Vegan, Vegetarian, Pescetarian, Kosher, Organic, Conventional…

I just started working for a grocer.  Yes, it’s true that I quit my fashion job.  A job I actually loved at Anthropologie after a year of torture.  I won’t get into any gory detail or point fingers and talk about who was to blame.  I’ve not stepped foot into a store in over a month which saddens me a bit, but more it fills my very being with blinded rage so it’s best I keep my distance. 

My new job isn’t any less stressful, in terms of the pace but thankfully, the atmosphere is one of genuine happiness and the people working there seem happy.  Working for a grocer, though, has proven to be quite interesting  I love to listen to the whys behind how people select their food.  With clothing it can be called petty indecisiveness but when it comes to food, something we all require to live can it still be called petty?  My immediate reaction was no!  It’s food, for godsake but as the weeks have continued I’m starting to think it kind of petty.

I love an educated shopper.  I especially love an educated food shopper.  That said, there are some interesting quirks when it comes people and food.  For instance, my first week I was almost in shock at the number of people looking for the non-organic food.  Where are the non-organic blueberries?  Do you have any non-organic beans?  Pardon?  Yes, let me show you your pesticide drenched berries.  I mean, finding bugs in my food isn’t always appetising but I’d rather have a stray bug then pesticides…that’s just me. 

You’re educated readers, I’m reminded all the time so I’m sure you’ve heard of the Top Ten List, right?  There are apparently 10 fruits and veggies that one should always eat organic because of the high amount of pesticides used to grow the non-organic varieties.  In case you were unaware here’s the list.

Apples: An apple a day is a good idea, but eat organic apples. Apples in any form may contain chlorpyrifos and methyl parathion.

* Grapes: Look for organic grapes, imported or domestic. Conventionally grown grapes have been shown to contain such chemicals as dimethoate, methyl parathion, and methomyl – an insecticide noted to be an endocrine disruptor.

* Green beans: Buy organic green beans to avoid three nervous system toxins: acephate, dimethoate and methamidophos.

* Peaches: If you buy no other organic fruits and vegetables, your choice in peaches should be organic. Peaches are probably THE worst of non-organic fruits. Non-organically grown peaches register high levels of iprodione residue. This despite the fact that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has classified iprodione as a probable human carcinogen. In addition, a bite of non-organic peach also contains methyl parathion.

* Potatoes: Potatoes are a root crop, and as such, they are saturated with pesticides. Non-organic potatoes usually contain dieldrin and methamidophos.

* Raspberries: Compared to others in the top ten organic fruits and vegetables, organic raspberries may seem expensive. If you are going to eat raspberries, however, choose organic berries to avoid the triple dangers of captan, carbaryl, and iprodione.

* Spinach: Spinach is claimed among the best non-organic vegetables, but spinach often contains dimethoate and permethrin – a potential carcinogen.

* Strawberries: In order to increase sweetness, growers of non-organic strawberries are said to irrigate with NutraSweet laced water. And that red color? Why can’t they get that in organic fruit? The lovely red color is caused by the fungicide captan.

* Tomatoes: Anyone who has grown tomatoes, organically or non-organically, knows that insects are a problem. Non-organically grown tomatoes are protected from those insects by chlorpyrifos – the United States farmers’ most heavily used insecticide.

* Winter Squash: Families with young children should be especially sure their winter squash is among the top ten organic fruits and vegetables they buy. For every 100 conventionally grown winter squashes tested, 66 will contain Dieldrin and Heptachlor – powerful carcinogenic insecticides.

Thank you Organic Springtime for the help.  http://www.organicspringtime.com/

Just for good measure here’s another list of the top 15 from this site http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/practically-green/2009/08/top-15-organic-foods-to-buy-and-eat.html 

Highest pesticide levels:
1. Peach
2. Apple
3. Sweet bell pepper
4. Celery
5. Nectarine
6. Strawberries
7. Cherries
8. Kale
9. Lettuce
10. Grapes–imported
11. Carrot
12. Pear
13. Collard Greens
14. Spinach
15. Potato 

And the 15 with the lowest pesticide levels…

Lowest pesticide levels:
47. Onion
46. Avocado
45. Sweet corn–frozen
44. Pineapple
43. Mango
42. Asparagus
41. Sweet peas–frozen
40. Kiwi
39. Cabbage
38. Eggplant
37. Papaya
36. Watermelon
35. Broccoli
34. Tomato
33. Sweet potato

Of course, if you’re a meat eater you should always buy organic dairy, eggs, and meat products or at least from a farmer’s market so you can talk to the farmers-which is what I do when I cannot afford the farmer’s market.  You can also talk to your grocer and they’re usually quite informed about where their products come from.  You should also be a label reader, do your own research and find out what’s best for you.

I met a woman the other day who picked up a magazine on the streets of New York called GO VEGETARIAN or something and decided, in that moment, reading the PETA advertised bashing of meat that she was going to be giving up all meat, dairy, and eggs.  Now don’t get me wrong.  I have many vegetarian friends and lots of vegan friends and I respect all of their decisions because they were learned decisions.  This woman, I was a little taken aback by and I openly talked her about why she was making this decision, based on one magazine and seemingly zero other research into other food-choice options.  As she shuffled through the store with her magazine at her nose she examined labels and disregarded nearly every healthful option for sodium-fused, high calorie “meatless” varieties.

Mirs went vegan for a while and still likes to get crafty in her kitchen figuring out how to make the meals she loves vegan.  This is the type of vegan I love.  Creativity.  Junk Food Vegans-those veggies who instead of getting crafty with blended and puree fruits and veggies and instead opt for packaged, prepared foods make my skin crawl.  If you’re going to stuff your body with that “crap” then why give up meat and cheese at all?  I’m ranting and far-off the mark and according to my word count clicker I’m way passed my normal word limit so this will be continued tomorrow. 

Let me close by saying that I love a consumer who makes wise choices.  I do not purchase non-organic meat and when I do I chose local farmers who I chat to at the market.  I actually went an entire trip home with out dairy, eggs, cheese, and meat because there weren’t any organic options in Toledo.  I always cook veggie first for my veggie friends and have gone so far as to cook BBQ on two separate grills because I do respect the beauty that is choice…

TO BE CONTINUED WITH TO GO KOSHER OR NOT…

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One thought on “Vegan, Vegetarian, Pescetarian, Kosher, Organic, Conventional…

  1. Pingback: Vegan, Vegetarian, Pescetarian, Kosher, Organic, Conventional… « OH-IO*lez-girl*inNYC's Blog | Everything Organic

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