organic, when it’s really worth it

chard

Here’s part of our haul from the farmers market: rainbow chard (just the stems here) and spring onion with garlic—I cooked this a bit before adding the chopped-up leaves. The colors—and flavor—are amazing.

I’ve only had chard a few times, all organic, and I don’t see myself trying anything but. There are some things I just don’t trust if they’re not organic. And sure, they can be more expensive, but in this filthy, filthy world we live in I try to keep clean where I can.

I just saw this article on Treehugger, the vegetable follow-up to their 12 Fruits with the Most Pesticides post. In addition to celery and potatoes, leafy greens and lettuces dominate the list of the top 12 most pesticide-hoarding vegetables. If you’re limited as to your organic dollars, why not spend ’em where it counts?

While I’m thinking about it, I might as well mention the problems with organic labeling. “USDA Organic” is really the only standard we have. If your food is coming from outside the country, you don’t know what their standards/enforcement is like…and we know less than 1% of imported food is inspected at the border. The term “natural” means absolutely nothing; anyone can use it without legal concern. Also, organic farms are at the mercy of their fertilizer suppliers to be truthful—read about Fertilizergate here. Then again, many small organic farms don’t call themselves organic due to the cost of certification, which varies by state (Hawaiian farmers can be charged for the inspector’s travel). The point is, the system is not perfect and we can only do as well as we can do.

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