I was watching 60 Minutes the other night, as I try to do every week. They had a segment and interview with Alice Waters, a famous restaurateur in Berkley, California. She is trying to bring more awareness to eating not only organic, but locally grown food as well. This morning I read many of the comments made on cbsnews.com about this segment.
I understand the viewpoint of many of the comments made about being able to eat organically in these tough financial times. Many people I talk with at lectures and on the road struggle just to buy a few supplements once in a while, and add trying to feed an entire family organic foods and this can become quite impossible. That is why I have developed some tips to help those who cannot afford or do not have availability to organic foods all the time. One tip is the washing of your fruits and veggies. In speaking with people, I realized a lot of people do not wash, I mean really wash, their produce. There are a number of commercial veggie washes available now that are designed to remove the wax, as well as pesticides and herbicides from the outside of the vegetable. I recommend soaking your produce for about 5 minutes in some of the wash before rinsing well. You can also make your own veggie wash with equal amounts of vinegar and water or add some grape fruit seed extract or baking soda into the mix.
If you can afford some organic, the Dirty Dozen list from the Environmental Working Group is important to know. These are the twelve most pesticide laden of our produce and the most important to buy organic if you can. Here is the link to the list: http://www.foodnews.org/
As far as availability of organic foods goes, I have traveled all over the United States and Canada, and can tell you they are definitely not available in a lot of places. And if they do have any at all you are going to pay even more for the little available. Luckily, I think they are recently starting to become more readily available at mass market stores such as Walmart and Target Superstores. I think this is bringing the concept and availability to more Americans and also bringing the price down.
Sometimes buying organic frozen foods can be helpful during the times when fresh organic may not be available, as during certain seasons. Of course, again, if funds allow you to do so. I just bought some Cascadian Farms organic broccoli florets at $3.29 for a 16 oz bag. I think that is pretty comparable to the Birdseye brand at the same price for a 14 oz bag.
I must say one very loud bravo to Alice Waters in relation to what she is currently doing to help teach kids about nutrition. Her foundation called Chez Panisse Foundation (the name of her famous restaurant) and The Edible Schoolyard is worth applause.