How Important is Organic?



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So, you want to feed your family organic? How about your birds? One Eclectus owner knew her Ekkie liked organic edamame from Whole Foods, so she brought home a bag with the organic label on it and the organic price tag. Later, she noticed in small print that they were from China! Isn't China where the tainted pet food fiasco all began? She was again in Whole Foods and this time noticed that the Sugar Baby grapes tomatoes were from Mexico, but they had the Organic label on them. Of course, we are all familiar with the E Coli stories that begin in Mexico.
Just how trustworthy is the USDA certified organic label? I have become leery. While we do not feed strictly organic, we do grow much of our own fruit.
Do you see the Yellow Sided Green Cheek in the flight suit helping the girls pick?

Thankfully, we are able to grow our own tomatoes, plums, grapes, apricots, peaches and peppers. We also have a neighborhood coop where we can buy organic veggies.


The Environmental Working Group's web site is a good one for information about safe foods. On it, you will find that some fruits and vegetables are more toxic than others. Here is an exert from their site..
The 12 Most Toxic Fruits and Vegetables

Known as the Dirty Dozen, conventionally grown peaches, apples, sweet bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, pears, imported grapes, spinach, lettuce and potatoes contain the highest levels of pesticides, according to the Environmental Work Group (EWG), a nonprofit research organization in Washington, D.C.

Up to 20 different pesticides are used in the traditional production  of the Dirty Dozen and contrary to popular belief, simply washing or peeling your fruits and vegetables doesn't guarantee elimination. The pesticides used are often absorbed into the plants which allows them to bind to the fruits and vegetables, making it impossible to eliminate their presence.

EWG's analysis of federal testing data found:
Peaches and apples topped the Dirty Dozen list. Almost 97 percent of peaches tested positive for pesticides, and almost 87 percent had two or more pesticide residues. About 92 percent of apples tested positive, and 79 percent had two or more pesticides. The rest of the Dirty Dozen include sweet bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, pears, imported grapes, spinach, lettuce, and potatoes.

Onions, avocados, and sweet corn headed the Consistently Clean list. But we don't feed onions or avocados to birds.
For all three foods, more than 90 percent of the samples tested had no detectable pesticide residues. Others on the Consistently Clean list include pineapples, mango, asparagus, sweet peas, kiwi, bananas, cabbage, broccoli, and papaya.





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