Explore Coverage

Living Maxwell

Better Choices

What’s With These Holes in My Kale?

Ok. Let’s be very, very honest here.

How many times have you been at the market, looked at a piece of organic produce, seen numerous imperfections, and then searched for something that looked a little bit more aesthetically pleasing?

I’m certainly guilty of doing that.

But the question is: Why do we do this?

My sense is that we have this belief in the U.S. that fruit and vegetables are supposed to look “perfect”. And if they are not perfect, there is something wrong with them.

Yet, as organic consumers, this is something that we need to get beyond.

Take, for example, the kale (above) that I bought in Nantucket this past weekend at Pumpkin Pond Farm, a certified organic farm.

The kale is full of holes, something that I have encountered numerous times at my local organic market. I have always thought that some insect had eaten its way through it and “infected” or “damaged” it.  Therefore, it was to be avoided.

However, this is very much not the case.

According to Joshua Melanson, an organic farmer at Pumpkin Pond Farm, “there is absolutely nothing wrong with the kale. The flea beetle creates small holes but doesn’t transmit any disease. There is simply less kale.”

Apparently, it isn’t just kale that flea beetles like to feast on. They feed on all types of brassica, such as mustard greens, arugula, broccoli and cabbage, and are very common in organic cropping.

Farmers can avoid having holes in the kale by covering the crops each night, a very cumbersome process, or by spraying them with super-toxic synthetic pesticides, something that organic farmers cannot do.

A message from Tradin Organic

Why Tradin Organic is Prioritizing Regenerative Organic Farming

At Tradin Organic, we believe that regenerative organic farming is key to growing healthy and nutritious food ingredients — for now and for future generations.

And in Sierra Leone, we have grown the world’s first Regenerative Organic Certified cacao.

Learn more.

Go deeper

Living Maxwell

Better Choices

New to Organic? – Start with This Inexpensive Breakfast

One question that I get a lot is “How should a person get started with organic food?” One complaint I hear a lot is that organic food costs too much.

Let me both answer this question and address this complaint with a story.

Last week, Brian, a new friend of mine, came to me for some food-related advice. He wanted to know what he could be doing to eat healthier, as he was “crashing” in the middle of the afternoon. Brian was very concerned that his eating habits were negatively impacting his ability to perform at work, which would impact his ability to make money.

He did not know much about organic and was very concerned about the price. When I started talking about organic food, the first words out of his mouth were “Hey, I don’t make $20,000 per month.”

Brian went on to tell me about the fast-food breakfasts that he had been eating and he didn’t think it was the cause of his problem.

Go deeper Arrow

A message from Tradin Organic

How Tradin Organic is Helping Coconut Farmers in The Philippines

For more than a decade, Tradin Organic has been working with local partners in The Philippines to bring a diversified range of organic products to the market, such as coconut oil, tropical fruits and even cocoa.

The company is helping to support local farmers by assisting them with technical support and organic certification, in addition to paying Fairtrade premium on top of the organic premium.

Learn more.

Living Maxwell

Better Choices

What You Need to Know About Buying Organic Food in Cans

While I promote organic food as much as I can and want to help the industry prosper, I also feel a need to educate and inform my readers.

Without question, organic food is the healthiest food that exists and is something that I believe can feed the planet. However, sometimes the packaging of organic food products is not always the best.

I have talked a lot in the past about my aversion to plastic bottles. Aside from the fact that they are horrible for the environment, they are also hormone (endocrine) disruptors.

Go deeper Arrow

Living Maxwell

Better Choices

Another Reason to Eat Organic – Conventional Meat Contains Twice as Many Superbugs

Aside from the fact that conventionally-raised animals can be pumped with synthetic growth hormones and can be fed genetically-modified grain that has been sprayed with super-toxic pesticides, there is now another scary reason to avoid conventional meat: superbugs.

In results from a just released study, Consumers Reports found that 18 percent of the ground beef samples from conventionally-raised cows contained dangerous superbugs resistant to three or more classes of antibiotics used to treat illness in humans. This is compared with just 9 percent of ground beef from samples that were sustainably produced.

Consumer Reports purchased 300 packages – 458 pounds – of conventionally and sustainably produced ground beef from grocery, big-box, and natural food stores in 26 cities across the country.

Go deeper Arrow
livingmaxwell: a guide to organic food & drink