Spinach… Super Food or Super Bad?

We all know spinach is good for us, right? Well… it depends.

• Spinach is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It has very few calories (7 calories and 0 g of fat per cup), provides few carbs, and 1 gram of fiber.

• Baby spinach and mature spinach provide the same benefits, and both are readily available in most grocery stores.

• Even more benefits abound: a serving of raw spinach provides 56% of your vitamin A, and contains good amounts of vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, folate, vitamin E, potassium, vitamin B6 and B12. Spinach provides 14 percent of the RDA for vitamin C, 3 percent of calcium and 5 percent of iron.

• It also offers the trace minerals selenium, copper and zinc.

• Would you like me to continue? Okay, spinach is full of phytonutrients (stuff that fights against inflammation) such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which help with eyesight and protecting your body from illness and chronic disease.

This is where it gets interesting. Spinach is one of the “dirty dozen” listed by the Environmental Working Group. These are the items with the heaviest toxic chemical load. Please search out organic versions of ANYTHING on this list. How much contamination do you think is okay?

• The EWG found nine different chemicals present in conventional spinach. Eighth on the list out of 12, it was found to be one of the most commonly tainted crops. Some of the pesticides used on spinach are the most powerful toxins available or approved in the United States for food crops.

• The FDA has conducted similar tests and has found that 83% of conventionally grown spinach tested positive for dangerous levels of some of the 36 chemical pesticides commonly used to grow it. If the spinach comes from other countries- the number goes up- 57 pesticides have been found.

• Many of these chemicals are carcinogens. Dr. Sears (www.askdrsears.com) emphasis the benefits of spinach- calling a salad that includes it an ‘anti-cancer’ salad. Does anyone see the irony here? Spray cancer fighting spinach with cancer causing chemicals, wait for the rain and time to dissipate the levels to ‘acceptable’ and then feed it to the masses?

• And then they wash it. And contamination spreads. And they add sanitizers to the water to prevent contamination from spreading. And mostly it works. Except for the stories you hear on the news about bacteria outbreaks.

Okay, I’ll get off that soap box. I just want people to know what they are putting on the dinner table in the name of health.

And now for the GOOD NEWS! Red Ridge Farms spinach … JUST PLAIN GOOD FOR YOU.

• zero pesticides,

• zero chemical fertilizers,

• and zero chemicals in our wash water, wait… what wash water?

We grow our spinach in thick rows 36” wide. Plants are so tight, we don’t have to worry about weeds (ergo- no need for herbicides). We cover our spinach with a light weight blanket that allows sun and moisture through (ergo- most bugs can’t find the spinach- no need for insecticides). We harvest when temperatures are cool to preserve the crisp foliage, and immediately bag it for you. We do not wash it (no sanitizers, and no spreading of any contaminants). Our eaters (that means you) wash it right before eating, and the leaves stay crisp and fresh. Our spinach usually lasts 2 weeks in the fridge BECAUSE we don’t wash it ahead of time.

Please folks, take responsibility for what you feed those you love. We buckle our seat belts, right? We put fire detectors in our houses, right? How important is the food that fuels our lives? Don’t take my word for it, though. Do your own research, and take responsibility for your health. As always, thanks for reading- have a great and BLESSED day.


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