Organic Vegetables Anyone?

Organic Vegetables/Salad in Ilsington & Liverton?

I would dearly like to be able to grow enough organic vegetables/salad at Arcady to be able to offer them for sale to local people, but efforts to involve others in setting up a small-scale market-garden/veg box scheme have proven unsuccessful – I am not an experienced/trained grower and cannot commit the time to setting up such a project by myself. I am, however, looking into the practicalities of having organic vegetables made available locally.

This might involve setting up a small but regular organic vegetable/salad stall or – more likely – setting up a collection point for those who might want to receive a weekly organic vegetable/salad box. I am waiting to hear back from one local organic farm whose produce I have enjoyed in the past (when I was close enough to shop at their weekly farmers’ market stall). I will be advertising to potential customers more widely if something can be arranged, but in the meantime would you be interested in regularly buying organic vegetables locally if they were available? Let me know by either posting a comment below, or by contacting me.

Why buy organic vegetables? Aren’t they just more expensive versions of normal vegetables?

Not quite! There are 2 ways of looking at why you should be eating organic vegetables from a health perspective: what is in them, and what is not in them. Recently published (2014) research in the British Journal of Nutrition has once again highlighted how organic vegetables contain more health-promoting compounds (e.g. antioxidants), and less toxic chemicals (e.g., Cadmium, pesticides) than non-organic vegetables. Then there is the benefit to the environment, wildlife and bees.

When it comes to the commonly used toxic herbicide glyphosate (think Roundup TM), shocking levels of human contamination have been revealed in research conducted for Friends of the Earth Europe during 2013. Overall, 44% of people tested across 18 countries in Europe were positive for detectable amounts of the toxic chemical in their urine – in Great Britain a staggering 70% tested positive! These are not farmers or country-dwellers who might have been unfortunately sprayed, they are city-dwellers who had not handled or used glyphosate products in the run-up to the tests! There is a lot of evidence available of toxic pesticide chemicals building up in people’s bodies, including evidence of high levels of glyphosate in the milk of mothers breast-feeding in the US. It is not surprising that there is so much toxic glyphosate in our food when you consider that in addition to use as a herbicide/pesticide, it is used as a routine pre-harvest treatment for some common crops (desiccating the foliage to make machine-harvesting more efficient).

Furthermore, most GM crop technology has concentrated on making crops ‘Roundup-Ready’, so that they can be sprayed by even higher levels of herbicide and still survive while all plant-life around them dies; as ‘superweeds’ adapt to higher levels of poison, meaning more poison has to be used, US authorities have been raising the allowable levels of these toxic residues in food crops. These crops are already finding their way into the UK as (non-organic) animal feed – the negative effects in terms of birth deformities, disease etc. have been demonstrated in pigs, with ill effects lessening once the farmer switched to non GMO (i.e., non-glyphosate loaded) feed. The secretly negotiated Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership deal (TTIP) is likely to lead to higher levels of toxic poison in the nation’s food supply. The link between glyphosate and the development of cancer has been clearly established – despite this, big agri-chemical corporations have succeeded in pressuring academic institutions, the academic press, food-regulatory bodies and governments to turn a blind eye (e.g., see this article on complicity between toxic chemical manufacturers and EU regulators in raising levels of glyphosate allowed for us in Europe). By the way, it is accepted that other toxic ingredients in Roundup (TM) increase the harmful effect of glyphosate (while testing for harmful effects of glyphosate typically do not account for this by testing only pure glyphosate)! Do not wait for this toxic food contaminant to be outlawed – take back control of what you eat. Eating organic produce is one big step towards minimising the levels of toxic chemicals building up in your body.

UPDATE: Lots of information about the Seralini research which demonstrated the health risks of GMOs/Roundup(TM) can be found at the GMO Seralini website – including details of how the main published paper was retracted under intense corporate lobbying pressure on the publishers, as well the resulting outrage from the scientific community and the eventual re-publication of the research.

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