I never know what to think about organic food. I get distracted by data, reports and statistics that show people who eat organic produce have equal amount of toxins in their systems as those who do not. Environmental toxins, its seems, enter through our pores just as easily as they do through the food we eat.
Whenever I go shopping for organic vegetables, I think of the commentary for “Red in the Face,” a Season 1 episode of Mad Men. Betty has a confrontation with a neighbour in the produce section of a supermarket. Max Weiner explains why he had them re-dress the set; they were ready to shoot the scene when he noticed that the vegetables and fruit displayed in the background were too large to be fresh produce from the 60s. So he got the crew to go searching for organic growers near Pasadena where they were filming. Okay, it might sound a little too OCD, but it’s true; organically grown produce does tend to be smaller in size and less uniform in shape.
They’re supposed to be better for you because farmers don’t use all the things that make commercial produce bad for you, like pesticides. They are also supposed to have more nutrients so they fill you up more. But when I decide to go organic, I end up with scrawny little creatures that bear only a vague resemblance to other carrots, zucchini and apples I’ve purchased in the past.
These organic beauties were grown last summer by two friends of mine Joy and Ellen. They grew them in a large garden plot with no help from pharmaceuticals, I mean chemicals. But I can’t help wondering just exactly what they were up to before they were pulled from the earth into the light of day. How do you even peal a carroctopus? Would you eat organic vegetables that look like these ones?
Editor’s note: All pictures were taken by Joy and except for the addition of the high heel shoe, have not been altered in any other way.