Farm To Table Fresh: When To Buy Organic
I’m constantly amazed at how many conversations here in LA center around food. People who live here take great pleasure in choosing, buying, preparing and cooking healthy food, and I’ve noticed that more and more people have very different eating habits than I was used to before moving to California.
Every fall, I find myself spending more time in the kitchen trying new recipes and cooking old favorites for family and friends. The holidays inspire me, and I find it easier to cook and bake for a group rather than just for two - what a happy feeling.
That said, the holidays find me making many traditional recipes that are not exactly low in calories. However, the recipes are so delicious that the holidays wouldn’t be the same without them. I try to choose organic and pure ingredients to prepare these recipes for my family’s favorite meals of the year.
We all have so many options when it comes to the food world, and it can be confusing knowing what to avoid and what to buy. In one of my cooking classes here in LA, I vividly remember my cooking teacher telling us that the single worst item you can eat is butter, so if you eat it or cook with it, she always recommends using organic butter. This is one tip I always take into consideration even when it comes to baking.
I buy organic when I can. This includes fruits and vegetables as well as milk and meat products. When time allows, I enjoy going to our Santa Monica Farmers’ Market. There’s really such a difference in the freshness and flavor of farm to table seasonal fruits and vegetables. Our favorite strawberries at our neighborhood farmer’s market are from Harry’s Berries. They are so sweet that they literally taste like strawberry jam.
Buying all-organic produce all the time is not always realistic, as it can be expensive and hard to find. However, if you’re trying to eat right and can only choose a few organic foods, “The Dirty Dozen Plus” lists the most important fruits and veggies to buy organic in order to avoid pesticide exposure.
The 2017 Dirty Dozen Plus
Sweet Bell Peppers
The following list of “Clean 15” fruits and vegetables have the lowest amount of pesticides and can be bought conventionally.
The 2017 Clean 15
Sweet peas (frozen)
You might want to take a photo of these 2 lists and keep them on your phone for easy access as you grocery shop. If you enjoy shopping from home and don’t mind someone else picking your apples, check out the website milkandeggs.com. There are so many organic foods to choose from and your groceries will be delivered right to your front door.
On this final note, I thought I’d share a funny story with you. Last year I was at a deli here in LA ordering some chopped liver for the Jewish holidays. The lady standing at the counter right next to me heard me placing my order and said, “do you know how unhealthy that is for you?” I turned around and said to her, “Yes, I of course I do. But I love it and I enjoy eating it during the holidays and every now and then, it’s okay.” And one more time here in LA, it was an aha moment of sorts…..a definite “Dorothy, you’re not in Oz anymore” or “Barbara you’re not in Texas anymore” kind of moment.