Friday, August 27, 2010

This little piggy went to the market......

Okay, how many times do you suppose you have read that nursery rhyme??? As a child, my sweet mom read it to me, as well as some of my siblings I'm sure...why not? I was the baby of the family so everyone likes to remind me that I was spoiled rotten.....
Then as a mom, I read it to my 2 sweet darlings....and now I have 2 precious granddaughters that I can read it to (okay, maybe via skype some of the time, but I guarantee you, I will be reading it to them!)

But I must say, I never really realized how SMART that piggy was? Why - you ask? Well, I have been going to the market (Ferguson Farmer's Market on Florissant road - AWESOME) on Saturday mornings every possible week I can and I am LOVING IT!

Why, you ask?! Well, besides the fact that it is just plain FUN, you can even pull your red wagon (there on loan for your shopping and to get your purchases out to your car!) and wheel it around to all the vendors and load up on all kinds of FRESH, UNSPRAYED food as well as cute little booths with jewelry and all kinds of stuff...Plus they always have some kind of fun entertainment going on...the 1st week we went they were shearing sheep! Yes, you read that right, that was pretty neat to see! Usually there are some fun musicians playing while you shop and you can even pull up a picnic bench and order an hot, fresh omlette! (Doug usually does this while I wheel around the wagon!) It is just a real "event" and one you shouldn't miss!

So you know I told you I have been reading up on some "green books"...and although I already knew "pesticides" were not good, the more I read, the more I realize that "not good" is seriously not strong enough! Why, you ask? Well, I'm glad to share.....

An interesting comment in 1 of the books talks about someone babysitting at the writer's house and telling her family how all of the food in the house is organic and "so weird"....well I can remember when the term "organic" kind of made me tilt my head and scrunch up my eyes and nose and wonder - hmmmmmmmmmmmm - what is that all about!? That has been many years ago, but now just wish I would have paid more attention a long time ago.....

Is it more expensive? Yes, sometimes it is, but if you go to the farmer's market, it is quite reasonable and that runs from May-Oct! Just remember to ASK and even if it doesn't say "organic" still ask if or what they "spray"...many small farms can't afford "organic certification" but they do not use the chemical pesticides on their crops.....and I have found that some of my "local farms" DO spray with pesticides - VERY DISAPPOINTING!

I think Chapter 1 in Supernatural Home summed it up perfectly....."imagine picking a fruit or vegetable from your garden, spraying it with bug spray , and then eating it! That's exactly what we do each day with store-bought non-organic produce even if we wash it."YIKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That should make all of us a bit queasy!

"Organic" means grown without pesticides, synthetic nitrogen fertilizers, fungicides or herbicides! OMG, you mean ALL that stuff can be on my "non organic" fruit and vegetables! That answer, I'm afraid is a big fat YES! Organic foods are minimally processed with no artificial ingredients, preservatives or irradiation. Unfortunately for us, chemicals in pesticides are ODORLESS, TASTELESS and INVISIBLE so the only way you know a food is grown without pesticides is to buy organic.... Sorry, but it gets a little worse...

For example, those red delicious NON ORGANIC strawberries (yes, I have bought them many times also.....) look and taste delicious BUT
-the red color is enhanced by a "fungicide" whatever the HECK that is!
-they are "infused" with methyl bromide, a gas injected by the tractor into the soil (OMG, that just sounds ILLEGAL!)
And that my friends, (fungicides and methyl bromide) do not wash off! How many times have you bought those strawberries, brought them home and ran them under the water before you started cutting and eating them!!! Me too :(

Then we have the fruits/veggies that FLY in from other countries (so besides the fact that in some countries ANYTHING goes in terms of pesticides), we have now wasted all that energy getting the dang fruits/veggies here! And the pesticides got a free ride into the USA too!

And PESTICIDES - REALLY!?! When I think about this, I'm embarrassed to think that it has taken me so long on this.....seriously, I'm OKAY with someone spraying CRAP on my food, this CRAP they are spraying is KILLING bugs, but I'm okay with that!? OMG, when you think about that it is quite unsettling....

When I had breast cancer in 1999/2000, I went to the LIvingston Clinic in San Diego to beef up my immune system between my surgery and before my radiation started (another scary decision I made!) There among other things, the diet was very clean and we were told to try to buy organic whenever possible, but if not possible, take all of your fruits and vegetables and put them in a sink full of water (now suggesting filtered water - if you don't have a BRITA pitcher, get one, it is better than nothing and affordable!) adding 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar (I buy Braggs organic - not expensive) - let the fruit/veggies sit for 5 minutes or so, then rinse with cold water. Obviously for some fruits (i.e. strawberries ) don't do this until you are ready to eat them. But for others, you can do it as soon as you get them home and just let them dry well before putting them in the fridge. You will be surprised how apples become "not so shiny" once they are in the vinegar water and rinsed off. But that is a good thing - as apples can have up to 50 (YES 50) kinds of pesticides sprayed on them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I could go on and on....I know organic can be more expensive, so another good thing to consider is to buy the energy of shipping our food all across the country! But eat organic and local when possible -

The books I have been reading list the 12 fruits and veggies that you should buy organic. The list is based on studies by the Consumers Union and Environmental Working Group who have done analysis on the amounts and level of toxicity of the pesticide residues found in conventionally grown food samples by the USDA and the FDA....The reality is that in a "single dose", the "safety limits" (I.e. how much pesticide can you eat BEFORE your belly hurts?!?!?! or who knows what else happens!!) weren't "exceeded" however, most contain MULTIPLE PESTICIDE RESIDUES!!! i.e. 30 different pesticides on strawberries, 50 on apples...need I go on?

So the 12 fruits/veggies to definitely buy organic are:
-sweet bell peppers
-green beans

Wow, do you know HOW many many spinach salads with strawberries and raspberries I eat!!! YIKES! And we think we are eating so healthy and we are if we are CLEANING it well or buying organic. Trader Joes is another great place to buy things like organic spinach - very affordable there.

I'm sure you want to know the 10 "nonorganic" fruits/veggies with the fewest traces of pesticides too:
-frozen peas
-frozen corn

Another suggestion for cleaning the "conventional" fruit/veggies is something called "veggie wash" but it can be a bit pricey. And don't forget - you still need to wash the organic stuff too!

For those "eye rollers" out there, a few more interesting "organic facts to leave you with....

-If the entire planet did "organic farming", it would equate to taking 1.5 BILLION cars off the road!
-You can increase your antioxidant intake by 30 PERCENT by choosing organic - WOW!!!!!!!!
(Remember the antioxidants power off the "free radicals" that try to mess with your cells and when cells are compromised, things like cancer, disease, set in....Ok, I'm not a scientist, or biologist or doctor, but that is "my version" can get a medical book for the fancy version!)
-The average child in America is exposed to 5 pesticides DAILY in food and drinking water!!!
FEED YOUR BABIES REAL FOOD, not all this FAKE stuff in boxes and in dairy/frozen cases that are giving us "false hope" on what it really is!!! Read the ingredients...if it has more than 5 and if you can't pronounce them, do you REALLY want your children eating them! i.e. Goldfish are cute, but come on, what exactly are we expecting out of them!?

Lastly, I'm not suggesting that you forego all the good CRAP that we are all addicted to and have come to know and love, what I am suggesting is that you LOOK at what you are eating, make a conscious effort to eat some REAL food and CLEAN it somehow before you eat it! We can't or shouldn't change everything at once, but we can make those little changes along the way that will help not only our health, but also the health of our poor little planet! So come on peeps, head to the Market and have fun!

Until next time, what are your plans for your next meal!?!?

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