My Farm Fresh Obsession:
This year I have been visiting more farms and more farmers markets in order to gather the freshest food available. It has become my obsession. If you have been following along you may be wondering why I make such a big deal about farm fresh produce. Let me dive into this subject a little bit here because I think there is a lot of unknowns our society does not know about the food we get from the grocery store.
The Scary Truths About the Supermarket
First of all, I work at a grocery store, I see first hand what people eat, I see what they look like as a result of their diet, and I hear the excuses that they tell themselves when they eat a diet that is mostly processed foods. I have learned a lot from an outside perspective on other people’s lifestyles. Majority of people in my town eat a lot of packaged snacks, frozen dinners, drink lots of soda and don’t have the time or energy to do much cooking. There is a small percentage of people that fill their carts with mostly produce when shopping at the supermarket. This sad reality makes me realize how uneducated we are about what we are putting into our bodies.
Working at a grocery store has given me an insider perspective on the inner workings of the produce department. Most of our produce is shipped from far away places, especially in Colorado. We get our produce from Mexico, California, and sometimes Arizona. When this food is picked it is picked before it is ripe, which causes the loss of vital nutrients. Then it is stored in the cold for weeks, loosing even more nutrients. After that it is shipped, and held on a shelf for even longer periods of time, losing even more nutrients. This is why when buying produce at the store it is tasteless and turns to mush within a day or two, resulting in most of us avoiding this section of the supermarket. We are buying old produce that lacks the powerful nutrients that fight off disease and keeps our bodies strong.
Food Education and Where to Start
I have been reading a book called Eating on the Wildside. This book which goes into the lineage of how we have manipulated plant genetics of the wild plants that we used to forage thousands and thousands of years ago. The wild plants that all of our food has originated from had everything we needed to fight disease giving us every essential nutrient we need to survive. For example, corn used to be a small grass plant from Mexico that was almost 50% protein, now we have turned it into true “candy corn” that is almost 50% sugar. This book is a guide that I think everyone should read because it tells you which varieties of plants at the supermarket and farmers market has the most nutrients, phytonutrients, and antioxidants, and which ones we have reduced down to merely nothing but sugar.
Why I Went Vegetarian
After some time of fighting it, I have gone Vegetarian. I started to gradually to cut meat out of my diet starting with red meat and pork which was not hard for me. And after some time I decided to go all in and cut chicken, turkey, and fish out. The days I would make a meal without chicken I realize how light and energized I felt. After a big meal that was centered around meat, my body felt worn down trying to digest such a heavy meal. And the flavor of processed meat started to really get to me. I could taste all kinds of unnatural flavors when I ate chicken from the supermarket. The unnatural, non-organic chicken always tasted the worst, and even when I tried eating organic chicken it still made me feel sick because I just didn’t know the process this chicken went through or how old it really was. So I was done. Dairy is another thing I am slowly cutting out of my diet. I am drinking nut milk, I stay away from yogurt and ice cream, the only thing I have a hard time getting rid of is cheese. Over time I think I will cut cheese out of my diet too because most of the time I really think it is unnecessary.
Yes, Farm Fresh Tastes Better
Produce from the farmer’s market gives my diet new life that is full of flavor and possibilities and really makes me fall in love with food. Have you tried a farm fresh tomato or cucumber lately? You really can taste the difference between farm fresh and supermarket bought produce. The fresh taste that I buy from local farms is worth every penny and really does not cost more than processed food in a store. It may look overpriced at first glance but if you really sat down and compared the cost it is all pretty expensive and comparative overall. Even if it is a little pricey you are essentially paying for longevity for a long healthy life. Extending your health by buying organic, freshly picked plants, and living a plant-based, active lifestyle, prevents disease which essentially can prevent those hefty hospital bills as you get older.
Farm Fresh = Less Waste + Community Support
Another reason I have started shopping at my local farms and farmers markets is that I believe in supporting my community who provide real food and I also am working on reducing my waste. When shopping at a farmers market every week, I bring my own bags and store the food in reusable containers at home (By the way the book Eating on the Wildside gives you all the tips on how to store different produce and how to make it last longer). Reducing waste by eating real food is something we all have to take a hard look at. We can’t go on much longer creating all this food waste from packaged foods. Our plant will not be able to sustain the amount of waste the human race creates at such rapid rates. This is an issue we need to all look into fast. Reduce, reuse, and make sure whatever you are recycling is accepted by your local recycling system. Not everything you are recycling is accepted and every recycling plant is different. I know this is all very opinionated but if you start doing your research on these issues you will see how we all must look into eating farm fresh whenever possible.