For the past two or three years I have been reading “Eating Right for Good Health” by corporate dietitian Leah McGrath from Ingles Markets in Mountain Xpress. At first I would hear about all the new organic fruits, veggies and new products that Ingles had to carry and the benefits of gluten-free, etc.
Then, in the last month or so, she did a 180-degree turn and started talking about the harmlessness of (some) chemicals and the good use of pesticides. WHAT? As a dietitian, maybe she should inform people about what’s in season and great ways to use it for the most health benefits.
Let us decide whether to buy organic or not. I would think as a nonspecialty grocery store, Ingles would want a diverse clientele to shop there.
This weird backlash against organic is just going to make some people shop someplace else. My advice: Be like Switzerland and stay neutral.
Leah McGrath’s response: Dear Kelli, First of all, thanks so much for being a loyal reader of my column in the Mountain Xpress! I get a lot of comments and compliments on this column and appreciate all of the Mountain Xpress readers.
I think you may be referring to my interview with farmer William Shelton, in which he talks about the use of pesticides. Ingles buys Shelton Family Farms (Whittier, N.C.) hydroponic lettuce and Mountain Majesty tomatoes.
I hope you will read this week’s article, which is based on a blog:firstname.lastname@example.org.
I wrote about New Sprout Organic Farms of Black Mountain. Ingles is the largest buyer of their locally raised organic produce like kale, Swiss chard and beets. New Sprout, like Shelton Family Farms, uses pesticides. In fact both farmers – one conventional and one organic – use copper sulfate, which is approved by the National Organic Program.
My goals are: to encourage consumption of fruits and vegetables; inform people of the facts about food labels and terms; dispel fears and misinformation about food; and introduce our shoppers to some of the local farmers Ingles buys from.
As a dietitian and consumer, I am proud of the fact that Ingles offers a variety of locally grown produce (both conventional and organic) and that I have had opportunities to meet and work with many of the hardworking farmers throughout the Southeast that supply Ingles Markets.