Mind. Body. Nutrition.

Eat Seasonally for your good health + to support local farmers.

As the seasons are in change it is a good time to write a blog about the benefits of eating seasonally and the benefits it has to offer.

First of all I am going to talk about where you can source your Organic, Local and Seasonally goodies from:

Local Markets

Hopefully you live within a good distance of a local market?  But perhaps you aren’t sure if the market sellers are selling good quality organic goods as you don’t notice the “Organic” certification that you are used to seeing in the supermarkets.  This certification is very expensive and it is likely that smaller independent farmers haven’t got this due to the cost, a good way to spot an organic seller is to look for the farmers with the dirtiest hands.  I really recommend  striking up conversation with your farmer and asking him or her about their produce and farming methods, hopefully they will be thrilled to share the information with you as they are likely to be extremely proud of their fresh and natural produce.

Supermarkets

First off, a lot of supermarket organic fresh produce is flown an average of 1500 of miles before it reaches us, some things experience dramatic temperate changes and it is often picked before ripe to allow for travel and shelf life expectancy.  Local food is kinder to the environment by reducing the carbon footprint.  So although your food isn’t sprayed with pesticides and dangerous chemicals, the question is are you getting the most nutritional benefits from your food?

The organic range of supermarket produce has improved dramatically in recent years when the food industry realised that there is a big market for organic food and people want to be “healthier” and will pay the premium to do so, its like the flashy gym membership for your plate!   The food industry quickly capitalised on this gold mine by pricing organic food and products much higher than non-organic food, this has made eating healthier un-affordable for many. The food industry do not want us to be healthy – they want us to eat more bad food which results in illness and disease which fund the pharmacitical companies which in turn keeps them all comfortable on their lovely super yachts in the Caribbean! The food industry and pharmacitical are in this together – they support each other but who is supporting the local farmers or OUR health and wellness?

Back to the local farmer!

Local farmers are still farming in traditional ways – producing food that is in seasonal without the aid of chemicals or pesticides. Buying direct from the farmer helps them stay in business and strengthens the local economy, farmland can only continue to survive as long as they are selling their produce. Local organic veggies and fruit are much more nutritious and contain heaps more vitamins and minerals, they taste better and will likely be cheaper than the supermarket prices – after all you are paying a slice of the transportation and there are so many more people involved in the handling from the farm to your table. From a more holistic point of view fruit and vegetables are a living part of our planet, they are part of mother nature the same as we are, they feed from the minerals of the soil, the sun, the air, the rain, they grow, flourish, and have energy – in turn they provide us with energy which enhances our growth and development – see the link?

The food industry would see the local farmers go out of business as they are competition for them – they aren’t interested in the bigger picture of HEALTH just their wealth. It’s very important for me to support the local farmers for my own health and to encourage their businesses to keep with traditional farming ways.

What’s wrong with pesticides?

I will keep it simple as the technical stuff can get a bit overwhelming and there’s heaps of info on the web if you want to know more.  Pesticides were designed kill bugs instantly, we are not bugs so it will just take a little longer for them to kill us – simple enough!  A non organic sprayed apple contains approx. 67% pesticide residue… an apple a day keeps the doctor away?  Do the maths if you love your apples and you may realise that the Dr isn’t that far away!

Its not always as easy to pick up local organic produce but consider these tips when you are next shopping for your apples:

At the market ask your farmer about where their produce comes from, if all the produce is farmed by them, where the farm is and if they use pesticides.

If you shop in the supermarket, look at the label and try to pick fresh produce from your country at least, it’s unlikely that regions will be specified but do the best you can.  Try to eat as close to home as you can when possible.

If your budget doesn’t allow you to eat all organic food use the list below called the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen which is a great guide on the foods that are most affected by pesticides.

The Clean 15*

Avocados
Sweet corn
Pineapples
Cabbage
Sweet peas (frozen)
Onions
Asparagus
Mangoes
Papayas
Kiwi
Eggplant
Grapefruit
Cantaloupe (domestic)
Cauliflower
Sweet potatoes

The Dirty Dozen *

Apples
Strawberries
Grapes
Celery
Peaches
Spinach
Sweet bell peppers
Nectarines (imported)
Cucumbers
Cherry tomatoes
Snap peas (imported)
Potatoes

Wherever you are with your eating habits make this your starting point for change and set realistic goals, to start it could be just be changing one thing a week or finding out more about your local farms and how you can help support them. Remember it’s the small changes that count to the bigger picture so please spend a moment to appreciate yourself for your commitment, awareness and steps you are taking towards improving your health and wellness – you deserve it !

Where do you shop for your fruit and vegetables?  Please share any tips with us in the comments below – thank you x

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Eat Seasonally for your good health + to support local farmers.

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