Why Organic Foods Are Dying

Creepy worm rears its ugly head.

By Kevin RR Williams

HEALTH Foraging for healthy options among glorified canned vegetables and beef gravy at a Golden Coral buffet, I grazed on salad and carbs. Then with a BBQ-covered chest hovering over a plate of four types of ribs, a dining companion asked, “What do you think [of the restaurant]?” I replied, “They have plenty of meat.” “Are you still a vegetarian?” he quipped. To which I replied that I prefer being vegetarian. Simplifying my rational, he concluded, “It’s for health reasons.”

As a child I was not fond of veggies because they were not prepared properly. Commenting that they were often canned and overcooked elicited an interesting reaction. Continuing, I remarked that as an adult, how much I appreciate fresh vegetables. My dining companion said fresh vegetables were common during childhood since his family had a garden. The bugs, slugs, and caterpillars were appalling so he prefers meat and with a few processed vegetables. Mentioning organic fresh produce conjures images of unappealing produce to many people.

Are Organic Vegetables a More Hype Than Health?

While thoroughly washing store-bought vegetables, I rarely see worms or bugs. Pesticides used in modern agriculture virtually eliminate them. An effort to turn to locally sourced organic produce can seem unpleasant. Without pesticides or genetically modified seeds, vegetables are irregularly shaped, more dirty (than machine processed varieties), and can show evidence of insect nibbling.

In supermarkets, organic produce might have diminutive wilted leaves, decay, and high prices. Why? Most people expect consistently-sized firm tomatoes, long, vibrant green celery stalks, and inexpensive salad greens. So organic vegetables often sit for weeks waging a losing battle of wills.

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Grocery Shopping Options

Offered the choice between neglected organic foods or fresh looking genetically modified produce, I have sometimes reached for the latter. But there is a way to get the best of both worlds. Purchase produce from local farmers’ markets. It can be a great outdoor experience. I am also fortunate enough to live near Sprouts and Trader Joe’s markets. Sprouts generally has a larger selection of better organic produce than Joe’s. Trader Joe’s has great prices on unique packaged foods. Both favor their own brands over common commercial brands. So I generally end up also shopping at Ralphs, Target, or Smart and Final. If there aren't any in your area, you have other options:

Chinese Restaurant Syndrome

MilkandEggs.com can deliver fresh produce to your door from an online shopping cart. Many of the (organic) vegetables are prewashed and cellophane packaged. Other options include subscription meal preparation services like Blue Apron. How do feel about fresh vegetables and from where do you source them?

This 447-word article passes with favorable readability by the Hemingway Editor.

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Tags: dining, fruits, groceries, nutrition, produce, vegan, vegetables