Monday, July 12, 2010

Another Good Reason to Eat More Local/Organic/Home-Grown/Etc.

Most of the time, I don't push a specific position on most of the "earthy crunchy" movement in food (as I like to call it).  I think that you need to do the research, watch the documentaries, talk to your local farmers, and make your own choices for you and your family.  Generally speaking, I do believe that our food supply has become more factory-oriented and that we're doing ourselves and our bodies a disservice by continuing to support such practices.

At the same time, I understand the cost-prohibitive nature of eating locally or choosing organic over conventionally grown foods--even for middle-class folks like myself.  I realize that many families don't have the financial luxury to shop at places like Whole Foods, local markets, or even the higher-priced farmer's markets.  The fact is, our cost of living and our paychecks are calculated on the 99 cent per pound chicken as opposed to the $5.49 per pound chicken.

My personal beliefs on the subject aside, I think that once you've done the research and ironed-out your position, you can achieve some of your goals.  Even if we only swap-out 30% of the food we eat with something that is better or something that advocates for the better, we're doing ourselves and the industry a service--by "voting with our forks," as they say.

This morning, I was reading one of my favorite blogs, Unearthing this Life and Jennifer posted this article about a recent study involving the nutritional value of the fruits and vegetables we eat and how that has changed over the years as farming becomes less about agriculture and more about manufacturing food faster and with fewer resources.  In a nutshell, the study found that the less time the food is spending on the plant, the less time it has to absorb nutrients and minerals that our bodies get from eating it.  It's really that simple and, if you think about it, it just makes sense.

I'm not saying we should all go out tomorrow and buy nothing but organic produce and pay the premium for it.  However, if you can swing by a farm stand on your way home or visit the farmer's market this weekend or even support your local non-chain grocer (who, in turn, can order better products for you if they are well supported and have the cash flow to do so), you're doing your part to say, "Yes, I want 130 mg of calcium in my broccoli instead of 48 mg."  And, you're doing your body some good...

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