But first she expounds on food waste (as previously touched on here and here).

She’s against it:

Not to beat the issue to death, but here’s a Food Network program where they explored the issue of food waste — five 2- and 3-minute videos, all worth watching.  [Don’t miss the first one: the “freegan” dumpster diver! — A.T.]

The one about salvaging produce is near and dear to my heart, because once upon a time I was a Plant Science major. I quickly learned that there is a whole bunch of pests and diseases that get treated not because they have a yield impact on the crop, not because they change the nutritional or flavor aspects of it, but because of AESTHETICS.

When we walk into the grocery store to buy apples, peaches, potatoes, we inspect every single one before we put it in the bag. They have to be picture perfect, but nature doesn’t work that way. Anyone who has ever had a fruit tree in the backyard or has grown a vegetable garden should know that. Nature is a constant battleground. Bugs, molds and anything alive have the biological mandate to reproduce, and in order to do that they need to feed. They are going to be on the lookout for tender leaves, sweet fruits and yummy roots. Growers cannot afford not being able to sell their crops due to looks. We consumers place an incredible burden on them, who in many cases will be forced to treat crops solely to preserve their appearance. Meanwhile, because we’re contradictory beings, we demand pesticide-free foods (by the way, many people believe organic means pesticide-free, which is a mistake).

Come again?  Organic doesn’t mean pesticide-free?

Yes, indeed!  There are such things as organic pesticides. Sulfur, copper, pyrethroids, are all organic pesticides because they are not manufactured, but obtained directly from nature. As such, they are authorized for use in organic farming. But they can still poison you if not used correctly, just as a synthetic pesticide would.

The confusion and misunderstanding around organic food is HUGE, and many many companies take advantage of this confusion. We hear that organic food is better for you, but we’re not told exactly why. It’s like the fine print fell off.

I found this article that can clarify things a bit for you. As a matter of general principle, I refuse to buy anything organic. Until I see definite scientific proof that organic is better than conventional, I am saving my pennies. We’re constantly bombarded with sound bytes regarding food that are absolutely meaningless, and this is why you see apples labeled “Gluten-free” or sugar labeled “A fat-free product” (I’m not making any of this up).

UPDATE:  For a powerful two minutes on why, selfishly, we SHOULD eat organic, click here.  (Thanks, Michael Chelnov!)

I was all set to toss four really sketchy bananas when I realized — yes!  Smoothies!  So good.

Waste not, want not.

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