ORGANIC VS. TRADITIONAL PRODUCE: WHAT I LEARNED
Last weekend I was blessed with the opportunity to be a City Mom 2015 with Illinois Farm Families. As a City Mom, I will be meeting and visiting local farm families to gain a better understanding of who they are, how they care for and provide the foods that I feed to my family and most importantly I hope to learn how I can continue to support them.
Our first group outing for this year was to Mariano’s in Wheaton, Illinois. There we had an opportunity to meet with a dietician, a nutritionist and two farmers. We toured the store and received tons of information on how to properly read labels and what to look for when making decisions about the foods we put on our tables.
As I continue on my personal journey to provide my family with less processed foods, I was very interested in the difference between organic and traditionally grown fruits and vegetables.
I have always assumed that organically grown fruits and vegetables were basically “naturally grown”, meaning existing in or caused by nature. So I thought they were grown in a greenhouse or large garden, with no pesticides or chemicals used at all. What I learned is that organic farmers are able to use pesticides and fertilizers, they just have to be of plant or animal origin. Besides, traditional farmers aren’t just out there spraying pesticides all over their fruits and vegetables all willy-nilly. Pesticides and fertilizers are used to make sure the farmers are able to provide the best possible products to their consumers. Make sure you wash your fruits and vegetables and any left over residue is not harmful. So I feel very comfortable continuing to purchase traditionally grown fruits and vegetables for my family.