Monday, February 13, 2012

Bug Bites on Produce

I had the fortunate opportunity to work on an organic vegetable farm two summers ago and learned so much about different types of vegetables, how to grow them and how to harvest them.  It was an experience I will never forget and often cherish.

One of the things I learned is that in the absence of chemicals (synthetic fertilizers and pesticides), bugs are free to roam.

Bugs, while controlled through natural efforts, still got through and enjoyed the same vegetables I do!  Their consumption was especially evident on the larger leaves of the Swiss Chard and Kale -- tiny and large bite holes.

In the grocery store, traditional produce, some of which is genetically modified (a whole other issue) and laden with chemicals, is flawless in appearance.  We live in an imperfect world.  But it is in the imperfection that what is true and real is found.  So visually "perfect" food is a signal of something not being right.

What I learned on the farm is to actually look for a few bug bites when shopping for produce -- and they will only be found on organic produce.

If the bugs will eat it (and not die), then its safe for humans too -- and tastier I might add.

So I was pleasantly happy when I opened a container of Earth Bound organic baby spinach the other day and saw a leaf with several small bug bites.  It's natural and fresh.

Next time you are looking for your vegetables in the grocery store or farmers market, seek out the organic variety, look for a few bug bites, and enjoy an affordable luxury.  It's a dance with nature that will have you looking for more.

Please share your organic produce experience and what vegetables make you happy.

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