Category Archives: food

What’s So Great About Organic Food?

Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2010

Looking for a quick way to feel lousy about yourself? Then forget the idea of a healthy diet and just eat what your body wants you to eat. Your body wants meat; your body wants fat; your body wants salt and sugar. Your body will put up with fruits and vegetables if it must, but only after all the meat, fat, salt and sugar are gone. And as for the question of where your food comes from — whether it’s locally grown, sustainably raised, grass-fed, free range or pesticide-free? Your body doesn’t give a hoot.
But you and your body aren’t the only ones with a stake in this game. Your doctor has opinions about what you should eat. So does your family. And so too do the food purists who lately seem to be everywhere, insisting that everything that crosses your lips be raised and harvested and brought to market in just the right way. If you find this tiresome — even intrusive — you’re not alone. “It’s food, man. It’s identity,” says James McWilliams, a professor of environmental history at Texas State University. “We encourage people to eat sensibly and virtuously, and then we set this incredibly high bar for how they do it.” (See whether you should buy organic or conventional food.)
The ideal — as we’re reminded and reminded and reminded — is to go organic, to trade processed foods for fresh foods and the supermarket for the farmers’ market. Organic foods of all kinds currently represent only about 3% of the total American market, according to the most recent numbers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), but it’s a sector we all should be supporting more.
That sounds like a great idea, but we’ll pay a price for it. Organic fruits and vegetables cost 13¢ to 36¢ per lb. more than ordinary produce, though prices fluctuate depending on the particular food and region of the country. Milk certified as hormone- and antibiotic-free costs $6 per gal. on average, compared with $3.50 for ordinary grocery-store milk.
What’s more, while grass-fed beef is lower in fat, and milk without chemicals is clearly a good idea, it’s less obvious that organic fruits and vegetables have a nutritional edge to speak of. A 2009 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition led to a firestorm in the food world. It found no difference between organic and conventional produce with regard to all but three of the vitamins and other food components studied, and conventional produce actually squeaked past organic for one of those three. (See the results of a farm vs. supermarket taste test.)
“We draw these bright lines between organic and conventional food,” says McWilliams. “But science doesn’t draw those lines. They crisscross, and you have people on both sides of the argument cherry-picking their data.” For consumers trying to stay healthy and feed their families — and do both on budgets that have become tighter than ever — the ideological back-and-forth does no good at all. What’s needed are not arguments but answers.
The Wages of Eating
The biggest reason not to ignore the food purists is that in a lot of ways they’re right. Our diet is indeed killing us, and it’s killing the planet too. Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta released a study revealing that nearly 27% of Americans are now considered obese (that is, more than 20% above their ideal weight), and in nine states, the obesity rate tops 30%. We eat way too much meat — up to 220 lb. per year for every man, woman and child in the U.S. — and only 14% of us consume our recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Our processed food is dense with salt and swimming in high-fructose corn syrup, two flavors we can’t resist. Currently, enough food is manufactured in the U.S. for every American to consume 3,800 calories per day — we need only 2,350 in a healthy diet — and while some of that gets thrown away, most is gobbled up long before it can go stale on the shelves.
Keeping the food flowing — and the prices low enough for people to continue buying it — requires a lot of industrial-engineering tricks, and those have knock-on effects of their own. Up to 10 million tons of chemical fertilizer per year are poured onto fields to cultivate corn alone, for example, which has increased yields 23% from 1990 to 2009 but has led to toxic runoffs that are poisoning the beleaguered Gulf of Mexico. Beef raised in industrial conditions are dosed with antibiotics and growth-boosting hormones, leaving chemical residues in meat and milk. A multicenter study released just two days after the obesity report showed that American girls as young as 7 are entering puberty at double the rate they were in the late 1990s, perhaps as a result of the obesity epidemic but perhaps too as a result of the hormones in their environment — including their food. And for out-of-season foods to be available in all seasons as they now are, crops must be grown in one place and flown or trucked thousands of miles to market. That leaves an awfully big carbon footprint for the privilege of eating a plum in December.
The food wars are fought on multiple fronts, but it’s the battle over meat that generates the most ferocious disagreement. Americans have always been unapologetic carnivores, which befits a nation that grew up chasing buffalo and raising cattle across endless stretches of open plains. But lately things have gotten out of hand. The U.S. produces a breathtaking 80 billion lb. of meat per year, with poultry alone making up 35 billion lb. It’s now common knowledge that the animals are raised in mostly miserable conditions, jammed together on factory farms and filled with high-calorie, corn-based feed that fattens them up and moves them to slaughter as fast as possible. It can take up to two and a half years to raise a grass-fed cow, while a feedlot animal may face the knife after just 14 months. (See TIME’s special report “How to Live 100 Years.”)
The idea of animals living such short, brutish lives introduces an element of altruism into the organic-vs.-commercial debate over meat that isn’t there for other foods. Just this month, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland brokered a truce between animal-rights activists and farmers in his state to improve the living conditions of hogs, veal calves and hens; that agreement followed similar reforms enacted in California in 2008.
