For The Love of Organics: Winter Squash

In November, the smell of food is different. It is an orange smell. A squash and pumpkin smell. It tastes like cinnamon and can fill up a house in the morning, can pull everyone from bed in a fog...

–Cynthia Rylant, In November

Winter Squash Organics

Can you smell it?

The pumpkin pancakes wafting through your morning haze? The savory notes of a butternut squash hash tempting you from your dreams? It smells like cozy breakfasts and festive gatherings, and best of all, when winter squash is on the menu, it’s as good for you as it smells. Every bite includes a serving of cell-protecting, immunity-supporting phytonutrients called carotenoids.1 2 Carotenoids are potent antioxidants, defending cells from free radical damage, and some, particularly beta carotene, can be converted by the body to vitamin A, a critical nutrient for immune function.3 4 5 Butternut squash and pumpkin are especially rich in beta carotene, and they also provide another immunity supporting nutrient—vitamin C!6 7 8 9 10 So during this season of extra indulgences, why not treat yourself to food that has your back, and your taste buds too?


What doesn’t smell cozy and delicious?

Synthetic chemicals! Loading up our plates with toxic pesticide residue stinks. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that nearly 70 percent of conventional produce sold in the U.S. has pesticide residues, and that’s after washing or peeling!11 12 Here’s food for thought: A 2018 study published in the medical journal JAMA found that participants who ate the most organic food had a 25 percent lower risk of getting cancer compared to those who ate the least. The association was even more significant for specific types of cancer— they found 34 percent fewer incidences of postmenopausal breast cancer and 76 percent fewer lymphomas.13 14 15 Organic food also contains more antioxidants, more flavor, and it treats the environment with more care.16 Let’s celebrate this season organically, for our health and the planet, because cleaner air, water, and soil smell so much better! The charm of winter squash lies in its earthy goodness, ready to take on interpretations both savory and sweet. You can store most varieties (uncut) for up to a month in a cool, dry place, and here’s a healthy bonus—their carotenoid content increases over time!17 18 19 So let the cozy aromas fi ll your home and lead your taste buds on an adventure, because some say that “…food is better in November than any other time of year.”20