We are told to eat more fruits and veggies to be healthy, and for the most part, this information is right on!
The problem with today’s produce is that it is mass-produced with the help of all kinds of stimulants and pesticides, and then put through a several-day process: picking, then sprayed with a ripening-stunting chemical, then delivery (1-3 days), then sprayed again with a ripening-stimulating chemical…it’s not a pretty picture. (And that was the short version!) You may even be thinking about this entire topic, “Why even bother trying to eat FRESH foods, then?”
Well, I am a cup-half full kinda gal, and I started asking, “What CAN we do about this problem for ourselves and our families?” Well, as answers usually go, there is always usually at least one, it just has to be found!
There is more than one solution!
I’ve outlined a few of these simple-to-do ideas below - YOU CAN pursue healthier FRESH foods for you and your family!
1. Grow your own - This isn’t for everyone, but it could be an answer for more families than you previously thought. It has become easier to grow healthy vegetables and fruits for ourselves than ever before, with ideas like topsy turvys, pot gardening, herb pot gardens, community and neighborhood gardens, backyard gardens, and rooftop gardens.
One of my favorite sayings is “Where there is a will, there is a way!” So true than in this case – with a little work, a lot of heart, and some seeds, soil, and water, you can have better health at your family dinner table.
2. Buy from the small farmer, especially organic farmers – They are about the only source of “pure” produce left in our country, and they are rapidly becoming extinct. It is heartbreaking, but something can be done – we can choose to support them at our local farmer’s market, directly from them (pick your own), and look for the signs in your grocery market that say “locally grown produce.” I personally loved living in Texas (and now Arizona) for this reason, so much of the local produce here in the grocery stores is grown and then distributed locally. Believe me, you can see and taste the difference!
3. Wash and disinfect your fresh produce – Whether organic or commercially grown, there is something simple you can do to remove pesticides, chemicals, and bacteria from your fruits and veggies before your family consumes them.
Here are 3 easy ways to wash your fresh foods:
- Place produce in a container or sink with vinegar (white or cider) water and hydrogen peroxide (also, just vinegar works) – ¼ cup vinegar, 1-2 tablespoons of peroxide with a gallon of water. For leafy greens, only two minutes or a quick rinse in a strainer with the concoction is necessary, berries only need 1-2 minutes soak. Most everything else can handle up to ten minutes of soaking.
- Make a mix of 3 Tablespoons baking soda and a quart of water – soak or rinse fruit and veggies with it, following above guidelines.
- Take ½ fresh lemon squeezed into 2 gallons of water and mixed with 4 tablespoons sea salt, this also makes a good natural cleaner – follow the same soaking guidelines as above.
Follow these simple steps and your family will be eating healthier while preventing the harmful effects of chemicals and pesticides in our food!