“When you’re raising something with a circulatory system and a nervous system, they deserve care,” says Bev Eggleston, the owner of EcoFriendly Foods, a decidedly nonindustrial farm in Moneta, Va., that produces cattle, hogs, veal, lamb and poultry. Eggleston’s animals live in fields and coops, not feedlots and cages. The farm has a petting zoo, and the doors of the slaughterhouse are open to visitors so they can see the clean and as-humane-as-possible conditions in which the animals are killed. “I want to speak for the animals,” Eggleston says. “When I pull a knife, I want them to know their gift is being received.”
There are material advantages to that kind of humane treatment. Cattle that eat more grass have higher ratios of omega-3 fatty acids to omega-6s, a balance that’s widely believed to reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease and arthritis and to improve cognitive function. Take the cows out of the pasture, put them in a feedlot and stuff them with corn-based feed, and the omega-3s plummet. (See a special report on women and health.)
“The levels are almost undetectable after three months,” says Ken Jaffe, a former physician who now runs Slope Farms, an open-air cattle farm in the Catskill Mountains of New York. The big beef manufacturers concede that while the ratio for omega-6s to omega-3s is 1.5 to 1 for grass-fed cows, it leaps to 7 to 1 for those that are grain-fed. But industry reps challenge the significance of those numbers. “The best ratio hasn’t been determined yet in terms of nutritional balance,” says Shalene McNeill, a registered dietitian working for the National Beef Cattlemen’s Association, an industry group. “And it’s important to remember that this is just one small part of a consumer’s overall diet.”
Farm-raised animals are also higher in conjugated lineoleic acids, fatty acids that, according to studies of lab animals, may help reduce the risk of various cancers. What’s more, animals not raised on feedlots have less chance of spreading E. coli bacteria through contact with other animals’ manure, though the industry insists it is making improvements, with better spacing of animals on the lots and better cleaning methods in slaughterhouses.
Hogs and chickens present fewer problems than cattle — at least in terms of chemicals — since government regulations prohibit farmers from using growth hormones on either animal. But antibiotics are still served up liberally, and that creates other dangers. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), for example, an often deadly pathogen associated mostly with hospital-acquired infections, has been increasingly turning up in hog farmers, who contract it from their animals. In one study last year, a University of Iowa epidemiologist found that 49% of the hogs she tested were positive for MRSA, as were 45% of the humans who handled them.
Far more troubling — if only because the problem is far more widespread — is the recent recall of more than half a billion eggs from two producers due to salmonella contamination. Salmonella is hardly unheard of even among chickens raised in comfortable, free-range conditions. But when you confine half a dozen birds at a time in cages no larger than an opened broadsheet newspaper, and stack hundreds or thousands of those so-called battery cages together, you’re going to spread the bacterium a lot faster. The egg manufacturers stress that thoroughly cooking eggs can kill salmonella — which is true as far as it goes. But treating chickens like conscious creatures instead of egg-manufacturing machinery can help avoid outbreaks in the first place.
Short of swearing off eggs and meat — a perfectly good choice, but with only 3% of Americans describing themselves as vegetarians, not likely for most people — there are no easy solutions. For one thing, if we all decided to switch to healthier, chemical-free meat, there wouldn’t be remotely enough to go around. Only 3% of cattle in the U.S. are organically raised, and just 0.02% of hogs and 1.5% of poultry. What’s more, that scarcity helps drive the already premium price higher still.
Another alternative is to eat more fish, which is healthier anyway because it’s leaner, lower in calories and higher in omega-3s. But with fish stocks collapsing worldwide because of rampant overconsumption, there’s only so far that solution could take us. A half measure — but a very powerful one — is simply to cut back on whatever meat we do eat, even if we can’t quit it altogether. This shouldn’t be too hard: Americans already consume at least 1.5 times as much meat as the USDA recommends in its famed food pyramid. And with plenty of protein to be found in eggs, soy, cheese, grains, nuts, legumes and leafy green vegetables, there is no shortage of ways to compensate. (See “The Battle for Global Health.”)
“You need to eat animals only to close the nutrient cycle,” says Fred Kirschenmann, a distinguished fellow at the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University. “If we changed a few things about how we live, we’d have fewer animals in the system.”
Cash Crops
When animal protein, whether organic or not, becomes a supporting player in the diet, then fruits, veggies and grains take the lead. That’s generally a good thing, but here too there are complications. The back-to-the-land ideal of farming without the use of synthetic pesticides and other chemicals can take you only so far in a country with 309 million mouths to feed (not to mention a world with 6.8 billion). Say what you will about the environmental depredations of agribusiness, industrial farms coax up to twice as much food out of every acre of land as organic farms do. And even that full-tilt output may not be enough to keep up with a global population that’s galloping ahead to a projected 9 billion by 2050.
“Only about 5% of the arable land on the planet remains unused,” says McWilliams. “But we’ll need to increase food production by 50% to 100%.” If we have to spray, fertilize and even genetically engineer our way there, that’s something we may simply have to accept. (See Dr. Mehmet Oz’s take on organic food.)
