Tuesday’s recipe for Moist & Savory Stuffing calls for celery—a crop that’s heavily sprayed with pesticides. Buying organic celery protects you against exposure to organophosphates like malathion.
Celery is a member of the umbellifer family, which includes carrots, parsley and fennel, according to Dianne Onstad, author of Whole Foods Companion. These vegetables “get their characteristic flavor from the volatile oils found in the stems, leaves and seeds,” she writes.
Most of us buy traditional green-ribbed celery, which has large green leaves, but you may find golden celery at your local natural and organic food store. The latter, according to Onstad, is often grown in the dark, which changes the conventional color to white or golden. Chinese celery is also available at some markets.
When purchasing celery, look for crisp stalks with a uniform length, Onstad advises. If you are making soup or stuffing, you can chop the leaves and add them to the mix. Don’t go overboard, however, as too much of a good thing can overpower other flavors and impart an unwanted bitterness.