Tag Archives: organic


I have just finished reading a very interesting book,To Buy or Not to Buy Organic, by Cindy Burke. It is very educational and, at times, alarming, akin to the movie Food, Inc. in that way.

What I found most interesting and useful about this book is
the listings of vegetables and fruit according to whether they should only be eaten organic, or if non-organic is okay.

The “eat only if organic” listing consists of vegetables and
fruit which, if non-organic, are likely to have high levels of chemical residue from pesticides, fungicides, fertilizers, etc.



Grapes from Chile


Bell Peppers, red, green









Burke also lists fifteen vegetables and fruit which, even when non-organically grown, are unlikely to be contaminated by chemicals.










Shelling peas



Sweet Corn



Watermelon, grown domestically (US)

At the end of the book, there is also a very useful comprehensible listing of vegetables, herbs and spices, and fruit, marked
according to whether the item should be eaten only organic, or if it is okay to eat non-organic.

CSA SHARE 10/30/08: What they say we will get

This is what they say we will get:

SWEET POTATOES…………………..3 lbs.
KALE…………………………………………1 bun.
PARSLEY…………………………………..1 bun.
LEEKS………………………………………..2 pc.
NICOLA POTATOES…………………3 lbs.
Non-Edible GOURDS…………………1 pc.
Decorative gourds………………………1 pc.
Empire Apples & Pears

What’s up with the “decorative gourds”???? I mean, I stretched no end to pay for the vegetables and fruit in the CSA season, and then they decide that we don’t need FOOD?  I do not need to pay for decorations. I NEED FOOD!!!!!!!  I will complain on Thursday, and, with any kind of luck, I will complain to someone who thinks that decorative gourds are just the ticket.

I mean…. ?????  Wasn’t this supposed to be about FOOD?????


I made squash soup with green Thai curry paste. First I cut the squash in half.



I washed and saved the nice fat squash seeds to dehydrate. You can eat pumpkin seeds, right? Why not squash seeds. Actually, I plan to make “milk” or add them to crackers, or use them to thicken something. I will figure it out later, when I have enough of them to use for something.

I cut the squash halves in quarters and began to peel the quarters with a knife.



Do not use a knife to peel squash (particularly if the squash is “bumpy”, like a pumpkin, or an acorn squash. DO NOT USE A KNIFE. I so mean it. I am not fooling. Do you see that funny red color on the middle finger? Yes? I did not show you the real finger with all the gore. (I do not have health insurance, so, when I neatly sliced my finger almost in two, I did not go to the hospital at 9 pm at night. I walked calmly to the bathroom and washed the deep wound — have you ever seen muscle? it is interesting. I poured tea tree oil on it and then lavender oil on it, and then I screamed really loud. Then I walked calmly back to the kitchen and put on a lab glove, to prevent the blood getting on the food — yes, it is raw, but I wanted vegan) DO NOT USE A KNIFE TO PEEL SQUASH -particularly not if you use sharp knives. (my room-mate saw my hand in the glove just before dinner and professionally bandaged my finger) I got out the vegetable peeler (after I put on the glove). I did not use it initially because it is hard to get in the grooves of a “bumpy” squash, but, as you can imagine, I got over that attitude. I like this peeler. It beats the average American potato peeler because it is more comfortable to hold, and it peels a wide range easily. I cut the peeled sqush into pieces and put it into the food processor. * * I processed the squash as fine as I thought it should be. Then I added about 1-1/2 cups of almond milk with vanilla (that was what I had on hand, and I thought it would work). I added about 1-1/2 tablespoons green Thai curry paste, and about 1 T garlic, and I processed some more. Then I got the wild idea to put everything in the VitaMix, because I know that the VitaMix will heat things up. This is the finished soup. My room-mate liked it. I ate it because it was dinner (see below). * * HOW I WILL IMPROVE THIS RECIPE The next time I make this (I will make it again, because I believe it can work and be delicious), I will use straight almond milk (or any other nut milk, or maybe even squash seed milk), with no additives. I found the vanilla distasteful, although my room-mate liked the taste. She ate up all of her portion, and saved the leftovers– which I would have thrown out– for *breakfast*) I would not process the creamed soup in the VitaMix. What I got back was a nice creamy soup ( but it had bubbles all through it, which I found distasteful). I think that, if I add enough of the “creme” ingredient into the food processor, I can get something I can live with. I really did not like the bubbles in the VitaMix soup… they actually made me sick to my stomach — must be the education that bubbles are introducing air into the stomach. If I want to heat it, I can always put it in the dehydrator for an hour (have never tried it, but many cooks suggest it) My rating on this recipe would be a 3 out of 4. I was not crazy about it, but my room-mate scarfed it up.

