Monday, July 11, 2011

Be Organic! B-E Organic!

Organic foods weren't popular when I was younger.  We had one health food store which kept moving locations because they could never pay their rent.  For a short time we could order seasonal produce from a local purveyor, but I think we were the only family who opted in.  We lived in a small town and not many people were really on board with the organic movement at that time.  As a kid, I was heinously embarrassed by anything in the house that wasn't Kool-Aid, Little Debbie or Kraft.  I couldn't realize or appreciate the fact my parents were trying to put something better on the table than high fructose corn syrup, pesticides and FD&C Red #40.

Now that I have a few years' distance from the "assimilate, resistance is futile" days of young adulthood, organic produce is a hot-button issue.  Buying organic is now a status symbol.  You aren't somebody unless you shop and eat organically.  And while you might not want to listen to your co-worker's diatribe on the virtues of leading an organic lifestyle, they aren't wrong.

Pesticides are creepy and you shouldn't eat them.  That should go without saying.  We were taught at a very young age that you don't eat products that are designed to kill.

Anyone else remember this?

Like most people these days, I'm looking to get the best value for my dollar.  I know I've been one to pass up the organic aisle at the grocery store because I didn't consider it cost effective.  I wash my fruits and vegetables before cooking them or eating them, I filter my water, everything's good, right?  Well, not so much it seems. and The Environmental Working Group have compiled lists about the most notorious offenders.  I was shocked to realize a good amount of the fresh produce we buy and eat are highly contaminated!  

The World Health Organization tells us that "Long-term exposure to pesticides can increase the risk of developmental and reproductive disorders, immune-system disruption, endocrine disruption, impaired nervous-system function, and development of certain cancers. Children are at higher risk from exposure than are adults"  That's scary stuff, you guys.  I can't bury my head in sand about this and I can't keep up with the Joneses when that means putting myself and my family at risk for things like reproductive disorders and cancer.  Grapes aren't worth all that!

Grocery shopping day is Wednesday, we can't stand shopping on the weekend, so this week we'll be making a new traffic pattern in the grocery store.  This week it is out with the "dirty dozen," and in with safer and healthier produce.  While it may cost a bit more now, it will do far more good in the long run.