I remember as a kid eating apples straight off the tree in the backyard and green beans straight off the vine. I was a picky eater; my diet consisted mainly of bread, pancakes and candy.
I hated vegetables. But for some reason, if they were straight out of the garden, I would eat anything like I would an apple: hold it in my hand, bite into it and keep eating until it was gone. But if my mom made cooked peas for dinner from a can or frozen bag, I wouldn’t touch them!
Fresh foods taste better!Â And not only that, they are substantially better for your health. Most of what you buy in a supermarket is old. Any type of fresh produce is picked before it’s ripe, put in cold storage and then shipped across country. You could be eating food that is anywhere fromÂ months to even years old! Supermarket eggs are anywhere from six weeks to six months old and can still be labeled as ‘fresh.’
Food can last for awhile and still look fresh and taste decent. The nutrients, on the other hand, are fragile and are destroyed easily by heat, light, oxygen, and time. Unfortunately, most of what you buy in the supermarket has lost most of its nutritional value by the time you buy it.
The Kellogg Report, by Dr. Joseph Beasley offered examples of nutritional loss that occurs after harvesting:
Spinach and asparagus lose 50 to 70 percent of their folate when kept at room temperature for three days.
Vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli and green beans typically lose 50 percent of their vitamin C before they reach the produce counter.
Potatoes lose as much as 78 percent of their vitamin C during long-term storage at 36 degrees.
Blanching vegetables prior to freezing can destroy up to half of their vitamins.
Freezing meat can destroy up to 70 percent of its vitamins.
Commercial foods not only lack nutrients because of losses after harvest but also because the food is usually harvested before it is ripe. Vitamin and mineral content rise near the peak of ripeness. Naturally ripened tomatoes have 1/3 morevitamin C than those harvested green and immature. And some foods harvested before they are ripe never develop certain nutrients at all.
Having all types of food available to us year-round sure is convenient. However, we pay the price with our health.
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