Did you know that eating conventional produce increases your risk of pesticide contamination by 30%? And chowing down on non-organic chicken and pork increases your risk of exposure to antibiotic-resistant bacteria by 33%? 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. Plus, check out these great markets featuring eco-friendly fare:
Livoti's Old World Market, Aberdeen
Livoti's offers a mix of organic items, including fruits, dairy and chicken. The store is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mon-Sat and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays.
Best Yet Market, Holmdel
Within its regular offerings, Best Yet Market sells a variety of organic options. The store is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mon-Sat and 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays.
A&P Fresh, Cliffwood
As with most local grocery stores, A&P Fresh offers organic produce and packaged foods. Open Mon-Sat, 6 a.m. - midnight and Sunday, 7 a.m. - midnight
Hazlet Farmers Market
The Hazlet Farmers Market features locally grown produce and products, reducing transportation and feeding into the local economy. Open Mon - Sat, 8:30 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Delicious Orchards, Colts Neck
Delicious Orchards not only offers locally grown produce, they also offer organic natrual foods as well as packaged foods. The cider bar is simply a bonus. Open Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.