Now that many of my friends have young children, one thing that I hear from all of them is that “My kids won’t eat any green vegetables.”
This doesn’t surprise me in the least because (a) most kids would rather have french fries than spinach or broccoli; and (b) they have to be taught to like greens at a very, very early age. The good news is that there is an easy solution.
When people get into a debate about whether organic food is worth it or not, the first issue that always comes up is price.
While organic can cost a little more, there are numerous ways to make it less expensive, such as buying in the bulk bins or purchasing directly from local organic farmers.
Yet, what is often missing in this discussion is how organic is so much better for the planet.
And this is something that absolutely must be part of the narrative as to why organic is the superior choice, particularly because the global food system is responsible for 44-57% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
When you go into the produce section of Whole Foods, you’ll notice signs that say “ANDI Score” with a number associated with that respective food.
Created by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, ANDI stands for “Aggregate Nutrient Density Index” and ranks a food’s nutrient density on a scale from 1 to 1000.
The ANDI scores are calculated by evaluating an extensive range of micronutrients, including vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidant capacities, and by dividing the nutrient level of a food by its caloric content (N/C).
As more and more people are moving toward a plant-based diet and migrating away from animal products, organic cannot be forgotten in this equation.
Unfortunately, I see far too many people who think that as long as it is plant-based, that is sufficient. It’s not.
Case in point: almonds.
In the early 2000s, there were a few outbreaks of salmonella traced to raw almonds from California, a state where nearly 100% of America’s almonds are grown. As a result, the USDA implemented a rule that required all almonds grown in California to be pasteurized. This holds true for both organic and non-organic varieties.
Nestled in the heart of the mountains in the Andean Paramos region of Peru, there are 182 families who entirely depend on coffee cultivation for their livelihood.
Unfortunately, coffee rust – a fungus also known as “La Roya” — has devastated the coffee trees of 64 of these families, leading to catastrophic economic losses for hundreds of people.
With coffee production their only way to make a living and provide for their families, they have had no choice but to search for nearby land which has not been infected by coffee rust. While this is giving these families a financial lifeline, it has also resulted in the destruction of forests in the region, a territory that cannot that cannot afford this type of displacement.