Monday, May 03, 2010

Livin' in the Blurbs: Doing Good and Living Well

Nobody wants pesticides in their food and, as any parent can tell you, worrying about the cumulative effects of pesticide consumption can make for many sleepless nights. But some foods are less apt to absorb those pesticides than others, making them a less noxious choice if an organic version isn't available. My friend Michel sent along this link for a downloadable card from the Environmental Working Group that lists the Dirty Dozen, twelve produce items that can be the most contaminated by pesticides and are best bought as organics, and the Clean 15 that are the least contaminated when grown conventionally. Michel says: "The guide (really just a list) prints out small enough to keep in your wallet. I also keep one taped inside my kitchen cupboard to help me remember what conventional foods are safe to buy."

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One of the great things about having markets all over the city is that it gives everyone in the community better access to good, healthy food. I've written before about the markets that accept food stamp debit cards (called SNAP cards) for similar tokens given to all shoppers, taking the embarrassment factor out of transactions. The Portland Farmers' Market just announced that a new effort called The Fresh Exchange, funded by neighborhood businesses and residents, will start up this year at the Buckman (formerly Eastbank) market. It will join the efforts at other markets that contribute up to $5 per week to SNAP recipients to stretch their buying power further. Talk about nourishing your neighborhood!

Details: Buckman (formerly Eastbank) Farmers' Market. At SE 20th & Salmon between SE Belmont & SE Hawthorne in the parking lot of Hinson Baptist Church.

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Afton Field Farm, based out of Corvallis, is doing amazing work building a truly sustainable farm based on the principles of Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms in Virginia. They raise pastured poultry (for eggs and meat), grass-fed beef, oak savanna pork, turkey and lamb, as well as bees for honey, using managed intensive rotational grazing methods. They've just announced that their fantastic farm eggs will be available at the Whole Foods Market in Hollywood starting this week, so you can support their pioneering efforts and have some of the best eggs you've ever tasted. Nothing like doing good and eating well, is there?

Details: Afton Field Farm eggs at Whole Foods Market in Hollywood. 4301 NE Sandy Blvd. Phone 503-284-2644.

Photo of SNAP tokens by Sara Gilbert.

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