I’m back after a few days hiatus, where I spent the past few nights jamming to Phish with my crew. That either makes me sound really hardcore or like a total loser, depending on your musical tastes. But whatever, it was totally fun. I also had IIN this weekend where we deepened our knowledge on sustainable, organic, and local food, in addition to watching videos on factory farming. It’s not for the faint of heart I tell you, but it really, I mean, REALLY, makes you think twice before eating meat. I love how someone said that you “vote 3 times a day with your fork,” and so I am making a conscious choice to ONLY eat grass fed meats. That means that I’ll be vegetarian most of the time, since it’s difficult to find grass-fed meat, but I feel strongly now that my body does not need to eat an animal that was raised and killed in such a horrific manner. You are what you eat, afterall. For a little insight, and I promise, a little easier on the stomach, check out The Meatrix, which explains factory farming with a cute cartoon and a Matrix twist!
I supported local farms by going to my farmers market this afternoon and whipping up a delicious meal made from (mostly) local produce. I even saw a sign to join a new CSA which I’ll be taking part in for the next 22 weeks. Awesome! Eating local, fresh food makes me feel SO much better. Try it, and see the difference!
I know there is a lot of talk about organic foods in the media (I recently saw a package of organic jellybeans…what the heck is THAT?), and the question of whether you should or shouldn’t buy organic produce. My answer is yes, but not necessarily all the time. Organic produce means it was grown without the use pesticides or chemicals. Yeah, you definitely do not want that nastiness in your body. However, much of the organic produce we see in the supermarket was flown in from across the state: apples from Washington, carrots and spinach from California. In these cases, even though you’re paying to get organic, it comes at the cost of creating ridiculous amounts of carbon emissions from travel. A better solution is to buy food that’s in season locally (or within a 100 mile radius). Don’t know what’s in season? Be a dork like my husband and download the iPhone app called Locavore. It’ll help you find all the foods in season based on your geographical area.
Getting back to organic, what I do want to tell you is that there is a dirty dozen list of foods that should ABSOLUTELY bought ORGANIC. These are primarily foods where the skin is consumed. Eat the skin, eat the pesticides. Get it? So, without further ado, here is DIRTY DOZEN list of most contaminated foods:
- Sweet Bell Peppers
- Grapes (Imported)
So friends, buy these organic whenever you can. It’s worth the extra money.
Now, there are certain foods that it is not totally necessary to buy organic. These are foods in which the peel is discarded, or very little pesticides are used, so you won’t be eating the chemicals on the surface. Here is your CLEAN DOZEN list of LEAST contaminated foods:
- Sweet Corn (Frozen)
- Sweet Peas (Frozen)
- Kiwi Fruit
So, go ahead and eat those and don’t feel guilty if you don’t buy them organic. Actually, you should never feel guilty about anything involving food…just be educated and make the best decision for you, your body, and the planet. The bottom line, whether organic or not, is to make fruits and veggies the basis of your diet. Make sure to get your 5-9 servings each day!
PS. I learned something pretty shocking about tomatoes. Think of those big red (conventional) tomatoes in your supermarket. Did you know that they are picked UNRIPE from the vine, still green, so they don’t spoil on their long journey to the grocery store (they’re usually from California, Florida, or Mexico). Before distribution, they are gassed with ethelyne to speed up the ripening process and turn them red. Gross. That’s why they always taste so crappy. Get local ones, please.