Knowledge Base > Dan Marek - Ask Me Anything (Office Hours)

Ask Me Anything (Office Hours)

Dan Marek - Ask Me Anything (Office Hours)

This event was on Tuesday, September 27, 2022 at 11:00 am Pacific, 2:00 pm Eastern

Join Chef Dan Marek in his virtual office as he welcomes all of your questions. This event was created for you and we encourage you to Ask Anything – from cooking techniques to cours… Read More.



Little is mentioned about the use of organic produce in online vegan food preparation formats, or my collection of FoK magazines. I’m curious about why that is not considered a priority, especially for raw foods.?

— Necia Liles


That's a great question and you know I think that the reason it's not mentioned as much is because approachability, you know, because I work for Whole Foods Market for Wow, 15 16 years something like that. And when I first started at Whole Foods organic wasn't really a household name as much you know, that was one of the great that they did was brought it Forefront. So people started knowing what organic foods were and when they started doing really well at it other grocery stores started doing organic foods as well. It really started with the you know, apples and the late 70s and the different things that the farmers were putting on the crops. And that's one of the reasons that they started wanting people to be able to eat organic. So they were getting all the pesticides that were really bad on those apples. now It is something you know that people do focus on a lot. But the biggest problem I guess with Organic is it's usually 20 to 30% more per pound or whatever per item than it is a conventional item. Now that's not saying you shouldn't do it. I'm just saying kind of pick one and where you want to do it. If you can afford to go a hundred percent organic all the time do it. That's fantastic. It's kind of hard finding 100% organic all the time. But if you can that's great now again, I worked in a Whole Foods Market. I got a huge discount, you know for working there and I still didn't buy a hundred percent organic because of affordability. Um, now what I did was I kind of picked my battles and when I went did want to eat organic for something like a banana, you know, like I'm peeling off the outside of that banana. So if that banana was sprayed by a pesticide, I'm peeling off the majority of the pesticides from the outside of that now, of course, then we're gonna go down into the ground and up into the tree that way but the surface you know, pesticides are mostly getting peeled off. Something like a red pepper, you know if it was sprayed at that pesticide I can wash that off pretty easily because of the smooth surface on the outside. So I may or may not buy the organic pepper depending on you know, if it's in season or what where it's coming from now areas that I do buy organic 100% of the time or when you have the little tiny crevices things. So like broccoli cauliflower berries. They have these little tiny holes and little tiny things no matter how much you try to wash your produce. You're not going to be able to get all of those pesticides off of it if they're sprayed onto them. So I will 100% by organic on those types of products all the time to be able to avoid putting the pesticides directly into my mouth. Now organizations like Forks Over Knives and other vegan food prep, all of them can be done with organic or conventional items. They don't really focus on saying you should do this organic. Now, the reason the restaurants don't actually do like say we're 100% organic is because any time one item touches another item so say this is an organic orange and this is a conventional orange if they touched each other this is no longer considered organic because the pesticide could have rubbed off on the organic ingredient. Um now if you do that at a conventional restaurant other things that mix all the time so it's too hard to call an entire dish organic. So sometimes you'll see on a menu where they'll say, you know, organic leaf lettuce and then they'll just have like red onions and then something else, you know, but it says it's listening organic ingredients, but that's before they prepared it all so A lot of times it's kind of a murky Waters there. There are you know 100% Organic restaurants that you know, focus on only isn't organic, but they're a little harder to find. But yeah, so that's that's an interesting question because everybody does want to have organic as much as possible. Including Forks Over Knives and probably all the different formats that you've seen. And there might be using all organic ingredients. They just don't bring it to the Forefront and they do that for a myriad of different reasons, but part of it might be approachability or affordability because organic ingredients aren't available to everybody all around the world and they're also not available, you know, even the United States in some places as well. So organic is great. We definitely want to have it as much as possible but you sometimes have to pick where and when you can actually do that. I hope that helps them.
Dan Marek

Dan Marek

Director of Plant-Based Culinary & Dev