Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Green Living Challenge #8: Organic Lunch Leads to the Finish Line!

Today is your final day to complete the 2007 Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment Green Living Challenge! There's now an online entry form available.

I just realized I can grab my last 10 points for something I hadn't even been consciously doing:

Eat a locally grown, organic, and/or meatless ingredient meal twice a week.

I love cooking for family and friends, but I hate cooking for myself. Any lunch or dinner I make for just me usually involves no more than five minutes of prep time before going in the oven or going on my plate. Usually, that meant salads were out. Washing the lettuce, chopping the tomatoes ... way too much work.

Then this summer, I made a startling discovery: It takes just as much time to make one salad as it does three salads. OK, so it seems obvious, but I hadn't exactly spent sleepless nights crunching the numbers on salad prep. I've been making three salads on Sunday and bringing one to work each day for lunch.

And thanks to my local Harris Teeter, the salads are organic. They have a great selection of organic produce at prices that are comparable to their pesticidal (is that a word?) counterparts. I'd been thinking to fill this requirement I had to get free-range tofu from my local farmers market, but it was a lot easier than I'd thought.

There's more and more evidence that organic foods aren't just better for the environment. They may be healthier for humans as well, and not just because they don't contain pesticides. A new study (so new it hasn't been peer reviewed) says organic foods may contain more nutrients than conventionally-grown food.

If you're just starting the switch to organics, where can you get the most bang for your buck? The New York Times blog recently listed five of the foods that can make the biggest impact.

Points for this action: 10
Total points to date: 100
Points needed to complete Green Living Challenge: 100

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