My strawberry lovefest continues with this fresh, vibrant and flavourful salad. You'll love how easy it is too! In a previous post, I talked about the blood sugar balancing effects, anti-inflammatory benefits and vitamin C content of strawberries, so for this post I thought I would address a question that people ask me all the time:
When purchasing strawberries, should you buy local, organic or both?
The quick answer is organic and if you can get both organic and local, even better! When strawberries are in season, the best place to find local and organic strawberries is at a farmers markets. If you're not sure if the strawberries are organic, just ask the farmer before you purchase.
Strawberries are part of the Dirty Dozen which means they are included in the top 12 fruits and vegetables that contain the HIGHEST level of pesticide residues. In fact, they are ranked number 4 on the list which makes them a heavy-pesticide food because the lower the number the higher the pesticides. In fact, the USDA found that a single strawberry contained anywhere from 13 to 54 different pesticides.
These pesticides are linked to cancer, hormone disruption, and developmental problems in children, says soil science expert Margaret Reeves, PhD, senior scientist with Pesticide Action Network.
The challenge with strawberries is that their little seeds are the perfect hiding ground for synthetic chemicals and it is next to impossible to wash them all off. Furthermore, pesticides are sprayed as the fruit is growing. Many people have the misconception that pesticides are just found on the outside of a fruit or veggie. If the fruit or veggie has been sprayed since it started growing then you get bet it's also in the flesh as well.
In the winter, I purchase organic frozen strawberries because they are usually still local rather than fresh organic strawberries from far away that are white inside and tasteless. This is because they've been picked long before they started to ripen.
A comment I often hear people say is:"I just don't have the money to purchase organic, it's too expensive".
Healthy, organic food isn't expensive; the problem is that we simply don't value food the same way we did a century ago (the same goes for clothing). In the early 1900's people would spend over half their weekly earnings on food and apparel, now it's less than one fifth. Instead of feeding and clothing our families we are spending it on fancy houses and cars. The other issue (which really requires an entire blog post) is that cheap food is too cheap compared to healthy food making it seem as though "healthy" food is expensive.
Also remember that the average North American wastes 40% of their food each week because it rots in their fridge! If more people simply ate what they purchased imagine how much $$ they could save.
When you consider the benefits of organic farming to both us and our planet, supporting farmers that nurture and appreciate the land has far reaching impacts for future generations to come. Here are some ways to
So as you're enjoying this wonderfully nourishing and delicious salad, think of the love that went into the farming of the delicious organic ingredients you are eating!
To toast the almonds: Coarsely chop and place on a baking sheet. Preheat oven to 300F. Toast for 10-12 minutes or until almonds get "toasty". Be careful they don't burn.
*You probably noticed by the size, I used organic mini cucumbers I got in my organics delivery box, but you could use any kind of cucumber.
For more strawberry recipes, check out:
Have a joyous day!