10 Organic Foods that are worth the money

I just read an article on Real Simple that listed the top 10 organic foods that are worth the money and their reasoning. Here is a summary or you can read the entire article here as well.

picture-20 picture-21 picture-28

Baby Food – “An infant’s immune, nervous, and detoxification system is less developed than an adult’s and more vulnerable to the effects of pesticides,” says Elson M. Haas, M.D., author of The Staying Healthy Shopper’s Guide. The green beans, peaches, and apples that go into baby food (and all over your kitchen floor) tend to be treated with chemicals. Organic brands like Earth’s Best are available.

ApplesA is for apple―and a lot of pesticides. According to the Food and Drug Administration, more pesticides (a whopping 36) are found on apples than on any other fruit or vegetable. In one test, as many as seven chemicals were detected on a single apple.

Strawberries – Strawberries are one of the most contaminated of all produce items in the United States.

picture-25 picture-22 picture-29

Grapes – Because grapes ripen quickly, tend to mold, and attract insects, growers hit them with multiple applications of various chemicals. The worst are Chilean grapes, which are treated with as many as 17 of them.

Butter & Milk – The grains that dairy cows eat are heavily treated with chemicals, which have a residual, though still notable, presence in milk and dairy products. (Milk may also contain bovine growth hormone and antibiotics.)

Winter Squash – Like cantaloupes and cucumbers, winter squash has a propensity to absorb dieldrin from the soil into its edible parts.

picture-23 picture-24 picture-26 picture-27

Cucumbers – In a survey of 42 common vegetables, cucumbers were ranked second in cancer risk and 12th in “most contaminated food” by the Environmental Working Group, a respected public-interest group.

Green Beans – The Environmental Protection Agency has more than 60 pesticides registered for use on green beans.

Spinach – In a certain cartoon, spinach makes muscles. In real life, the chemicals used to treat it may cause cancer or interfere with hormone production.

Cantaloupe – Cantaloupes often contain five of the longest-lasting chemicals, one of which is dieldrin, an exceedingly toxic and carcinogenic insecticide.

Grow 100lb of Potatoes in 4 Square Feet

picture-19I just read an article in the Seattle Times that shows you how to grow 100lbs of potatoes in 4 square feet. The information for the article was taken from GardenCitySeeds.com. It seems like a pretty cool concept for people with very little garden space to create tons of fresh potatoes.  I’ll have to try this next year if we are successful with growing the various veggies we are planning on planting this year.

Grow your own Vegetables or Sign up for a CSA

picture-12

I just read in the news that the White House will have its very own vegetable and herb garden this year. Ground was broken on the garden on the first day of spring with the help of 2 dozen local students.

Crops to be planted in the coming weeks on the 1,100-square-foot, L-shaped patch near the fountain on the South Lawn include spinach, broccoli, various lettuces, kale and collard greens, assorted herbs and blueberries, blackberries and raspberries.

We are planning a vegetable garden as well this year and hope it will work out better than last year.  We tried planting tomatoes, peas, broccoli and strawberries last year but were only successful with the tomatoes.  The broccoli and peas never took off (maybe because we did not water them enough) and the strawberries ended up getting eaten by birds & squirrels.

Luckily we have a local farm, Highland Orchards in Delaware, that we got the majority of our fruits & vegetables from last year.  We signed up for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) which we thought was well worth the money.  A CSA is a way for the food buying public to create a relationship with a farm and to receive a weekly basket of produce.

If you live in or around Wilmington, DE I highly recommend Highland Orchards on Foulk road for fresh fruits & vegetables.  Many of the fruits & vegetables are grown on their orchard and while they are not labeled “organic”, the farm follows many of the orgranic practices w/o paying the fee to be labeled organic.  They also have farm fresh eggs, specialty organic groceries & dairy items.

If you don’t live near the Highland Orchards in Delaware, check out LocalHarvest.org to find all the local CSAs in your area.