Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Sticking with organic

I'm not going nuts on the organic front, but I am buying organic whenever possible. If the difference in price isn't outrageous and the food looks frest, I'm opting to buy the organic.

One thing that completly surprised me is the difference in taste. Maybe when they grow things organically they shy away from hydroponics, picking too early and mass producing in dark rooms, too. All I know is that a tomato tastes like a tomato from the garden (well, duh, I guess it is from the garden ;-) and tonight I had peas that tasted like the peas I used to sneak from my neighbors yard.

I'm a native Georgian, but my father was in the Air Force. We moved when I was young and I lived in a variety of states and countries before coming back to Georgia. Our neighbors in England had a small back yard (RAF base housing) that they turned into a garden - completely. There was a huge commons area behind the housing which served as a community play ground so I guess they didn't need their postage-stamp sized backyard for playing.

I loved to sneak over, open a pod and eat the peas raw. That taste is something I haven't experienced until tonight when I had tried the organic frozen peas I picked up at Wal-Mart. Yup, Wal-Mart.

Surprisingly, Wal-Mart and Publix have the best selection of organic food I've found locally. I've been going once a month with a good friend to the Dekalb Farmers Market to pick up a good supply of the things you can't find around here unless you're willing to pay shockingly high prices.

Did you know the difference between cage free and free range eggs? Cage free just means the chickens weren't in a cage. They could be (and probably are) still de-beaked and cooped up in some tightly packed barn. Free range means they get to roam like chickens are meant to roam. They keep their beaks because they're not going to peck at each other as they're not crammed body-to-body.

I haven't found free range eggs in Fayette County (yet?). But the Dekalb Farmers Market has these fantastic HUGE Amish free range eggs that are less expensive than the cage free eggs at Public, Kroger & Wal-mart. I cracked one open the other day and it had two yolks! When is the last time you had a double-yoked egg? I'm not sure if they taste better, I add so much to my eggs (spinach, cheese, mushrooms, onions, whatever is left over from dinner...) that I have no way of comparing taste.

I'm thinking that next year I'm going to put in a garden (for the deer probably!). The people who owned our house before us had a vegetable garden in the back. They had an electric fence around it. I don't think I'll want to do that as the shock is enough to kill hummingbirds, so I'll have to investigate other ways to keep out the wildlife. After all, people have been growing food since long before the invention of electricity!

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