Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Strawberries – Big, Yummy, and Organic

Strawberries – Big, Yummy, and Organic

I love strawberries. They usually are small to medium in size but the package I just bought has huge berries! Not only are they big but they are yummy, too. What a Spring treat.

Which leads me to a distressing subject – the quality of our food. Strawberries are on “The Dirty Dozen” list. So are cherries, grapes, spinach and potatoes, among others. This list indicates that certain fruits and vegetables retain the highest levels of pesticides. 

Other than growing our own produce, what can we do to get the best quality food for our families? Well, I buy mostly organic. What does organic mean? According to the USDA Consumer Brochure: Organic Food Standards and Labels: The Facts, “Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations…Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation.”

While there is no way to guarantee that organic food will be pesticide free (considering the air, water, and soil quality), at least we can support programs that attempt to produce food without adding chemicals into the process. 

I tend to buy organic, especially of the most pesticide-susceptible foods. More stores, even the larger supermarkets, are carrying organic products now. But the choice is ours to make. I see organic farming as not only offering us healthy foods but also as supporting our planet. These strawberries are a responsible – and delicious - example of what can be produced.

Check out “The Dirty Dozen” and find some safer produce items:

USDA definition and regulations:

If you want more detailed (and somewhat scary) info:

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