To nutritional coaching clients and in seminars, I will say, “be more concerned with eating foods high in micro-nutrients (vitamins, minerals, water, & phytochemicals), rather than counting the calories of macro-nutrients (fat, protein, & carbohydrates).”
Dr. Joel Fuhrman calls this “nutrient density,” which is the amount of micro-nutrients per calorie. The foods with the highest “nutrient density” on the planet are local, organic vegetables and fruits. Leafy greens are the top scorers, by a huge margin. See a sample nutrient density list here.
Try to eat most of your vegetables raw. Cooked vegetables lose a great deal of nutrient value because many vitamins do not react well to extreme temperatures. Big salads, green smoothies, and fresh juicing are the best ways to get your raw, natural micro-nutrients.
Locally grown food is also more nutritious. This whitepaper from the Harvard Center for Health and the Global Environment, by Kathleen Frith, explains why by using these factors: the specific variety chosen, the growing methods used, ripeness when harvested, post harvest handling, storage, extent and type of processing, and distance transported.
What My Wife And I Did
We joined the Red Fire Farm CSA Share Program. Luckily, someone in the Boston area was moving away and had to give up their share for the summer and our name was next on the waiting list. For the next 7 weeks we get fresh, local, organic (the nutritional triple-threat) produce.
Check out this haul, for only $40!
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Basically, you pay for your food ahead of time and then receive a weekly distribution as foods are harvested over a fixed period. It is a true win-win situation.
The farm is a business and experiences most of its expenses before the food is harvested. With the CSA Share program, farmers receive their income at the beginning of the season and can focus on growing the best food possible, rather than being worried about money later.
Red Fire Farm is not the only farm offering a CSA program, here is a great resource to find farms close to you.
Please add to the conversation. Where do you like to buy your locally grown produce?