It`s hard to be completely organic in a commercial pot
Published 11th November 2009 - 9 comments - 1934 views -
Walt Hester from Trail-Gazette visited Marty Yochum Casey in the back of the Local Roots Co-Op. We speak about organic food and prices. Does it have sense to spend that much effort and mainly money to do it? How much shall we spend on organic according Alyce Lomax. What is our food IQ and why shall we think about it?
Here what Walt Hester wrote:
It`s not made-to-order, it`s not particularly fast. What it is is fresh and made from scratch, like lunch at home. That is what Marty Yochum Casey intends in her Alpenaire Bakery and Deli.
She buys much of her ingredients from the co-op and creates interesting dishes from a wide range of cultures and influences. The day I visited, she had baked raspberry scones and gluten-free chocolate muffins for the breakfast rush. The day before, she had cooked up a spicy Moroccan dish, and for lunch on this day, Casey would prepare a Mexican red and green chili soup with sweet potatoes. Casey started with fresh garlic, chilis that had been roasted in-house the day before, sweet potatoes from the co-op`s produce section and extra-virgin olive oil.
"It`s hard to be completely organic when you cook commercially," said Casey. She picks the most natural ingredient she is able to from the commercial food service. The olive oil is cold-pressed and about $25 a gallon.
She credits her slew of helpers, four of them, for making the efforts possible. Some do prep work, like the Eagle Rock student who roasted the peppers, some help make the side dishes and some man the register so Casey can focus on the meal.
Casey ran a restaurant in the Courtyard Shops about 10 years ago, so she knows her way around a commercial kitchen. She also wants to create a sense of a community kitchen. She hands out samples and takes suggestions like one might expect if one walked into her home.
Her whole process, from gathering the ingredients to selling the first portion, takes a few hours, but speed is not the aim. Warmth in temperature and in familiarity is. Casey has made a little bit of home for the crowd who eats lunch out.
Many consumers wonder why organic foods don't cost less. A ton of money is being saved so that they don't pay for herbicides and pesticides. Don`t forget though that there is more processing by hand that must be done for organic foods and that can really add up fast to more expenses than those chemicals.
While it is understandable that we want to consume food that is good for our health, that higher price is what often stopps the masses from doing so. Many surveys conducted that indicate consumers are passing over organic foods due to the fact that they can't justify the addition 10% to 40% markup on them.
A great deal of the crops can be lost in organic farming. This is due to the fact the food sources cannot always grow. You can't always protect them against pests and insects. The insurance - unbelievably high.
To change over a conventional farm to organic methods is not cheap. The process can take five years to complete. The money lost in the mean time has to be factored in somewhere along the line. So, when you eat organic you are paying for some of these processing costs too. You just didn't realize they had to be covered by the farmer before he could start to make organic foods and a profit from them.
Good news and bad news in organics (excerpt) - by Alyce Lomax
Organic groceries, which used to enjoy heady annual sales increases of more than 20%, grew by a mere 4.6% in the year ended June 13, according to a market research firm the WSJ cited. Organic production often demands more labor- and management-intensive techniques, leading to costlier food than more conventional goods with industrialized production. If consumers are unwilling to pay enough for suppliers to turn a profit, their stinginess could eventually drive many of these operators out of business. In organic goods' favor consumers are paying more attention to where food comes from and how it's produced.
The new film Food Inc. may help raise awareness of the benefits of organic goods, and encourage more people to make moral, sustainable choices about what they eat. (Chipotle (NYSE: CMG) (NYSE: CMG-B), which has its own Food with Integrity program, helped spread the word about the documentary.) However frivolous it may sound in recessionary times, I think grocers' expansion of private-label organics signals that many shoppers would rather cut corners elsewhere than give up on healthier, more sustainable food.
Tight budgets may make organic food a tougher sell, even in private-label form. Still, the growth of this odd combination of categories suggests that organics are here to stay. Grocery-store shareholders who enjoy a dose of green in their brokerage statements should be glad that their companies are keeping tabs on changing customer spending, and doing their best to keep pace.
Organic Money Saving Tips by Organic.org
Comparison Shop. You may be able to find less-expensive alternatives at different stores. Many major chains are coming out with their own organic brands, such as O Organics™ at Safeway and ShopRite Organics at ShopRite.
Cook More. The more convenient the food is, the more expensive it is. For example, buying an organic frozen dinner may save you time in the same way a conventional frozen dinner would, but it costs quite a bit more than its nonorganic counterpart and much more than a homemade meal. Buy organic items that are lower in price (such as produce), and make your own dishes from scratch.
Stock Up. Stock up on your favorite items when they go on sale. Or try something new that is on sale or is priced well, and you may find a new favorite!
Buy in Bulk. Buying in bulk will keep costs down. Look for many pantry staples often available in bulk, such as beans, legumes, rice, flour, nuts, chocolate chips, and much more. Many local co-ops have extensive organic bulk sections.
Organic Coupons. Keep an eye out in the Sunday paper and grocery circulars for coupons and, again, stock up to take best advantage of the savings!
Shop in Season. Shop farm stands and farmers’ markets for the freshest, most-delicious produce while supporting local farmers. Purchasing in season produce from your grocer may also keep costs down.
Be Selective. Decide to only purchase organic milk and produce. See the Environmental Working Group’s “dirty dozen” for the most-contaminated produce and tailor your decisions based on these.
Eat With Friends. Choose some like-minded friends and get together to each prepare an organic dish—a great way to add variety to your organic diet while keeping your own purchases down. Get together for a weekend potluck—or, during the week, arrange a food swap to minimize cooking and maximize eating organically.
Top products you should buy organic
The following list is based on information and studies by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Consumer Reports, and the Environmental Working Group.
1. Nectarines – 97.3% of nectarines sampled were found to contain pesticides.
2. Celery – 94.5% of celery sampled were found to contain pesticides.
3. Pears – 94.4% of pears sampled were found to contain pesticides.
4. Peaches – 93.7% of peaches sampled were found to contain pesticides.
5. Apples – 91% of apples sampled were found to contain pesticides.
6. Cherries – 91% of cherries sampled were found to contain pesticides.
7. Strawberries – 90% of strawberries sampled were found to contain pesticides.
8. Imported Grapes – 86% of imported grapes (i.e. Chile) sampled were found to contain pesticides.
9. Spinach – 83.4% of spinach sampled were found to contain pesticides.
10. Potatoes – 79.3% of potatoes sampled were found to contain pesticides.
11. Bell Peppers – 68% of bell peppers sampled were found to contain pesticides.
12. Red Raspberries – 59% of red raspberries sampled were found to contain pesticides.
18. Corn (However, almost all corn is genetically modified)
24. Sweet Peas
What's Your Organic Food IQ?
Some people, however, don`t have problems to think if they will or not buy organic. Why?
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