Pesticide-free herbs

Fresh pot­ted herbs can be found more and more often in our kit­chen. Inte­re­stin­gly eno­ugh, in addi­tion to impro­ving the taste and smell of dishes, they signi­fi­can­tly incre­ase the­ir nutri­tio­nal value and extend food use­ful­ness. Herbs have many bene­fi­cial pro­per­ties, for exam­ple they impro­ve the func­tio­ning of dige­sti­ve sys­tem, spe­ed up inte­sti­nal peri­stal­sis, redu­ce can­cer risk, have an antia­the­ro­sc­le­ro­sis effect, redu­ce hyper­ten­sion, signi­fi­can­tly incre­ase the body­’s immu­ni­ty and have a viral and bac­te­ri­ci­dal effect.

In 2017, Bia­ły­stok Uni­ver­si­ty of Tech­no­lo­gy con­duc­ted rese­arch on the influ­en­ce of extract from selec­ted spi­ce plants on deve­lo­ping selec­ted micro­or­ga­ni­sms. Stu­died plants inc­lu­ded gin­ger, dill, mari­gold flo­wer, lova­ge and thy­me. It turns out that the most possi­ble bac­te­rial inhi­bi­to­ry pro­per­ties were indi­ca­ted by the lova­ge extract. After 24 and 48 hour incu­ba­tion, it destroy­ed as much as 90% of Esche­ri­chia coli, Sta­phy­lo­coc­cus aureus, Pseu­do­mo­nas aeru­gi­no­sa, Bacil­lus sub­ti­lis and Can­di­da albi­cans. This rese­arch indi­ca­ted simi­lar effects of thy­me, dill and gin­ger. Tho­se bene­fi­cial pro­per­ties of the herbs ori­gi­na­te from pre­sen­ce of antio­xi­dants, main­ly: fla­vo­no­ids, phe­no­lic acid and vita­min C. Howe­ver, con­tent of the­se bene­fi­cial sub­stan­ces depends on the crop cul­ti­va­tion, inc­lu­ding the use of che­mi­cal plant pro­tec­tion pro­ducts, i.e. pesticides.

Using them is gover­ned by law, which means that they can­not be used libe­ral­ly, sin­ce a nega­ti­ve effect on human health has been pro­ven. In such situ­ation, inept use of pesti­ci­des is the most dan­ge­ro­us for our lives (ove­ru­sing pesti­ci­des or failu­re to com­ply with plant with­dra­wal periods). This can lead to an over­sup­ply of the­se com­po­unds with food, which can accu­mu­la­te in bodies. In this case, risk of occur­ren­ce of many civi­li­za­tion dise­ases, inc­lu­ding can­cer and infer­ti­li­ty, incre­ases signi­fi­can­tly. Howe­ver, not using pesti­ci­des at all in the crop acti­va­tes the defen­ce sys­tem in plant tis­su­es by incre­asing the syn­the­sis of bene­fi­cial phe­no­lic com­po­unds cal­led “natu­ral pesti­ci­des”. Stu­dies by Young et al. indi­ca­ted that che­mi­cal­ly unpro­tec­ted plants had more dama­ge than leaf pests, but at the same time the­ir tis­su­es con­ta­ined higher levels of afo­re­men­tio­ned polyphenols.

Con­scio­us pro­du­cers do not use pesti­ci­des at all, which is guaran­te­ed by the­ir food safe­ty cer­ti­fi­ca­tes. Pot­ted herbs sup­plied to reta­il cha­ins are not only inspec­ted in deta­il at each sta­ge of the gre­en­ho­use pro­duc­tion, but are also tested in inde­pen­dent che­mi­cal labo­ra­to­ries on behalf of the reta­il chains.

Ori­ga­num — a year-round sup­plier of pot­ted herbs to the lar­gest reta­il cha­ins in Poland — belongs to the gro­up of con­scio­us pro­du­cers. Ori­ga­num experts for pests and fun­gal dise­ases use natu­ral ways that are seen in natu­re and adap­ted by scien­ti­sts for gre­en­ho­use use. Aphi­dius Cole­ma­ni is one of the natu­ral allies, becau­se during its short life (usu­al­ly 10 days), it is able to destroy seve­ral hun­dred aphids. Advan­ta­ges of using natu­ral methods inc­lu­de human health and envi­ron­ment protection.
We are luc­ky that Ori­ga­num does not use pesti­ci­des at all. All of this is sup­po­sed to incre­ase quali­ty of the pro­ducts and stay true to the mis­sion of com­pa­ny foun­ders, name­ly: “Pro­vi­de only safe food to the socie­ty”. That gives us, con­su­mers, con­fi­den­ce that we eat not only tasty, but mostly heal­thy herbs in our favo­uri­te dishes. Artic­le was writ­ten in coope­ra­tion with Nina Łan­gow­ska, MSc — medi­cal nutri­tio­nist, bio­lo­gist, gra­du­ate of Medi­cal Uni­ver­si­ty and Uni­ver­si­ty of Gdańsk.