Andrew & Rachelle are my favorite vendors at our local Saturday morning farmer’s market. They own Earthkeeper Farm and really know what they’re doing, so the food they grow is not only chemical free, but also nutrient dense because their soil is nutrient dense. (You’ll get to meet them if you take my Rookie Class, which is soooooooo close to launching, because I was able to interview them! By the way, they still have a few openings in their CSA.)
Andrew told me one day that they often have people asking questions about what makes produce the most nutritious, so I wrote something up for them…
- Choose fruits and vegetables that are grown without chemicals. Chemicals are used on crops to kill pests; common sense and many studies have shown them to be unsafe for us, too. Children are especially at risk. Choose chemical-free produce if at all possible. (One thing I do, however, because it can get expensive, is to either grow it ourselves, or check this shoppers guide for which produce is sprayed the least and which is sprayed the most – those are called “the Dirty Dozen”.) It's best to get to know your farmer, because often they grow chemical-free but can't afford the time or trouble to get the organic label. If you don't know them or ask about this, you won't know, so ask questions! (Update: here's the newest of the “Clean 15” and “Dirty Dozen” so you know which produce you really should buy organic, and which ones are OK to buy conventional.)
- Choose darker colored vegetables for more antioxidants. Also, remember that getting antioxidants or other vitamins and minerals from food is always the best and most natural way, so you know you’re getting all that nature intended.
- Produce grown in healthy soil is not only more nutrient-dense, it also tastes better! Make sure your grower knows how to keep the soil alive and full of nutrients. (A commenter reminded me that I didn't say the obvious, which goes along with knowing your grower: choose locally grown and in-season produce whenever possible!)
- Serve fresh fruits and vegetables in a meal that includes plenty of healthy fats for good digestion and better assimilation of nutrients. Healthy fats like butter, lard, tallow, coconut oil, etc., do not make you fat or damage your cardiovascular system! (Read more at the healthy fats link above.)
Please tell us what you would add to this list, and read more below about the importance of healthy soil!
- Do you eat fruits and vegetables in season only?
- How I wash our produce
- Pesticides Health Effects
- The importance of healthy soil.
- The Quest for Nutrient Dense Food – High Brix Farming & Gardening – I’d never even heard of a Brix meter until I read this article, but isn’t it interesting?!
- Part of the Two for Tuesdays blog hop, Simple Living carnival, & Pennywise carnival