Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Socially Responsible Food Choices

I wrote a post for MNN yesterday titled Why I Buy Organic Bananas. I don't buy all my foods organically because the food budget doesn't allow it. My general rule of thumb is to choose organics for the foods that would have the most negative effect on my family in their conventional forms. If I can afford to buy others organically after that, I do. The fruit of a banana is fairly well protected by its thick skin from the pesticides and other chemicals sprayed on the plantations. Because of this I used to buy conventional bananas, but not any more.

Here's why:

Although I pay attention to the miles that much of my family’s food travels to get to our table and I buy a lot of local food, there are certain things that I can never get local. Bananas are one of them. I still buy them.

I have two growing boys who want to eat them. I also buy them grapes and apples out of season because quite frankly I’m afraid of having to take them to the doctors one day and finding out they have scurvy because it isn’t local fruit season.

Apples and imported grapes (most of the grapes I can get in winter are from Chile) are two fruits that should be bought organically because the conventional ones are heavily contaminated with pesticides. They are #2 and #9 respectively on the Environmental Working Groups Dirty Dozen Foods.

Bananas fall way down at #37 on their list.
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