Organic Produce, a health investment?

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“Farm to Fork” sounds like one of those well-crafted marketing catch phrases, a buzz word that I have seen and heard quite a bit in the last few years. F2F is basically the concept of understanding where your food comes from and the journey it has taken to reach your table.

Some proponents laud this trend as a sustainable farming practice, others as a support system for small holder farmers while others like myself, are interested in the concept as a means to reduce the amount of harmful substances I ingest in the name of wholesome eating.

There is a lack of foolproof data/research on the effect nitrates and pesticides is having on the African population as it chases the Green Revolution dream. However, one thing is sure, when the amount of rejected export bound fresh produce increases due to high residues or use of banned substances (i.e. pesticides banned in Europe but still sold by multinationals to Africa), then you indeed need to know where your food is coming from. Hence my journey into eating Organic or to be fully truthful trying to ensure I buy organic farm produce.

With the juicing craze, I cringe as I think of all the innocent mortals juicing themselves away with a cocktail of pesticides as they think they pursuing healthy living. Stay woke my brethren, before you juice those shiny vegetables, think twice, better yet, at least buy organic greens for your juicing  or even grow then in your balcony.

Going organic in Kenya has not been a straight forward journey. I remember the days when the only organic source was a farmers market event at Karen. Back then, this meant thinking of the price to get to Karen and also buy the somewhat more expensive produce. Balancing a budget and trying to organic was a fete. But over the years, it is great to see the strides made in getting organic produce to our homes. Our supermarkets now stock organic produce, look out for the organic labeled produce in Carrefour, individual farmers like Sylvia’s Basket, Mlango Farm are great avenues to not only source produce but they also arrange tours/visits of farms where you can see the farming practice live and get your feet/hands dirty. Then we have the online warriors, the aggregators like Greenspoon who can organize a shipment to your home “from farm to phone to fork” the beauty of technology. Last but not least the organics farmers market hosted in various locations. Living in Kenya? You can now easily access Organic produce.

Price is frequently mentioned as an access barrier, but this is slowly becoming an non-issue with cost friendly organic sellers. Overall, it is an investment in your health that will save your costs in the long run. A few tricks for those going organic:

  • Know your dirty foods and focus on buying organic produce for these items. A quick internet search can help you identify dirty foods. In addition, localize your knowledge, know which produce in your country of origin is produced in suspect conditions. For example, have you heard of healthy looking greens “Kale and spinach” grown in sewage?
  • Take advantage of offers and opportunity. I usually buy in bulk and freeze. This ensures I have a steady supply of organics and can get a good price.
  • Visit farmers markets, you are cutting out the middle man, and can get some good bargains.

I guess the next and indded valid question, is how do you know that the produce you buy is truly organic? Post for another day. Until then, invest in your health “try organic”