Letting Go Of Perfect Produce

June 14, 2011

I once had a customer come to my farm, and proceed to rip open EVERY single ear of corn on the stand. After about 6 ears, she proudly held one up in the air and announced "THIS is why I hate organic !"

At the end of the ear, nestled into the cornsilk, was a little corn worm. . She held the ear up for another corn buying customer, and with clear disdain in her voice asked "What would you do about this?" After a moment, the man replied " I would cut it off." and with that, bought a couple of dozen, organic sweet corn ears for dinner. The price? $2.50 for a Baker's dozen. 

This is really the rub for both me, as an organic producer and the customer, who expects perfect, packaged food. The idea that your apples are all the same size, shape and blemish free color, takes chemicals. Tomatoes are not all perfectly round by natural standards, and by golly, a corn worm might make it into your ear of sweet corn! This is not the end of the world!

If you would like to  have more information about the Pesticides that are applied to our food, throughout the industry, please check out the Pesticides Action Network (PAN). They offer a comprehensive list of chemicals and can be sorted by crop, geographic location and pesticide type. There is also  a poisoning symptoms database.

The next time you buy produce, remember to think beyond the skin and buy fruits and vegetables with the least amount of chemicals added possible.  




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Susann's picture

If she hated organic, why was she digging through the stand ripping open all the organic corn? Go to the store, buy your (self-perceived) perfect veggies and fruit, and leave the organic stands alone for the people who get it.

mike's picture


mike's picture


Lisa Miller's picture

The little bugs here and there are exactly why I love organic! Proves to me that the pesticides I am trying to avoid have not touched the produce.

Lisa's picture

I agree if you don't want to find bugs... go buy the pesticide fill veggies and fruits