How do the fruits and vegetables you buy stack up against other produce? Are those flowers really the best you can get? Whole Foods is trying to answer some of those questions for customers with its new “responsibly grown” labeling system that ranks produce and plants at its stores, based on how suppliers farm those products. [More]
The virtue and environmental impact of buying locally-grown produce is a controversial question, but produce trucked from a nearby farm usually tastes better, at least. It’s also nice when a grocery store points out which items of produce come from farms in your community. The key question is, how do you define “local”? [More]
Those who blindly reach into produce bins and accept whatever they grab are doomed to have their meals spoiled. To choose the right fruits and veggies, you need to know how to spot the warning signs of what makes those good gourds go bad. [More]
Contaminated cantaloupe has turned fruit salads deadly. Not only has the tainted fruit caused 18 deaths in 20 states, but now it’s believed to have taken a life before birth. A pregnant Iowa woman miscarried after suffering listeria poisoning from cantaloupe. [More]
Of all the toppings that go well with tomatoes, salmonella isn’t one of them. Thus, Six L’s tomato farm of Florida issued a recall of its potentially contaminated tomatoes. [More]
It doesn’t take magical powers to make veggies sprout from your backyard – just some effort, knowledge and responsibility. Growing your own garden can save you money, ensure the food you eat is free of pesticides and harmful chemicals and provide a satisfying hobby. [More]
As an undercover hidden camera investigation recently revealed, not every bearded and overall-wearing guy behind the stand at farmers markets is selling food he grew himself. Some of them just load up a local produce warehouses and sell it to you at a feel-good-about-saving-the-earth premium. So how do you tell who’s real and who’s shoveling you fertilizer? [More]
If you’re in California and need to make a little extra cash, why not buy a bag of baby carrots from the supermarket, throw some potting soil on them, and sell them at your local farmers market as fresh-from-your-farm organic treats? Okay, maybe technically that’s not permitted, but who’s going to stop you? An NBCLA investigation found vendors at several farmers markets were lying to customers about their produce, and sourcing it from local warehouses instead of their own farms. [More]
A longtime reader sent in a couple of links to websites that let you find out more about your food supply chain, if you’re into that sort of stuff. Where is my milk from? matches carton codes with a list of dairies published by the FDA. FoodLogiq is less user-friendly and requires free registration, but you can apparently use it to track produce from participating growers. (Thanks to Cy!) [More]
This list of the 10 riskiest foods might surprise you at first, because there’s no mention of any sort of meat or poultry. But that’s because it’s from the FDA, which doesn’t regulate those two food categories. When it comes to produce, dairy, eggs and seafood, here’s what to watch out for, listed in order from most outbreaks to least.
Do you lie awake at night, wondering where the potatoes in the bag of Lay’s chips you downed while watching “Dancing With the Stars” were grown? No, neither do most sane people. However, our alert colleagues over at ShopSmart magazine have discovered the Lay’s Chip Tracker, which can tell you the potato source based on the bag’s production code. No, seriously.
Want to avoid eating pesticides without breaking the bank on organics? The handy “Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides” makes it easy to keep track of which fruits and vegetables are likely to have bug spray all over them and which are not. Peaches, apples, bell peppers, celery, and strawberries head up the “dirty dozen” with the highest pesticide load. At the bottom: onions, avocados, frozen sweet corn, pineapple, and mangoes, which have so little pesticide, you’re better off buying conventionally grown varieties (unless you’re rich).
Here are 11 fruits and vegetables that typically have low amounts of pesticides. Now we just need to find a recipe for asparagus pineapple onion salad. [The Daily Green]
So food from green markets and community supported agriculture is cleaner and healthier than that grocery store schmaltz, right? Not so fast, says E.coli litigation king Bill Marler, who recently wrote that convincing local food producers to keep their food clean will be one of the top ten food safety challenges of the year.
The New York Times reports that more and more people are buying shares of small farms, mostly on the coasts and around the Great Lakes region, which guarantee them a percentage of the season’s harvest. This “community-supported agriculture” model has exploded from fewer than 100 farms in the early 90s to nearly 1,500 in recent years. Helping out is optional, although we’re not sure the real farmers would appreciate our constant bitching about being in the sun. (I worked summers hoeing cotton fields in Texas, which is partly why I moved to NYC.)