“Natural” “Pure” “Organic” “Sustainable”…. These are some of the latest buzzwords that we see and hear today. But do we really know what they mean? Just because it says “organic” or “natural” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good for you. It may have traveled over a thousand miles (or even overseas), been irradiated and lost much nutritional value with each passing day from being picked to being consumed. And if it comes in a box, can, jar or package, what other ingredients have been added during the processing to preserve it? Food labeling rules leave a lot of room for misunderstanding. Take “organic” for instance, depending on the wording, it may be 100% organic, 95% organic or 70% organic. These buzzwords have been used so frequently and freely that we begin to wonder who to trust.
We, at Farm Girl Fresh, cannot stress enough the importance of local food sourcing. Knowing where your food comes from is the only way to be sure it is pure, natural and good to eat. Some of the things we look for and questions we ask when purchasing produce, meat, eggs and dairy products are: Has it been genetically modified? Have chemicals been applied to it? Have the animals consumed genetically modified grains, soy or been given antibiotics or growth hormones? We love to hear stories of people connecting with their local growers at farmer’s markets or CSAs asking questions on how their food is grown.
Getting to know your local grower has more benefits than just purchasing nutritious food – it builds friendships and strengthens community. Here’s a great example, in our town we have a lovely neighborhood housing association for the elderly. Each week during the garden season, two ladies deliver their fresh produce to this small cul-de-sac. What a wonderful time the residents have each week gathering and buying the local fresh fruit and vegetables! Everyone’s all a chatter as they happily visit and enjoy the fellowship and good produce.
And, of course, we’re always really excited when we hear of people growing their own produce. There are so many options you can consider if you do not have the space to have a garden where you live. Community gardens, shared garden plots, neighborhood gardening and simple container gardens are all great possibilities to grow your own fruits and vegetables. Find out how to grow your own produce in our book, Eating Pure in a Processed Foods World®. Growing it yourself can be very rewarding and fun! This allows you to eat nutritious food in its most natural state; and, you will know just how “organic” “natural” “pure” or “sustainable” it really is!
Make sure to check out our Vegetable Garden Plans if you’re looking to plant your own garden this year!