Food for Thought
May 1 was the first Saturday for the Clintonville Farmers' market, and despite the rain, the turn out was impressive.
Adults, children, dogs, all crowded the sidewalk of Clintonville Commons to enjoy a wide variety of strikingly colorful produce, deliciously fragrant baked goods, surprisingly tasty vegan burgers, scrumptious raw foods from pesto to cookies, homemade pies and preserves, rustically arranged fresh cut flowers, seedlings, all kinds of meat and meat products, bee products (candles, pollen, honey, wax), dairy, eggs, and the list goes on.
It's delightful to see the growing number of people interested in a more chemical-free lifestyle. Most vendors are certified organic. If they're not certified, they display a "chemical free" sign. Vendors who sell sausages and other meat products will have signs saying that there are no growth hormones, antibiotics, or pesticides in feed that they use.
All vendors provide clearly displayed information and photos of their farm and farming practices. So a trip to the farmers' market takes care of most of the week's groceries and provides an educational opportunity. Hopefully, as more people show an interest in organic foods, living an organic lifestyle will become mainstream.
Consciously making the decision to live organically is important because "pesticide" looks like an innocuous term but break it down and it becomes: herbicide, insecticide, vermicide, rodenticide, fungicide, and suddenly, it doesn't look that harmless anymore.
For strawberries, conventional farmers fumigate the soil with methyl bromide before they start planting, which means that no amount of washing and scrubbing will get rid of the pesticides inside the fruit. I wonder if there is a palpable link between the chemicals we ingest and the commonality of cancers. For years, I was under the mistaken impression that using a veggie wash and peeling fruits and veggies as a means to remove pesticides would suffice. It's a disheartening realization that I've been poisoning myself and my loved ones whenever I cook a meal.
Pesticides are insidious because we can't see it, smell it, or taste it. It's really a case of out of sight, out of mind, which makes acquiring awareness of farm practices especially important.Continued on the next page