Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Edgewater Whole Foods: This Organic Thing is Catching on

foods you should always buy organic
List courtesy of Andrew Weil

  • Apples
  • Strawberries
  • Grapes
  • Celery
  • Peaches
  •  Spinach
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • Nectarines (imported)
  • Cucumbers
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Snap peas (imported)
  • Potatoes
  • Hot peppers
  • Blueberries (domestic)
I buy most of the groceries in our house.  I've been doing it since before my son was born.  I am not a big shopper of clothes, and I could care less about outlet stores.  But put me at the front checkout of a grocery store, and I know what's what.

I typically go to 3 or 4 markets a week.  Most markets don't have everything that I want at the right price.  And I enjoy the hunt.

Since moving to Chicago, I have been shopping at Jewel, Mariano's, Whole Foods, and Target for my everyday needs, with occasional stops at Costco and Trader Joe's.  We also became owner/members of an organic food coop that has yet to open (Chicago Market .)

And we are super excited that the Edgewater Whole Foods two blocks from our house opens tomorrow!

For the last year or so, my wife has been on a kick for the last year or so to "go organic." She's been insisting that more and more of the food we buy be organic. She's been going to nutritionists, reading books, and emailing me articles about organic food for a while now.

In theory, I don't have a problem with that. I'd prefer that all of my food be grown by hand, handled lovingly, done exactly right. I realize that our food is primarily grown on a plantation system, and that big farm groups have every incentive to cut corners. I have no problem believing that food grown without pesticides is better for you (or at least the possibility that you would ingest poison goes way down.)

foods it's okay to purchase
list courtesy of Andrew Weil

  • Avocados
  • Sweet corn
  • Pineapples
  • Cabbage
  • Sweet peas (frozen)
  • Onions
  • Asparagus
  • Mangoes
  • Papayas
  • Kiwi
  • Eggplant
  • Grapefruit
  • Cantaloupe (domestic)
  • Cauliflower
  • Sweet potatoes
My biggest problem with buying organic is price. Organic produce is typically a dollar or so more than conventional and sometimes much more than that. And also, many times you can't find fresh organic produce that looks as good as the conventional stuff.

So this past weekend, I had a bit of a shock at Mariano's. My wife asked me to pick her up some Organic Baby Spinach. I went to the organic section first and purchased the spinach, which was $3 for 5 oz.  They also had Baby Kale/greens for $3.  I then thought that I'd get some salad greens for me. I walk over to the conventional section, and the Baby Kale mix is 2.75 for the same 5 oz! Apparently the prices of organic greens are now competitive with non-organic.

When the price is nearly the same, I'll choose the organic.

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