I have often observed, especially since I started at New Hope, that as a single dad on a single-dad budget with two picky kids, that I am at my nutritional nadir, the low spot in my healthy eating arc.
But I got a sliver of good news this week, if I squint hard enough. It turns out even buying organic just some of the time is good for you. And it’s a study, peer-reviewed and everything, not something I saw on a placard at Sprouts. I am not absolved of all sins, but I am feeling a little less guilty, even if it’s a stretch.
Sure I sneak Boca Crumbles into the chili mac and we go through three pounds of Clementines every day, but frozen pizza remains in fairly regular rotation in the Polito house. Popsicles outnumber frozen fruit bars by probably 30 to one, and I don’t even want to look at the frozen fruit bar ingredients anyway.
As I have written before, I spend more time reading the labels on what I feed my dog.
Still, I do buy organic, when it’s cheap, or close to cheap, or no more than a 50 cent premium over the conventionally grown baby carrots calling me from across the aisle. I confess. It’s not an everyday thing. At least the milk we drink doesn’t have hormones in it. I think.
So when I saw “Occasionally Buying Organic Produce Significantly Reduces Exposure to Pesticides” headline on MedicalDaily.com yesterday, I managed to shrug off a few reusable shopping bags full of guilt.
I’m not father of the year, but my neighbors aren’t calling the Boulder Nutritoin S.W.A.T. team on me either.
The study, published in the peer-reviewed Environmental Health Perspectives journal, by a team of researchers analyzing data from The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atheroscerosis, found that exposure to organophosphate pesticides as measured by urine were lower in people who “frequently” ate organic produce than people who “rarely or never” did.
So it’s not an all-or-nothing proposition any more. I can do some good without breaking that single-dad budget. I can start with the Envionmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” list and focus my habits there.
I do my best fathering outside the kitchen. Maybe I will try a little harder on my next swing through the produce section.
And be a better dad by the time I get to checkout.