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An Alternate Food System – The Ups and Downs

We recently received a complaint from a customer that one of the gourds she received had rot inside it. Here’s why that happened. The rot inside was caused by a cucurbit fruit fly. A perfectly normal looking fruit on the outside is spoilt by the fruit fly larvae inside. The cucurbit fruit fly is a tiny little pest that enters the fruit and lays larvae inside the fruit. The larvae consume the fruit on the inside leading to rot.

Now why is it so important to understand this when you watch what you eat? Switching to naturally/organically grown produce is a no-brainer. Chemically farmed produce is laced with pesticides to control pest attacks on crops. These are very effective in preventing pests and ensuring that you don’t get a nasty surprise when cutting open you your fruit. But at what cost? These pesticides are extremely harmful for human health, some of them which are known nerve toxins.

So the question must be asked – if the pesticides are so harmful, why do farmers use it? This is because the system forces them to. If they dont have perfect looking crops that check all the boxes, the wholesaler at the market will not give them a good price. If the farmer does not get a good price, then he incurs a loss on weeks, maybe months of toiling in the farm. This means that not only does he not have enough money to live, he also struggles to buy farm inputs for the next crop. Broadly speaking, this is how the system is rigged against farmers – not out of malice, but out of flaws in the system.

Organic and natural farmers swap out these harmful pesticides and use either pesticides using natural/bio-organic ingredients or use innovative pest control strategies like pheromone traps. Let’s be honest though – while this sounds like a better alternative, it is not as effective as a chemical pesticide.

So as a consumer choosing to buy organic, you also choose to be a part of a new system where farmers dont poison the food and get good prices for their produce and consumers understand how their produce is grown and accept the challenges. Having said that, at the end of the day the system cannot break down at either end. Consumers cannot be getting rotten produce all the time and farmers need a sustainable income to continue their farming methods.

Farmizen helps facilitate this seamless exchange by running quality checks on the produce before it reaches the consumers. But when dealing with the challenges of this new food system, some imperfect produce may slip through the cracks. While this may not be desirable, it sure is a great reassurance that your produce is actually clean and safe.

If you have any issues with your produce, please reach out to customer support who will gladly assist you with your issue.

 

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