Eat Local and Eat Smart

10 days till Bellevue Farmers Market's Opening Day! Join us Thursday, May 12, from 3-7 p.m. in the parking lot of the First Presbyterian Church of Bellevue (1717 Bellevue Way NE).

Low-Nutrient Mutant Carrot

It's been a long, gray, cold, rainy spring. After months of eating sad produce from far, far away, I'm eager to sink my teeth into something picked that very morning from the rich soils of Washington State. Speaking of rich soil, check out this article in Scientific American, which reports that, "Modern intensive agricultural methods have stripped increasing amounts of nutrients from the soil in which the food we eat grows. Sadly, each successive generation of fast-growing, pest-resistant carrot is truly less good for you than the one before." In just a little over twenty years, levels of various vitamins and minerals in popular vegetables like carrots have dropped from 21-37%! The study's recommendation? "Those who want to get the most nutritious fruits and vegetables should buy regularly from local organic farmers" (my emphasis). All the more reason to get your hands on those fresh spring greens, peas, beans, and carrots!

If you're pregnant or hoping to become pregnant, it's never too early to eat pesticide-free. Studies conducted by research teams at "Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and the school of public health at the University of California, Berkeley, all conclude that pesticide exposure during pregnancy could negatively affect brain development." Children tested over a period of years showed a correlation between pre-natal pesticide exposure and IQ levels. Click here for the ABC video.When you buy at the Market, feel free to ask our farmers how they feel about pesticides! While not all farmers at the BFM are certified organic (it being a very expensive, involved process), many of them do not use pesticides.

Even we full-growns would do well to lower our toxin intake. For your reading pleasure, I leave you with this article from Glamour magazine relating the dangers of all the hormone-mimicking chemicals we find in our homes and diets. As the mother of a preadolescent girl, I agree wholeheartedly that women have enough going on with their hormones that the last thing they need is unwelcome hormonal boosts from their environment. And I'm sure men don't want the extra fake-estrogen coursing through their systems either...

So finish off those dried-up Cuties and mealy apples and low-nutrient carrots--clear the crisper for this season's bounty, local, nutrient-rich, and largely pesticide-free!