Tuesday, January 28, 2014

What’s on my plate ?

Congratulations to the winners of the giveaway : 
Lail With A Spin
Pavani N from Cook's Hideout
Prajusha Vinod
Hamaree Rasoi
Mayur Dave
Watch out for the next giveaway from Wholesum…..something tells me it’s going to be a big one ;)
#FreshProduce #FreshTomatoes
Photography by Simi Jois 

Photography by Simi Jois 

I have never been a health fanatic, I love food and believe that cooking is not a rocket science, anyone can do it. You need good quality ingredients, a recipe and some creativity. That’s all there is to cooking. I do ponder about the quality of my ingredients. We are what we eat, there is no need to examine everything we eat under a microscope, but we do need to keep a watch on what we put in our mouth and where it’s coming from. As a mother, I feel am responsible for what I put on the table. I have always enjoyed cooking with ‘wholesum’, organic and local produce and love going to the farmer’s market every summer. As I get older I worry about all the things that we eat but do not see. The pesticides, the chemicals…is the water really washing it off, what effects will it have? It frankly scares me. I am always torn between buying organic vs regular produce and definitely price is a big influencer. Sometimes organic produce is more than double the price of regular produce, why? am I paying too much?
I am collaborating with Wholesum Harvest to try and answer these questions, both for myself and my readers. There is no better way to find out then to reach out to organic farmers. I am going to do a series called: What’s on my plate? The purpose is to understand what we eat and where it comes from. This is NOT a sponsored post. If you would like to know more about organic produce and have questions, leave me a comment or send me an email.

Who is Wholesum Harvest? 

Wholesum Harvest Family Farms is a third-generation family farm that has grown safe, wholesum food for 80 years. Am not going to say anything more, watch the video below

For the GIVEAWAY read on….

We know what is organic and we know that it is good for us. In the first segment I really wanted to address the pricing issue. The first thing I asked Mike from Wholesum Harvest  was about the pricing and why we need to pay a premium to eat healthy. This is what he had to say…

Conventional farmers use chemicals and synthetic pesticides and herbicides for pest and weed control.  These are cheap and fast.  Organic produce is grown without harmful chemicals.  Organic farmers hire more farm workers for these tasks, some of which are performed manually or by using bio-controls.  This is slower and obviously, more expensive.  The math is simple – there are greater labor inputs per unit of output.
In the case of Wholesum, we are Fair Trade Certified in all farming and greenhouse operations outside the US.  We participate in a Fair Trade program designed to have the workers that grow our food join in the economic benefits directly by charging a premium from consumers that is passed in its entirety to the workers.
Organic produce requires special handling after it is harvested – USDA organic certification requires that organic produce be stored and transported without coming into contact with conventionally grown produce.  This requirement continues through the entire supply chain.
Organic certification generates its own costs.  Farms and greenhouses must comply with specific standards.  There are also strict record keeping requirements and ongoing costs for inspections.
Government subsidies go primarily to conventional farmers.  In 2008, $7.5 billion was spent on farm subsidies.  $15 million was spent on programs for local and organic foods.
The hidden cost in all this is the price that all consumers pay for conventional foods.  Cleanup of land, soil and water pollution caused by damaging chemicals is borne by all consumers through their tax dollars.

At least now when I’m buying organic, I know why am paying the premium. I want to bring snippets of  information, and not make it one long and boring post. So watch out for this space, if you are looking for answers like me about what organic produce is all about.

There is a lot of information on the Wholesum Harvest Website. This is what I found on one of their Pinterest boards, I think we should cover this on our next segment. What do you guys think?

Mike from Wholesum was kind enough to giveaway 5 cutting boards (picture below) to 5 readers of Turmeric n Spice. The winners will be randomly picked.  There are really no rules for the giveaway,   this post is more about interaction and learning. But in order to pick 5 readers, you have to leave a comment on this post, it would be nice if you could like Wholesum Harvest on FB and you can follow me too, again that is not a criteria for entry. We would love to know what you want to cover in the next segment of ‘What’s on my plate?’ and your views on organic produce. So, don’t forget to leave a comment. A small token for you guys!
The giveaway is open to bloggers and non- bloggers residing in the USA.

There is a lot of information and recipes on the Wholesum Harvest website, you might want to stop by.

Photography by Simi Jois 

Photography by Simi Jois 

#FreshTomatoes #FreshProduce
Photography by Simi Jois 

#OrganicProduce #OrganicEggPlant
Photography by Simi Jois

The photographs below have been provided by Wholesum Harvest. All other photographs are shot by me, I absolutely enjoyed taking the pictures of these amazing produce. After I got them, I just washed them and took these pictures, don’t they look so fresh! Now all I want to do is visit Wholesum farms one day and eat right from the tomato tree, that would be a treat!  If you want to use my images, please email me or leave me a comment.

Photograph By Jerry Deutsch
I was given the produce to photograph for this post by Wholesum Harvest. WH  was generous to offer a giveaway  the readers . Thank you ! 
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