There are so many fads going round, but one that really is worth paying attention to is choosing organic fruits and vegetables, meat, eggs and dairy. I’m going to focus on fruits and vegetables in this post, but I do believe we need to go beyond organic and choose grass-fed regenerative farms producing meat, eggs and dairy (see earlier posts on this!).
Conventionally farmed produce is sprayed with pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. In other words, lots of chemicals that I do not want to put into my body or feed to my children, and I don’t think you do either. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) reports that over 70% of non-organic produce has pesticide residue that remains even after washing. Number one on their dirty dozen list is strawberries, followed by spinach. You can find the complete dirty dozen list at https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty-dozen.php. Apples, peaches and pears are on the list too. Crew Family Orchards has you covered for all three of those and many other fruits too! 😊 We never use a drop of any type of chemical in our sustainable holistic orchards, and our biodiversity amplifies the flavor of our fruit.
According to the United States Geological Society, about 1 billion pounds of conventional pesticides are used in the United States annually to control weeds, insects and other pests. Commercial farmers use pesticides to achieve higher yields, and the profitability of their farms depends on these chemicals. However, we are paying a very high price environmentally for this increased production. Our soil is being drastically depleted, our waters are being polluted, and the health of individuals living within proximity of farms using these pesticides is put into jeopardy, causing myriad health issues. Wildlife is being killed, as are bees, since the pesticides are killing many pollinators. Not to mention we are left with an overabundance of food picked before ripe (to not rot during transportation) which lack essential nutrients and contain pesticide residue. We need to go organic for both our health and for the health of our planet.
By choosing organic, you are significantly limiting your exposure to these harmful toxins. And if you happen to find a local sustainable holistic farm, you will know without a doubt that you are getting the most nutrient rich produce that is great for your health, but also is healing the soil with biodiversity. And a side note, many local sustainable farms won’t have the “organic” certification; this is merely a cost and time issue. But trust me, many of them are even better than USDA certified organic. Ask your farmer/orchardist, and they’ll tell you how they grow things. Choose sustainably farmed if you can find it – it’s taking organic to another level. Furthermore, choosing organic is a big step in the right direction – choosing sustainably farmed is going even further. By doing either, we are taking back our health one piece of produce at a time and helping our planet, too. So, is the extra cost worth it? Absolutely, yes! Build a little extra into your budget to select better produce.
But guess what? You can also grow your own fruits and vegetables and you will know exactly what was used (or not used) to grow them. If you’re interested in growing your own fruit and nut trees, berry bushes and creating your own permaculture (on whatever size land you have), come check out the new Family Life Community Orchard this spring or summer. This is our next mini-orchard, and all that’s required is a willingness to learn. We’d love to have your help!
Maya Angelou said “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
Until next time.
Love, Dr. Amanda