Certain produce, termed the "Dirty Dozen" by the Environmental Working Group, is so highly sprayed with toxic chemicals that, many experts recommend eating them only when they’re organic. These include:
Grapes, imported (Chile)
The U.S. Department of Agriculture found that even after washing, some fruits and vegetables consistently carry much higher levels of pesticide residue than others. The produce you can get away with purchasing as non-organic includes:
Bananas (though I do recommend purchasing "Fair Trade" bananas)
Right now we're struggling in the US with the tomato salmonella scare, and I saw a news story on MSNBC suggesting buying local and organic, especially until the source of this scourge is known and understood.
UPDATE: Today the weather was ominous with rain and thunderstorms so we visited a nearby antique mall to scout out a cake stand. We only found a few with domes, and only one in clear glass that wasn't a stellar enough example of the type worth shelling out good money for. This brings me to the ecological value of recycling things found in antique malls, thrift stores and fleamarkets or at garage, yard or stoop sales rather than heading to the stores for a brand new item that usually has a lot less character and quality. Not to mention that most new housewares are made somewhere far away with questionable safety and labor practices.
Martha Stewart Living has a great story on collecting glass cake stands ("Over the Top: Food domes uncover the history of dining through the centuries") in the July 2008 issue.
After baking an organic chocolate cake for our family birthday gathering this weekend, I decided we need just such an item. Having a mission when antiquing makes it all much more fun. Maybe next week...