There’s nothing better than getting home from the grocery store and devouring an entire basket of those huge juicy berries. They taste so good and they’re humongous! They must’ve used magic or something, none of the local stuff grows like that! Guess what, it’s not magic, it’s not luck, it’s not climate, those were grown with additives and sprays to optimize their size and color. So really, there is something better than devouring “those” berries; get out to a local market and pick up some locally grown fruit and produce. I’ll give you a few good reasons why.
Bio magnification – You may remember this word from high school, but in case you don’t I’ll try and keep it pretty simple. If you put something on a plant (steroids, pesticides, hormones, etc.), each plant will have a small amount of that stuff in it. As you move up the food chain however, the amount of that substance gets more and more concentrated. In our case, it’s skipping from the bottom of the chain to the top (us). The plant only has a little bit of the substance, but we eat a vast number of plants. Just in one sitting I could eat a basket of berries, how much do I eat in my lifetime? If there’s something foul on those berries, I’ll slowly build levels in my bloodstream over my entire life. Each level it moves up the food chain (added appetite) the amount multiplies.
What do they spray things with? According to the environmental working group many fruits and vegetables are sprayed with pesticides and insecticides. These are made specifically to kill living organisms, to think they’ll have no effect on our own bodies seems very naive to me. If you’re interested in what is and isn’t sprayed, you can see their Dirty Dozen and Clean 15.
On top of pesticides, commercial growers use various sprays to increase production – both size and speed. One thing that’s been approved for this is MSG. So although MSG is being eliminated from restaurants, it may still be used to ripen fruit. MSG is linked to a number of diseases and disorders and is definitely something that should be avoided if the option is there.
One solution is to buy organic, whether local or from the supermarket. However, I’m usually asked – “is organic worth it?” – due to its increased cost at the till. For those asking, two things I suggest:
1) The goods on the dirty dozen are the highest priority if you can only pick a few.
2) Wash all fruits and vegetables you buy; Not just for pesticides, but dirt, bacteria and even feces from birds and animals can make their way onto your food.
The best thing you can do is wash everything as soon as you get home from the store; this can also be a good time to chop some up for later meals.
At the end of the day, what you put into your body is important, just like the quality of gas you put in your car. The difference is, you can’t go back to the dealership after you drive your body into the ground. Focus on healthy foods, avoid chemicals, pesticides, genetically altered and highly processed foods. Focusing on cleaning up your diet will make you feel better and get better output from your body.
It’s About Getting Better!