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Eat Organic

by Irene McGuinness

Eat Organic

We’ve compiled a collection of delicious spring menus with a focus on organic, but took it a step further: we paired our recipes with delicious certified organic wines.

We all have those times when self-care takes a back seat to everyday challenges. But allowing this neglect to sneak into our eating habits can have some serious health repercussions over time, increasing the risks for chronic health issues and possibly taking years off our lives.
Choosing to cook organically can have far-reaching benefits. One thing that’s for certain, organic food has fewer pesticides and more healthy antioxidants and phenol phytochemicals than conventional produce. Coupled with its superior quality, the flavours are generally intensified as well.
But there’s an occasional dilemma—sometimes buying organic is more costly.
Well, don’t lose heart. Not everything you buy and eat needs to be full-fledged organic. Thankfully, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) tests thousands of produce samples for pesticides. They publish an annual list called “The Dirty Dozen” that singles out products containing the highest amounts. They also provide the “Clean Fifteen”—a list of products with the least likelihood of containing pesticides (more on that later). Arm yourself with these lists when you go shopping and you’ll be able to make conscious decisions on the fly.
We’ve compiled a collection of delicious spring menus with a focus on organic, but took it a step further: we paired our recipes with certified organic wines. Why organic? Typically grape production has some of the highest amounts of pesticides over any fruit, whereas certified organic wines cannot use pesticides, herbicides, or synthetic fertilizers.
This month, take time for a little more self-care and shop wisely. Cook and eat organic when and wherever possible. It’ll make a difference to your health and your life.

Is organic meat okay?

There are many different schools of thought concerning organic meat and health benefits. Some studies suggest red meat, organic or not, contributes to an increased risk of colon cancer. And some studies show cooking red meat at high temperatures produces a chemical called HCAs (heterocyclic amines). Cooking chicken at high temperatures also produces HCAs. Yet chicken doesn’t seem to be implicated in colon cancer. Researchers are still trying to work out the precise reasons for these differences.
To maintain good health and/or take optimal care when living with cancer, there is a lot you can do. Focus on the good: eat healthy fats, exercise, eat a diet rich in plant foods, drink alcohol in moderation, and buy organic wherever possible. Organic is not only good for you, it’s also better for the planet—and that benefits everyone.


Lemony Quinoa Soup with Spinach and Herbs

Cedar Plank Smoked Salmon Cobb Salad

Spring Vegetable Paella

Freekeh, Radish, and Arugula Salad with Pine Nuts

Savoury Poached Salmon and Curried Couscous

Clean Fifteen

According to the Environmental Working Group, these products contain the least amount of pesticides or chemical residues:

  • avocados
  • sweet corn
  • pineapples
  • cabbage
  • sweet peas, frozen
  • onions
  • asparagus
  • mangoes
  • papayas
  • kiwi
  • eggplant
  • honeydew melon
  • grapefruit
  • cantaloupe
  • cauliflower

The Dirty Dozen

According to the Environmental Working Group, these items contain the most pesticides in order of worst to least:

  • strawberries
  • apples
  • nectarines
  • peaches
  • celery
  • grapes
  • cherries
  • spinach
  • tomatoes
  • sweet bell peppers

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