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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  1. So fresh and mouthwatering veggies. I am sure this brand would be an integral part of our lives very soon.

  2. I think a lot of us debate the organic question. If money was no object, we would do organic all the time. We find it generally does taste better when using organic. Love your pics

  3. Thank you for the give away.

    Yes to organic veggies and all the time. Organic and non-GMO are what we need to bring back. We do a bit of gardening and save some summer produce and nothing can beat the taste of organic produce. It is kinder to our earth and a better world for our future generations.

  4. Thanks for the giveaway.

    There is absolutely no doubt that organic vegetables and fruits taste better. It is also kind to our earth and a better future for the generations to come.

  5. Fresh and healthy vegetables real treat for eyes,natural way of farming always good and it give great taste to vegetables and fruits. Lovely and beautiful clicks.

  6. Nice clicks Simi. I'm usually torn too when it comes to buying organic and price is the biggest factor. Now I understand the reason - thank you for that. This is a very interesting topic and I'm looking forward to your future posts. What really caught my interest is the difference in nutrients between organic and conventional veggies. Something to think about when buying produce.

  7. Not sure if my previous comments went through, sorry if there are more than 1 or 2...
    Nice clicks Simi. I'm usually torn too when it comes to buying organic and price is the biggest factor. Now I understand the reason - thank you for that. This is a very interesting topic and I'm looking forward to your future posts. What really caught my interest is the difference in nutrients between organic and conventional veggies. Something to think about when buying produce.

  8. Beautiful pics..Thanks for the Giveaway a nd also sharing some good info about orgianic food.
    Health is wealth.So even if the organic products are bit expensive it is worth paying it.According to studies,Organic foods are healthier, safe and Nutritious. so lets hope for a change in the near future.

  9. Thanks for this incredible eye opener.Amazing information and comparison with conventional farming. The pictures are superb. Yes we need to look at organic veggies much more seriously.

  10. I didn't pay much attention to the organic vs. conventional debate..until I got pregnant. As I started reading and learning more, we switched to organic. Fresh, natural and pesticide free. Both my husband and I almost have the "dirty dozen" list almost memorized and pay close attention when our 2 tear old daughter is eating out.

  11. Nice shots Simi!!!

    I love gardening and last few years I have been doing organic backyard gardening during summer. From soil to plant food, I have tried organic and some cases I got organic plant developed from organic seeds. That is the hard part, to get organic plants to start with. It is really hard to keep the garden bug free especially after rain. I use garlic as my main pesticide and works for most cases. There are lot of tips on the web posted by lot of gardeners to keep plants healthy by planting certain veggies together. I am looking forward to see more info on organic gardening and the produce. It is also important to know that not all produce marked as organic is truly organic, so identifying them is the biggest dilemma. I believe getting the produce from a trusted organic brand might be smart way to do so.

  12. Hi Simmi,Thanks for the very incredible useful information, I believe each & every food item grown must be without pesticides and herbicides, which are safer for you and for the planet. i encourage to buy those food products which are certified organic by Quality Assurance International (QAI). Actually all the consumers/buyers should be educated enough about long term benefits of organic food & needless to say organic food taste so delicious. Organic farming practices are designed to encourage soil and water conservation and reduce pollution. Farmers who grow organic produce and meat don't use conventional methods to fertilize, control weeds or prevent livestock disease. Products that are completely organic — such as fruits, vegetables, eggs or other single-ingredient foods are labeled 100 percent organic and can carry the USDA seal. I strongly believe organic food is the way to go there is no question about it, after having enough information & knowledge one should wisely decide what's good for themselves & also to think about managing cash flow to afford organic food. but hey you pay now or pay later?


Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to browse. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. Hope you enjoy your stay :))


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