For The Love of Organics: Lettuce

It was August 2015; the leafy red romaine glistened under magenta light. This was the first time a vegetable was successfully grown in outer space and enjoyed by astronauts on the International Space Station.1 Fresh and drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil, this “home-grown” lettuce gave astronauts a dose of much needed vitamins and minerals while orbiting the Earth—and perhaps a taste of home. With a nutrient density profile that’s out of this world, lettuces are a great choice to incorporate into our diets, whether we’re on Earth-ground or space-bound. Just be sure to make them organic!

Eat Your Organic Greens

Organic Lettuce Leaf

It’s no wonder astronauts chose to grow lettuce in space first. There’s just something about a salad that with every bite you can feel your body come alive with nourishment. Lettuce is rich in vitamins A, C, K, and folate, and minerals like iron.2 3 Organic lettuce boasts all these benefits and contains higher amounts of vitamin C.4



Sweet Dreams are Made of Greens

The National Council on Aging reports that more than a third of Americans get less than seven hours of the recommended eight to 10 hours of sleep and 30 percent show signs of insomnia. Poor sleep quality is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.5 Studies show that lettuce helps promote a longer sleep duration. The milky white liquid you sometimes see cutting lettuce is lactucarium, a compound with sedative effects responsible for lettuce’s sleep-inducing properties.6 The studies are recent but the practice of eating lettuce to promote sleep dates back to the Roman empire when people would have a salad before bed. Now that’s a sweet-dreams veggie! 

Uptake Nutrients, Not Pesticides

Organic Lettuce Leaves

Romaine, green or red leaf, butter, arugula, iceberg, you name it—there are many crisp and delicious varieties to bite into! Generally speaking, the darker colored lettuces contain higher concentrations of nutrients, particularly antioxidants. With such a nourishing food, you want to get the most out of every bite and that means choosing organic for any variety of leafy green that speaks to you. Conventionally grown lettuces are sprayed with a wide array of toxic insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides. These sprays include a number of neonicotinoids, such as dinotefuran and imidacloprid, that pose a serious threat to bees and other pollinators.7 A recent study investigating how lettuces uptake dinotefuran found that lettuce absorbed 20 percent of the toxic spray. When a pesticide is absorbed into the plant, this means you can’t wash it off!8 Additionally, residues of the insecticide can be found in subsequent crops grown in the same soil. Choosing organic lettuce ensures a healthier soil for generations to come, and a healthier you! 


 Try Our Caesar Salad Wraps Recipe

A new twist on Caesar salad! This plant-based wrap highlights summer’s freshest lettuce, tossed in a premade Caesar dressing topped with crunchy roasted garbanzo beans, all rolled up in a gluten-free wrap. Perfect for a light lunch or dinner, it’s on the table in 30 minutes or less.




  1. Pearlman, R. Z. (2015, August 10). Astronauts take first bites of lettuce grown in space. Scientific American.…
  2. FoodData Central. (n.d.).
  3. Kim, M. J., Moon, Y., Tou, J. C., Mou, B., & Waterland, N. L. (2016). Nutritional value, bioactive compounds and health benefits of lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.). Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, 49, 19–34.
  4. Caliskan, S., Yetisir, H., & Karanlik, S. (2014). Combined use of green manure and farmyard manure allows better nutrition of organic lettuce. Notulae Botanicae Horti Agrobotanici Cluj- Napoca, 42(1), 248-254.
  5. Sleep statistics and Facts. (2024, March 11). NCOA Adviser.….
  6. Kim, H. D., Hong, K. T., Noh, D. O., & Suh, H. J. (2017). Sleep-inducing effect of lettuce (Lactuca sativa) varieties on pentobarbital-induced sleep. Food Science and Biotechnology, 26(3), 807–814.
  7. Pesticide Action Network. (n.d.). What’s on my food :: Pesticides on lettuce.
  8. Ham, H., Choi, J. Y., Jo, Y. J., Sardar, S. W., Ishag, A. E. S. A., Abdelbagi, A. O., & Hur, J. (2022). Residues and Uptake of Soil-Applied Dinotefuran by Lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) and Celery (Apium graveolens L.). Agriculture, 12(9), 1443.