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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 E3Live

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Organic Insider

Better Choices

USDA Approves Genetically-Engineered Apples that Don’t Turn Brown

It seems like every day that passes, the USDA approves another very risky GMO crop, all to the benefit of biotech/chemical companies and to ZERO benefit for consumers.

This time, the USDA has approved a first-of-its-kind genetically-engineered (GE) apple that doesn’t turn brown after bruising or slicing.

The apple, developed by the company Okanagan Specialty Fruits, uses a relatively new form of genetic engineering called RNA interference, or gene silencing, which has raised numerous concerns from consumer groups, environmentalists, and the apple industry.

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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

Organic Food is a Must for Pregnant Women

According to research recently published in the Environment Health Perspectives, pregnant women who are exposed to organophosphate pesticides have a very, very high probability of having kids who suffer from ADHD.

The study tracked Mexican-American women in Salinas Valley, CA who were exposed to high levels of pesticides and then diagnosed their kids when they were between 3 and 5 years old. The results were not good and also not in the least bit surprising.

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Living Maxwell

Better Choices

Organic Kaffir Limes – WOW, These are Amazing!

A while ago I did a story on gold nugget mandarins and when I saw this unknown fruit above, I couldn’t help but think of them because of the similarity of the rind.

And just as I had never seen gold nugget mandarins before, the same was true with these organic kaffir limes.

When I started asking the woman at my local organic market about kaffir limes, she quickly asked “Do you want to try one?”

With a bit of reluctance, I said “Ok, I guess.” After all, eating limes isn’t something that I normally do.

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livingmaxwell: a guide to organic food & drink