Wrestling with “Dirty” Food

My goal is to eat as cleanly as possible, meaning with as few contaminants as possible . That’s why I have such a love/hate relationship with some of my favorite foods.

I love dairy products. Ever since I had my first weight loss success with Atkins some years ago, I have valued full fat organic dairy. I won’t touch non-organic commercially produced dairy products because all those hormones you keep hearing about? Yeah, they get stored in the fat. I don’t do low or non-fat, because my previous dieting success was from the addition of good fats and protein into my diet.

Then, in reading most of the latest stuff on healthy eating, many, many of them say to leave off dairy products all together, organic or not. So, despite the fact that it was one of my favorite things, I finally settled for almond milk.

NOW, I find out that almonds are one of the most highly irradiated products out there, not to mention all the pesticides.

I was thrilled when I moved to this little farm in the Scott Valley because I have an orchard, complete with almond trees, so I would have almonds without the pesticides or irradiation. Then an 18° overnight freeze in late May took care of that. No almonds this year, or for that matter, no pears, apples, peaches or grapes. The picture you see is the before and after pictures of my grape arbor. (On the after picture, you can even see the little clumps of grapes that were forming before the freeze.)

It certainly gave me pause thinking about the old days when families would have been counting on that bounty for their sustenance.

My neighbor is a rather well-known (in certain circles) author. He and I had a falling out recently when we attempted to have a discussion about clean food. I believe it started with a discussion of grain-fed vs. grass-fed beef. I was lamenting that now, in my location, it’s even harder to find the things I can’t yet grow for myself. His response was just to not worry about it, that I could fill everything I ate with light by praying over it, and it would be all right. Really?

Now, I’m a hearty believer in the fact that we create our own reality, but does that mean we don’t have to worry about what’s happening to our food supply because…oh, never mind. This discussion goes way beyond the scope of a food and fitness blog.

At least I have the benefit of a nearby farmer’s market. Last week I came home with a huge Armenian cucumber (my favorite), 2 lemon cucumbers, a large summer squash, 4 heads of garlic, some beets (complete with greens), and some early peas for $8. Yet, I really don’t know which vendors are “clean,” and which use pesticides.

I once said I thought I was more likely to die worrying about our food sources than I was from eating “dirty” foods. I dunno.

What’s your take? What’s your personal rule of thumb concerning clean (or dirty) foods? Or on dairy vs no-dairy? Or on my neighbor’s suggestion?


Almonds (Photo credit: Shelby PDX)


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