Saturday, November 12, 2016

Seasonal Eating

Changing diet in tune with the seasons

  You always hear contradictory information when trying to figure out just how to eat healthier. Are eggs good or bad? What about bread? The problem not only lies in that statistics can be extremely fluid and can be warped into supporting almost any opinion, but also with the one statement that is always true, extremes are never healthy. Any time the phrases never or always are used, I become sceptical, variety is after all, the spice of life and keeps us from getting bored, injured or sick. Another problem is trying to educate mass amounts of people, before you lose their attention. In todays world, the average person will not spend 3 hours a day preparing food, never mind researching it.

   After a lot of research I had concluded that the single action I could take to ensure a more nutritious diet, was to eat seasonally. Great, one step I could focus what, I have NO IDEA when things are in season! I laugh now at how detached for nature and how little I knew, but I always considered myself someone who was outdoorsy and interested in nutrition. That means that the average person probably knows even less than I did. To help with this problem, in an easy access, returnable format, I have added my Fall recipe's Pinterest board and will add the other seasons as they come. The benefit of eating seasonally is that you are eating the freshest, more likely local food, which has shown to be more nutritionally dense. Farmers markets are always an excellent source of local, in season food but even doing so in a common supermarket is a positive change.

  I am again going to bring Eliot Coleman into this discussion, I am quickly becoming aware of why his name is so tightly bound to sustainable, fresh food. I am now reading his book the Four Season Harvest, in which he describes his trip to France following the 44th parallel on which his farm resides, to a place that has been using intensive, sustainable procedures for generations. (His story has me considering adding a similar trip for my 49th parallel, as a bucket list item) In it he comments on how it is widely accepted that little changes is growing conditions, care, variety, etc. can effect the flavour and nutrition of things such as wine and cheese but has been debunked as truth when it comes to things like vegetables, eggs and meat.  The way he speaks about carefully grown produce, the way others do of their wine and cheese, and the comparison of commercial production that is grown for yield and uniformity, it is hard not to get caught up in his passion. He states that there is no wonder the majority of people know that eating more fruits and vegetables are good for them but they don't anyway, given the tasteless, chemical ridden varieties passing as food in todays supermarkets.
   This is where I hope to help, eating seasonally is the main step to better health, finding a local farmer who cares passionately about not using chemicals and increasing quality over quantity, would be the next. I hope to become that farmer soon, but creating something so beautiful and delicious takes time and practice, one day I will be that person.

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