There is nothing like a day full of errands to get the juices flowing in the morning; that and a big cup of delicious coffee. I haven't been able to indulge in the latter in quite some time because the transformation caffeine renders on me is akin to the Hulk. I don't turn green and gain mass amounts of sinewy muscle, but I do most definately turn "super." My productivity level spikes dramatically as I shake my way through the day. I'm talkin' the shakes like a shy person singing at the Superbowl. Many well-intentioned friends have suggested decaf. Decaf coffee?! It's like fat free butter! Sugar free ice cream! What has happened to the world?? In a fit of pure geniusness, I created a coffee shop in my mind called "Half-Caff" and thought I would make millions of dollars selling coffee to the masses with half the amount of caffeine as regular coffee. I excitedly related my plan to a friend, who said, "yeah...they've already got that at the store."
Curses; foiled again.
With the immense amount of errands I had to do, I got my non-caffeinated self and the two sweeties ready to go and set off. The first place we hit was the local farmer's market.
Like discovering color in a world of black and white, the fragrance and taste are beautifully overwhelming with locally, organically grown produce. It takes me back to playing outside during long Summer days, and heading to my Mother's garden whenever I needed a snack. Cherry tomatoes, green beans, chives...they seldom made it inside with my grazing.
How have we grown accustomed to such flavorless produce shopping at the supermarket? The convenience of a one-stop wonder is not worth it. For flavor, for health, for freedom! Charge on over to http://www.localharvest.org/ to find locally grown, organic produce in your area (USA).
I know it is not always possible to buy organic everything. Many factors, including finances and location can greatly hinder doing so. The Environmental Working Group recently put together a new shopper's guide on buying produce:
These "dirty dozen" are the things you should buy organically, or at least try to avoid when shopping in a supermarket due to the high pesticide residue found on them.
6. Nectarines - imported
7. Grapes - imported
8. Sweet Bell Peppers
10. Blueberries - domestic
12. Kale/Collard Greens
The produce with the least amounts of pesticide residue, or "the clean 15" are:
2. Sweet Corn
6. Sweet peas
9. Cantaloupe - domestic
13. Sweet potatoes
Ewww, mushrooms. Make that the clean 14 for me...pesticides or not, mushrooms are just plain dirty and disgusting. Except for when they are stuffed with bacon and cheese...I'm proud to be an American. Pass the ketchup.