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We have all heard about the organic debate, right? There’s a hefty premium on organic produce and the jury is still out on whether or not the non-organic produce grown is dangerous. For me, I like to err on the side of caution and common sense. The industrialization of food in America has brought more food to our tables at a lower cost. Yes, that’s great. But, I believe that the quality of the fruits and vegetables has spiraled downward.
I discovered what real organic farm grown fruits tasted like a few years back while Steph and I were on a road trip. We happened to stop off at a fruit stand in the middle of nowhere California. We parked next to the sign “Fresh Strawberries” and got out to take a look. The strawberries were nowhere near the size that you typically see at the supermarket. They weren’t perfect looking either. Let’s just say that you can’t judge a book by its cover. As I bit into the strawberry, I was blown away by the taste. Wow, I had never in my life tasted a strawberry that flavorful before!
Industrialized farming and genetic modification of foods has to have a downside, right? If you don’t believe this, then you’re kidding yourself. Our American culture appeals to the idea that bigger is better and more is definitely better. In order to yield more edible substance per acre of land, we’ve got to fertilize the soil. Do you think that the perfect amount of fertilizer is used to grow plants? Did you read the part I just wrote 3 sentences back? The excess fertilizer ends up in our water source. So, we’re drinking it. (But, that’s for a different blog post.) How else do you increase the yield of fruits and vegetables? Kill the bugs that are eating our produce. Enter pesticides. Now here’s where the apples come in.
Non-organic apples (I won’t use the word conventional because that exemplifies that it is the normal standard. What industrialized food does to everything around us is abnormally standard) are loaded with pesticides. Why? Because growers are trying to kill 40 different types of insects, diseases, fungi, etc. that attack the bark, leaves, roots, and fruit of the apple tree. There are other reasons for the high amount of pesticides in apples and that relates to the process of growing, harvesting, and storing. But, it’s too much to go into here…and if you’re still reading this, you’ve got a great attention span!
So, what I’m saying is that many of us parents are giving our children apples to eat in different forms. (Don’t forget about apple juice and apple sauce, and apple pie, and candy apples, and…) Apple is a typical food that is introduced during the solid food stage. Many of us introduce it early and use it often. In our house, we are lucky enough to afford to purchase a few organic fruits and veggies (Thanks Steph for working hard!) and make sure that our baby is getting the best nutrition we can manage during his growing years. (When he’s a college kid, I’m sure he’ll eat a boatload of chemically laden manufactured foods…but he will make that decision for himself.)
Don’t believe for a second that everyone else is looking out for your interest. Being an informed consumer is always in you and your family’s best interest! (Is that even a sentence? You know what I mean!)
Just one of the many articles talking about pesticides and produce.
You can see how many pesticides are sprinkled into apples and some of the other foods we eat! Yeah!
You can read about the USDA finding the greatest amount of pesticides in apples, celery, and strawberries.
These are the people that do some of the testing on our environment to make sure it’s safe for us to eat, sleep, and breathe.