Everybody is more health conscious these days, and more aware of living in harmony with our environment. Earth Day, April 22, is one manifestation of that attitude. Another example of this concern is the trend toward eating organic – food that has not been treated with any type of chemical, which many contend are not good for our environment.
So, in recognition of Earth Day, Mattito’s is going to give a few tips on how to find the best organic foods for your Tex Mex dishes.
If you shop at your local supermarket, finding organic food is as easy as going to the organic section of the market and looking for food that is specifically labeled as organic. If, however, you are trying for something that is fresher and more local, you will probably be going to your friendly neighborhood farmer’s market, and the challenge to eat organic may be a little more difficult.
- Certified organic.
Under federal guidelines, people who sell something as organic have to be certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and they have to keep records of how they grow their food. So if someone is claiming that their food is organic, there is an easy way to find out – ask to see their certification.
- Not certified.
You may, however, come across someone selling his or her produce as organic but without certification. Or it may be the case that the person raises and sells his produce as more of a hobby, earning less than $5,000 a year doing it, in which case he is not required to get certification.
In situations like these, you need to question the grower about his practices to determine if the food is indeed organic.
The first thing to ask is why they are not certified, which should in itself raise a red flag. Then you should ask how the food was grown and how the grower controls weeds and pests. He may claim that he uses a “no spray” technique, but this can be misleading. No spray is generally assumed to mean that no chemical pesticides were used. But the fact is that organic farmers also spray their crops using organic products, using things like seaweed or plant-based sprays or other organic pesticides.
Other growers may misleadingly advertise no spray because they do actually spray chemical pesticides – it’s just that they do it before they plant their crops, so they don’t spray the produce directly. Again, it is important to ask questions.
Tex Mex food is full of fresh vegetables and meats. Visit a Mattito’s location nearest you soon to enjoy a healthy and delicious meal.
Image by Elina Mark – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0.