Summer is such a great time for salads because of all of the wonderful fresh veggies and fruit you can combine to make them interesting, unique and delicious.
Since more fruits and vegetables are consumed in Summer, because of availability, it’s important to know why you need to avoid food raised with the use of pesticides.
Consider this, why would we want to eat something that has been doused in a chemical that kills another organism? In what world does that possibly make sense?
But the thing is, it has become normalized. Everyone knows the plants are sprayed. Big Agriculture has made it seem like food simply cannot go from seed to table without a heavy, frequent dousing. Anyone who has ever raised even a tomato plant in a pot on the patio knows that is not the case, though.
Pesticides are a big deal. Huge. The ingestion of pesticides can cause health problems such as “birth defects, nerve damage, cancer, and other effects that might occur over a long period of time.” Especially at risk of harm from pesticides are children. The EPA, you know, the same group that approves pesticides for use, ironically warns:
Infants and children may be especially sensitive to health risks posed by pesticides for several reasons:
- their internal organs are still developing and maturing,
- in relation to their body weight, infants and children eat and drink more than adults, possibly increasing their exposure to pesticides in food and water.
- certain behaviors–such as playing on floors or lawns or putting objects in their mouths–increase a child’s exposure to pesticides used in homes and yards.
Pesticides may harm a developing child by blocking the absorption of important food nutrients necessary for normal healthy growth. Another way pesticides may cause harm is if a child’s excretory system is not fully developed, the body may not fully remove pesticides. Also, there are “critical periods” in human development when exposure to a toxin can permanently alter the way an individual’s biological system operates.
The human health impacts linked to pesticide exposure range from birth defects and childhood brain cancer in the very young, to Parkinsons’ Disease in the elderly. In between are a variety of other cancers, developmental and neurological disorders, reproductive and hormonal system disruptions, and more.
- Breast Cancer
- Children’s diseases
- Gestational diabetes
- Parkinson’s Disease
These are the 14 worst fruits and veggies on the market when conventionally raised:
- Sweet Bell Peppers
- Cherry tomatoes
- Hot Peppers
- Kale/Collard Greens
I’ve just started venturing into making my own homemade dressings instead of using store-bought, and some that I’ve made had not turned out that well. But, this homemade dressing is always great with this salad. This is a great way to use fresh and local strawberries and spinach that are in season right now!
Strawberry Spinach Salad with Homemade Dressing
- Spinach – one large bag if buying from the grocery store
- Strawberries – at least a pint, you can double if desired (*Mount Olympus Strawberries are fantastic!)
- chopped pecans, walnuts, or sliced almonds to taste
Combine ingredients in a large bowl
- 1/2 cup sugar (I use organic turbinado sugar)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine or apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until mixed together.
Pour dressing over salad just before serving and mix to combine.
You can always find creative ways to include fruits in salad. Blueberries, blackberries even chopped apples taste great!
Recipe Courtesy of Live Renewed
*Why are Mount Olympus Strawberries so good? We grow our strawberries on raised beds, so picking is much easier, we use plastic mulch so they are clean, and most of all, it’s the soil. The soil on our farm just seems to make ‘em taste great!!
Available Now at Harvest Market!
Make it a goal to source locally grown organic produce, organic pastured eggs, raw dairy products, oils, and grass-fed meats as much as possible.