Lies, Misinformation, and Bad Advice… At the Farmer’s Market!

A few days ago, I made a quick trip to our nearest Farmer’s Market. It was a perfect sunshiney morning, I was up and at ’em super early, work out was done, traffic was light… this was going to be awesomeness!

I was on a super-focused turbo mission to buy 4 potted flowers, 1/2 dozen or so organic tomato plants, and 2 scones to bribe my children with when I got back home. (#parentingskills)

My goal was to be in and outta’ there in 30 minutes or less since I had to retrieve the sleepy-head children and drag them into work with me!

Goal #1 – potted flowers – was accomplished in under 5 minutes. Perfect!

After loading them into my car, I headed back in to find organic tomato plants. I found the only booth I could (easily) see that had vegetable plants.

After a minute or so of searching on my own, a worker approached and asked if she could help me find anything. This is where it got fun!

I said, “Yes. I’m looking for organic tomato plants.”

She turned to another lady (who I later discovered was the owner of the farm), and asked, “Would you classify our plants as organic?”

I thought that was kinda’ weird… like, shouldn’t you already know that, if you’re part of this operation?

I was ok with the response the owner lady gave… at least initially. It was the fairly common “We’re not *certified* organic because it’s just so costly to get that official certification… BUT we grow our plants with the same standards as organic.”

I’m (usually) cool with that.

She told me what they used and didn’t use throughout their entire growing process, and I thought I’d just seal the deal with “That’s all good… I’m just making sure none of these have been sprayed with or treated with any pesticides or herbicides.”

I fully expected to hear “Of COURSE not!” in response.

Instead, I got “No, we don’t use anything like that on our plants. … BUT, I think people are going WAY overboard about pesticides. They’re really not THAT bad. (Me, silently gasping at this point.) I mean, it’s kind of ridiculous how worried we are about them… they’re like antibiotics and we ALL take antibiotics ALL the time….”

I quickly looked at the time, calculating whether or not I had time for a mini health lecture at this point in my day… and whether or not I had enough coffee in me to engage like this so early in the day. 😉

I thought I’d end the conversation rather quickly with my personal observation that, “Actually, I haven’t taken antibiotics in 40 years!”

Nope. Conversation didn’t end.

She responded with, “Well, maybe YOU haven’t, but EVERYONE takes antibiotics ALL the time… they’re harmless AND they help.”

Moi, while cringe-smiling: “My husband hasn’t taken them for probably 40 years, either, and our teenage children have never taken them. And I don’t really agree that they’re *harmless*.”

(WHYYYYYYYY??? I just want tomato plants, lady!!)

She continued with, “If you’re sick, you take antibiotics. So, if a plant needs it, that’s what pesticides are there for. They make plants healthy.”

Wrong, wrong, and wrong.

By this time I needed to know, “Wait… are your plants sick? And if they are or were, isn’t it a bit late to apply pesticides? Isn’t it an issue with the soil… or something else in the environment? Can you just tell me if these tomato plants were given antibiotics, er, um, I mean… pesticides??”

Seriously. Too early for this. I should’ve gone to the scone booth first.

Nope, her plants weren’t sick, but she just wanted to make sure I understood that pesticides were a GOOD thing… good for the plants and good for US.


You already know that 2 minutes into this conversation I was looking around for the hidden cameras!

Un. Be. Flipping. Lievable.

I’m not sure how anyone, other than large chemical corporations, could seriously think that pesticides, insecticides, and herbicides are GOOD for us!!

They wreak havoc on our endocrine system – hormones/hormone receptors, they’re linked to cancer, they contribute to a laundry list of negative issues related to the gut and gut permeability, including food sensitivities and allergies, they affect our central nervous system, they directly contribute to cellular toxicity and systemic inflammation, and they play a role in brain/neurological function… and brain/neurological degeneration, to name a few!

I don’t think that pesticides are like antibiotics for plants. I think they’re more like chemotherapy. And I’m not going to eat chemotherapy anytime soon, thankyouverymuch. I understand “there’s a time and a place”… but, nope. You sure as heck aren’t convincing me, lady.

Science IS consistently discovering the horrible ramifications of a population eating foods and drinking drinks treated with poison. It’s seriously not rocket science.

Add to that, injecting toxins and taking prescription or over-the-counter toxins, and we’re ticking time bombs!

It IS important to choose organic when you can, or at least Non-GMO. It DOES make a difference in both our short-term AND long-term health and function. And, if you know you’ve been eating “conventional” foods all along (likely treated with chemicals), then it’s even MORE important that not only do you reduce your intake of toxic foods, but you help your body properly unload some of that toxic burden. The right detoxification process – one that addresses toxicity at the level of the CELL – can change the path your health is on.

I’m not sure where Farmer Lady got her “facts”, but I won’t be going to another one of her health lectures the next time I visit the Farmer’s Market! (Other than that, she really was quite a lovely person! ha!)

I WILL go back for the bribery scones, though!

Teach your kiddos the basics of making healthy nutrition choices for LIFE with my easy peesy “menu” and food guide. MY children used this when they were littles… and still refer to lessons learned from it a decade later! Every family kitchen should have one!

Dr. Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat (“Dr Mom Online”) is a long-time personality in Natural Health & Wellness and is in her 24th year of active practice in Michigan, along with her husband Dr. Marc VanHoogstraat. She’s also the proud mom of two fabulous kiddos that she currently home schools – really, she’s more of their Manager at this point in their education! 

Her unique perspective of the science of Wellness provides predictable solutions and transformational results for those struggling with chronic health issues, as well as those seeking lifelong health. To discover her simple strategies for creating better health through functional nutrition, movement, mindset, cellular detoxification, hormonal optimization, and metabolic re-setting, jump on board as a regular reader of Dr Mom Online when you plug in your name and email address and follow along on Facebook at

Dr. Trombley

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