Art of Living DIY

DIY: Eating organically in the winter

By Lindsay Citraro, CG Lifestyles & People

While it is simple to find organic foods in warmer months because of the weather and high soil quality, it can be more challenging in the winter months. There is not as much greenery and it is hard to nourish fruits and vegetables in such harsh climates. Buying healthy and organically, however, is not impossible, even if the weather is keeping you indoors. Here are some easy tips to follow until March, or whenever Ohio decides it’s time for spring.

  1. During the winter months most green vegetables, with the exception of leafy greens, are not in season.  They are also treated with pesticides to keep their look “fresh.” Some organic winter vegetables are potatoes, sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, celery, all types of lettuce, zucchini, cucumber and bell peppers.
  2. Certain citrus and tropical fruits are at their juiciest flavor during the winter months, and they can also be purchased non-organically because their thick skin repels any residue. These include: oranges, grapefruit, lemons, tangerines, kiwis, bananas, coconut, mango, pineapple and avocados. You can also buy leafy greens such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbage, onion and garlic non-organically.
  3. On the flip side, it is a good idea to stay away from fruits that are out of season, like strawberries and raspberries. These will most likely be treated heavily with pesticides and will be more expensive. If you do want to eat fruits that are out of season, buy canned fruit. Farmers will use fewer pesticides and go through a more in-depth process to wash and care for the fruit being packaged.
  4. To make your organic foods last longer, storage is very important. Store organic leafy greens by trimming them and keeping a damp towel on top. Potatoes, garlic and onions should be stored in a paper – not plastic – bag and out of a light source so they don’t start to sprout.
Have suggestions on what organic foods to choose in the winter? Share them in a comment!

2 Comments

  1. If I only have access to baker food court, the dining halls and the markets what are my organic options??

  2. Thanks for responding! The dining halls are going to have limited access to organic food but it certainly does exist. Each dining hall and Baker food court offer the salad bar which is an excellent choice during the winter months because leafy greens are in season. I would also suggest looking at the fruits they offer each day. Dining halls, along with the Baker food court, often carry fruits that are in season like bananas and oranges. These have the hard exterior peel that helps repel pesticides. Our Culinary Services also tries to purchase as many products and produce locally as possible. Here’s a link to a video which explains the process of bringing local food to students at Ohio University: http://www.ohio.edu/food/about/local.cfm.

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