Posted on 04-11-2018
With springtime here and summer rolling in quickly on its heels, many of us get excited about the fresh produce hitting the shelves of our local markets. Many of us set intentions to eat healthier which often includes lots of vibrant fruits and veggies.
When considering a health diet, we hear suggestions to eat organically or to avoid pesticides or to eat locally. While all of these suggestions have merit, eating with these suggestions can be a burden to the bank account, especially if we are feeding an entire family this way. Growing a garden at home is always an option for locally grown produce; though, depending on circumstances, can be expensive and labor intensive with less than ideal results.
One way to eat local and to skip a middle man (the grocery store) is to buy directly from the farmer. This is as close to local as you can get, next to your own garden, and you get the personal satisfaction of having supported a local business. CSAs are farm direct produce from local farms; CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Generally, with a CSA share you get a grocery bag full of what was harvested each week from your chosen farm at a very reasonable price, while the farm gets money from you early in the season so they can plan, buy seeds, and have the start-up capitol they need to have a successful season. Click Here for a list of local CSAs.
A great resource that allows us to use research to inform our grocery shopping is the Environmental Working Group (EWG). The EWG puts together two informative lists each year. One list is called the Dirty Dozen, which is a list of fruits and veggies that you will want to buy the organic variety due to high pesticide burdens. The second list is the Clean Fifteen; this list saves you money if you a trying to be a budget conscious healthy eater. The Clean Fifteen is a list of foods that contain very low pesticide or chemical burdens even in the non-organic varieties.
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