Raw Food Shopping Guide

Local food advocates have long deplored the extraordinary steps that are taken by industrial food giants just to get those green beans to your plate. Massive industrial mono-culture production farming, because of the biological stresses it creates, requires intensive chemical applications. Some crops are more vulnerable than others, so naturally, some produce has a heavier chemical load than others. Other crop seed is actually chemical infused before it even goes into the ground. Typically these are all sorts of beans for canning. The seed labels bear a skull and crossbones and advise anyone handling the seed to wear what amounts to a HAZMAT suit, not to use it for feed or to process it for oil. (What’s wrong with this picture?)

In addition to the chemicals that the seed comes with, additional pesticides, herbicides, and petroleum based fertilizers are applied throughout the growing cycle of the crop. After harvesting, some crops are then irradiated (salad greens in particular) to kill E.coli and Salmonella and to preserve “freshness” for long distance transport and extended shelf life. For many large-scale conventional farmers, their chemical bill is their largest farm expense.

In addition to all the petroleum based chemicals used to produce the crop, more petroleum is used to get it to market; many times a lot more petroleum. This is why local food advocates often refer to modern farming as the conversion of petroleum to food. And quite literally, most consumers are actually eating at least a drop of petroleum every day without realizing it.

All of this creates somewhat of a dilemma for many people thinking of switching to a raw food diet. If the produce in the store is toxic, are they really any better off making that change? How can the every day consumer navigate the jungle of mass produced food and hope to come out of the store with good food in their carts? This quick guide may be of some help.

The Dirty Dozen

Unless they are organically grown (preferably locally), avoid these produce items:

  • Apples
  • Peaches
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Grapes
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Potatoes

The Clean Fifteen

While buying organic is optimal, it’s not always affordable or available. These produce items require minimal chemical applications:

  • Asparagus
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Garlic
  • Kiwi
  • Mango
  • Onions
  • Papaya
  • Pineapple
  • Shelling Peas
  • Watermelon
  • Sweet Corn

These lists only address chemical contaminates and do not address irradiation, which some studies suggest may cause cellular transmutations. Any fruit that is shipped from other countries, even if it is on the clean list will have been irradiated as are all salad greens, organic or not, unless you’re buying them directly from the grower.

This list also does not address GMO’s, which have been banned in Europe for public health and environmental reasons. Many studies have shown significant organ damage resulting from the consumption of GM (genetically modified) food. You can spot which produce items have been conventionally grown, organically grown, or GMO’d by the numerical code on the sticker. Here’s what those numbers mean:

  • 4-digit number usually starting with 2, 3, or 4 is conventionally grown using whatever chemical applications are considered appropriate for that crop.
  • 5-digit number starting with 8 is Genetically Modified and so far, cannot be considered organically grown.
  • 5-digit number starting the 9 is organically grown, but may still be irradiated if it is grown out of country or if it is salad greens.

Going raw may seem like a lot of expense and effort, but it pays dividends in health that are priceless.

Athens Central Market – Shopping Heaven Or Hell!

The piles of fruit and vegetables displayed on the barrow is like a Disney advert for Vegetarian Heaven. Bright red cherries, golden corn cobs, shiny yellow, perfectly curved bananas, apples, peaches, pears, carrots and vine leaves – and all plastic. As kitsch as kitsch can be.

The stall is part of the vast commercial area, which surrounds the Central Market on Athinas in Athens. Fortunately, in a sea of food shops it appeared to be the only one whose produce was obviously inedible – although some of the delicacies on display would have required a highly developed constitution to devour, not to mention prepare.

In the streets around the market you’ll find shops and stalls selling virtually everything to satisfy the most diverse (perhaps a better word would be ‘weird’) of appetites. Uncovered crates of sausages and cooked meats stand out in the heat of an Athenian summer, on a day when the pollution levels had already accounted for two fatalities. Long strings of black puddings, salamis and smoked pork loins hang from the metal support arms of battered and rusting canopies, cages of tightly packed live chickens, ducks and rabbits stand six high and the cages of quail standing beside them might well have belonged to the bird shop next door to the butcher, but as quail don’t have the same cheery song as the canaries inhabiting the more spacious cages dangling from hooks in the walls, it’s unlikely that they’d be seen as anything more entertaining than the stuffing for the ducks in the adjoining cages.

Five different types of potato, eight assorted lettuces, eighteen varieties of olive, pyramids of dry salted cod that need to be soaked overnight, and which changes the flavour only to that of wet salted cod, kiosks overflowing with breads and biscuits with the pungent aroma of cinnamon, or tiny, hard bread rolls covered in sesame seeds.

Moving from the heat of the sun into the cool of the market’s interior, the most noticeable change, apart from the slight drop in temperature, is that there isn’t one. The noise level remains the same. The blaring of car horns being supplanted by the banging of scoops on ornate cast iron to attract customers in the fish market, or the banging of cleavers on slightly less ornate metalwork in the meat department. The high-pitched scream as the vendors hawk their wares and the customers exchange insults for getting in each others way, remains the same. Or in the case of the fish market, amplified by the magnificent arched ceiling that seems more suited to some Renaissance Venetian sepulchre than a place of fish heads, crab claws and conger eel.

Orange – A Color That Is Ruling The Online Shopping Industry

Orange seems to be ruling the fashion industry. You can see the celebrities or the girl next door wearing this color in a variety of different ways. Whether it is the little orange dress or a kurta in purest peach, this color is here to stay. This color is fast replacing the classic black color as people are coming up with trendy alternatives that are fun to wear to different occasions. So whether it is for a family celebration or the fast approaching Christmas festival, ditch those red, black and grays outfits and embrace colorful alternatives to look your best.

Dress up Ethnic

If you are planning to go to your friend’s wedding make sure you look your best. Instead of going in with the regular reds, pinks or the other colors, pick up a dress in bright or light orange shade. This is definitely one of the happiest colors that will help you emerge as the shop stopper. Compliment your outfit with an equally stunning pair of earrings and footwear to complete the look.

Maxi Dress

If you want to dress up in a modern manner, choose to go in with a floor length dress. Maxi dresses make you feel like a fairy that has descended right from the heaven. Pick up a silk gown or a sequined maxi dress to look apart from the rest of the crowd. Moreover, it’s the delicious orange shade that is worth buying for a dinner date. So rock the look and be the fashion diva this season.

Little Orange Dress

We have had enough of LBD, now it’s the time for LOD to rock. LOD or the Little Orange Dress is here to stay and for good reasons too. Orange is the color of happiness and sunshine so there is no excuse not to pick it up while on a shopping spree. Pair up your LOD with stilettos and a clutch in contrasting color and you are good to go!

Printed Dress

Printed dresses are fast becoming the flavor of the season as you can see people picking up floral dresses while shopping. Not only women, this trend is fast catching up with the males who like to look their best. If you want to dress up for a beach party, a printed dress in an orange color is the best bet. Just throw up a jacket and accessorize your outfit to look stunning. You can also choose to go in with a statement ring or a necklace to stand out from the crowd.

Sarees All the Way

The trend of the orange color is fast picking up with the sari lovers. Which women in the world cannot fall for the six yard cloth? Now there is no need to wait for a special occasion to drape yourself in that beautiful sari. Indulge in sari shopping and pick it up in a yummy orange color. Go in with gold jewelry to complete your look and sport heels, your favorite clutch and gorgeous statement ring to collect all the praise.

We all agree that the color orange is outstanding. Why not fall in love with this color this season? It’s warm, bright and wonderful. So shop now and get your hands on your favorite dress in that bright and beautiful orange.