In the U.S., running out of crop foods is not a problem — at least not yet — but pesticide residues on fruits and vegetables cause people some perfectly reasonable worries. Properly washing or peeling produce can take care of most of the problem, but if you buy organic, you avoid the pesticide issue altogether, right? Not necessarily. It’s not just that drift from nearby nonorganic farms can contaminate other crops in the vicinity; it’s also that organic farmers use pesticides of their own. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, there are now 195 registered biopesticides — substances derived from animals, plants or minerals that are toxic to certain species — used in 780 commercial products. There is broad agreement that biopesticides are not as dangerous as commercial pesticides, but less toxic doesn’t mean nontoxic, and even such lower-impact chemistry has a nasty habit of hanging around in soil and water longer than you want it to. “Organic farming may represent only 2% of the total of all farming,” says McWilliams, “but what if it became 20%? The chemicals are used only sparingly now, but they wouldn’t be then.”
Organic fertilizers are less of a problem, since they consist mostly of manure, as well as other relatively benign materials like peat, seaweed, saltpeter and compost. Humble as such substances are, however, they can become awfully pricey, because you need very big quantities to pack the same fertilizing punch as synthetic brands do. “It can take four tons of manure per acre to raise food,” says McWilliams. “When you know that, a bag of synthetic fertilizer starts to look pretty good.”
Wallet and Palate
But for most consumers — even those who think of themselves as environmentally conscious — the critical considerations in deciding to go organic involve the far more personal matters of price, flavor and nutrition. Last year’s nutrient study had a lot of organic partisans wincing — and a lot of commercial growers feeling smug — but one paper is hardly the whole story. The real difference between organic and nonorganic produce is in the relative presence of micronutrients such as copper, iron and manganese, as well as folic acid, none of which were included in the study. With these, the results are mixed. (See whether you should buy organic or conventional food.)
In a meta-analysis conducted by the Organic Center, a nonprofit group in Boulder, Colo., organic produce was found to be 25% higher in phenolic acids and antioxidants. “It’s these components that are deficient in American diets, so that makes this finding especially significant,” says Charles Benbrook, the group’s chief scientist. But the organic label alone is not enough to ensure that all consumers get the same boost. “The real nutrient value in produce comes from the soil,” says Kirschenmann. “So that’s a mixed deal unless you know the farmer and know how he’s managing his soil.”
The farmer also plays the biggest role in determining the most subjective of all variables: taste. You can start a lot of arguments about whether organic crops actually have better, fresher, more complex flavors than industrial crops do, but without a double-blind taste test, there’s no way to know. On a few points, most people agree: a freakishly large, overly engineered tomato or strawberry designed to ripen en route to a distribution center will never come close to the taste of its vine-ripened, fresh-picked cousin. The Red Delicious apple is the poster fruit for what can go wrong when commercial growers manipulate their product too much. Bred and rebred for an ever redder skin and an ever more tapered shape, the apples became mealy, juiceless and all but unpalatable inside. (See the results of a farm vs. supermarket taste test.)
That, however, is not to say organic growers don’t also try to prettify their produce before revealing it to the world. “Green markets can be a kind of food pornography,” says Manny Howard, author of My Empire of Dirt, about his experiences with backyard farming. “You buy a big bushel of beet greens without a wormhole in it, and that’s just not what farm food looks like.”
There may be flavor to be found in lovely and unlovely food alike, and a lot of things have to go right to raise the best-tasting produce. It’s not just the quality of the soil that’s at work, says Kirschenmann. “Selecting the right variety of plant and using the right mix of compost are important too. With farm-to-table food, the farmers are in many ways the chefs, as opposed to, say, molecular gastronomy, in which so much happens in the kitchen.”
The kitchen, of course, is the center of everything for families too, and this is where the shouting of the food partisans fades to babble. Eating an apple is almost always better than not eating an apple, no matter where it came from. And getting the whole brood into the habit of sitting down to a meal of lean meats, lots of veggies and judicious amounts of carbs and starches is hard enough without bringing politics into the mix. Farmers’ markets are undeniably great — if you can afford them, if there’s one near you and if you have time between the job and the kids to make a special trip when you know you can get everything in a single stop at the supermarket. The food industry undeniably churns out all manner of dangerous and addictive junk without a shred of real nutritional value in it, but there are also food companies that manage to get healthy, high-quality food to market and keep the cost of it reasonable.
The answer, ultimately, is for the two sets of producers — and their two sets of customers — to find a better way to co-exist. It’s important to crack down on the industry’s most egregious and polluting practices — to say nothing of its punishing treatment of animals — but we need to make sure the food still gets to the stores. It’s important too to support the local-farming movement not only to make more fresh foods available to more consumers but also to boost a growing economic sector and perhaps bring down prices as efficiencies of scale come up.
“If we all had to concentrate on raising our own food, we wouldn’t have time to do anything else,” says Howard. Happily, we don’t have to do that anymore. But that doesn’t let us entirely off the hook. We still have to get smart about what the people who bring us our food are selling, to find the right mix of the commercial and the local, the organic and the industrial. There’s a lot more than just groceries on the line — there’s health and long life too.
The original version of this article, which appeared in the Aug. 30, 2010, issue of TIME, has been updated to reflect the egg recall.

