The other day, I was visiting a nearby farm where a ton of fresh fruits and vegetables was coming up. Just the sights and smells on the farm brought back memories of my dad. He planted peppers, parsley, tomatoes, zucchini, and yellow squash every year until he died. When he made tomato sauce, he went to his garden for the ingredients.
The Cause of Nutrient-Poor Fruits and Vegetables
But these days many of us live in a nutritional depression. The modern diet includes abundant low nutrient processed food. We also consume nutrient-poor fruits and vegetables due to the depletion of minerals in our soil. Commercial farming practices, which include replenishing the soil with synthetic fertilizers, have drained the soil of essential elements. The result is nutrient-poor fruit and vegetable crops that are significantly less nutritious.
Conventionally grown produce simply does not provide us with the essential vitamins and minerals it should. In recent years, studies have begun to show that organically grown crops—which don’t use these methods—contain significantly higher concentrations of antioxidants, flavonoids, vitamins, and minerals. Organic produce is truly worth the extra money when it comes to your health.
Where to Get Organic Produce
- Consider growing your own. Because of my hectic schedule, I haven’t been able to find the time to consistently tend a full garden of organic produce, but I enjoy container gardening. We grow herbs in one of our south-facing windows and use them throughout the year to garnish our favorite dishes and soups. If you don’t have a backyard, you, too, may be able to grow parsley, garlic, or chives (incredibly nutritious herbs), or even tomatoes, using this technique.
- Visit your local farm stands or farmer’s market. My wife Jan and I spend a lot of time picking out organic produce at our local farm stands. But before you buy, ask the seller about production techniques to make sure the produce is as organic as possible. I also ask if the produce has been sprayed, and if it has I’ll pass it up.
- Buy organic produce at the grocery store. Many grocery stores sell organic produce, in addition to their conventional produce. Organic produce often costs a bit more, but the quality, taste, and nutrition is definitely worth it. But if your food budget doesn’t allow for you to buy all organic produce, prioritize. The highest concentrations of pesticides can be found in berries, peaches, grapes, apples, pears, spinach, and green beans. So with those foods, I encourage you to go organic.
Now It's Your Turn: Do you buy organic produce?
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