From Napa Valley to Midtown Manhattan, the farm to table movement beckons foodies, locavores and tourists alike—each in search of seasonal flavors picked fresh that day.
As the movement continues to grow across the U.S., so do the benefits of local, organic foods. We thought we’d share some of the reasons that inspire us to grow organic greens for our friends and neighbors in Maine.
Why organic? Lettuce explain.
- All the nutrients, none of the toxins
Lettuces and leafy greens are powerhouses of nutrition. Lettuce alone is rich in vitamin A, K and C, folate, manganese and chromium. And, the darker the leaves, the more nutritional value you get. Pesticides, fertilizers and chemicals can destroy the nutrients and enzymes in these plants.
- A greener garden means a greener planet
Did you know that over 98% of sprayed insecticides and 95% of herbicides travel well beyond their intended target area? Winds and runoff carry toxic chemicals into populated towns, water sources and grazing areas.
- The birds and the bees
The effect of these chemicals has proven incredibly toxic to animals and wildlife. One of the most devastating results has been observed in honeybees. Strong evidence suggests pesticides are to blame for the massive decrease in these bees. Without nature’s pollinators, the USDA and USFWS have estimated that US farmers have lost at least $200 million a year from reduced crop pollination because pesticides applied to fields eliminate about a fifth of honeybee colonies in the US and harm an additional 15%.
- Fight global warming . When it comes to carbon emissions, organic farming can bind 1,000 lbs of carbon per acre as opposed to other methods, which increases carbon emissions.
- Better health
From certain cancers and birth defects to early onset of Parkinson’s and other neurological disorders, the impact of toxic chemicals from conventional farming practices can reek havoc on your health and even alter your hormone levels.
- The Dirty Dozen
Every year, the Environmental Working Group publishes The Dirty Dozen List. This annual report provides ratings of produce by most and least pesticide residues. Three repeat offenders happen to be:
- Lettuce—testing positive for over 50 pesticides on a single head of lettuce.
- Collard greens—testing positive for more than 45 pesticides.
- Kale—touted for its health benefits, kale never used to be on this list but over the last few years has continued to test high in pesticide residues.
Aside from the health and environmental benefits to organic, local produce, there’s one more reason we’re passionate about farming organic greens here at GROMAINE: it simply tastes better.