What I got this week:

RED BEETS…………………………..1 bunch
DILL……………………………………..1 bunch
ZUCCHINI.………………………….5 pieces
PARSLEY…………………….1 bunch
SWISS CHARD.……………..1 bunch
BLUEBERRIES………………..8 oz.
SPBERRIES………………..8 oz.

I loved the round zucchini I got last week!  Of course, I spiralize any zucchini in sight — the round one was easier because I did not have to cut it into pieces, and I did not lose as much as I would with a long zucchini. Plus, it’s just cute.

The raspberries will go into a smoothie, probably tomorrow morning.

Blueberries are so curious — they gel up right away — I may make a dessert with them for my roommate.??? Blueberry pie???? Probably not… maybe just gelled up blueberries, as a “pudding”.

The beets had lovely greens – I will probably make up some massaged greens tomorrow night, for my weekend lunches.  I’ll juice these beets, just because I still have some left from last week, so I have plenty for my famous ground beet salad.

lettuce lettuce and more lettuce… and chard.  My room-mate has come up with a salad dressing that wilts anything in sight — I must study that and learn to make something that works like that.

Yum!!! Cucumbers!  I will need to score some tomatoes, to make my easy cucumber tomato salad — thinly sliced, sprinkle with pepper, soak in apple cider vinegar — just like Grandmom used to make.

This parsley doesn’t look like parsley to me — it has big leaves. I ate one as I bagged the bunch, just to find out what it was… tastes like parsley.  I told my room-mate she could use some of it, and she thought it was a leaf for salads — hey!!! it wasn’t half bad as  1/3 of a lettuce mix with tomatoes (I gave her a bag of the lettuce mix I got last week)

I LIED: There are more vegetables in my refrigerator

A post or two ago, I said that I had taken care of all the vegetables. It wasn’t exactly true. I went through the refrigerator and found a ton of carrots, or maybe 10 lbs., lying around doing nothing. Then I found a pile of turnips and another pile of beets. Where did they come from? Who knows. They were still working, still alive, so….oh! and then there were the turnips. I completely forgot about the apples from my last CSA share! I had almost forgotten about them…. anyway, the beets, carrots, and turnips are done, and the apples are in the dehydrator. I still have to do the parsnips I got last Thursday — that will be tomorrow.

The fun thing, for me right now at this time in my life, so to speak, is that I am able to do all this work, hanging out with these vegetables that I happen to love, while I am doing my Master Cleanse.

Actually, to tell the truth, I was feeling hungry this afternoon. I was marking a bunch of ESL student essays, and my stomach started complaining (now I know it was desperation). I decided to take a break and do the apples, and… voila! Hunger gone!!!! Yes, of course, they smelled good, but I just was not hungry. Cool!!!!

I found some organic lemons at Whole Foods for $4.99 for a bag of 12. I thought it was a great deal, until I started to measure out the juice and realized that I was getting more juice out of the lemons at the local market where the lemons were 4 for $2.00. I did not really save any money and I have to work harder. C’est la vie.

For some reason, this time, I am noticing how much Master Cleanse costs (it could be that I don’t get paid until Thursday). Lemons do not seem as cheap as they were before. I am going on my second jug of maple syrup. Perhaps it is just that I am noticing. Maybe it has always been this way.

All items for the Master Cleanse


What? PLU stickers have a meaning to you and me, as well as to the supermarket cashier? Yep. I didn’t know that until now. Did you?


PLU stickers are those things on your produce that you have to peel off, if you can. I thought maybe the “PLU” meant “Please Lift Up” (it made a little sense to me, anyway) , but, actually, it means “Price Look Up”– that part helps the cashier check you out more quickly. They were originally introduced in North America, but are now used in Australia, New Zealand, and European countries.
PLU stickers also tell “what food this is” and “where it came from”. In addition, PLU stickers tell you “how this food was grown”– very important information to you and me.

“Conventionally grown produce” is labeled with a PLU 4-digit number sticker. In other words, 4-digit numbers (which most often begin with “3″ or “4″) indicate “conventionally grown” produce, which can have been sprayed with chemical pesticides, weed killers, etc.

Two classes of produce are indentified by 5-digit numbers:

Genetically-modified produce is labeled with 5-digit numbers which begin with “8″. (This produce may also have been chemically treated.)

Organically grown produce is labeled with 5-digit numbers which begin with “9″. This lead number indicates that the produce it labels is organically grown, non-genetically modified, and not treated with any kind of chemicals.

Basically, then, if you want to ensure that what you are eating is of the best, healthiest quality, you should look for produce labeled with a number that begins with “9″.

More information on PLU codes is available at theInternational Federation for Produce Standards site.