If you've ever had the pleasure of receiving the chemical-free, farm fresh goodness of a Hug-A-Root Family Farms home delivery, you might have noticed the food was unwashed or even coated in a light, powdery substance.
Did you know that these factors are actually good things for the shelf life and quality of your food? Executive Director and farmer Josh Casey explains why!
Common home delivery questions answered by Farmer Josh:
QUESTION #1: Why is there sometimes powder on my chemical-free food?
The number one question so far has been about the white powder sometimes seen on the greens. It is food-grade diatomaceous earth, a commonly used natural pest control remedy.
It is generally recognized as safe as long as you are not continuously inhaling the dried powder. DE is commonly used to control pest on pets as well and some people add it to their smoothies! Here is a link to a great resource for all about DE.
We use this exclusively to help control the number of pests on your food. It is applied often and, to make a real difference, it is applied pretty heavily.
QUESTION #2: Why is my food unwashed and sometimes with dirt on it?
The answer is simple. By keeping your food unwashed until you're ready to eat it, your food remains fresh for the longest amount of time possible, without using preservatives.
Mashed.com, a resource for food knowledge and recipes, has a good article on this topic. Here is what they have to say:
“Washing your produce before storing it can actually do more harm than good, and not only is the dampness going to create the perfect environment for bacteria to grow, but it's also going to speed up the process in which your food goes bad. In most cases, fruits and vegetables have been prepped for grocery store or farmer's' market presentation, and that means they're free of the majority of the dirt and have at least been given a cursory wash. That all means that in order to keep your produce at its freshest for the longest amount of time, you should wait until right before you're going to use it to wash it. If you absolutely can't bear to put away dirty produce, dry it thoroughly before putting it away — but remember that you can only get produce so dry”
SUMMARY: It's because we care!
See, your local producers really care about the quality of the food you are eating. If we wash it thoroughly before delivery, you are actually getting food of lesser quality than what we bring you straight from the ground!
I have to admit it took me a little while to accept this fact, until I started watching the stuff I spent time washing before I put in the fridge turn bad more quickly, and I still felt like it needed washing again before I chopped and prepared it.
Yes, we want to bring you the prettiest veggies around, but most importantly we want you eating the most nutrient-dense food available.
Remember the line “Beauty is Only Skin Deep”? Very appropriate here. The real beauty in the food we bring you is on the inside -- nutrient-rich, farm-fresh, cleanly-grown goodness!