Now would probably be a good time to discuss fats and oils in our discussion about organic food. We have been talking about processed foods and how nutrients are lost. It is the same with fats; things like hydrogenated palm kernel oil are not natural. Natural oils are oils extracted from safflower, sunflower, sesame seeds, and olives. They are unrefined, labeled crude or in the case of olive oil, extra virgin or virgin. Again, look for the least processed and with the least amount of additives.
Processed foods are made with processed oils. This usually means either hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated. That process has a complicated overall effect on our bodies. With all the problems the chemicals in margarine and fake fats have you are facing disaster. Then, we add in the chemicals being used to divert fat from the body altogether. We really need to get back to whole foods. It is no wonder that 6 of the 10 leading diseases in America are diet related.
The food pyramid suggests we eat 3 to 5 servings of fresh vegetables every day and 2 to 4 servings of fresh fruits every day. What most people do not realize is the importance of the definition of fresh. The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines fresh as being eaten within 72 hours of being picked! This, obviously, is almost impossible for the average American and poses a real dilemma. This is all the more reason why we need to buy organic and supplement our diets with a quality food supplement.
Today the average number of items on the produce shelves has greatly increased. It has been nice to see a larger variety of vegetables, but again marketing has caused some drawbacks. One example is the use of plastic bags stuffed with prewashed, precut, formerly fresh vegetables whose flavor may be “enhanced” with salt and sugar and whose life span is protected with preservatives.
Wrapped vegetable snacks are another technological wonder. They have been specially grown to remain crisp and crunchy for up to 2 weeks after purchase. And the price tag comes high.
Vegetables make a significant contribution to the daily intake of vitamins and minerals. Every vegetable is well endowed with one or more essential vitamins and minerals our bodies need, except for vitamin D. No one vegetable is high in all these nutrients, which is why we need a variety. Vegetables generally have the richest flavor and the most to offer nutritionally when eaten raw right after picking.
With regard to fruit, in an attempt to maintain visual quality after shipping, or to overextend the season to meet consumer demand, much of the fruit is picked long before it has developed into good eating, quality fruit. When chilled while still unripe, it becomes soft, but never develops its full, sweet potential.
Commercial fruit is bred for easy harvesting, longevity, and appearance at the cost of flavor. Chemical pampering is required. The fruit is grown in chemically treated soil to increase productivity and routinely sprayed with pesticides. While thick peels of some fruits often protect some fruit, many of these fruits are grown on foreign soils that allow agricultural poisons that our country does not allow. It is best to consume less of these and other fruits that are not practical to peel.
Tomorrow we will finish up our talk on organic foods.
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