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Monday, July 22, 2013

The challenge of finding an organic tomato in Columbia

     I learned that the tomatoes we eat have some of the highest levels of pesticides. Here is a list of the levels of pesticides used on some of the foods we eat. The higher the score below the more pesticide usage.

Peaches                      100
Strawberries                 89
Apples                         88
Spinach                        85
Nectarines                    85              
Celery                          83
Pears                           80
Cherries                       76
Potatoes                      67
Sweet Bell Peppers      66
Raspberries                  66
Grapes - Imported        64
Carrots                         57
Green Beans                 57
Hot Peppers                 55
Oranges                       53
Apricots                       51
Cucumbers                   51

Tomatoes            48

Collard Greens             48                
Grapes - Domestic       47
Turnip Greens              41
Honeydew Melons       40
Lettuce                        40
Kale                            39
Mushrooms                 36
Cantaloupe                  36
Sweet Potatoes           36
Grapefruit                   32                                                                            
Blueberries                 30
Bananas                     19
Broccoli                      18
Onions                        17
Sweet Peas                 13
Mango                       12
Cauliflower                 10
Pineapple                     6
Sweet Corn                1

    The use of pesticides was brought home to me yesterday driving on the Eastern Shore.  We passed a dust cropping plane spraying pesticide on a field along the road.  After passing the field we noticed a chemical smell coming into our van.
    Since my homegrown tomatoes are just now beginning to ripen I went to some of our local grocery stores to see if I could find some organic tomatoes.  Sure I know I can find organic at MOMS and Davids but I wanted to just try some of the local grocery stores.  I know that most stores are beginning to offer organic choices.  After all isn't organic the new marketing trend? Starting at Giant I wasn't surprised to see that none of the tomatoes were organic.  In fact the only fruit or vegetable that was labeled organic was some nectarines.  Giant has made a big deal of offering healthy food choices by placing this selection of foods in the front of the stores.  Apparently this doesn't apply to fruits and vegetables. Next I went to Wegman's and had more hope to find organic tomatoes.  Wegman's has a section for organic vegetables but none of their tomatoes were organic.  This section held mostly leafy vegetables.  Safeway was also a disappointment with their organic selection.

    Finally I found success at Trader Joe's as the picture above shows.
     Maybe Whole Foods will make a difference as a competitor for the organic shopper in Columbia.  But somehow I hope it doesn't impact a local business like Davids.  Trader Joe's  arrival did seem to have an impact on Produce Galore.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If you are looking for organic, try Gorman Farm on Gorman Road. This is my third year of getting a CSA share with them, but anyone can stop by and pick up great veggies.