For The Love of Organics: Asparagus

It’s springtime, baby! The flowers are beginning to burst into bloom, the air is warming, and the birds are singing sweetly to usher in a new season. It just so happens that it is also peak asparagus season. Asparagus is no ordinary green veggie—it’s rhizomatic roots can reach over six feet deep (!!) into the soil to draw up a bounty of nutrients. Asparagus shoots grow so quickly that during peak season they require daily harvesting by hand. A veggie well worth all the trouble for its plentiful nutrient profile!

Eat Your Greens

Asparagus makes a great side dish, but with such an impressive resume of nutritional benefits, it’s time to give this green veggie the lead role! In fact, it has even been listed as one of the top 14 healthiest veggies we can eat.1 Asparagus is packed with fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E, and K, and chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells, regulating blood sugar levels.2 3 Asparagus is also loaded with antioxidants to fight free radicals and is also well known for its detoxifying properties.


Cashew Cream of Asparagus Soup RecipeTry Our Cashew Cream of Asparagus Soup Recipe

During these still-cool spring days, creamy soup is a wonderful way to enjoy asparagus. This recipe lightens it up a bit by using homemade cashew cream rather than heavy cream. For a deliciously silky-smooth soup, look for thinner stalks of asparagus.



Feeding the Feel-Good Factor

Keeping the microbes in our guts happy helps us stay happy, too! Fibrous asparagus makes an excellent prebiotic, feeding the healthy bacteria in our bellies. Additionally, asparagus is a great source of folate, with 149 mcg in a 100-gram serving, or about six spears (the recommended daily serving is 400 mcg).4 Folate plays many important roles in the body, including supporting mental health—studies have shown that low levels of folate can contribute to depression.5 Go ahead, trust that gut feeling and include organic asparagus in your next meal!

Green Stalks and Grey Skies

Organic Asparagus StalksOf the 42 pesticides commonly used on asparagus, 40 are linked to chronic health problems (such as cancer) in farmworkers; 17 of those 40 are considered acutely toxic, creating a hazardous environment for farmers and their families; 20 contaminate streams or groundwater; 35 are poisonous to wildlife’ and 15 are considered toxic to honey bees and other insect pollinators.6 Furthermore, most of the asparagus available in the U.S. is imported from Central and South America. As part of the import process, asparagus is sprayed with methyl bromide to prevent introducing unwanted insects. Methyl bromide is a highly toxic fumigant that depletes the ozone. For this reason, it has been phased out of most uses except for so-called ‘critical’ uses like pre-shipment.7 Over the last few years, Peru has been pushing for the U.S. to change its fumigation practices, citing research that shows this highly toxic spray is not only damaging the environment, but also shortens the shelf-life of the asparagus.8 There is hope that in next few years things could change. One not-so-small step toward change? Always choosing organic—which prohibits the use of synthetic pesticides and methyl bromide—whenever possible and showing the agricultural industry we care about the health of the planet and all the beings who inhabit it.


  1. Ajmera, R. (2023, February 23). 14 of the healthiest vegetables around. Healthline.
  2. Fooddata Central Search Results: Asparagus, cooked, boiled, drained. FoodData Central. (n.d.).
  3. Chromium. The Nutrition Source. (2023, March 7).
  4. Fooddata Central Search Results: Asparagus, cooked, boiled, drained. FoodData Central. (n.d.).
  5. Clapp, M., Aurora, N., Herrera, L., Bhatia, M., Wilen, E., & Wakefield, S. (2017). Gut microbiota's effect on mental health: The gut-brain axis. Clinics and practice7(4), 987.
  7. Methyl bromide | US EPA. United States Environmental Protection Agency. (n.d.).
  8. D. J. Beever , C. W. Yearsley & M. G. Hogg (1985) Effect of post-harvest fumigation on quality of asparagus spears, New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research, 28:4. DOI: 10.1080/00288233.1985.10418000