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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.