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       Volume I - September 28, 2007

"Organic" - What's the Big Deal?
by Alice Osborne

Why should we care which ingredients, or how many, are organic? The reasons go beyond carcinogenic residues.

Organic produce actually delivers more nutritional bang for the buck. Because they’ve not been spritzed with chemicals to fight off their predators, they’ve had to toughen up by manufacturing their own disease/pest-fighting compounds.

That’s why organic produce shows significantly higher levels of antioxidants than conventionally-grown produce, these nutritious compounds evolved in the plant not for our health, but for the plant’s.

Several studies, including research done by the American Chemical Society, have shown fruits and vegetables grown without pesticides and herbicides to contain 50% to 6)% more antioxidants than their sprayed counterparts. Now here’s the important part: The same antioxidants that fight diseases and pests in the plant work similar magic in the human body, protecting us against various diseases, cell aging, tumor growth, and fighting cancer.

Spending extra money on organic produce buys these extra nutrients, with added environmental benefits for the well-being of future generations. If you’d like to find locally-grown organic foods near you, go to this Organic Food Website and click on your state.

Here are two in-season recipes (taken from the wonderful book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, by Barbara Kinsolver), that will taste great because the ingredients are fresh and may even be local for you — AND if organic ingredients are used—well, by now you know the story.

Blackberry Crumble
Fast and easy to make and really delicious with vanilla ice cream!

2-3 apples, chopped
2 pints blackberries
¼ C raw honey (or more, depending on the tartness of your berries)

Preheat oven to 400º. Combine the above in casserole dish, mix; set aside.

5 Tbsp whole wheat flour
1 C old fashioned oats
4 heaping Tbsp brown sugar
1 stick cold butter
Cut butter into dry ingredients; make a chunky, crumbly mixture, not uniform. Sprinkle over top of fruit.

Bake 30 min. until golden and bubbly.
  Download this recipe.

Melon Salsa
This is elegant and delicious over grilled salmon or chicken!

1 med. cantaloupe
1 red bell pepper
1 small jalapeno pepper
½ med. red onion
¼ C fresh mint leaves
1-2 Tbsp raw honey
2 tsp white vinegar

Dice melons and peppers into ¼ inch cubes. Finely mince onion and mint. Toss with honey and vinegar, allow to sit at least on hour before serving over grilled chicken breast or salmon fillet. Serves 6.

  Download this recipe.

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