The majority of the conversation around organic versus conventional foods tends to be centered around meats and produce, but there are other key ingredients utilized to enhance the flavors of our foods – herbs and spices. When we were developing the quality standards for The Foodery back in 2012, it quickly became apparent that utilizing only organic herbs and spices was the way to go. Here’s what you should know about conventional versus organic herbs and spices.
Pesticides & Processing
Let’s not forget that herbs and spices are derived from plants and are exposed to pests, bacteria and other contaminants as they’re grown. To combat these issues, conventional farming practices incorporate widespread pesticide use, so it’s the same issues we’ve been hearing about regarding the produce we consume. Purchasing organic herbs & spices is the only way to ensure that what you’re consuming hasn’t been tainted with pesticides, chemicals or genetic modification.
In addition, the manufacturing process for conventional herbs and spices includes more controversial and potentially harmful practices. One is a sterilization process that utilizes ethylene oxide – a toxic chemical that’s been associated with central nervous system effects and cancer in workers that extensively exposed. Irradiation is another common practice that utilizes ionizing radiation to eliminate potential contaminants in herb, spices and other foods potentially creating carcinogenic by-products in the process. Ethylene oxide and irradiation can both be avoided by purchasing organic herbs and spices. Organic spice companies utilize a variety of other methods to eliminate bacteria like steaming, freezing and sun-drying.
Function Meets Health
On a recent search for adobo spice, we came across a conventionally produced brand containing MSG (monosodium glutamate) – a common flavor enhancer that, according to our friend Dr. Mercola, is “the silent killer lurking in your kitchen cabinets”. MSG is on The Foodery’s and Whole Foods’ banned ingredients lists. The point is that conventional herbs and spices contain all kinds of fillers, preservatives and artificial flavors utilized to lower manufacturing cost and artificially enhance flavor. You won’t have these issues with organic product.
Now, in regards to health promotion, not only do these plants add flavor and complexity to once bland dishes, but herbs and spices have also been used for centuries for their health benefits. Many herbs and spices have antibacterial and antiviral properties, while others provide antioxidants or aid in reducing inflammation. As if we needed any more reasons to indulge here.
Due to all of the above, it is The Foodery’s Ingredient Standard to craft meals using only Organic herbs and spices.
No fillers; no pesticides; no chemicals. It’s really not that hard, don’t ya think? Yeah, we thought so too….now enjoy!