“Step away from the bananas!”
True story. A few weeks back I was shopping at Shaw’s Supermarket in Fairhaven. I started out as I always do in the organic produce section near the main entrance. Immediately, I noticed a woman carefully examining some organic bananas. Eager to assist I said, “you don’t need to buy organic bananas. When buying organic fruits and vegetables there is a simple rule; buy organic thin skinned fruits and vegetables and if they have thick skin save your money and buy non-organic. For example, the thick skin of a banana soaks up the pesticides and that is discarded when you eat the fruit inside the banana.” Sheepishly, she said “okay”, put the bananas down and walked away. I’m pretty sure that she circled back and purchased the bananas anyway after I left the organic aisle.
What is Organic?
In my view, Americans are simply not educated on the food we eat. Our school system teaches us a pyramid, but really makes little effort in social engineering our society to make good decisions regarding organic and non-organic foods. What is organic? Dictionary.com defines organic as, “noting or pertaining to a class of chemical compounds that formerly comprised only those existing in or derived from plants or animals, but that now includes all other compounds of carbon.” What is my definition? Anything that is grown naturally without being exposed to man-made chemicals such as pesticides. I say “exposed” because while some farmers make the effort to grow their crops without the use of chemicals, their produce can still gets exposed to pesticides from neighboring farms.
Why eat Organic?
It is common knowledge that the rate of cancer is significantly higher now than it was just 50 years ago. University of Manchester scientists conclude that: “The absence of cancerous malignancies in ancient human remains suggests that cancer is mainly a man-made disease.” Simply put, most experts agree that cancer is directly attributed to our lifestyle (90-95%). Our diet, stress levels and other life factors directly contribute to the formation and growth of cancer cells in our body. While there are hereditary roots to cancer (5-10%), there is little we can do about that. What we can do is remove the toxins from our diet that directly contribute to cancer forming in our bodies.
Cancer occurs when a normal cell mutates into a cancer cell. Our cells mutate into cancer based on the carcinogens (i.e. tobacco, pesticides) that we introduce into our bodies. We further promote the growth of cancer by drinking alcohol, eating lots of sugar and living a stressful life. By eating organic you can eliminate one of the root carcinogens and causes of cancer; man-made pesticides.
Simple Rules to Buying and Eating Organic Foods
- Back to my simple rule: thin skin must be organic, thick skin can be non-organic. Watermelon? Non-organic. Grapes? Organic. Don’t be fooled into thinking you can wash pesticides off grapes, tomatoes and other thin-skinned produce. The pesticides soak into the skin!
- You should still wash organic foods. While some farmers make every effort to grow their foods chemical free, their farm could still be located near a farmer that doesn’t. Chances are they share a water supply that can get contaminated from other sources.
- Buy local by visiting your local Farmers’ Markets. Develop a relationship with the farmers that make the effort to produce organic produce.
You’ve been armed with the knowledge to beat away and harass anyone trying to purchase organic bananas, watermelons and other thick-skinned produce at your local grocery store. Go out and spread the word and live the good, ORGANIC life.