Organic Produce

I think one of the reasons people don’t eat enough healthy fruits and vegetables is that they buy cheap, low quality produce — i.e. the stuff you’ll typically find at mainstream grocery stores. Mass market produce might look OK, but in my opinion it’s very bland and flavorless compared to what else is available.

I remember the first time I tried an organically grown carrot. I never liked carrots much as a child, but when I finally tasted an organic carrot, I thought, “Wow. So this is what a carrot is supposed to taste like.” It was full of flavor and even sweet. After that experience I realized just how watery and flavorless non-organic carrots tasted. Now carrots are one of my favorite foods. In fact, one week I ate so many of them, mostly via juicing, that my skin actually began to turn orange, a condition known as hypercarotenemia (too much beta carotene). My skin color returned to normal once I backed off on the carrots.

Many years ago my wife and I stopped buying produce from mainstream stores and started shopping at Whole Foods, Wild Oats, and local farmers markets that carry organic produce. Organic produce usually costs a bit more, but in my opinion the price is well worth it. Aside from reducing your consumption of cancer-causing pesticides, you may find as I do that certain organic foods taste so much better. I’m naturally inclined to eat more fruits and vegetables when I know they’ll taste good. While I don’t notice much difference in the taste of some foods like bananas or broccoli, in other foods like apples, strawberries, pineapple, grapes, and celery, it’s like night and day. Organic Fuji apples are among my favorites, just the right balance of sweetness and tartness. Non-organic apples can’t compare.

All produce is not created equal. The next time you go food shopping, try buying some higher quality organic produce and give yourself a taste test. See if there are foods you previously disliked which now tempt your taste buds.