Wikio

Transform Comfort Food into Muscle-Building Fuel


By: Maureen Callahan, M.S., R.D.
It’s a battle royale, with cheese. In one corner of your mind, there’s the satisfaction of that trim, hard body you’ve built. In the other, there’s the hamburger—juicy, tasty, covered with a blanket of melted Cheddar. Or maybe your struggle is against nachos. Or crispy fish and chips. Or pizza. Hard to believe there ever was a time when mankind could be seduced by an apple, isn’t it?

To avoid temptation, you could wire your refrigerator to deliver a shock every time you open the door. Or you could continue eating pizza, nachos, burgers—all of your favorite comfort foods—without guilt. It can be done. With a few easy tweaks, just about any food can be transformed into good stuff that satisfies your nutritional needs, your tastebuds, and even your nostalgic cravings. Make your comfort foods this way and you’ll have our blessing to pig out.

Burger
What’s so bad?: Ground beef is shot through with fat, and that white-bread bun offers little but rapidly digested simple sugars.

Make it better: Start with extra-lean ground beef—if you don’t overcook it, it’ll taste great. Chop up some onions and thawed frozen spinach and mix them into the beef. The vegetables add vitamins and replace some of the moisture lost when you switched to leaner ground beef. Better yet, build those burgers with grass-fed beef or lean ground buffalo, at roughly 4 grams (g) of fat per 4 ounces. Researchers at Purdue University found that wild game and grass-fed meats have higher levels of good-for-the-brain and good-for-the-heart omega-3 fatty acids. Top it all off with a whole-wheat bun for some fiber.

You lose: 6 g saturated fat

You gain: Allicin, 47 micrograms (mcg) beta-carotene, 5 g fiber

Breakfast Sausage-and-Egg Biscuit
What’s so bad?: The sausage patty is fatty (about 10 g per puck), and the biscuit is nearly devoid of nutrition yet contains 8 g fat.

