I love to cook. My family is “fluffy” from how much I love to cook. I use many fresh vegetables in my cooking. In the last five years, I discovered the difference of flavor in organic and non-organic fruits and vegetables. If you’ve never compared the taste of an organic apple or potato to the pesticide laden kind you find at the grocery store, you really should. The organic flavor is more crisp and true and the flavor of the dish offers a bolder taste as well as being healthy for you. Pesticides and herbicides actually thwart the production of phenolic, chemicals that act as a plant’s natural defense, and a part of what makes a vegetable “healthy” for humans. I grow my own scallions in my kitchen and will soon have a place for tomatoes. I care about what I buy, is the point I am trying to make.
Do you know that the Latino purchasing power is supremely influential on the U.S. economy these days? According to an article by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), “Hispanic shoppers look for fresh and authentic fruits, vegetables, and other foods in supermarkets. Younger Hispanic shoppers do not necessarily restrict their food selection to foods from their country of origin” and this means that the more fresh fruits and vegetables you buy as Latinos influences what will be stocking the shelves tomorrow. As it is now, one company named Monsanto, owns patents on many, if not most, seeds of the foods we consume every time we eat anything. Every ear of corn or soy bean is, more often than not, a pesticide laden GMO (genetically modified organism) that is patented by the Monsanto Corporation. This means that potentially all life is at risk since the patent on cells of the food is owned by the corporation and you are what you eat, as they say. Some might say that is a conspiracy theory, but I’m not sure. I don’t want to find out.
I just want to eat fresh food and not think about what sort of GMO or pesticide might be trapped in that ear of corn, or slice of onion. I don’t want to feed that junk to my family or my friends. In the 1980s, Cesar Chavez focused his work on the dangers of pesticides, which had always caused illness among farm workers and let’s not forget that in1988, he fasted for 36 days to call attention to “the plague of pesticides on our land and our food.” As a conscientious shopper and fellow Chicana de la Raza, I insist on buying only USDA approved organic foods. How do you feel about organic foods? When you shop for the food that feeds your family are you considering where it came from and what will be on the shelves tomorrow? If not, will you start now? Let’s keep this discussion going, Gente.
by Viktoria Velenzuela