Monday, June 21, 2010

Easy Does it on our Earth

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I recently found a new website that I am having loads of fun exploring. I'd like to share it with you, as there is so much to offer there. Aside from sustainable products, I'm particularly enjoying the guides to various topics like organic gardening, living off-grid ( that's a big dream for me, although not terribly likely to happen), and much more. The site is called Earth Easy.

My favorite article so far is entitled What it's Like Living Off Grid. This brief story of how one family handled some of life's electricity-driven tasks without electricity, is an interesting and light-hearted starter for those of us thinking about taking the plunge. Reading books like Living Like Ed got my engine running on this topic earlier, and Ed has clearly gotten the ball rolling full speed ahead. His approach is well-capitalized and extremely research-intensive, something that is probably easier said than done.

If you're looking for other sustainable places to shop online, try the Happy Hippie.

Enjoy these sites and let me know what you find there. I hope to find more time to peruse. Enjoy the journey!

Related Reading:

Tips from Living Like Ed
Keeping up with the Begleys: A Book Review
Living Like Ed
Ed Begley Jr.'s Guide to Sustainable Living

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Worst of the Worst--the Produce You MUST Buy Organic

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Image from OCA website

Some produce is more susceptible to pesticides and other toxins. Root vegetables are particularly at risk because of runoff waters and the toxins collected in soil that do not dissipate. Then there are the treeborn fruits that seem to catch all the sprays that travel with the wind.

Dutiful organic farmers are careful about spraying even the safest of horticultural oils in any wind. They often use biodegradable products in their own homes to assure no toxic run off from their home water use. Unfortunately, we don't all eat 100% organic fruits and vegetables. Some try, but few succeed. Many desirable varieties are not available. I'm a huge fan of melons, but rarely find them in organic form. Since few cantelope and honeydew are grown in Florida, organic melons are extremely hard to find. And then there are the watermelon. These heavy, expensive melons just balloon in price when grown organically, and are almost never found in my markets in organic form. Tisk!

I eat what I can find that is toxin free and hope for the best in terms of variety. Here's a bit of info to help you understand those fruits and vegetables that are known to have the largest pesticide residues. Print this out; take it with you to the market. Live by it for your family's sake: Organic Consumers Association
© copyright Carrie Boyko, all rights reserved

Friday, June 4, 2010

Understanding the Benefits of Eating Organic: Taking the Bad with the Good

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Not a day goes by that someone doesn't bust my chops about the produce that slips through the system, labeled as USDA organic, but not truly in that league. I see this problem as akin to politics. You have a few bad apples in every barrel--the ones that seem to make every apple look bad. They even draw in their comrades with bribes and deals. One bad apple in a barrel emits chemicals that can make the whole bushel rot quicker than it should. Not a bad analogy, even though it doesn't solve the problem.

What we have to accept is that eating a few non-organic veggies, even though we thought they were the purist of pure, is not nearly as bad as knowingly buying all conventional produce, heavily laden with pesticides, herbicides, and synthetic fertilizers. The latter gives us no chance at all of keeping our livers clear and our lives free of diseases and other health woes.

This reminds me of the famous quote that goes something like this:

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

My goal is simply to help you change those things that you can. Join me next week for a look at the most toxic of all produce--the ones you need, absolutely MUST, try to buy organic. Think about it. 
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