garden though. I just really like knowing where my food is coming from now!

  2. What are your thoughts on Organic milk vs. raw it worth the $8 a gallon for raw? We drink about 2 gallons a week of regular milk!

  3. I haven't made it far enough into my journey yet to make that decision. There is a good post on Kitchen Stewardship today about that very topic. You might want to check it out. The link is


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