Did you know that eating conventional produce increases your risk of pesticide contamination by 30 percent? And chowing down on non-organic chicken and pork increases your risk of exposure to antibiotic-resistant bacteria by 33 percent? This is all according to a 2012 Annals of Internal Medicine report.
If you're not already sold on the benefits of eating organic, consider this: organic foods may have more nutrients than their conventionally produced counterparts. Organic broccoli, for example, has higher levels of antioxidants and vitamin C than the traditionally produced variety, found a 2012 Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture study. There’s also evidence of more heart-healthy omega-3s in organic poultry and dairy.
So eating organic is good for you and your family, but here's more: organic grub is good for Mother Earth. Foods advertised as organic must be grown by farmers who aim to use renewable resources, and conserve the soil and water. These practices preserve the environment and help prevent the extinction of numerous animal species.
So, here are some of our favorite local organic hot spots. Click on the name of the place for more information.
Mrs. Green's Natural Market
Hours of Operation: Mon - Sat, 8am - 7pm; Sun, 10am - 6pm
Specialties: Healthy food options in every category, from meals to produce to snacks.
Health in a Hurry
Hours of Operation: Mon - Thurs, 9 am - 6:30 pm; Fri, 9 am - 4 pm.; Closed Sun.
Specialties: Quiches, salads, soups, wraps, sandwiches, entrees and desserts.
Catch a Healthy Habit Cafe
Hours of Operation: Mon - Tues, 8am - 3pm; Wed - Fri, 8am - 6:00pm; Sat, 9am - 6pm; Sun, 11 - 4
Specialties: Dairy- and gluten-free desserts.
Hours of Operation: Mon - Fri, 8am - 7pm; Sat, 9am - 7pm; Sun, 9am - 4pm
Specialties: Juices, smoothies, salads, raw soups, vegan baked goods
Hours of Operation: Daily, 8am - 9pm
Specialties: All grocery-related products including toiletries, dog food, produce, meats, cheeses, sodas, milk, eggs, prepared foods
Whole Foods Market
Hours of Operation: Daily, 8am - 10pm
Specialties: All grocery-related products including toiletries, housewares, produce, meats, cheeses, soda, milk, eggs, prepared foods
Let us know in the comments thread if we're missing any local organic hot spots -- provide the name, hours of operation, and specialties.