When I was a kid growing up we had a big ol' tree in our back yard. It was big enough for half of my family to climb into at once. Each one climbing as high as their ability would take them. I stayed relatively low, rebel that I am. It was a cherry tree. A Bing cherry tree. Each year it would be dripping with fruit. We would climb to our respective branches and gorge. I mean gorge. I mean purple hands, purple faces and running to the bathroom for two days kind of gorging. It was awesome. I still have to finger shoot cherry pit missiles each time I eat a cherry to this day. The cherry tree is a good memory. We did nothing to that cherry tree except eat its fruit. We didn't fertilize it. Never pruned it. (actually my dad did when I was older and it never bore the same amount of fruit again). Never sprayed it for bugs. At 6.99/lb the yield from that tree would feed my family for at least a week now a days. We were eating organic cherries. Who knew? Did you know that the regular succulent cherries you look forward to each year are laden with pesticides?

Then there are the black berries up the road. They're organic too. They're huge this year, and sweet and lovely. We'd pay a bundle for them too in the store. But here they just grow...naturally.

The tomatoes you grow on your balcony. If you don't use pesticides and leave them alone they're 'organic'. Its that simple really.

I understand there is more to organic food than that. There is sustainability and yada yada yada. But really when it comes down to it it's food that's been allowed to grow naturally. And we pay a hefty price for it. It doesn't always taste different. Although sometimes it does. Mostly, it's knowing you're not filling your body with an 'acceptable' level of poison. What is an acceptable amount of poison? "Here sweetie. Have some arsenic. Just a little. Don't worry. It's not enough to kill you."

I was reading this Canadian report on the "Dietary Exposure Pesticide Residues in Foods". Quite the read even if it was from 2005. Of particular note, not one of the samples that they tested was free of pesticides. Not one. They also said that "acceptable daily intakes are not exceeded". Interesting. Again, how much poison can I consume and be ok? I just want to be clear - 'cause I love eating poison with my cherries. DDT in my yogurt. DDT. Cool. DDT used to be in Raid and they removed it, but the residue is still in my yogurt and most other dairy. 12 Pesticides monitored on our Canadian blueberries. You know the ones we go crazy for at the fruit stands? Yes, those blueberries. Again, I say, just how much poison are we wiling to put in our bodies every day? You can kill a person by giving them a little bit of arsenic each day. I know 'cause I saw it in a movie. Think about it. We inhale toxins when we clean our house. Then there is pollution, second hand smoke, the chemicals that we absorb every day into our body with our bath and shower products (yes it's true). Could it be possible that this little bit of poison that we put in our bodies each and every day accumulates? Is it possible that all of this could be the cause of some of the cancers we and our loved ones are getting? It makes sense to me. Common sense. I don't care that they say it's OK. It's not OK. It's not OK to me at all.

My latest gripe is not being able to purchase organic produce that has been grown locally in my local grocery store. I don't live in small town. I don't live in an area that doesn't grow produce. We have great produce here. I should be able to buy it. Shouldn't I? Why is the organic red pepper from Peru? Why is the organic apple from New Zealand? The pear from Argentina? Personally I'm tired of it. We should be able to purchase reasonably priced, locally grown produce that is free of chemicals and pesticides. That is not too much to ask. Your family deserves that. My family deserves that.


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