When we put our heart and soul into what we are doing the results are amazing. As a gardener and health foodie I can definitely taste the difference when I eat food grown and prepared with love. It is sweeter, juicier, more flavorful and even more nutrient dense. Small local farmers choose to grow food because they feel connected to the earth and so everything they do comes from their heart. Believe me, they are not in it for the money. Most of them are barely making it.
Spring may be my favorite season. After the sparse offerings of a long winter the new food choices are exciting. I am enjoying wild green salads with edible wildflowers and Balsamic dressing, asparagus, morel mushrooms and of course all of the fabulous ways to use strawberries. I am also daydreaming of the summer bounty. This gourmet health food nut wants the best tasting food I can find so I head to the farmer’s markets near and far. Local farmers often grow heirloom varieties which have superior flavor. Because these varieties don’t stand up to shipping or long storage you won’t find them at your grocery store. Did you know that the flavor in food comes from the nutrients it contains? Because small and organic farmers provide a wider and more natural source of nutrients to the soil, it produces better tasting and more nutrient dense food.
Delicious healthy food is important to me, but I eat locally grown, seasonal foods for a variety of other reasons too. The properties of each season’s foods change to fit our bodies’ needs. In the winter, we tend to slow down and want to eat heavier warming foods to balance the cold weather. The meat, beans and root vegetables abundant at this time of year make for wonderful warming soups and stews. Often we overindulge during the holidays.
In the spring, nature provides us with lighter cleansing foods to help us eliminate the toxins that have built up over the cold months and give us more energy for our active summer lives. For example, greens and asparagus are very cleansing. Strawberries are light, low in sugar and high in antioxidants. Whether you chose to do a formal cleanse or just eat more of the cleansing foods of spring, eating seasonally is good for our health.
Eating seasonally is good for us, but it is also good for the environment. Small farmers use less chemicals, reducing the toxins in our air, water and soil. The number of toxins we are exposed to daily is alarming. They are in nearly everything we eat, drink, touch and smell. From GMO and chemical laden food, pharmaceuticals and chlorine in our water to toxins in clothing and building materials and artificial scents, we are swimming in a sea of chemicals that build up in our bodies. How much can we handle before we get sick?
Another environmental issue that has a profound effect on us is the use of limited fossil fuels. We can greatly reduce the use of fossil fuels by purchasing locally grown foods rather than produce that has been grown and shipped from a thousand or more miles away. This helps to reduce pollution and conserve a non-renewable resource.
Looking for something fun to do this weekend? Get out to your local farmer’s market and discover some new and delicious varieties of produce plus honey, handmade natural soaps, and more. Once you get a taste of the amazing array of goodies you’ll want to go often. Seasonal eating tastes great and is good for you and the earth.