Where food comes from, how and where it’s grown, when it’s picked and how far it’s transported to the place of sale MATTERS!
All these factors have a huge impact on the taste but most importantly the nutrients found in each and every vegetable and piece of fruit and ultimately your health.
We’ve probably all bought a tomato at the supermarket which looks like a tasty tomato only to cut it open and find that it’s not red on the inside, it’s floury and tastes like nothing. This is likely due to the fact that this tomato was grown thousands of kilometers away, picked when it was still green and artificially ripened using ethylene gas. Forcing fruits and vegetables to ripen under artificial conditions and shipping it thousands of kilometers, not only affects the flavour but also the amount of nutrients (including fiber) in them.
Whether the fruits and vegetables are farmed using pesticides also has a massive impact on your health if they are consumed. Multiple studies have linked pesticide residue on fruits and vegetables to a range of health issues including allergies, cancer, developmental disorders, autoimmune diseases, infertility and much more. What’s even scarier is that biotech giant Monsanto has developed genetically modified crops with pesticides IN them so we can’t even wash it off.
There are also a heap of environmental issues associated with buying imported products. The more kilometers the food travels, the more CO2 is emitted into the atmosphere.
So what can we do about it?
We all want to eat foods that are packed full of naturally occurring nutrients (without the nasties) so here is an easy guideline:
- BUY LOCALLY – This means shopping at your local farmers markets and NOT at a supermarket. Next time you are in the supermarket, have a look at where each fruit and vegetable comes from (if they display it). If they don’t then it is more often than not VERY VERY far away.
- ONLY BUY IN SEASON FRUIT AND VEG – We have this mindset that “if I want it, then shops should sell it” and this is something we need to change. It is not natural nor necessary to have butternut pumpkin all year round. You can familiarise yourself with what fruit and veg are available at what time of the year but a lot of the time I forget. So I rely on the local producers at my local farmers markets to help me. If they don’t have it, then it’s probably not in season. And if you are unsure –ASK! The in season produce is also the cheapest, so you are doing your back pocket a favour too.
- BUGS ON YOUR LETTUCE ARE GOOD – It means that they don’t use pesticides. Have you ever seen some fruit and veg with a white powdery residue on them? Not good. Steer clear.
- VINEGAR IS YOUR BEST FRIEND – Upon returning from the farmers markets with your fruit and veg, fill your sink with cold water and at least 2 tbsp of white vinegar. Wash your fruit and veg thoroughly in this (even allow them to soak for a few minutes) as this will wash away a lot of the pesticides and bugs.
- BUY SOME ORGANIC – Buying all your fruit and veg organic may be way too expensive, but here is a link of the top 10 fruits and vegetables you should try and buy organic. Not all fruit and veg are treated with chemicals equally and some items are more susceptible to chemical seeping into their skins etc.