Let’s talk a bit about the importance of where you get your food. There are really two main sources of food; farms and factories. Farms are maintained by human beings working hard to tend to the earth, growing real food like humans have since the beginning of time.
Farm fresh foods are full of flavor and many wonderful vitamins and minerals ready for your body to soak up and use for energy and healing.
Factories take the goods from the farms and manipulate it so it can be massed produced with enhanced flavor, preserved, and shipped to the four corners of the earth without spoiling. These foods are less nutritious, and also often packed with flavor “bad” stuff, like preservatives, fat, and too much sodium.
Real food always comes from a farm. It needs sun and rain and a little tender loving care but it gives back so much more! You should be searching out this food if you want to be healthy and energized. These foods are the only real source of vitamins that nourish our bodies. Vitamins like vitamin A from carrots which help to keep your eyes healthy and vitamin K from spinach that strengthens your bones. Farm fresh produce contains minerals like potassium from avocados that boost heart health and magnesium from kale that helps calm the nervous system and get a good night’s sleep.
Let’s take a minute to look at the other end of the stick; factory foods.
Foods from a factory usually come in a box or a bag, or a can or a jar. They may contain farm foods but not in its purest form. Many factory foods contain ingredients like MSG (Monosodium Glutamate), E405 (Propylene glycol alginate), and Polysorbate 60. Many foods have been reported to contain paraben which has been proven to cause problems with male and female hormones.
By reading the ingredients, (unless you’ve done your research or are a scientist), you really don’t know what you are eating. Even though all these additives have been labeled safe by the FDA, they aren’t natural foods. Perhaps they don’t cause us to have crazy adverse side effects, but nevertheless our bodies can’t process these chemicals quite like they should and it can cause our entire system to become sluggish.
This is when you start to get lazy, crave high calorie foods for energy and gain weight that slows your body down even more and now you’re spiraling downwards. Added sugar and fat in your foods can lead to addictive eating habits. Your body and your palate get used to eating these synthetic foods and won’t be satisfied with real nutritional foods. You have to stop the cycle and eat clean. By making small changes every day you can start to cut out these factory foods all together and eventually they won’t even be appetizing to you anymore. Avoid food from factories and search out food from farms. How is this done? There are several ways to benefit from farm fresh foods.
This is the easiest and most popular way to get food directly from the local farms. Almost every city will have one nearby, some have several. A quick directory search or phone call to City Hall will help you to discover one in your area. The benefit of buying food from your local farmers market is that the fruits and vegetables are usually perfectly ripened naturally, picked just a day or two ago and retains almost all of its natural nutrients. When produce is shipped from across the globe, even the country, it loses many of its nutrients along the way. Studies show that produce starts to lose nutrients within hours after being harvested. Shopping at the local farmers market ensures that the time it gets to your table is as minimal as possible and you get the most vitamins and minerals from your favorite veggies.
CSA or Community Supported Agriculture
This option can be fun for those who like surprises. CSAs are a program that allows you to buy a share in the crop of a local farmer. You and whoever else is a member will get a percentage of the fruits and vegetables grown by the local farmer weekly or bi-weekly throughout the harvest season. You will be surprised by seasonal fruits and vegetables and it forces you to use some produce that you may never have used before. You will get whatever crops of fruits and vegetables are available throughout the growing season. Eating seasonally will help deliver your body’s nutritional needs at the proper time. For example, during the winter months, produce with high content of vitamin C is harvested. This helps us combat colds and flus that are prevalent during this season. In the summertime, there are fruits and vegetables with high contents of beta carotene ripe for picking to help protect our skin from the sun’s UV rays. Think about how refreshing a nice cold slice of watermelon is in the summertime. This is because you need the hydration that watermelon delivers with its 92% of water. Being a member of a CSA also helps to support your local agricultural community and keeps the local economy booming, so you can feel good about that too!
Grow Your Own
You’d be surprised to know how little space is needed to start to grow your own fruits and vegetables. You can even grow food on a balcony with pots. In one square foot of garden you can grow two cucumber plants, 16 carrots, or a head of lettuce. Imagine how much nutrients you’ll get eating a salad straight from your own little garden! It doesn’t have to be a huge job. Maybe you eat a lot of tomatoes and love peppers. Two of each plants will deliver plenty of both to keep you eating fresh all season long! Growing your own food is also a great way to relieve stress and get active.
Storing fresh fruits and vegetables the right way can also help to retain their nutrients and reduce the amount of factory foods you will need to buy throughout the year. Even dried or canned fruits and vegetables from the grocery store can have added sugar or preservatives that you don’t want to eat. If you dry or can fresh fruits and vegetables that you’ve bought in bulk during their harvest season you can stock up with enough to last all year.
Let’s not forget the obvious reason to eat foods from a farm. With the nutritional value of the foods and low calorie density of fruits and vegetables, eating a diet rich in a rainbow of these foods grown from the earth will help you reach your weight loss goals. We all want to look and feel great and farm fresh foods are the quickest way to this life.