Sunday, January 31, 2016

Top "Dirty" Vegs and Fruits

The Rodale Institute recently released their list of the nine dirtiest fruits and veggies in the supermarket. By dirty they mean the chemical contaminants left over inside the food after typical home washing. For the fun if it, let's see how I score. 

1- Potatoes.    My score : A+
    I grow all my own potatoes. No store bought. No ag, processing, or shipping chemicals.

2- Spinach, Kale, Collard Greens.     My score: A+
     I grow all my own greens. 

3- Apples.     My score: D
     I buy apples for hubby, but try to buy the organic ones when they are available. I have two apple trees on the farm right now, but they are young and not producing heavily yet. And of course, apples are seasonal. So I'll always have times when I'm buying apples for hubby. 

4- Peaches and nectarines.     My score: A
     I simply don't eat these anymore. 

5- Strawberries.      My score: A
     While strawberries can be grown on my farm, the turkeys beat me to them. Everytime! They even beat the slugs to them, but then again turkeys like eating slugs. So I suppose it's a two coarse meal for the birds. Entree: slugs. Dessert: strawberries. Eventually I'll get around to making a turkey & slug proof setup for growing strawberries. In the meantime, I simply don't include strawberries in my diet. Not fresh, nor processed.

6-- Grapes.    My score: F
     I'm guilty of buying grapes from the store. And year around, at that! It's one of the 3 fruits that hubby will eat. 

7-- Celery.     My score: A+
     I grow my own celery. 

8- Cucumbers.      My score: C
     Growing cukes on the farm is doable but requires a lot more work and attention than most veggies. I need to develop a better system for growing all my own cucumbers. So at this moment I grow most of my own, and buy a few for when I have company. Growing all my own cukes would be a worthy goal to work towards. 

9- Sweet bell peppers.     My score: C
     Peppers are a challenge to grow here. I can grow them somewhat, but they are small and irregular in shape. And not very productive. A future project will be to develop a system for growing them. A local farmer figured out how to do it here, but the secret stays with him. So I'll need to experiment on my own. For now, I grow some and buy some. I have drastically cut back on how often I eat bell peppers, thus I don't need to buy many. 

The way I handle the problem of residual chemicals in food is to either grow my own clean food or stop eating the commercial item. I've gradually changed our diet over the years. Many of the foods I once ate no longer find a place on my table. Thus although I might miss the taste of a fresh, fuzzy, hand picked peach, store bought peaches simply aren't part of my diet anymore. But alas, getting hubby to think the same way just isn't working. He's not willing to give up his childhood staples. 


  1. Interesting list, Su Ba...
    About the bell peppers and the local farmer keeping his secret for growing nice ones...he apparently doesn't know the meaning of aloha...Living in the islands we all need to help each other to be able to exist as sustainably as possible. Life in Hawaii should not be a competition. We're all in this canoe and need to lean to paddle it together.

    1. I agree with you Sonia. I openly share growing information with anyone who's interested, but this particular local farmer doesn't share this belief. He's tight mouthed and told me once that since he had to learn how to grow things on his own, other people can do the same thing. He has no interest in sharing his knowledge. Sadly, due to health reasons he has drastically cutback his farming. All his knowledge will retire with him, never to be passed along.