Wednesday, March 11, 2009

How to Avoid The Dirty Dozen

I don't know about you, but much as I try, I can't always buy organic produce. Sometimes it's about availability and sometimes, quite honestly, it's about price. I suspect the latter is increasingly becoming a consideration for food shoppers as jobs disappear, savings dwindle, and the economy tanks.

We're trying something new this year. Despite famously picky children, we took the plunge and signed up for a share in the Winter Green Farm CSA which will provide us with a box of seasonal produce each week of the growing season. Our weekly shares won't begin arriving until May, but we are looking forward to lots of fresh, locally grown organic goodies. Until those boxes arrive, however, we'll be shopping at the grocery store and early season farmers markets which provide varying amounts of organic produce.

When I can't buy all organic, it helps to know where to put my money. Thanks to the good folks at The Environmental Working Group, those decisions aren't too tough. They just put out the fifth edition of The Shopper's Guide to Pesticides, which I find fascinating reading. There's even a handy dandy wallet sized pdf version you can download and take along to the market.

I was surprised to see that the item with the highest pesticide load was peaches. Peach season feels a thousand years away, but you can bet that I'll only be buying organic when the time comes.

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