Make it better: Do this yourself—it takes 3 minutes, about the time you’d sit in the drive-thru lane. Beat an egg in a small bowl and nuke it for 1 to 2 minutes. Top it with warmed-up Canadian bacon—a great precooked source of lean protein with only 2 g fat—and slide it into a whole-wheat English muffin. And have it with a glass of grapefruit juice (good luck finding that at McDonald’s) instead of OJ. Drinking grapefruit juice before a meal helps decrease insulin levels and promote weight loss, according to research from the Scripps Clinic in San Diego.

You lose: 4 g saturated fat

You gain: 6 g protein, 4 g fiber, 94 milligrams (mg) vitamin C

Grilled Cheese Sandwich
What’s so bad?: The 18 g saturated fat you take in from the butter and slabs of oily cheese. And the white bread is pointless.

Make it better: Use whole-wheat bread with part-skim mozzarella in between. Crisp it in a skillet moistened with a little olive oil. Losing the finger-licking buttery bliss is worth it. A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that an olive oil-rich diet can drop your chances of dying of cancer or heart disease by 23 percent. To protect your prostate, add a couple of lycopene-packed tomato slices. Likely to work late? Throw in a slice or two of lean ham. That will jack up the protein count, keeping your appetite in check.

You lose: 10 g saturated fat

You gain: 11 g protein, 5 g fiber, 1,000 mcg lycopene

Pizza
What’s so bad?: Oil-pooling pepperoni, to start. Then a huge calorie count that comes mainly from simple carbs and saturated fat.

Make it better: Opt for a thin crust (fewer refined-flour carbs), use half the cheese, and replace the pepperoni or sausage with chicken breast, a lean protein that has just 1 g fat per ounce. (A little barbecue sauce is okay. Great, in fact.) The chicken gives you more muscle-building protein and a ratio of protein to fat that better satisfies the appetite. Add some sliced onions and peppers to rack up a little fiber and some immune-boosting allicin.

You lose: 10 g saturated fat

You gain: Allicin, fiber, twice the protein

Fish and Chips
What’s so bad?: There’s fat everywhere—the breaded and fried fish, the greasy potatoes, and the creamy coleslaw.

Make it better: You love the crunchy crispiness, right? Try pan-seared salmon—it’ll crisp up real nice—for a healthy dose of cholesterol-lowering omega-3 fats and a potential brain boost. A new UCLA study on mice suggests that DHA, one of the fats found in high levels in fish like salmon, helps repair memory damage caused by Alzheimer’s disease. Roasted potato wedges sprayed with a little olive oil are infinitely better than fat-soaked fried “chips.” Grab a bag of finely chopped coleslaw makings at the grocery store and use either low-fat mayonnaise or, better yet, a tangy vinegar-and-oil dressing.

You lose: 8 g saturated fat

You gain: 4 g omega-3 fats

Nachos
What’s so bad?: Just 13 ordinary corn chips contains 120 calories and 6 g fat, and you haven’t yet ladled on the electric-orange cheese product, the greasy spiced hamburger mixture, or the sour cream. Do that and you’re hoisting 26 g saturated fat into your mouth. Add thirst-inducing pickled jalapeño-pepper slices and you’re getting a day’s worth of sodium in this 1,129-calorie pile.

Make it better: Start with baked corn chips (less fat), add cooked pinto beans for fiber, and use reduced-fat sharp Cheddar and lean ground round. Top with cancer-fighting diced tomatoes (for lycopene) and diced fresh jalapeño pepper—it has no added salt but still delivers plenty of kick. The whole concoction is leaner, tastier, and way better for you. Go ahead, have some more.

You lose: 677 calories, 22 g saturated fat, 2,500 mg sodium

You gain: 14 g fiber, 2,300 mcg lycopene

Wikio

Make Every Meal Healthier

























Use these simple strategies to boost the health benefits of your produce



While we’ve been dutifully eating our fruits and vegetables all these years, a strange thing has been happening to our produce. It’s losing its nutrients. That’s right: Today’s conventionally grown produce isn’t as healthful as it was 30 years ago—and it’s only getting worse.

