Saturday, September 20, 2008

Peaches for me!?!

When I was expecting my second I was crazy for fruit and veg. Couldn't get enough of it. Obsessed with finding the best grilled veggie salads or sandwhiches and visiting every farmers market within reach. I went crazy for peaches I found at the East York Civic Centre. I ate a big basket every week they were in season. Pinks, whites, I tried all sorts. When my buddy was in the hospital after having her daughter I brought her.... peaches.

Imagine my dismay to learn that my beloved peach, when conventionally grown, is likely to carry the highest pesticide load of any commercially available fruit or veg., according to the Environmental Working Group. Since my son now loves his peaches just as much as I did while growing him I've been buying as locally and then organically as much possible.

We've been away for a few weeks and I have been secretly dreaming about those peaches at the market. They were just coming in when we left. The organic ones we can get here are ok but they are nothing like these local peaches. So as soon as I could I went to the market and lo and behold! My peach guys have a chemical free crop!!!

Maybe not quite as sweet as some of the others, but I'll take it against the chemical load any day, especially since they're also local...

In case your interested, this is my Staples Guide for Fruit and Veg .
It's based on the Enviromental Working Groups findings & availability of locally grown produce. It gives me a basic list of foods to shop for and cook based on a healthy food chain of fresh food, taking advantage of as much local as possible, & providing the most nutrition with the most minimal chemical residue reasonable, in my mind, for children. I try to shop with it in mind whenever I can.

Top 5 Always Frozen In House
  1. Corn -very low pesticide load conventionally grown, often available Canadian grown.
  2. Peas - very low pesticide load conventionally grown
  3. Mango- very low pesticide load conventionally grown
  4. Blueberries - low pesticide load conventionally grown
  5. Organic Strawberries

Top 10 ALWAYS Organic
The pesticide residue on all these items are really higher than I would like to eat myself let alone offer to my children.
  1. Peaches
  2. Apples
  3. Strawberries
  4. Nectarines
  5. Pears
  6. Bell Peppers
  7. Lettuce
  8. Celery
  9. Spinach
  10. Potatoes

Top 10 to Buy Local In Season:
Support local growers whenever you can! All these items are low in pesticide residue unless noted.
  1. Peaches - Organic or at least Chem Free.
  2. Apples - Organic or at least Chem Free.
  3. Tomatoes - Yumm!
  4. Corn - Local for the fresh taste, sweet corn is one of the least likely to harbor residual pesticide load.
  5. Blueberries and especially Wild Blueberries - Full of anti-oxidants in the skin, moderate pesticide load when in traditional blueberries and reasonable to assume that the more honestly wild ones, and thereby less sprayed, locally available would be even lower in load perhaps, if tested.
  6. Rhubarb
  7. Sweet Potatoes
  8. Broccoli
  9. Eggplant - (never thought I would have use for this untill I discovered Eggplant Bolognesse!)
  10. Zucchini

Top 10 to Buy Conventional:
Since they are all low in pesticide residue, many are not available locally and augment the local northern winter crop, or lack thereof....
  1. Kiwi
  2. Mango
  3. Pineapple (unless your juicing the skin, then I go for the organic)
  4. Asparagus
  5. Onions
  6. Avocado
  7. Banana (for price only since they are low on the pesticide residue after peeled but they taste soooo much better organic! Fair trade would be even better but I just can't afford it)
  8. Cabbage
  9. Tomato sauce in glass jars.
  10. Legumes


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