Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Organic food

I don't always buy organic food for the family, with some exceptions. If the price difference isn't great, I'll get the organic, but it's not a rule even though I know it's better for us and the environment.

We always buy organic milk for the kids, though, since they drink a lot of it and we worry about the growth hormones. John also told us to get organic raisins because the chemicals used on grapes get concentrated when they are dried out.

In other words, I'm a cheap pragmatic about organic foods.

There was an article in the Boston Globe this Sunday about organics that may help me decide how to buy other foods. The Environmental Working Group has found that
"peaches, nectarines, berries, cherries, apples, pears, spinach, potatoes, bell peppers, celery, and imported grapes are consistently found to be the most laden with pesticide residue."
By the way, this is taking into account regular washing. At the other end of the scale are foods that have the last amount of contamination:
"asparagus, avocados, bananas, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet corn, kiwi, mangos, onions, papaya, pineapples, and sweet peas."
The other caution is that if you eat a lot of the same food -- broccoli every night, for example -- you may want to buy organic so that you are not building up particular contaminants in your body.

So there you go. Here's the EWG's Food News website. And here's the page that lists the foods that are most and least contaminated (with links to a wallet sized guide and an explanation of methodology).

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