Why, When, and Where to buy Organic

Ever wonder why, when, and where to buy organic?

Synthetic pesticides are toxic and can attack our central nervous system.  Studies have shown an even higher risk for pregnant women and children as pesticides can interfere with growth and development.  According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 60 percent of herbicides, 90 percent of fungicides and 30 percent of insecticides are known to be carcinogenic (capable of causing cancer).

In October 2006, the Environmental Working Group published a list of the “Dirty Dozen” or worst offenders when it comes to levels of pesticides detected.  The list is based on studies conducted by the FDA and USDA from 2000-2004.


Produce with the HIGHEST level of contamination from pesticides include:


  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Grapes (imported)
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Potatoes

Produce with LOWEST level of contamination from pesticides include:


  • Onions
  • Avocados
  • Sweet Corn (frozen)
  • Pineapples
  • Mango
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet Peas (frozen)
  • Kiwi Fruit
  • Bananas
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Papaya


Tips for buying produce:


  • Shop Local Farmers Markets: Support your local farmers.  Talk with them.  Many times the farmer is not able to pay the hefty fee for the “USDA Organic” stamp of approval.  Often times the farm follows organic (and sometimes better than organic) standards but is not able to label it as such.
  • Buy in Season: Again, by shopping the farmers market’s, you will only be able to buy in season.  Buying in season ensures you get the maximum nutritional value out of your food, as it has not been sitting around or preserved.  It will taste better too!
  • Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture): There are many farms who will provide you fresh, local, seasonal produce delivered to your door or your neighborhood.  Some farms even provide eggs from pasture-raised chickens.  Not only are you supporting your local farmer, but you are also guaranteed to get great quality, freshly picked, seasonal produce at an inexpensive price.
  • Read labels: If you shop in a supermarket, read the sticker or produce sign to see where the produce is coming from.  Ask the produce manager.  Chances are organic produce grown half way around the world will not only taste poor, but not provide the nutritional content you need either. Fruits and vegetables lose nutritional value the longer they sit around from their original harvest date.


This article comes courtesy of: Kristin Hoppe, Certified Natural Chef.


Kitchen Sink Shake

I love protein shakes. I have been consuming them in one form or another for years. The secret to a good protein shake is like any other recipe. Get high quality ingredients, and then tweak the combination until you find the taste, texture and flavor that suits you best. I eat about two shakes per day. For breakfast I usually have the “Kitchen Sink” shake. It is great tasting, and nutrient dense. Later in the day I often have my Old-School Super Shake Version 2.0

Kitchen-Sink Shake Recipe

1 cup of water, Yerba-Mate or iced green tea (I use Yerba-Mate)

1-2 scoops vanilla milk protein blend (I, use a blend of Casein, Egg and Whey)

0.5-1 cup of frozen berry blend (I use Blueberries)

1-2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds (I use organic seeds, and grind my own)

2-3 tablespoons of mixed nuts (I use Organic Almonds and Walnuts)

1 teaspoon creatine (Nothing fancy, just good old mono-hydrate)

1 cup  Baby Spinach (I use Organic)

Add all ingredients in blender and blend on high for 30-40 seconds.

I drink one of these shakes (usually for breakfast), along with 1-3 capsules of fish oil, and my multi-vitamin. To be sure you’re picking up the right kind of protein supplement, when shopping around, pick up the protein container, flip it over, and search for “milk protein isolate” or “milk protein blend.” If you see either of these on the ingredients list (or simply, whey and casein as two of the top ingredients), you’re in business. I am currently using a custom protein blend from the “Protein Factory“, which has a blend of egg, casein, and whey.

Shakes are a great way to get high quality nutrition in a quick efficient manner. So try out the “Kitchen Sink” and see if you don’t walk away feeling great!