Tuesday, June 28, 2011

One Step Up Challenge 1...Strawberries!


photo credit
 My son loves strawberries, and has been on a strawberry kick for months. Unfortunately, they make the Dirty Dozen list, and can get pricey. I still buy them, because I love that my son doesn't ask for candy, he asks for strawberries.

Here is your strawberry challenge:

 
Level 1: If you do not buy fruit, but prefer fruit snacks, opt for fresh strawberries instead. Although it can appear that fresh strawberries are much more costly than fruit snacks, don't be fooled! How many strawberries are really in a small package of fruit snacks? My son can eat a whole package of fruit snacks and still want more, but after 3 strawberries, he is done with snack time and ready to play. Some can argue that fresh strawberries are just not as tasty, but I believe he stops at 3 because strawberries are more filling. A half a cup of strawberries has 3 grams of fiber, and very low sugar. You can see the nutrition info here for the rest of the nutrients.

 
Level 2: If you buy fresh conventional strawberries, and honestly cannot afford organic, you're on the simple, cheap level today...you have nothing to buy! You do, however, have a change to make: wash your berries thoroughly! Strawberries make it on the Dirty Dozen list, which means they are one of the top 12 fruits/veggies with the most pesticides/chemicals after harvesting. Soak your strawberries for 1-2 minutes in water, then rinse. They may get a little soggy because they absorb water, so you will probably want to pat dry.

 
Level 3: If you buy strawberries, and wash them prior to use, I encourage you to try buying organic. You should still rinse them to free them of dirt, but you do not have all of the pesticide residue to worry about. Organic strawberries do go on sale, and I have seen them for as low as $.99/lb in my area.

 
I buy conventional and organic strawberries. Although I don't like the idea of buying something with so many known pesticide residues, I cannot afford to spend $5 on one pound of strawberries.

 
Strawberry shopping tips:
  • Organic strawberries are in my price range when they are $2.99/lb.
  • Conventional strawberries are in my price range when they are $.99 or lower per pound.
  • If fresh strawberries are not on sale, I opt for frozen ones.  Based on this website, frozen food (and canned) contain less residue than fresh.
  • I do still buy strawberries at higher prices, I just buy less. They went on sale for $.97/lb a few days a go, so I bought 4 pounds...I would have bought them at $2.00/lb, but I would have purchased only one pound.

2 comments:

  1. Ah! I love strawberries. They're one of my favorite snacks - with balsamic vinegar on them or some cool whip. So I'm glad to be reading this so that I know to buy them organic every time!

    Do you ever notice that organic fruits go bad faster? ...Not a problem with Strawberries because I eat them so frequently.

    -Carly
    www.createliveblog.com

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  2. @Carly Mmm I'll have to try some with balsamic vinegar. I have some pomegranite balsamic that might be tasty! I have found that some of my organic fruits and veggies go bad faster, but I also find that they are so much tastier (which means, most never have a chance to go bad!) I'm wondering if that's because they haven't been treated with anything to keep them fresh longer?

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