Friday, February 11, 2011

Ask Ida

How do I eat organic in the winter?


Dear Ida B. Green,

I try to eat local and organic, but it gets harder and more expensive in the wintertime. Any suggestions?

Signed, Summer Dreaming

Dear Summer,

Eating organic at our local restaurants and grocery stores is getting easier and less expensive. To continue eating smart during the winter, you may want to look more closely at the reasons you try to eat sustainably. Here are a few thoughts to consider:

- If you eat locally to support local agriculture: Join a local food network (Idaho's Bounty is ours) or ask your local stores what items are from area farmers.

- If you eat locally or organically for health reasons: Eat organic produce that is in season from some of our closer neighboring states, as well as (of course) potatoes from Idaho. Anything you might consider summer fruits are often shipped from Central and South America and are out of season here.

- If you eat locally for your budget and your body: Cut down, or cut out, the number of meat-based meals you eat (meat is a very expensive source of protein, both environmentally and financially) and buy organic when purchasing the kinds of produce that typically contain the highest levels of pesticides (see testing details at www.foodnews.org). Avoid the Dirty Dozen by eating organically grown apples, nectarines, peaches, cherries, potatoes, bell peppers, kale/collards, spinach, celery, blueberries, strawberries and imported grapes.

Keep it green,

Ida

—Elizabeth Jeffrey




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