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Do you seek out Organic on a label or prefer Organic when buying fruit and veg? Organic is a fashionable word right now. Strictly speaking anything that grows in the ground or can rot and return to the ground is Organic Material. The way we use it, it means “(of food or farming methods) produced or involving production without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other artificial chemicals.”

Q: Is there really a difference between organically grown veg and regular grown veg?

A: There are many difference between organic veg and regular veg, but the biggest impact if from the use of pesticides. Besides the fact that these are toxic, they do some interesting things to the veggies as they grow. I’ll use grapes as an example – when grapes are grown organically they are prone to a specific type of mould. Left alone, the grape develops its own internal fungicide to make it resilient to the mould; when we eat those grapes we ingest that powerful salvestrol that then helps our body resist many types of fungi, parasites and moulds. Grapes that are sprayed with pesticides have no need to develop this remarkable capacity, and so when we eat them they don’t have this profound benefit. In fact they are probably more toxic than beneficial because of their thin skin absorbing all the toxic spray, the same as tomato, the 2nd most sprayed food after apples.

Also A: Fruit and veggies that are grown in soil that is enriched with compost, moopoo or other natural fertilizers also have 1 up on veg growing in depleted soil fortified with chemical fertilizers. The beautiful beneficial minerals that we need to be healthy and thrive originate in the soil; humans are not designed to eat the soil though; we are designed to eat the plants that have converted the nutrients in the soil to be digestible and usable, together with 2 components of soil, humic and fulvic acid. Without these 2 elements, whatever small nutrients might exist in the plant remain inaccessible to our biology. We are all so very deficient in minerals! Our organs simply function less well without them. Diabetics are usually deficient in magnesium, zinc and chromium. Low thyroid sufferers miss iodine, selenium copper, iron & zinc. Cramp sufferers miss magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron and sodium… And these are just the macro minerals – there are 77 macro and trace minerals that are available to us, all of which require fulvic and/or humic acid to absorb.

Q: Why do you pay a premium for organic veg?

A: organic veg is usually small-scale farming compared to mass market farming. Scalability takes time, and generally we as a community fail to support the small farmer for any length of time, choosing the convenience of the supermarket over the benefit of the organic produce, and we do so to our detriment. We also want what we want when we want it, not knowing or caring which veg and fruit grows in which season. This leads to superstores importing food from all over the world to appease our appetites. Eggs are a great example of this. Chickens lay at sunrise and sunset, and more in summer than in winter. Our insatiable need results in farmers keeping the chickens in temperature controlled environments, adjusting the light 3 or 4 times in 24 hours to encourage laying. Free-range farmers allow the chickens to run around outside, peck the ground, lay naturally, daily, and more in summer as nature dictates. I prefer knowing that I bought eggs from a contented chicken; I didn’t contribute to a creature’s misery to fill my tummy, and if there are no eggs then I’ll just eat oats)

Q: Why should we choose local over imported fruit and veg?

A: Fruit and veg ripen according to the season. As part of nature, the ripening process serves a purpose; as the seed ripens, the fruit changes characteristics from hard, pale green and bitter to soft, sweet and brightly coloured to attract birds and insects, and humans, who will eat the fruit and disperse the seeds. Imported fruit is picked green, sprayed to retard ripening, irradiated for insects and then sprayed again to artificially ripen at our convenience. At this point the fruit is devoid of any nutrients – no vitamins, bioflavonoids, glyconutrients or phytonutrients. For example, varicose & spider veins, haemorrhoids, thin nails and hair and poor circulation and can be attributed to food that has no valuable available nutrients (‘dead’ food may not be the only cause, but it’s certainly a contributing factor).

Take-away message: Eat local, organic, and seasonal wherever possible!