Monday, June 2, 2014

Organic, Locally-Grown Produce

Angela Pittenger's desire to avoid pesticide residues on certain types of produce led to her search for healthier fruits and veggies that wouldn't break the bank. Pittenger consulted two lists put out yearly by research and advocacy organization The Environmental Working Group. These lists, termed "The Dirty Dozen" (apples, strawberries, and grapes, to name a few) and "The Clean Fifteen" (asparagus, avocadoes, and cantaloupe, and more) consist of produce with the most and least amounts of pesticide residues, respectively. Instead of spending more money to replace all non-organic food with organic, Pittenger recommends focusing on substituting only the fruits and vegetables on "The Dirty Dozen" list. And as a general guideline, she adds, thick-skinned produce that is peeled before eaten is less likely to be contaminated. This will ensure a healthier diet, even for those on a tight budget.
In recent weeks, Iskashitaa has harvested a lot of organic produce, such as small Sonoran peaches, sixteen varieties of garlic from Forever Yong Farm, figs, grapefruit, and kumquats. Iskashitaa's harvests are essentially free, unlike the produce Pittenger found in her survey of grocery stores, and are an important contribution that both creates and benefits the Tucson community.

Gina Gresham
Borderlinks Summer Civic Engage

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