We like our veg dirty, we harvest them fresh from the ground and we leave the dirt on.
This dirt, good clean dirt we think is amazing, it is a natural preservative, none of those artificial waxes or fungicides required here. But there is other dirt hidden in/on conventional food that we don’t think is that amazing.
The dirty dozen is a list which is compiled both in the UK and the US each year based on measured chemical residues in and on conventional crops. It is a resource to allow us as consumers to make informed decisions about foods to potentially avoid or buy organically if possible.
It is a no brainer that removing synthetic pesticides and herbicides from our diet can only be a positive.
There are certain crops that seem to make the list each year, you may be surprised to learn that apples regularly feature on the list. In 2020 according to the PAN (pesticide action network report) 67% of samples had pesticide residue and one sample had 13 different types of residues!) This is I guess a little disturbing as apples are one of the most consumed fruits in the world.
Right here in Ireland based on a report by the dept of ag in 2014 (the most recent data I could get), the chemical Captan, which is a fungicide and classified as a probable human carcinogen was applied to 252 Hectares of land, and over 1.2 tonnes of the stuff was sprayed on apple trees.
For the life of me I can’t understand how kale makes it onto this list (in the US). Kale of all the crops is hardy and tough and at least in our experience on our organic farm performs amazingly well. In fact, if we leave our brassica crops uncovered (we cover our crops with netting to prevent birds eating them) then the pigeons will eat everything else before they have a go at the kale!
Maybe it’s the healthy organic matter rich soil, maybe it’s the lack of forced nitrogen nutrition that pushes growth of crops on and can cause them to be soft and disease prone, maybe we are just lucky. Whatever it is we are grateful and happy that we have amazing crops that rarely suffer from pest or disease affliction.
Spinach another relatively hardy green features regularly in the UK and the US list.
When all is said and done, the production of food is hard, and the pressure to produce food at rock bottom prices, controlled and forced on farmers by the supermarkets will always lead to compromises, such as intensification and the use of chemicals.
It is a pity that the supermarkets are so concerned with how our food looks, rather than with how it is produced and what goodness is on the inside. Take a look at just how shiny some of the conventional apples are next time you are in a supermarket; many are coated in a shellac and/or carnauba wax to prevent them drying out or rotting.
We are lucky that we have a fantastic supply of organic apples from Richard Galvin, from Waterford, grown right here in Ireland without the use of chemicals, again proving the point that indeed it can be done, the apples are amazing, fresh with no coatings and no chemicals!
Thank you for supporting a food system without chemicals.
PS We are in full Christmas mode now. Please get your order in next week to guarantee delivery the week after.
We are excited for all the lovely Irish produce that is jammed into our Christmas boxes, such as Battlemount organic farm potatoes (Kildare), Philip Dreaper’s organic carrots and Beetroot (Offaly), Beechlawn organic farm’s brussel sprouts, red cabbage and savoy cabbage (Galway), Mcardles amazing chestnut and portobello, mushrooms (Antrim), Leeks, parsnips, Celeriac, swede and Kale (right here on our own farm); apples from Richard Galvin (Waterford) and finally our very own handmade organic Cranberry sauce (with fresh organic cranberries) made by Rachel in Dunmore! PLACE YOUR CHRISTMAS ORDER NOW
The Christmas is meal is the ultimate seasonal meal and we have definitely got you covered on this one, so please get your orders in soon!