Thursday, July 24, 2008

Michigan Blueberries!

Blueberries are in-season! Last weekend, we picked up a quart of blueberries ($6 per quart) from Sue Threadgould (Threadgould Gardens). The Threadgould's don't grow their own blueberries but sell blueberries that they buy from another farmer. Since Sue wasn't sure how they were grown, I contacted the farmer myself. The farmer (I didn't get his name) was a very nice man who told me in detail how he grows blueberries, what he sprays and when. Bravo and Indar (fungicides) are sprayed before the fruit develops and two other chemicals, which I didn't quite catch, are sprayed when the blueberry is still in its green fruit stage. Geoff and I ate the Threadgould's blueberries but gave Caroline berries from the pint of local and organically grown ones that I picked up at the food co-op last weekend. I did a bit more research on blueberries and according to the Environmental Working Group, blueberries tend to have low pesticide residues making them a good choice when buying fruit grown with chemical sprays. They even made it onto their list of cleanest 12 foods, or foods that are lowest in pesticide residues. Organically grown blueberries are hard to find and I have to admit that when I can't get my hands on local and organically grown blueberries, I feel comfortable (though still a bit conflicted) about giving Caroline blueberries that have been grown by a smaller scale (versus industrial scale) Michigan farmer. We ran out of the local and organically grown blueberries earlier this week so today, I sent a small handful of the Threadgould's blueberries with Caroline to eat for her afternoon snack. Even though they weren't organically grown, to me, they beat the red bell peppers --which rank right at the top of the dirty dozen list -- that were on the menu today.

Caroline's Lunchbox Menu, July 24: Breakfast - oatmeal, prunes; Lunch - salmon salad, 100% whole grain bread, cucumbers (Wildflower Eco Farm), carrots (Green Eagle Farm), Celebrity tomatoes (Wildflower Eco Farm); Snacks - blueberries (Threadgould Gardens), yogurt muffin

Childcare Center Menu, July 24: Breakfast - cream of wheat with raisins and bananas; Lunch - fish sandwiches, cucumbers, apples; Snacks - brownies and red peppers

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