These days, everyone is doing their best to eat a little better, exercise a little more, and generally lead a healthier life. Making the choice to eat organically can be a smart step in the right direction. You can get organic animal products, such as meat and dairy, but if this is your first foray into the organic market, why not start with the basics – fruits and vegetables.
What does it mean?
To label fruits and vegetables organic, they must have been grown without the use of pesticides or artificial fertilizers. They also cannot be genetically modified. In the U.S., this is a legally regulated process requiring the people who produce the crops to obtain proper certification before they can promote any of their wares as organic.
How is it good for you?
Organic produce is generally a truer representation of what fruits and vegetables are actually like, which could translate into more vitamins and nutrients. Many people also claim that both the taste and texture are actually better.
As far as being good for the environment, organic farming is better for the earth, with less pollution from pesticide sprays and less dangerous waste from artificial processes.
Where can you find it?
While organic fruits and veggies used to be a rare find at the corner of a market, it has become common to see a wide variety of organic choices in the produce department of major supermarket chains. If your local store hasn’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, why not talk to the manager about including a few organic choices to see if your fellow shoppers are ready to give it a try. Of course, getting it direct from the source at a farmer’s market is still a great option, plus you’re likely to get a better deal because there are no distribution costs.
Why is it more expensive?
It’s impossible to ignore – buying organic means shelling out more at the cash register. But considering that these fruits and veggies have less done to them, why do they cost more? Currently organic produce is farmed on a much smaller scale than regular produce, so the production costs have to be amortized over fewer crops. It also needs to be processed separately from the rest of the produce, to maintain its organic integrity. And with fewer farms producing organic wares, the distribution costs to reach the supermarket shelves are inevitably higher.
What’s the best way to store organic produce?
When you are paying extra to buy quality organic fruits and veggies, it’s important that none of it go to waste. Try storing them in Produce Saver food storage containers, which keep produce fresh for up to 33 percent longer than traditional storage containers. The vented lids allow produce to breathe while the tray elevates it out of moisture, preventing spoilage.
It’s also smart to label the outside of each container with the date you purchased the items, so you don’t let too long pass before you chop them up for a delicious stir-fry or just munch on them raw as a mid-morning snack.