When it comes to fresh produce you’ve probably heard that buying organic is best for you, your community and the environment. But chances are, you have probing questions, including the ever popular, “Is it really worth the extra money?”
In a quest to get real answers about organic produce and its ability to make us happier and healthier, we spoke with Ellie Krieger, host of the Food Network show ‘Healthy Appetite with Ellie Krieger’, nutritionist and author extraordinaire, about this very timely subject. Ellie’s new book, You Have It Made: Delicious, Healthy, Do-Ahead Meals, will be available January 5, 2016.
Ellie began by reminding me that, contrary to what many people might think, eating organic is not an all or nothing proposition. She stressed that you can eat some organic foods and some not, and still make a difference in your health and the environment. We asked which foods were better to eat in the organic form, learning that food you peel, such a carrot, would be fine in the non organic form, as you would not be ingesting the out side of it anyway. With foods you eat whole, organic is the way to go. Apples and berries are prime examples of preferable organically grown foods. We all know how important green vegetables are for optimum health. Ellie often uses pre-washed organic greens, especially spinach, which she adds to pasta sauce.
Buying organic produce locally is another great suggestion from Ellie. This way you support your community while eliminating the middleman, so you save money. The food is also freshest when it doesn’t have to travel far to get to your table.
Remember that you don’t necessarily have to go ‘all-in’ with organic produce to see and feel the results. Even baby-steps will go a long way in improving your personal health and that of your own community and the environment in general. On your next trip to the grocery store, buy a few items you love in the organic form and work you way up from there. As my grandfather used to say, “Slow and steady wins the race’ and every small step toward good health will add to big rewards for you and your family.
Recipes on the radar:
We love Ellie’s ideas for Healthy Holiday Gifts!
Photos via the Food Network.