In 2004, Donald Davis, PhD, a former researcher with the Biochemical Institute at the University of Texas, Austin, led a team that analyzed 43 fruits and vegetables from 1950 to 1999 and reported reductions in vitamins,  minerals, and protein. Using USDA data, he found that broccoli, for example, had 130 mg of calcium in 1950. Today, that number is only 48 mg.

What’s going on? Davis believes it’s due to the farming industry’s desire to grow bigger vegetables faster.  The very things that speed growth—selective breeding and synthetic fertilizers—decrease produce’s ability to synthesize nutrients or absorb them from the soil.

A different story is playing out with organic produce. “By avoiding synthetic fertilizers, organic farmers put more stress on plants, and when plants experience stress, they protect themselves by producing phytochemicals,” explains Alyson Mitchell, PhD, a professor of  nutritionscience at the University of California, Davis. Her 10-year study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry showed that organic tomatoes can have as much as 30% more phytochemicals than conventional ones.

But even if organic is not in your budget, you can buck the trend. Here,  9 expert tips to put the nutrient punch back in your produce.

1. Sleuth Out Strong Colors

“Look for bold or brightly hued produce,” says SherryTanumihardjo, PhD, an associate professor of nutritional sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A richly colored skin (think red leaf versus iceberg lettuce) indicates a higher count of healthy phytochemicals. Tanumihardjo recently published a study showing that darker orange carrots contain more beta-carotene.

2. Pair Your  Produce

“When eaten together, some produce contains compounds that can affect how we absorb their nutrients,” explains Steve Schwartz, PhD, a professor of food science at Ohio State University. His 2004 study of tomato-based salsa and avocado found this food pairing significantly upped the body’s absorption of the tomato’s cancer-fighting lycopene. Check out Healthy Power Pairs for more examples.

3. Buy  Smaller  Items

Bigger isn’t better, so skip the huge tomatoes and giantpeppers. “Plants have a finite amount of nutrients they can pass on to their fruit, so if the produce is smaller, then its level of nutrients will be more concentrated,” Davis says.

4. Cook Smarter

Certain vegetables release more nutrients when cooked. Broccoli and carrots, for example, are more nutritious when steamed than when raw or boiled—the gentle heat softens cell walls, making nutrients more accessible. Tomatoes release more lycopene when lightly sauteed or roasted, says Johnny Bowden, PhD, nutritionist and author of The Healthiest Meals on Earth.

5. Eat Within a Week

“The nutrients in most fruits and vegetables start to diminish as soon as they’re picked, so for optimal nutrition, eat all produce within 1 week of buying,” says Preston Andrews, PhD, a plant researcher and associate professor of horticulture at Washington State University. “If you can, plan your meals in advance and buy only fresh ingredients you can use that week.”

6. Skip Time-Savers

Precut produce and bagged salads are time-savers. But peeling and chopping carrots, for example, can sap nutrients. Plus, tossing peels deprives you of good-for-you compounds. If possible, prep produce just before eating, says Bowden: “When sliced and peeled or shredded, then shipped to stores, their nutrients are significantly reduced.”

7. Mix Them Up

If you’re used to munching on red tomatoes, try orange or yellow, or serve purple cauliflower along with your usual white. “Many of us buy the same kinds of fruits and vegetables each week,” Andrews says. “But there are hundreds of varieties besides your usual mainstays—and their nutrient levels can differ dramatically. In general, the more varied your diet is, the more vitamins and minerals you’ll get.”

8. Opt for Old-Timers

Seek out heirloom varieties like Brandywine tomatoes, Early Jersey Wakefield cabbage, Golden Bantam corn, or Jenny Lind melon. Plants that were bred prior to World War II are naturally hardier because they were established—and thrived—before the development of modern fertilizers and pesticides.

9. Find a Farmers’ Market

Unlike prematurely picked supermarket produce, which typically travels hundreds of miles before landing onstore shelves, a farmers’ market or pick-your-own venue offers local, freshly harvested, in-season fare that’s had a chance to ripen naturally—a process that amplifies its amount of phytonutrients, says Andrews: “As a crop gets closer to full ripeness, it converts its phytonutrients to the most readily absorbable forms, so you’ll get a higher concentration of healthful compounds.”
Learn how to be a budget organic! Find out what’s worth the cost, what’s not, plus other ways to save.

Wikio

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: