It’s more or less summer already here in Texas, and with the weather comes the fruit season. I just love peaches and strawberries! Of course, when these fruits are in season, they go on sale all the time. I have seen strawberries for as cheap as 2 cartons for $3! My kids absolutely love strawberries.
What depresses me the most about prices like that is: they don’t matter. Those are conventional strawberries. As in, non-organic. I have mentioned before that I refer to the EWG’s Dirty Dozen list and pretty strictly avoid buying non-organic in the 12 fruits and vegetables with the most toxins, especially when it comes to my kids. I am flexible when we eat out, but I do not bring non-organic versions of those top 12 into our house.
As in, #1 is the most toxic.
So I’m stuck still paying $5-$6 per carton for organic strawberries, and $3-$4 per lb for organic peaches – exactly the same price I’d pay during the winter months. It seems organic doesn’t go on sale much more than 50 cents at any time. At those prices, you can imagine how far our grocery budget goes. I can only afford to buy 2-3 containers of strawberries a month and only 2 small bags of 3-4 peaches if I can catch them on sale ($3/lb is a sale).
I usually let my kids eat all of those fruits and my husband and I do not eat any. I want them to get the most health benefits that they can while they’re still growing by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, and if I can only afford that many, they will all go to my kids first.
Another annoyingly difficult food is grapes – #7 on the list. Have you seen how many bentos
contain grapes? And they’re such a great fruit to pack as a snack, or freeze and eat when we’re at the splash park during the summer. But lately, I haven’t been able to find organic grapes AT ALL. Not at Whole Foods, not at Natural Grocer, not Central Market, not even Greenling
has them (Sprouts has never carried organic grapes at all)*. I have pretty much give up on them altogether. If you ever do see organic grapes at a store here in the Dallas area, please make sure you post it on my Facebook wall
This is the time of year when I get really bitter about the state of our agricultural system. Why do we need to dump so much crap into our food?! When I was Googling the results of the EWG tests, I found that those test are done on fruit and vegetables that have already been washed. That means that strawberries and peaches have the most toxins even after being washed. Not cool, USDA, not cool.
There really isn’t much of a point to this post except that I wanted to vent. I realize that there is nothing anyone can do about this situation. Dumping craptons of chemicals on the produce is a super cheap way to make a higher profit for the agric-business that own the farms that produce the crops. I get tired of going into the store and seeing how we could buy 2 tons of strawberries at Costco for the same price as a tiny container of organic, if only we were OK with cramming a bunch of toxins into our family.
*NOTE: My out of town readers might suggest a farmer’s market – unfortunately, the Dallas Farmer’s Market does not sell organic produce. At all. There is one farmer who tends to use a lower amount of chemicals although he is not certified organic. He does sell peaches, but only a few times a month. I haven’t been able to make it down to the market during the times he’s been selling lately (it’s a 25 minute drive one way). The rest of the produce at the Dallas Farmer’s Market is from Mexico, and it is conventionally grown. It’s actually the exact same thing you’d buy in the stores. It’s even labeled Del Monte and Chiquita brands. Richardson does not have a Farmer’s Market at all (too small of a suburb). I have heard the McKinney Farmer’s Market is awesome but I have never been there – it is a 45 minute drive for us.