Sourcing Your Food
Sustainably grown foods: Sustainable farming is producing foods, plants and animal products for consumption, using farming techniques that protect the environment, public health, communities, and pays attention to animal welfare. The reason it is so important because this form of cultivation enables growers to harvest healthful food without compromising future generations’ ability to do the same. If you are EATING then you are responsible for food and environment and you must take part by either being involved or supporting the farmers who practice this way of farming.
Organic Foods: By choosing organic we not only look after the health of our own body and immune system but also the health of our family, the health of the earth we use to grow foods and the environment. Organic produce such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, lentils and legumes are labeled organic when it has been grown, harvested and packaged without the use of harmful chemicals, such as fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides. Organic meat, dairy, eggs etc. are raised without the use of growth hormones or antibiotics. Organic also means the produce has not been genetically modified and has not been irradiated [Expose to radiation]. The best way to get organic produce in the home is to grow it yourself or if your neighbour who is growing food organically. If that’s not an option, try your local grocer, farmers market, or search the internet for a company that delivers organic produce to your door. If you are purchasing organic food from a grocery store make sure you find the following labels – USDA Organic, Canadian Organic, European Organic etc. Check Wikipedia to look up other Certification Boards.
Seasonal and Locally Grown foods: Locally grown food is the best food for your health and for your environment. This also supports your local farmers and producers and the economy, at large. When you are eating locally grown food you are also supporting your health by eating foods available in season, which gives your body a denser supply of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and antioxidants from the foods. When you eat this way you will get foods that are fresher, tastier, and faster, your produce is super nutrient dense, you get a better variety of fruits and vegetables, you help protect soil and water, and you help conserve energy. When I was growing up in Bangladesh I used to wait for the cauliflower, green peas and tomatoes that was available during the winter season only. My mother would freeze some for later season however we never depended on stores for nutri-licious foods.
Non- GMO Foods: According to Organic Authority, Genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, are created when a gene from one species is transferred to another, creating something that would not be found in nature. Crops such as corn, soy, canola, cottonseed, tomatoes, beets etc. are on top of the list for being genetically modified. Such crops have DNA that was tweaked in a lab, however you will not know which foods are genetically modified because no GMO food is labeled. I highly recommend you to follow Vandana Shiva [YouTube], and Jeffery Smith [Seeds of deception] in matters of finding more about GMO. You will be shocked to know what is going on in the food industry.
Unprocessed Foods: Processed foods are made by pasteurizing, using harmful chemicals, fillers, additives, artificial colours, sweeteners or added vitamins/minerals [fortified]. Raw, unprocessed and unpasteurized foods are extremely healthy when you buy them and prepare them at home. Examples of these foods are unpasteurized raw honey, unpasteurized raw milk [not legal in Canada due to factory farming system], unpasteurized nuts and seeds and full fat dairy products [so much better than 1% or skim milk, where fat is extracted and then added back in]. Anything that has not gone through processing, heat, pasteurization, factory processing is natural to the body and is easy to digest.
However, some foods are carefully processed keeping in mind both ease of cooking and our health. Such as whole grain flours, sprouted flours, sprouted seeds, cold pressed extra virgin oils, naturally fermented foods, hulled, de-shelled grains, nuts and seeds. Today many dehydrated foods in the raw food world in also popular. Such as dehydrated kale chips, sea vegetables, raw cacao nibs and powder, no chemical ingredient added dehydrated cookies etc. Do not be persuaded by the word “Natural” because this is not regulated anywhere. For example white sugar is NOT natural because it has gone through processing. Brown sugar is just while sugar plus molasses. Sugar that is natural is honey. You may use Sucanut, coconut sugar or maple syrup if they were fair trade and sustainably grown.