Goats, rabbits, chickens (pages)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Beware of Pretty As A Picture Produce

I see perfect produce all the time...large perfectly round perfectly colored cantaloupes, unblemished perfect same-sized tomatoes, corn laid out in neat little rows exposing blonde silks and little yellow rows of kernels so perfect it looks like they've been to an orthodontist. Don't get me wrong, I love it when my garden produces picture perfect veggies. But, for every perfect tomato there are 6 with a little spot, varied color permutations or unique shapes. They look REAL.

Our society is so visual--we want everything we see to look manufactured to perfection. And, chances are, if your veggies look perfect, that's just what they are: manufactured produce. Unfortunately our agricultural commerce is GMO'd and gene-spliced until little is left of Grandma's produce. Give me a tomato with a spot on it--to me it's proof of NO CHEMICAL POISONOUS SPRAYS OR POWDERS. Show me a tomato that has funny little dips and ridges and I'll know it has not been bio-engineered to be just like its million other sisters.

I am an advocate of heirloom seed/plants. I have several varieties in my garden. I love the taste, the irregular look, the smell. They remind me of the garden I had as a kid. Favoring traditional produce is not just nostalgic; it's healthier. I found this great "infograph" that illustrates the loss of nutrition in today's produce.
Check out this link. I love this nifty graphic interactive chart!

Compare 1999 nutritive values to 1955: Corn has 78% less calcium, 26% less phosphorus, 50% less riboflavin and 43% less vitamin C. The chart shows several vegetables that have declined in these nutrients. It's a little scary and just brings home the fact that we must take charge of our health, take charge of our food, take charge of our lives.

Thank goodness we still have choices. Shop your farmers markets for heirloom vegetables (never be afraid to ASK farmers about their produce. Just because they are at a market doesn't mean they grew them!). Grow your own. Join CSAs. Make friends with a farmer! Ask questions. Eat nutritious food. Life is Good. :) e
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