Monday, March 24, 2008
Its All In The Numbers...
I hope you all had a great spring break! If you are like me, you now need a vacation to unwind from the week. I had a great list of all the things I was going to do, the list is still there but we had some great park time and that is what matters. The weather was beautiful!
Now that there are so many great fruits and veggies coming into season, I thought we would chat a bit about how to select good produce. There is so much more to it than how they feel or look. In fact, that really isn't what matters so much. If you have been to a local farmers market, you will notice that the produce looks a bit on the rough side. The taste is great but you wouldn't really want to set them out for company. We much prefer the beautiful waxed appearance of the fruits at the grocery stores. I am sure we all know that what is on the outside of these perfect looking apples and oranges is not what we really want on the inside of our bodies. It is hard to determine sometimes what to buy, what really is organic, what is genetically modified and what will taste good.
There is a number system out there. You know those cute little stickers on the fruits and veggies that are hard to get off? Look at the numbers when you are in the stores. They will let you know about what you are buying. I really try to buy organic when I can, but you can't always be sure that you are truly buying organic unless you know the code system. If there isn't a sticker on the fruit or veggie, there usually is the number on the sign. Here's how it goes:
If the number is:
4 digits, it's conventionally grown using pesticides
5 digits starting with 8, its genetically modified with pesticides
5 digits starting with 9, its organic
If you shop at a local farmers market (which is the way to go if you can), even if it isn't marked organic, most of the time if it is local they don't spray pesticides or use a very low grade. The food will usually taste better since it is usually picked when it is ripe. For you local gals, I love the Guadalupe Farmers Market on Power just South of Elliot. They also stock raw honey and Gluten Free products half the price of other stores. They are also great about trying to order what you ask them for. They have fresh roasted peppers, tamales and tortillas too.
It is almost impossible to buy organic all of the time and it is definitely more costly, but well worth if you can. Try to buy local and at the least try for conventionally grown. I just try to do my best and eat as little pesticides if I can. I know I am still eating plenty of them on my berries but I hope that I dilute them a bit with eating organic in other areas. The more we buy organic, the more we are telling the growers what we want. We vote with our buying power! Shop smartly.