"I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze...
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils."-Wordsworth

Monday, October 10, 2011

Organic Produce Shopping

Hello everyone and sorry for the pause in writings. I have been preoccupied searching for a job and the search continues! So if you are an employer checking out my writing skills, read on. And everyone else can read on as well.

The topic of the day is what fruits/vegetables are the most worth buying organic. I know that it is often financially impossible for people to buy all their food organic, but with some forethought we can buy what is best for us and still support local organic farms. I had been mulling this in my brain for some time now, when I came upon an article that talked about which organics are best to buy and which you should pass on. I think it gives a great framework to shop with. Here it is, in a nutshell:

The Dirty Dozen (Produce you would be better off buying organic):
1. Apples
2. Celery
3. Strawberries
4. Peaches
5. Spinach- I have definitely tasted the difference between organic and non-organic spinach. My organic spinach lasted longer than the non-organic and tasted cleaner.
6. Nectarines
7. Grapes
8. Sweet bell peppers
9. Potatoes
10. Blueberries
11. Lettuce
12. Kale

The Clean 15 (Produce that has lower levels of pesticides)

1. Onions
2. Sweet Corn
3. Pineapples
4. Avocado
5. Asparagus
6. Sweet peas
7. Mangoes
8. Eggplant
9. Cantaloupe- domestic
10. Kiwi
11. Cabbage
12. Watermelon
13. Sweet potatoes
14. Grapefruit
15. Mushrooms

Source: Environmental Working Group's (EWG) Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce

Essentially, if there is ever a question of where a product comes from in your produce section or at the Farmer's Market, feel free to ask the stockers/ farm representatives. In general, though, in the store it should be on the little stickers they label the fruit with.

How I Hate Thee, Fremontodendron (A Poem in Two Fits)

Not all plants you encounter are entirely pleasant. Many of them have defense mechanisms. Here's a poem I wrote recently out of frustration with a plant I ran into.

Darn you Flannel Bush! (Fremontodendron californicum for those who care) I am sure you are the source behind the contact dermatitis on my arms (read: rash). Only poetry can truly express my hatred:

If nevermore should I see
A plant that is so flannel...ly
I shall click my heels together with glee
For my clothes shall be hair-free.

As I wade through your prickly sea
I find a foe in close proximity
For from far away you look so nice
But one close encounter will suffice
To train my brain to re-route my feet
And beat a hasty retreat.

Your big yellow flowers are so pretty
But on your leaves there is a city
Of tiny hairs that stick and prick
Which caused this lengthy rhetoric.

So learn your lesson straight from me
Stay away from that downright wooly shrubbery
Take heed, take heed of what I learn
Or a distinct itchiness you may earn.