Tag: Organic

Finding Fresh: Local Farmer’s Markets in Wilmington and Beyond

There’s nothing better than biting into a fresh, juicy apple that was grown on a local farm in your city, is there?  Shopping at farmer’s markets is fun.  It’s almost sensory overload, all of the gorgeous colors, fresh produce, artisanal food products… and you’re getting fruits and vegetables at the peak of the growing season. This means produce is at its freshest and tastes the best. The food is typically grown near where you live, not thousands of miles away or another country. And shopping at farmers markets also support your local farmers and keeps the money you spend on food closer to your neighborhood. Continue reading “Finding Fresh: Local Farmer’s Markets in Wilmington and Beyond”

15 Fruits and Vegetables You Don’t Have to Buy Organic

If you don’t grow your own organic fruits and vegetables, trying to buy organic 100% of the time can be costly. That’s why it’s great to know, there are still produce you can buy non-organic and have peace of mind when you and your family eat your meals and snacks. Continue reading “15 Fruits and Vegetables You Don’t Have to Buy Organic”

Bird Friendly, Fair Trade or Organic Coffee: What Does It All Mean?

In the United States, the U.S. Department of Agriculture sets standards that must be met for a product to be labeled organic.  In the case of coffee, producers cannot use synthetic substances such as most pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers.  If coffee is labeled organic, at least 95 % of the beans must have been grown under organic conditions.  Coffee is the heaviest chemically treated food commodity in the world.  The most common chemical used in coffee production is synthetic petroleum-based fertilizers which slowly destroy the soil’s fertility and seep into local water supplies. Continue reading “Bird Friendly, Fair Trade or Organic Coffee: What Does It All Mean?”

Always Buy This Produce Organic

The Environmental Working Group or EWG, a nonprofit organization that advocates for policies that protect global and individual health has created the Shoppers’ Guide to Pesticides in Produce. The 2015 version is based on the results of pesticide tests performed on produce and collected by federal agencies from the past ten years.

They have compiled a list, the Dirty Dozen Plus which includes produce with the highest pesticide load, making them the most important to buy organic versions, or  grow them organically if you garden.

The EWG points out that there is a growing consensus in the scientific community that small doses of pesticides and other chemicals can have adverse effects on health, especially during vulnerable periods such as fetal development and childhood. Pesticides have been linked to health issues such as brain and nervous system toxicity, cancer, and hormone disruption.   So, it’s important to eat organic whenever you can.

Maintaining your family’s health is not the only reason to choose organic food. Pesticide and herbicide use contaminates groundwater, ruins soil structures and promotes erosion, and may be a contributor to colony collapse disorder, the sudden and mysterious die-off of pollinating honeybees that threatens the American food supply.

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The Dirty Dozen Plus

  • Apples
  • Celery
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Grapes
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Potatoes
  • Snap Peas
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Hot Peppers
  • Kale
  • Collards

Apples, peaches, and nectarines topped EWG’s 2015 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in ProduceTM list of the dirtiest, or most pesticide-contaminated, fruits and vegetables, a new analysis of U.S. government data found. Apples turned up with the highest number of pesticides for the fifth year in a row, while peaches and nectarines moved up to the second and third spots. Apples tend to have the most pesticides because of the chemicals applied to the crop before and after harvest to preserve them longer, EWG reported.

Nearly two-thirds of produce samples tested by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and analyzed by EWG for the 2015 Shopper’s Guide contained pesticide residues, a surprising finding considering the increased consumer demand for food without agricultural chemicals, EWG reported.  The EWG also said that USDA tests found a total 165 different pesticides on thousands of fruit and vegetables samples examined in 2014, a find alarming as it is disturbing.

Whenever you can, try to purchase the organic versions of these produce.  Or try your hand at gardening, whether you’re in an urban-environment or out in the country, it can be done successfully.