What do you think? Have you bought some fresh produce yet? How does it taste? Did you realize you could fall in love with veggies again? Fresh fruit? How about those globe grapes? Aren't those amazing?
After you've been increasing your vegetable intake for a while, you may start to look for fresher produce or you might even go ORGANIC. I suggest starting out with organics- you won't be disappointed and the investment you make is well worth the effort. The biggest difference I notice is with celery, but I can also tell a marked difference with tomatoes, green peppers, grapes and anything leafy; i.e. spinach, lettuce, etc.. Basically, anything that carries a high percentage of water in it also has the potential to carry more pesticides, so be careful. Pesticides do actually end up inside your food, even if washed, so it is important to try and find produce that wasn't subjected to pesticides in the first place. Fruits and vegetables thought to have the highest pesticide residue are: apples, peaches, grapes, strawberries, green beans, pears and winter squash. I will update this list as I come across more information. As a general rule, it's safest to go organic so you're not putting harmful chemicals into your body.
I know what you might say... "But organics are expensive!?!!" If you think about it, the most expensive item in your grocery cart is usually meat. If you decrease your meat consumption and increase your organic fruit and vegetable intake, then buy some raw walnuts and almonds, it pretty much evens out. In addition, organics are more nutritious, so you get more "bang for your buck" per se.
So where do you buy organic? (Especially for my family in Idaho?)
Costco, believe it or not, is a great place to buy organic produce. Fred Meyer also has a great selection as well as a naturals section for fun grains and bulk items. Look for farmer's markets or natural food stores; they tend to carry organics and pay attention to farming practices. Feel free to post suggestions under this posting for places in your area that you like to go.
For us lucky Seattleites, there is a service called Freggies (www.freggies.com) that was started by Jerrod and Nikki Sessler. I have been using Freggies for a few months now and am incredibly impressed with the produce. I have some photos I will be posting so you can see the difference for yourself. Even produce bought from PCC (the top natural grocery store in our area) can't compare. The pears from Freggies were twice as big and juicier than the PCC pears, and I even made sure to buy the same varietal. The produce from Freggies always has amazing quality; and if that weren't enough; you can get some exotic varieties like the New Zealand gold kiwis I got with my first order. I had never seen them before and they were incredibly delicious (Nikki tells me they are out of season, so you might have to wait until next year to try one.)
Did I mention that Freggies delivers? That's right! Every week a big box of amazing produce shows up at my front door. The produce is delivered at the peak of freshness, and if a certain item isn't the best quality possible, they won't include it in my box. It's nice to know they're looking out for me.
Regardless of where you find your organic produce, you are sure to enjoy it so much more; almost like having your own vegetable garden. Anyone who has eaten a home-grown tomato knows what I'm talking about. Viva la fresh, organic produce!