There's What in my Strawberries?

Monday, July 21, 2008

There's no question that buying organic food has benefits for your health and for the environment. Unfortunately, for those of us who are not billionaires, a wholly-organic diet is out of reach. So how do you make the choice to buy organic or conventional? For the Blue family, our finances often make the decision easy - if we can barely afford to buy any food that week, then its conventional or nothing. But when we're farther in the black, I try to buy organic as much as possible, especially for the foods that Lil Blue loves, like cheese and snack foods. Today Gramma Blue (aka my mom) sent me this handy guide to the relative load of pesticides in each food. Its printable so you can take it with you to the grocery store to help you decide if that 200% price difference is worth it.

I also highly recommend this book. Burke goes into detail about the process of becoming a certified organic farm, and explains the benefits of buying locally as opposed to certified organic food from a large national or international agri-business. Its a quick read and contains helpful lists at the end that can be photocopied and kept as resources. Her book is available on Amazon but of course you should purchase it at your local independent bookstore.

There are issues beyond your personal health that factor into the organic vs conventional debate. While it may not be strictly necessary from a cost/benefit point of view to buy the lower-pesticide load veggies, buying organic still supports smaller, more earth-friendly farms, and helps reduce the overall amount of chemicals put into the air, ground, and water. So naturally, buying everything organic (or at least locally) is the ultimate goal.

But you have to start somewhere, and this list and Cindy Burke's book do a good job helping the average consumer make baby steps toward healthier, more responsible food buying.

Posted by oballard at 11:01 AM  
Feener said...

i am trying to learn more about all this. thanks for stopping by....

July 23, 2008 at 10:22 PM  

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