Ever think about eating local but don’t know how to go about finding what you need to know?
Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has a website with some resources. On their page you can see what is in season in your area at any given time. You can choose what produce you are looking for, or look at all produce, you can choose the time of year and the state you are in. If you click your state, you can see the full list of what is available throughout the year. You can also get tips if you click on the different types of produce for storage, shopping and nutrition.
The Eat Local Grown website lets you enter your city, state and search for places nearby with locally grown produce.
So why eat local? Because it will be fresher. When other farms ship to your grocer, it may already be weeks old. Local is much fresher. If you go to a farmer’s market, you can ask them firsthand how fresh something is. Many grocers are now starting to offer locally grown food in a small section of their produce or meat departments. Think about what you are eating.
Do be cautious. Some roadside veggie stands buy bulk produce from the same produce suppliers grocery stores use. They also sometimes buy seconds and vegetables that are too old to be sold in grocery stores. While the prices might be great, you can’t always be sure what you are getting.
You are also supporting your local economy. You can put a name and a face to that tomato you are about to eat. You can inquire about how the food is grown. The overall environmental impact of a tomato grown in your hometown is probably far lower than one grown out of state or country.
With this Covid-19 pandemic ever-looming over us, it has made us re-think just about everything we do. How do we handle the food we eat? We want to be even more vigilant about what we are putting in our mouths. We recently posted about this.
Yes, you should wash everything but no, you shouldn’t use soap or detergent to wash them. Soaps can cause diarrhea, nausea, or even cramps. Do not use bleach, either. There isn’t any evidence that this would kill coronavirus either.
Washing in cold water will remove a large amount of germs and bacteria. You can use a vegetable scrub brush on tougher skin produce like potatoes. If you are eating a fruit with a peel or even peeling vegetables, clean the skin first. You can contaminate the fruit while peeling it.
Some people have even gone so far as quarantining their food before bringing it into the house. This is unnecessary. It can also be dangerous if the food should be refrigerated.
A precaution you should take is to clean your grocery bags. If you have washable ones, many stores are requiring you to wash between trips. You can clean the plastic coated ones you get from some stores with soap and water as well.
Always wash your hands before handling food and before eating food.
The Victor crew found this article on delish.com that is kind of disturbing.It’s all about supermarket produce and what really happens to your food. Here are some highlights.
Most of your produce has not been cleaned. I do know of a grocery store that has some of their produce cleaned but not all of the produce is. Just plan on cleaning your produce before consuming it. Try putting it in water with a little bit of baking soda for about twenty minutes before cooking it.
As in most places the produce is rotated so the newer items are on the bottom or in the back – you may need to dig to find fresher items.
Most apples are a year old already when they come to market so you are buying old apples.
Other customers may spread germs especially if they are sick and handle the produce.
Read the full article.
If you try to eat what is season, it may vary slightly depending on your area and definitely what time of year it is. You can find what is good in your area on https://www.seasonalfoodguide.org/.
Right now in my area, I should be able to find apples, celery, horseradish, mushrooms, potatoes, rapini, sprouts, and turnips. On this site, you can look for your state and then the month. It will list all the produce in that area at that time of month to look for as being seasonal. It will list fruits, vegetables, and herbs. If you live in California, you will find there is 67 different produce available right now.
You are better off shopping at a local produce or farmer’s market or a market that has a local produce section to assure the freshest foods. We will talk more about that next week.
You can also download their app and use it while shopping.
From time to time we come across articles that debunk EWG’s Dirty Dozen list. One major reason is they receive their funding from some larger organic farms. https://www.ewg.org/about-us/funding
It has been found that organic produce does indeed have pesticides as well. Many organic samples of kale contained as many as 31 different chemicals, of which only one was approved for organic produce. The levels were very low on the samples of organic kale but even though higher on conventional samples,still below the level of tolerance.
We think each crop should be looked at individually. For instance, apples. Most apples contain diphenylamine (DPA) which can be harmful. In fact, the EU has banned DPA since 2012 and from importing American apples since 2014 because of it.
You can buy regular apples but they may be coated in wax so it would be harder to remove pesticides by cleaning. You can try to clean them in water and baking soda according to Popular Science. They found it took about an 8-minute soak to remove most pesticides and about 10-15 to remove almost all. There may be some pesticides that seep into the flesh. One ounce of baking soda per 100 ounces of water are effective.
Food Revolution Network says to use salt water and vinegar. Using 10% salt solution was more effective than water. They have separate ways to clean different fruits and vegetables.
Both sites say that the premade solutions for cleaning fruits and vegetables don’t work as effectively. Links for all sources below: