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Organic Fruits & Vegetables

Organically-grown produce is increasingly popular, but what is it exactly, and how does it differ from regular produce? Giant Eagle® has the facts about the organic growing process and how it impacts the harvest and the environment.

  1. Q. How are organic crops grown?
    A.

    Organic fruits and vegetables are grown without potentially harmful toxic chemical pesticides, herbicides, fumigants or synthetic fertilizers. The produce is never genetically engineered or modified, and it is never irradiated. Organic growing practices protect the ecosystem, the health of those who work the land and the long-term well-being of customers who eat the crops. This type of farming conserves natural resources by recycling natural materials.

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  2. Q. What is the difference between "organic" and "transitional"?
    A.

    Any certified organic plant product must come from fields that have remained free of chemical fertilizers and pesticides for at least three years and must follow regulations outlined above. Foods grown on lands not yet meeting organic standards may receive a "transitional" label if they follow the strict requirements for conversion.

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  3. Q. How should I wash organic produce?
    A.

    Although organic produce is grown without chemicals, pesticide residue can drift from conventional farms as well as contaminated soil. Fortunately, properly washing produce can help eliminate most pesticide residue. Follow these tips when cleaning produce:

    • Use a biodegradable, nontoxic produce wash containing ingredients derived from natural sources, such as baking soda and citric acid
    • Make your own wash with equal proportions vinegar and water, or put 1 tablespoon (14.5mL) lemon juice, 2 tablespoons (29mL) baking soda, and 1 cup (236mL) water in a spray bottle.
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  4. Q. Why does organic food cost more?
    A.

    Organic agriculture is not subsidized to the same extent as conventional agriculture, and organic practices such as hand weeding are often labor-intensive and therefore more expensive. Because organic farms are generally small, they cannot take advantage of economies of scale. Organic agriculture utilizes conservation practices that protect soil, water and air; while they do cost more, those who employ and support these practices view the extra cost as an investment in the future.

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  5. Q. What organic options are available at Giant Eagle?
    A.

    You can find a wide variety of organic fruits and vegetables from local farmers in the produce aisle at your local Giant Eagle. Our commitment to high-quality, regional food is reinforced by the introduction of our own brand of natural and organic produce—Giant Eagle Nature's Basket®—fresh from the farm to your table.

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  6. Q. What if organic produce is unavailable?
    A.

    For those who are trying to avoid exposure to chemical residue, you can drastically lower your pesticide exposure by eating the conventionally produced fruits and vegetables that tend to have the least contamination: asparagus, avocados, bananas, broccoli, cauliflower, corn, kiwi, mangos, onions, papaya, pineapples and peas.

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