Organic: To Buy or Not To Buy

To be or not to be... To buy organic or not to buy organic, that is the question that is asked of me.

The Oxford Dictionary definition of organic:

Chemistry Relating to or denoting compounds containing carbon (other than simple binary compounds and salts) and chiefly or ultimately of biological origin. Compare with inorganic.
(Of food or farming methods) produced or involving production without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other artificial chemicals.

Simply put, organic food is grown without the use of chemicals. 

Blue Beagle prides itself with its quality coffee and service; quality limited not only to our excellent coffees, but our in-house baked items as well. Based on affordability and availability I bake with organic ingredients.   Organic often times tastes better, yet more importantly is higher quality and nutritionally superior. Our commitment to excellence in our in-house baked goodies, in part derives its excellence by baking with organic ingredients.

The expense of organic can be a potential deal breaker for the home cook. Understandable. However, as one with the desire to help our planet and to ensure a healthy eating experience, I bake and cook with organic whenever I can.

For those who want to incorporate organic ingredients into their own cooking experience, here are two excellent shopping lists from Dr. Weil to help you get started. The first being the "Dirty Dozen"; a list of the most toxic non-organic foods.  The second being, the "Clean 15"; a list of non-organic foods that retain the least amount of chemicals used while growing.

Nearly all of the data used took into account how people typically wash and prepare produce - for example, apples were washed and bananas peeled before testing. The following "Dirty Dozen Plus" had the highest pesticide load, making them the most important to buy organic versions - or to grow them organically yourself:

  • Apples
  • Strawberries
  • Grapes
  • Celery
  • Peaches
  • Spinach
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • Nectarines (imported)
  • Cucumbers
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Snap peas (imported)
  • Potatoes

Plus these which may contain organophosphate insecticides, which EWG characterizes as "highly toxic" and of special concern:

  • Hot peppers
  • Blueberries (domestic grown)

 And here is the Clean 15 list containing foods with the least amount of chemicals and are considered safer to buy non-organic:

  • Avocados
  • Sweet corn
  • Pineapples
  • Cabbage
  • Sweet peas (frozen)
  • Onions
  • Asparagus
  • Mangoes
  • Papayas
  • Kiwi
  • Eggplant
  • Grapefruit
  • Cantaloupe (domestic)
  • Cauliflower
  • Sweet potatoes

We hope this info comes in handy!

These lists are helpful for us when we're shopping for the ingredients for our Quiche, Scones, Pies and other goodies. Come enjoy our delicious baked goods at Blue Beagle Coffee! See you soon!

Sidney - Baker Extraordinaire

You can find Sidney up and at 'em before most people would want to be up and at 'em.  As dawn approaches she is pulling out freshly baked goodies from the oven -- just in time for our 7am opening time.  Be sure to check back for more posts by Sidney from the Blue Beagle Kitchen!