So at a farmer's market you should just ask questions about the produce-"Do you use pesticides/herbicides on your crops?" But never ask if it's organic. Because with out $$ and that little label, farmer's cannot claim that they are organic, but they still may technically be free of chemicals. Don't assume though because they are coming straight from the grower though that they are chemical free either.
There are some things though that I don't buy organic because it is really not warranted. You might have heard of the Dirty Dozen list that tell you the top things that you should be buying organic. There is also a Clean 15 list. This list tells which fruits or veggies that pesticides/herbicides don't affect too much or aren't used on that often.
Dirty Dozen are typically the dirtiest because of the thin skins they have and the ability of pesticides/herbicides to penetrate and go right into the produce itself. No amount of washing is going to get it out. Greens on the Dirty Dozen list have a broader surface area so more space for chemicals to lay upon. The Clean Dozen are generally so because they have tough skins that chemicals can't penetrate as well or that chemicals aren't used as much on.
Imagine if you will:
I ask you if you would like an apple or a nice salad. You say, "Sure!"
I take out the apple or lettuce and head over to my sink and proceed to dump weed killer on it.
But don't worry! I then run the produce under the faucet to rinse it off.
I turn around and hand the apple to you or the nice bowl of salad.
You're ok with eating it right??
I learned another shocking fact about our produce recently:
Did you know that apples in the supermarket are typically
14 months old??
I mean, yeah we know that apple harvest is in the fall, yet we have apples available year around in the store. I think I assumed that they just grew in some other part of the country or world other parts of the year and were shipped in.
Here is how 14 month apples-known in the industry as Birthday Apples- end up in our stores (and stomachs) and why you should care:
No wonder a fresh apple from the tree tastes so much better!!!
Just another reason to buy in season and organic. At the health food store I buy most of the items on my grocery list from, you won't find produce that is out of season(except in the frozen section). Why? Because it takes abnormal measures to keep that produce good year around( abnormal meaning chemicals).
'Fresh' produce is often an illusion.
Is any produce better than none? In my opinion no. I would rather my kids go with out then hand them something laden with chemicals that have been connected to a whole slew of diseases and disorders( such as Parkinsons). I always picture myself pouring that weed killer on the fruit/veggie and handing it to my child like I mentioned earlier. Would I do that? Would the nutrition the kids get from that peach out weigh the toxic pesticide they are ingesting?
I say no.
I am not a food snob. My eyes have simply been opened to our world of food and the system of it. I don't think rejecting food that is labeled as toxic in fields qualifies as being a food snob.
I call it surviving and staying alive.
I knew not what I knew not, probably just like you. I thought I was doing great in our food choices. And I was compared to most people out there.
I don't look down on those who don't think twice about what's in that box dinner or on that apple. My contempt is for the industry and how it is allowed to be run. With learning the truth behind what we eat, I feel a bit hoodwinked and kept in the dark. Don't you? It's like ordering a steak only to find out it's dog meat.
The question now though is this: Now that you are armed with this knowledge, what will you do with it?
If you want to know how to correctly, easily and naturally preserve produce so you can still enjoy it year around check out this step by step guide. Maybe next time you won't be tempted to grab that Birthday Apple then! I know I won't be anymore!