Israel produces about 95% of its own food requirements, is a major exporter of fresh produce, and leads the world in agricultural technology. Yet, only 1.5% of all produce is organic, accounting for only 13% of its exports. (See Agriculture in Israel.) While I hate to say anything bad about Israeli produce since so much of it is so wonderful, the small percentage of organic crops grown here means that all the rest of the crops produced in Israel are grown with the use of potentially toxic pesticides.
What are conscientious individuals to do? How do we protect our health and the health of our families? Organic vegetables are more expensive than regular produce and we sometimes are not sure how to justify the extra cost for what may or may not be a real benefit.
Ester Silber-Schachter from Frugal and Kosher points to the Israeli Union for Environmental Defense which has put out a list citing the degree of pesticides in a selection of Israeli-grown produce. She has translated their listing from the original Hebrew to English. Click here to visit her site and view the “dirty fifteen” and “clean ten” list for Israeli-grown produce.
This list will serve to make us more informed consumers. When purchasing produce, we will now have a better idea on which products we are better off spending the extra shekels to buy organic.
I have begun putting together a list of natural products in Israel, including sources of organic produce. Please join my yahoo group Nourishing Israel and check out and/or add to the two databases: Natural Products and Natural/Alternative Practitioners.
To Your Health!