Hong Kong: Are your organic fruits & vegetables really organic?

June 15th, 2012 | Posted by greg in Daily life...

Me: ” I think it’s important to raise the awareness of locally grown, sustainable and organic food. And I’d like to emphasize on the words local and sustainable because flying organic food from 9580 km by plane isn’t really sustainable! ”

Him: ” Look outside… you see the sky? It’s not blue… do you think organic is possible in Hong Kong? It’s impossible! I prefer to eat an organic product from [country located 9580 km from Hong Kong] rather than the one from Hong Kong!”

That was a talk between me and an industry colleague while planning the 2012 journee du gout a few month ago, an event where we try to show the youngster how ingredients and food should taste like and what is authentic food. This year, we were really in favor of bringing local farmers to the event to show the kids the importance of locally grown produces and that these fruits or vegetables are really sustainable, organic and delicious!

Perhaps, the person who attempted to end my idea of promoting local food was right… what if all these organic fruits and vegetables were indeed full of chemicals, pesticides or heavy metals? Truth or myth… In the end, I’m not much of a scientist and although I always believed in homegrown crops values, I couldn’t really prove the safety of the products. Actually, the government neither… it doesn’t even have any organic certification body! (…nor a glass recycling program for that matter!) EDIT 16/06/2012: Thanks to Janice’s information on government organic body, here is the link where more info can be found. Great news indeed! :)

Despite the argument and for my own peace of mind, I had to make this clear and the only people who could help us were scientists from a professional lab specialized in food analysis. On the next delivery of the organic farm fruits and vegetables, we’ve sent samples to the lab as we received the goods. Unwashed and in their original container.

For the next 10 days, the lab results were haunting me. I couldn’t wait…

Finally, we received the results of the analysis on figs, strawberries and tomatoes tested for more than 100 chemical agents, pesticides and heavy metals most commonly found in regular produces. There is an 8 pages document for each one of them and there was absolutely NOTHING found on all the products!

Have a look for yourself below on the figs report.

Organic fruits and vegetables from Hong Kong are really clean and safe, so go ahead and indulge yourself!

These local farmer’s fruits traveled 35 km from Fanling to Central District (through Western Harbour Tunnel) and the farmer’s car produced about 6.5 kilos of CO2 for a single trip. On the other hand, the cargo flight taken by the imported fruits traveled 9580.65 km and produced a staggering average of 4.8 tons of CO2 (based on a B747 Cargo) that will be nicely released in the air we, and our children, breath everyday.

Hong Kong is polluted and the air we breath clearly isn’t the best on the planet, I give you that. Also, the organic fruits produced in Europe are indeed delicious, accredited organic and grown in the respect of a centenary tradition. The issue isn’t about the product itself, but about the distance it traveled to reach your plate. Whilst the heavy metal and other air pollution can have devastating health effect on human, the locally organically grown fruits and vegetable are absolutely clean and safe to consume, much like  Hong Kong honey for that matter.

Give the planet a rest: Eat organic & local!


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