To Buy or Not to Buy Organic is several books — or, rather, quickie refresher courses — in one. Burke swiftly covers the history of our industrial food system, explains how agricultural chemicals affect the human body, outlines the rise of both modern environmentalism and contemporary organic farming, and recaps how organic food became both regulated and corporatized.
Half of To Buy or Not to Buy is filled, like any good shopper’s wallet, with lists. Here’s a selection:
1. The infamous Dirty Dozen, or the 12 foods that “should always be purchased from certified organic growers or sustainable growers that you know do not use pesticides.”
2. The Clean Fifteen, or 15 fruits and vegetables that, even when conventionally grown, seldom have pesticide residue.>
3. A whirlwind tour through the meat, dairy, fish, and bulk sections of the grocery store.
4. A pros-and-cons rundown of all the venues that sell fresh food, from grocery stores and farmers’ markets to delivery services and big-box discounters.
5. Ten tips for eating well on a budget.
6. An alphabetized list of foods, from almonds to zucchini, with recommendations on whether you should buy each item organically, not organically, and/or locally.
"While most people will purchase this book for its list of the "Dirty Dozen," the list of which foods never to buy non-organic, I honestly found the rest of the book more informative. Whereas many books on Organic foods simply tell you to always buy organic from your local farmer and bar no further discussion on the subject, this book is different in that it actually provides examples of why to do so, how we came to where we are today, as well as practical ways to start integrating organics into your life. " --Online review.