Every time I see spots on my apples, I think of the song “Big Yellow Taxi”. Not the original version, but the Counting Crows cover. You see spots more often with organic varieties, especially when purchased in bulk from Costco where careful inspection of each fruit doesn’t happen.
I know what happens when an apple starts to go bad. There’s logic behind the saying, “don’t let one bad apple spoil the whole bunch“. The bad apple releases gas at an accelerated rate, spreading a contagious spottiness from one apple to the next. The gas released accelerates ripening, so the apples reach their prime well before their expected “best by” date. That’s the basic idea, no? At least that’s what I remember from… oh, let’s say high school biology. Really, it’s just one of those random facts that’s stuck in my head for no apparent reason. But it stays… a permanent fixture in my mind, staking it’s ground and refusing to budge when other useful information tries to take it’s place. “Go somewhere else!”, it says, “No room here.”
There was a point to this. Other than giving my thoughts their own overly controlling personalities, that is. I often wonder about the nutritional value of fresh produce purchased from a grocery store. How old is it already by the time we bring it home? My experience has been that organic produce meets it’s demise far sooner than it’s non organic counterparts, so how much benefit are we losing? When shopping at a large supermarket, would we be better off purchasing frozen varieties? Organic aside, let’s look at conventional produce. How long did it take to get to the store? How long will it sit in your kitchen before it’s used? Would we get more nutrients from the stuff that was picked and flash frozen the same day?
The journey over the past week has convinced me of one thing – I don’t get enough raw veggies. Most of the veggies I eat are cooked in some fashion, save the occasional salad with dinner. One of the documentaries I watched said that when veggies are cooked, nutrients are lost and your body can’t assimilate them as well. In some cases, your body may actually try fight against the food, recognizing it as an invader instead of the healthful meal you’re trying to deliver. Crazy, right? Then, I found this article that counters this argument. Some vegetables are actually more nutritious when cooked. What to believe? My thought? More produce in general is good – lots of raw, some cooked. Sounds like a plan, right?
Am I a sucker for the propaganda? Maybe. I’d like to think I’m a logical person, weighing out arguments; able to dispel truth from sensationalism. But I’m sure I don’t always get it right. I try to make informed decisions and get my facts straight before recirculating info back to the general public. But, I’m sure there are times that erroneous things make it past my filter.
I’m not talking about differences of opinion here. We could go back and forth on so many subjective issues that it’s not even worth stating examples. I’m talking about issues where seemingly legitimate people present a valid argument, supported by facts and data. I guess I could say that I’m a sucker for facts and data. Where it seems somewhat black and white. It’s unfortunate that statistics can be so easily skewed, but again, that’s something I try to keep in mind when new facts are presented to me.
So when a question like this comes up, regarding which produce is really best, it’s hard for me to come to an answer that settles well. There are too many variables for my brain examine. The logical answer seems be to to buy local and organic. Farmers markets and the like. I’m sure some study out there will discredit that approach as well. Besides, the reality of that happening consistently for me is slim, though, and it’s not really answering my question. Perhaps the answer is already out there on the internet and I just haven’t scoured long enough to find it. This article and this one do a decent job of touching the edges of the question, but it’s not thorough enough for my satisfaction.
Planning to sign up for our CSA box delivery again. At least that way we’ll have some fresh, organic produce coming to us that way, and I don’t even have to head to the farmers market to get it.
This one got a little wordy today. Apologies.