Good nutrition is important all year round, but in March, health professionals across Canada and the US take extra time to remind people the importance of eating healthy. There’s a lot more to an apple a day to keep doctors away and if that apple has traveled thousands of miles, it won’t do you much good.
Nutrition from fresh produce is vital to help all our body systems work at maximum capacity. However, if you’re purchasing “fresh” produce from a grocery store, how fresh do you think it really is?
In celebration of Nutrition Month, two grocery chains in Brampton, Ontario, are offering customers a chance to walk through their grocery aisles with a registered dietitian. This is truly wonderful for public relations, but I wonder if these dietitians are telling customers the truth about the ‘fresh’ produce – or if they even are aware themselves about just how nutrient-deficient produce is nowadays.
When produce arrives from (let’s say) California to the US northeast or into Canada, chances are it is at least one week old. Produce loses nutrients as soon as it is picked. Also, unless certified organic, chances are it is laced with pesticides, fungicides and it has been irradiated. Irradiation means your fresh produce has had vitamins and vital enzymes removed; how much? This depends on the dose of irradiation and the length of time in storage.
Irradiation damages the natural digestive enzymes found in raw foods. This means our body has to work much harder to digest that food. Irradiated raw foods look like fresh foods, but nutritionally they are like cooked foods, having decreased vitamins and enzymes. The F.D.A. allows these foods to be labeled “fresh”.
In addition to this, many vegetables are grown in nutrient-depleted soils; this means it can only grow nutrient-depleted vegetables.
Nutrition levels in edible wild plants are by far more superior than in just about most of what you can buy in a standard grocery store. Eating wild edibles, organic produce and locally-grown vegetables are important. In addition, growing your own garden is fun. Don’t have much space? No worries! Google or YouTube “vertical gardening” and the brilliant ideas will ignite your creativity! (This space saving link I discovered today and this is certainly an amazing idea!)
Most importantly, eating as much uncooked produce as possible every day – and remember, cooking further depletes nutrients.
There are so many other reasons why to consider complimenting your daily diet with wild plants. Free Food from Foraging delves into these reasons and these may or may not shock you.