Did you know that eating conventional produce increases your risk of pesticide contamination by 30 percent? And chowing down on non-organic chicken and pork increases your risk of exposure to antibiotic-resistant bacteria by 33 percent? This is all according to a 2012 Annals of Internal Medicine report.
If you're not already sold on the benefits of eating organic, consider this: organic foods may have more nutrients than their conventionally produced counterparts. Organic broccoli, for example, has higher levels of antioxidants and vitamin C than the traditionally produced variety, found a 2012 Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture study. There’s also evidence of more heart-healthy omega-3s in organic poultry and dairy.
So eating organic is good for you and your family, but here's more: organic grub is good for Mother Earth. Foods advertised as organic must be grown by farmers who aim to use renewable resources, and conserve the soil and water. These practices preserve the environment and help prevent the extinction of numerous animal species.
So, here are some of our favorite local organic hot spots. Plus, check out these great markets featuring eco-friendly fare:
Ward's Berry Farm
Hours of Operation: (March-October) Mon - Fri, 9am - 7pm; Sat, Sun, 9am - 6pm.
Specialties: Organic produce in set boxes for pre-ordering.
Moose Hill Farm
Specialties: The Trustees of Reservations are bringing farming back to Moose Hill Farm and are kicking off a new Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program this spring, offering 75 shares of fresh veggies weekly to folks who live or work in the surrounding towns. Click here for more information.
Whole Foods Market - Dedham
Hours of Operation: Daily, 8am - 10pm
Specialties: Find artisanal products from small companies, an on-site bakery and small stations offering Indian fare, pizza, middle eastern foods, burritos and sushi.
Shaw's in Sharon
Hours of Operation: Mon - Sat, 6am - 11pm; Sun, 7am - 10pm
Specialties: Wild Harvest-brand products can be found thoughout the local chain of Shaw's on South Main Street in Sharon.