Health Begins with Real, Local Foods
As urban development brings pollutants, noise and chaos to our lives, real food can serve as an antidote. Real food provides building blocks in the form of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants to promote optimal function of the body while reducing toxicity and preventing disease. Eating real food and supporting local producers creates a reciprocal relationship just as the soil and root system of a plant exchange nutrients.
Sustainable production of dairy, protein and produce is the most nourishing as it focuses on healthy development while maintaining the integrity of what nature provides. Sustainable local producers work with nature rather than use synthetic fertilizers or harvest produce before it is ripe. Pastured goat products are mineral dense and provide an abundance of B vitamins, vitamin A and antioxidants. Grasses are rich in ALA, a type of omega-3 fatty acid that is converted into CLA in the stomachs of ruminants. These unique CLA fatty acids have been shown to fight against tumors and boost metabolism and can only be found in meat and dairy products of grass-fed livestock.
Letting nature do her work is a way to ensure most nutrient density and preservation of delicate compounds. Look to berry picking as a way to connect and indulge in nature’s medicine. Early summer in Houston provides plump berries at their peak. These are superior to those found on grocery shelves that have been picked prior to maturity, sprayed with ethanol and robbed of their nutritional density. When fruit is able to ripen on the vine or bush, it is able to pull the most nutrients from the root system of the plant and absorb more sun into its leaves to provide the highest amount of nutrients including vitamin C, K, minerals and antioxidants. One featured antioxidant of berries is anthocyanin, known for its purple-red pigment, which functions as a superfood helping to prevent Alzheimer’s and cognitive decline while defending against cancer. When berries are produced sustainably in nutrient-rich soil without chemical pesticides they develop more antioxidants and become a powerful prescription.
Houston offers a plentiful bounty just beyond the concrete slab. Eating seasonally and locally secures our access to a “FARMacy” of nourishment and disease prevention while connecting us to nature’s cycles and a real food community. Use the stories and recipes in this issue to explore the local and seasonal food scene. Live local, live well.