Organic Eating And Growing With Italian & Mexican Chiles

thThe other day I overheard two shoppers at Whole Foods having a friendly disagreement about the value of conventional vs. organic eating and growing. I learned that food grown organically has a certified organic label. Who knew? The label guarantees the food to be free of synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, antibiotics and GMOs. So much to know but as the saying goes “caveat emptor,” or “buyer beware.”

Other questions concern why organic costs so much more than conventional foods even though sales are growing by about 20 percent a year, according to the Nutrition Business Journal. Still this isn’t enough.

Cornucopia Institute has conducted international meta analyses of the quality and safety of food. They have found 50 percent less cadmium and 20 to 40 percent higher levels of antioxidant polyphenols. But they are uncertain about whether these findings improve public health.

CR indicates that studies of farmworkers who are regularly exposed to pesticides have an increased risk of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, prostate, ovarian and other cancers, depression and respiratory problems.

Roasted Organic Italian and Mexican Chile Peppers

Serves 4-6

Chile peppers (2 organic Italian red, 2 organic yellow and 2 Mexican organic poblano chiles)
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Juice of ½ lemon
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp chives, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 425°F.

2. Roast chiles in oven for 20 minutes; turn over and make sure chiles don’t burn. Roast for another 15 to 20 minutes. Steam in plastic bag or in bowl covered with towel or plastic wrap.

3. Remove chiles from bag or bowl; remove stems, seeds, and peel skin off the flesh. It’s OK if some charred skin remains on the chiles.

4. Cut each of the chiles into strips; place on serving platter next to one another.

5. Season with olive oil, vinegars, lemon juice, sea salt and pepper. Consider as appetizer or with pasta.

Chef Allan Zox


Check out Zox’s Kitchen on for more recipes. Visit for details about past columns.Zox_A-400x300-1 July 2016




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