Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Organic Priority List

Happy Earth Day! Jane and I participated in a clean up of a local park, organized by our riding’s Green Party. We found the usual: plastic bags, plastic bottles, glass, prophylactics, Viagra cartons, bicycle frames, cooking fuel…. Our efforts seemed small given the degree of garbage strewn around the park, but we felt good doing something.

This installment is not about waste, however. It’s about poison and food, and what fruits and veggies you definitely wanted to buy organic.

Eating Well during a Recession
Times are tough. When funds are low, what should we cut? The cell phone or good quality food? Hmmm.

Many opt for cutting the latter.

We do know that more nutrients are found in local organic food than in jet-setting mass-produced comestibles. Local organic is not just good for the planet – it’s much better for you, according to a recent article in Now Magazine.

What’s the Big Deal? As Rachel Carson pointed out in her seminal book Silent Spring, tiny doses of pesticides magnify as they make their way up the food chain. We also now know that they can cause lasting damage to human health, particularly during fetal development and early childhood. Pesticides and herbicides also kill off natural insecticides such as birds and helpful insects, and have not proven to be more effective in keeping pests off the fruits and veggies than the latter.

The US-based Environmental Working Group (EWG) developed a Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides based on 87,000 tests collected by the US Department of Agriculture and the US Food and Drug Administration. If you must be more discerning in your shopping, the EWG provides a list of fruits and vegetables that you are better off buying organic due to the high pesticide content in their agri-business counterparts. Top on the list are:

Bell Pepper
Grapes (imported)
In the News

Bugs, cornstarch replace pesticides today
Ontario leads North America in ban on cosmetic pesticides. Suppliers of non-toxic alternatives are now faced with huge demand.

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