Produce season is upon us and you may find yourself wondering which is better for you and your family: locally grown or organic produce. Should you support local farmers even if they spray chemicals on your food? Should you support organic farmers no matter the dent it makes in your wallet?
It doesn’t matter.
You’re eating produce and that is what really matters.
Picture it this way: if you don’t eat plants, you’re like the action hero who clings to the top of a speeding car as it careens through traffic. He’s spread eagle, fingers and toes gripping any crevice in the vehicle’s exterior as momentum threatens to dislodge him. Riding on a car like this is bad for our hero’s health. It’s only a matter of time before the car comes to a stop and our hero catapults over the hood. Injury and death are givens if our hero stays on top of that car.
If you eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and/or legumes, on the other hand, you are the hero who sits inside the car and buckles up. Are you guaranteed not to ever be injured or die while riding inside the car? No, of course not. But your health is in a much safer position than when you were clinging to the roof. Locally grown organic produce is the five-star-safety-rated top-of-the-line vehicle with a police escort, but any fruit or vegetable gets your butt firmly inside the car.
The documentary Food Choices touches on the topic of pesticides. Dr. Michael Greger, founder of NutritionFacts.org, states that if half of Americans would eat one extra serving of fruits or vegetables a day, it would prevent 20,000 cancer deaths per year. All of the pesticides on that extra produce would cause 10 cancer deaths per year. The number of people who potentially get sick from pesticides on produce is statistically insignificant compared with the benefit of those people eating produce…even non-organic non-local produce.
My personal recommendation is to eat local produce whenever possible simply because it tastes better. If you can pick your own, that’s great. If you can grow your own, that’s even better. But don’t sweat it if you’re getting your non organic produce off a truck from across the country or the world. By eating produce, you, the hero, are no longer spread eagle on the top of a careening car. Your butt is planted firmly inside the safety zone. Well done, Hero!
Then the land will yield its fruit, and you will eat your fill and live there in safety. Leviticus 25:19
Both images courtesy of Pinterest.com