Yesterday, I read a fascinating article at NPR.
There is a new study suggests that organic farms grew tomatoes that were 40% smaller (than conventional), BUT were actually significantly higher in vitamin C, sugar and lycopene.
Their reasoning is because organically farmed tomatoes are “stressed-out” more than conventional due to less pesticides. The organic plants are forced to fight off pests naturally; the additional stress equates to additional production of stress-fighting compounds like Vitamin C and Lycopene.
Yes, we need to further investigate this study’s conclusion, but when I was researching tomato hornworms and cabbage worms last summer, many experienced gardeners advised that it was better for the plants to have a few pests because it made them stronger. It does make sense when you really think about it, doesn’t it?
The extra bonus is there’s so much more to a tomato than vitamin C & lycopene, so just think of all the tiny un-known micronutrients that are bursting from a responsibly-farmed tomato. Can’t get that from a lab-created vitamin!
I was perusing the new Fearless Flyer from Trader Joe’s and saw their jarred roasted red peppers were being showcased.
I normally try to buy organic peppers (unless it’s from a local farm), since peppers are on the Dirty Dozen list of conventionally grown produce to avoid. I’ve seen these jarred roasted red peppers at the local Trader Joe’s stores, and while the cheap $1.99 price tag was very tempting, I’ve always resisted.
Their Fearless Flyer description “They’re grown in Peru, where the strength of the sun’s rays gives these peppers a brilliant red hue” — wow, they make it sound so good, right? I can picture a quiet field of peppers quietly growing in the Peruvian sun.
I googled Pesticides on Produce from Peru and found that there is a scary amount of imported produce contaminated with illegal pesticides. Peru is on the list to avoid, along with, of course, China and Mexico, and other countries like Guatemala, Dominican Republic, and India.
Now I’m glad I’ve resisted, and I will continue to buy jarred organic roasted red peppers instead, or better yet, I should try making my own and freeze. Sorry Trader Joe’s.