Indoor Salads and the Pesticide Dirty Dozen | indoorsalad
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Indoor Salads and the Pesticide Dirty Dozen

indoor home-grown kale - dinosaur and curly blue dwarf varietiesWhat vegetables should you grow indoors? In Indoor Salad, I focused on the salad crops we eat fresh, year round – lettuce, other greens, herbs, cukes, tomatoes, and peppers. There's a lot of overlap between that list and the "dirty dozen" – the commercial vegetables most contaminated with pesticides and chemicals. EWG's 2013 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce gives the low-down on the worst, and best, vegetables to buy non-organically. It also discusses where to find GMO's at the supermarket. (Executive summary: they're everywhere except the produce aisle.)

Indoor Salad crops on the "dirty dozen":

  • Cherry tomatoes

  • Cucumbers

  • Peppers, hot and sweet

  • Spinach

  • Kale and collard greens

The Shopper's Guide suggests that you either pay extra to buy these organic, or substitute cleaner choices. Or, grow them yourself, indoors and year-round.

Kale is a great choice to grow yourself. Kale gets a lot of attention lately as a healthy superfood. But the Shopper's Guide points out that commercial kale is "commonly contaminated with pesticides exceptionally toxic to the nervous system."

But kale is easy to grow indoors! Kale takes only about 6 weeks to grow to normal size, less if you want to eat it baby size for salad greens. Kale grows easily in potting mix, hydroponics, or Indoor Salad lettuce splasher. (If you order a splasher, just ask for kale for your bonus seeds!)

In fact, it's easier to grow kale indoors than outdoors. There's a reason commercial growers use pesticides – the cabbage white buttefly. Or rather, the caterpillar offspring of the cabbage white butterfly. Check out my grow log testing three ways to grow kale. It's still growing outdoors now, full of holes and making caterpillars very happy.

If you're buying and eating fresh veggies for your health – especially kale – you owe it to your piggybank to grow some indoors.