Wednesday, April 12, 2006
  Some organic links
Long a convenience buyer of organic produce, I’ve begun to do some real research into the whole thing lately, to see exactly what I’m getting for that premium price. Quite a lot, I’ve found. Don’t want to spring the extra for organic produce? Then accept that you will be exposed to a sometimes scary amount of pesticides when you eat these foods that are meant to be so healthy.

The bottom line: whenever you buy apples, bell peppers, celery, cherries, imported grapes, nectarines, peaches, pears, potatoes, red raspberries, spinach, and strawberries, you should buy them organic. Random testing of these fruits and vegetables have shown them laden with as many as 9 (nectarines) or 10 (spinach) different pesticides. Is something meant to kill another living being really something you want to ingest?

There are a lot of benefits of organic produce and farming, our health just one. So although they do not contain as much pesticide residue as the above “dirty dozen”, if your budget allows you, it’s recommended that you try to buy foods such as avocados, kiwis, onions, and mangos of the organic variety when you can too. *These foods are listed from the comprehensive report done on organics by Consumer Reports.

An alternative to buying (conventional or organic) from the local supermarket is joining a CSA (Community Supported Agricultral) group. For example, here in South Florida, we have winter access to an organic farm down in Homestead. Pay $500 ($27/weekly) to buy a share in the farm (allowing them to buy supplies, seeds, equipment, etc.) and get a box of fresh, organic, in-season fruits and vegetables each week. I can't do it until the coming winter, but I think it's a fabulous idea - and one that would make me explore healthy cooking options, too.

I'm trying to be more mindful of the fruits and veggies I'm buying for myself and the torts, but have to research to make sure that the extra dough I'm laying out for my food is put to good use. After all this research, I'm certainly going to make more of an effort to get my food from healthy places. I figure that, on top fo the food I'm getting for myself (or Wailey and Bjorn), the money I spend on organic food goes to support some good folks.
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I'm Stacey. I'm a 31(!)-year-old Wisconsin girl living in sunny South Florida. The highlights in my life are my lovely boyfriend, my aloof cats, my adorable/adoring stepdogs, my two lumbering tortoises, select family members, being outside, being underwater, taking pictures, yadda yadda. Stay tuned for lots of babbling!

Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States


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Making a difference

A small boy lived by the ocean. He loved the creatures of the sea, especially the starfish, and he spent much of his time exploring the seashore.

One day the boy learned there would be a minus tide that would leave the starfish stranded on the sand.

When the tide went out, he went down to the beach, began picking up the stranded starfish, and tossing them back into the ocean.

An elderly man who lived next door came down to the beach to see what the boy was doing. Seeing the man's quizzical expression, the boy paused as he approached. "I'm saving the starfish!" the boy proudly declared.

When the neighbor saw all of the stranded starfish he shook his head and said: "I'm sorry to disappoint you, young man, but if you look down the beach, there are stranded starfish as far as the eye can see. And if you look up the beach the other way, it's the same. One little boy like you isn't going to make much of a difference."

The boy thought about this for a moment. Then he reached his small hand down to the sand, picked up another starfish, tossed it out into the ocean, and said: "Well, I sure made a difference for that one!"

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