What does a green hedonist think about?

| January 29, 2012 | 0 Comments

I know I’m a freak. Just ask the guy in the produce section at Safeway. He was watching me shop for apples and you could almost read his mind: Wow, check out OCD Girl over there.  Must be off her meds today.

I’d pick one up, read it, put it down (yes, you can read apples these days; sad, isn’t it?)  Go to the next variety, pick one up, read it, put it down.  Repeat.  Repeat. The store has like 14 varieties of apples, and I think I was on number 12 when I finally found one I could handle:  Honey Crisp.  Organic.  Grown in the U.S.A.

If Mr. Male Pattern Baldness had bothered to ask, he would’ve learned that OCD Girl was actually just looking for apples that:

A) have some kind of, I don’t know, flavor to them, no Red Delicious need apply
B) aren’t dosed with carbaryl, thiabendazole, diazinon, or any of the dozens of other chemicals used in apple growing in the U.S.
C) didn’t have to belch two thousand miles’ worth of carbon monoxide to get to me

Apples are the most pesticide-contaminated fruit in America, topping the 2011 “Dirty Dozen” list. The Environmental Working Group found that 92% of the conventional apples sold in this country test positive for at least two pesticides. But country-wide, apple growers use more than 42 kinds of chemicals, including:

  • 7 Known or probably carcinogens
  • 19 Suspected hormone disruptors
  • 10 Neurotoxins
  • 6 Developmental or reproductive toxins
  • 17 Honeybee toxins

I know — when you’re a hedonist you’re not supposed to think about these things.  You just keep eating, keep drinking, keep buying, don’t think, just do it.  But I’m serious:  do I really need my daily dose of thiabendazole (suspected carcinogen and reproductive toxin)?  My family’s genetic background is littered with cancer as it is; I don’t need anything that’s going to move me any closer to that club.  Apple growers, naturally, claim that their pesticide use are “well within EPA approved safety levels.” If you want to bet your life on that, please feel free.

But I’m toting my Honey Crisps home, ’cause tonight HH (Hedonist Husband) and I have a craving for:

Sauteed Praline Apples

  • 2 T butter
  • 6 apples of your choice, peeled, cored, cut into chunks
  • 1/4 c water
  • 1/3 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 t ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/4 c Bulleit bourbon or rye (or brandy…or cooks’ choice)
  • 1/4 c pecans, toasted then chopped

Heat butter over high in a large skillet until the foam subsides. Add the apples. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in water, brown sugar, and cinnamon if you’re using it. Turn the heat down to low and cook, covered but stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. The syrup will thicken and the pan will become almost dry. Stir in the bourbon and cook down for 1-2 minutes.  Turn off heat and stir in pecans. Serve warm over cinnamon or good vanilla ice cream. By the way, have you tried this stuff?  Seriously, so good it makes you cry.


Category: Cooking, Food, Organic, Sustainable

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