Monday, April 14, 2008

Earth Month and the Markets

April 22 is the 38th annual Earth Day, but lots of organizations have declared April "Earth Month" and are finding ways to draw attention to more sustainable living and eating.

At Henry's Farmers Markets, you can save money on over 100 organic products on sale from Wednesday, April 16 to Wednesday, April 30.

Janet Little, Henry's nutritionist, is going to offer a couple of seminars on "Raising Your Organic IQ." This is hugely helpful for those of us who want to go organic but can't afford to do it completely. Janet will provide information on the items grown with the least amount of harmful chemicals and tips for buying healthy alternatives.

I recently did a story on this for a newsletter I write and learned that prioritizing can be done without feeling like your head is going to explode. For instance, berries tend to be very high in pesticides, so this is where you can get a lot of value in buying organic. On the other hand, if you're weighing the difference between buying a conventional or organic avocado, the thick skin and the fact that avocados may not require as many pesticides to produce means there may not be as great a health value in buying organic.

An issue for parents, according to
Urvashi Rangan, project director of Consumer Reports’ Greenerchoices.org and an environmental health scientist, is that studies have shown that incorporating organic food in your children's diet can make a difference in lowering the amount of pesticide residue in the body. Pesticides are neurotoxins and when they build up, even at low levels, it can affect a child's developing brain and neurosystem.

Janet Little's seminars will be held on April 16 at 11 a.m. at the Henry's in Oceanside and the next day, also at 11 a.m., in the Carlsbad store. If you can't get enough info or can't make her talks, check out her blog.

OB People's Organic Food Market, not surprisingly, considers every day Earth Day. But, they do have some special ways of marking Earth Day. Shoppers will get five percent off all purchases from the Bulk Department. You can buy their natural canvas shopping bags at cost. And, you can enter a drawing to win a Schwinn Clear Creek Comfort bicycle. Kids can get into the fun as well. Stop by and pick up a black paper grocery bag and color it with an Earth Day message. Bring it back to the market and get a prize.

Visit the Whole Foods booth at the Earth Fair in Balboa Park on Sunday, April 20. On Monday, April 21, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Hillcrest store will have the Conscious Goods Veggie Bus (yep, it's even powered by veggie oil). This eco show–room offers an interactive experience, telling how small, organic family farms work synergistically with a group of socially conscious vendors. Tuesday will be the La Jolla store's turn -- sometime around 12:30.

Finally -- while this isn't Earth Day specific, it is a farmers market, which to my mind is close enough -- the Carlsbad Village Farmers Market is holding its annual strawberry festival on Wednesday, April 16 from 1 to 5 p.m. and Saturday, April 19 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. We're talking strawberry shortcake with whipped cream, strawberry smoothies, chocolate-covered strawberries, strawberry cheesecake and, of course, sumptuous, juicy naked strawberries. The market is held in Carlsbad Village at 2930 Roosevelt St. in the public parking lot between Carlsbad Village Dr. and Grand Ave.

If anyone has other Earth Month/Day-related market events to report, let me know!


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