not just for hippies anymore.
Call me a tree-hugger
if you want,
but I like organic foods….
( what’s wrong with hugging
a tree once in a while, anyway? )
I like organic,
not just because
it’s better for you,
or the planet.
If pesticides and herbicides
are kept to a minimum,
and you wash your
most of what was used
in the growing process
is either gone or
Eating most non-organic
is still much better than
eating no produce at all.
And there is governmental
oversight in most countries
to keep the most harmful
adjuncts out of the soil/food.
No— what I really care about,
when I bite a cucumber,
or a tomato, or an apple —–
…………. is whether it TASTES
like a cucumber, a tomato, an apple.
A lot of folks scoff when they see the word
“organic ” in the grocery store.
And I can’t say as
I blame them, sometimes –
– as long as they are not under the delusion
that organic and non organic foods
taste the same.
Ever get to thinking that food today
tastes kinda ‘washed out’ or flat?
If you’re over 35, think back to
what food tasted like
when you were younger–
then, go get yourself
some organic butter
and tell me what
it reminds you of.
But, it is kinda hard to know
just when that word
is just being used to
describe a product
that was grown in
less-than organic conditions-
– until you get it home and taste it.
In the United States,
there is a law called the
“Organic Foods Production Act”
which regulates under what
conditions a food product
may be labelled “organic”-
and this has helped maintain
some meaningfulness in the phrase.
Before the act, it was used
pretty much interchangeably
with adjectives like “healthy” and “delicious”,
and had little bearing on
the type of hormones, chemicals,
and the like that were used in their production.
The argument was that all things
that grow are organic
by their very nature,
no matter how they are grown-
–but the food industry used the term
as if it meant something different.
Today, it does.
But does it really make a difference?
….particularly in food that doesn’t
require a lot of further processing.
Try this experiment.
Go to a store like Trader Joe’s –
that carries both types of produce —
….. and buy two yellow bananas,
each about the same color.
One organic, one “conventionally” grown.
Take one bite of one,
and one bite of the other.
Then tell me you can’t
definitively taste the difference.
You will taste the difference.
Well, lets talk about tomatoes for a minute.
A ‘conventionally grown’ tomato
is exposed to a number of herbicides,
growth hormones, insecticides,
and even genetic modifications,
in order to increase their YIELD ( profit )
— not their FLAVOR.
And chances are good
that nice red non-organic tomato
you picked up at the grocery store
is actually an unripe tomato
— ‘ripened’ using a chemical process
It makes em nice and red,
but doesn’t actually speed
up the ripening process….
…. so what you’re eating is actually
a tomato that looks ripe, but isn’t.
Maybe that’s why that tomato
on your hamburger has so little flavor.
Of course, producing organic produce
is more expensive than
producing ‘conventional’ produce–
these costs are borne by the consumer.
So, you might select ‘conventionally’ produced produce
for recipes in which the vegetable in question
is not a major flavor component,
and use organic for salads, soups, etc.
But- what about meats?
Many people feel that here
you have less differences
in what you taste,
but more in what you’re exposed to–
as far as hormones,
and antibiotics are concerned.
I’m not so sure —
The flavor of organic angus beef
is very much better
than it’s conventional
and the organic butter and eggs
I use is also consistently better, too.
Ever had Kobe beef or free range chicken?
You know exactly what I mean, then.
As far as spices,
I like organic if I can get them.
Bay leaf, oregano,
and parsley are examples
where I can definitely taste the difference.
In cereals, flour, pasta,
coffee and other stuff
that gets more processing,
the differences are minimal,
and perhaps don’t compensate
for the added costs.
Still, there are impacts
related to the environment
and species diversity
that may convince one
that all-organic might be the way to go.
So head on out to your local grocery,
and have some fun experimenting
and taste testing.
Then, be sure
and lemme know
if you can tell the difference !