I went to the local farmer's market today and as I passed the stands most of the produce looked absolutely perfect. The last stand I passed had beautiful produce, but I noticed something different... bug eaten leaves. I took another look and I noticed a sign on their table stating CHEMICAL FREE PRODUCE. I asked the nice woman behind the table and she told me that they don't use pesticides on their farm.
This reminded me of a conversation that I had with a friend not long ago. She told me that she bought some organic produce and she seemed a little grossed out that the produce was full of bugs. I told her that was a great sign, and she seemed a little surprised. What I was thinking was, if they were using a pesticide, then it would definitely be bug free.
I also recently visited a friend that was telling me a story about pesticide free fruit on her parent's land. I believe her dad called the fruit "ugly fruit" and so they gave it to her, because she buys organic. She said she had tried some peaches from the grocery store and they were bland and dry. The "ugly fruit" was full of flavor and so juicy she said it was dripping down her chin.
I think that I would take the ugly produce over the mass produced, blemish free produce that appears to be perfect, but is it really perfect after all?

I'll start by saying that I was not a fan of curry, or Indian food. My hubby and I were invited to a friend's house for dinner and they had roasted sweet potatoes with curry on the menu. I always try to be the best guest possible and I knew that I would have to try the dish, but I had already decided that I wouldn't like it. Well, I tried it and I was pleasantly surprised how the curry brought out the sweet, delicious flavor of the sweet potato. I realized that I needed to go home and take another look at curry.
I had heard people refer to curry as "the spice of life" and I wanted to find out more. I believe that turmeric is more commonly called "the spice of life", and turmeric is essential for making curry. The  curry powder in my cabinet contains cumin, turmeric, coriander, chile pepper, mustard, cardamom, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, red pepper, cinnamon, black pepper, and safron. Researchers are finding that curry may be useful in warding off Alzheimer's, certain cancers and possibly some forms of arthritis.
I wanted to start taking a closer look at many of the spices found in my cabinet. In the early nineties I had a friend that would make her own herbal supplements using garlic, cinnamon and other spices. She purchased the capsules at a local herbal supplier because at the time you couldn't readily purchase spices in capsule form (now you can even get odor free garlic). Her father had just been diagnosed with high blood pressure, so she wanted him to try a combination of garlic and cinnamon. Under the care of his doctor he started the capsules, along with a diet change, and his blood pressure lowered. She let me borrow a book with all natural remedies and I found it intriguing. I remember the author stating something to the effect of, "This is what the drug companies don't want you to know." At the time I remember people stating that taking herbs was "quackery", but many of the supplements I read about are now being validated with research. I also remember hearing the drug companies stating how dangerous the side-effects of herbal supplements can be, all the while, the side-effect list on many prescription drugs was growing. Just something to think about, and possibly discuss with my doctor. In the meantime, I'll continue using my all natural curry full of wonderful spices that have been in use for centuries.

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