Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Dirty Dozen and Clean 15

So since the local agricultural season is upon us I thought it might be useful to have this handy guide from the Environmental Working Group in the US that lays out the best and worst of fruits and veggies in terms of pesticides. Now I know it's American but given how many of our fruits and veggies are imported from there it's useful for Canadian too. The EWG is trying to keep things simple by going the practical route of dividing up those things you really should buy organic if at all possible and those where more traditional production methods are less problematic. I like their style. If anything, discovering local and organic foods should be fun, you don't have to be a puritan, but why not do it if you can? The EWG list helps you make some practical choices. I figure everyone has their own ethical guidelines, and those guidelines should be flexible. (Sometimes just getting people fed can take precedence I would say. Making fresh produce of any source available to people living in poverty is preferable to no fresh produce. However there's often little reason good why that produce can't be local. ... but I digress. More on that later). In any case, my guidelines run something like: organic and local is the best, but local still beats shipping over long distances and it supports a local sustainable economy, so I'll still go for local even if it's not organic. If I need something from a distance I'll try for at least organic and fair trade if it's coming from the global South. But that still won't cover everything so EWG's list of the clean 15 help me judge I don't have to worry about too much if it's coming from the States. Rules of thumb really. Not written in stone. Depends on the season and all that.

Anyways, for your personal shopping pleasure, here is link to the EWG's pocket guide on the "Dirty Dozen" (and the "Clean 15" as well). They've even got an I-phone app... So take it with you when you shop. And in any case, let me know where you're finding local and especially local and organic in NB!

The Dirty Dozen

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