You will often hear me talk about the importance of what you eat. It’s been a huge part of my own healing journey. I have also been able to witness others make incredible changes through simple shifts in what they consume. A well-known quote by Hippocrates is, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Our bodies require nutrients to function properly and efficiently. When we eat real food (organic produce and high-quality sources of protein) our bodies thrive!
The actual food we ingest is important, but equally important is where that food is sourced and how the food is cared for. So, a strawberry is not just a strawberry, an egg is not just an egg, and a steak is not just a steak. All food is NOT created equal!
So how do we identify the difference between all of the produce, animal products, and meat? We want to eat real vegetables that haven’t been genetically modified, fruits that have been grown without being coated in chemicals, and animals that are treated humanely and not pumped full of hormones.
When eating any animal products, you want to think about the food chain. Each animal has consumed other things that we essentially then consume through them. Factory farmed chickens are typically fed corn or soy-based feed because it is cheap and plumps them up faster. Pastured chickens are allowed to roam the fields and forage on seeds, plants, insects and worms. Factory farmed chickens often never see daylight and are packed so tightly that they can barely move, while pastured chickens roam and have free range over the farm. Two very different lifestyles that produce drastically different chickens. Allowing chickens to behave as they were meant to be and forage on foods they were meant to eat gives us chickens that are healthy. The health of these chickens plays a huge role in the quality of the chicken meat and eggs that we get from the animals. We have very similar situations when we compare other factory farmed animals like cows and pigs to grass fed cows and pastured pigs.
Awareness is key. Knowledge is power. Take some time to research where your food is coming from and how it is raised.
Here are a few easy steps to begin:
*Buy organic. Even after being washed or peeled, conventional produce can still have high levels of pesticide residue. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) develops a list every year of produce that contains the highest loads of pesticide residues. This list is called the dirty dozen.
2018 Dirty Dozen (in descending order):
Sweet Bell Peppers
For more details on this list, go to www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php
*Get to know your local farmers and ask them about their farming practices. We started with a quick online search and then went to each farm to ask them more questions. I will be showcasing some amazing farms in future posts, so stay tuned for that. We also love to shop at farmers markets where the farmers are right there selling their products.
*For animal products, search for pastured eggs, pastured chicken, pastured pork, grass-fed beef, and wild caught seafood. Labeling can be tricky so ask your farmers to be sure.
As you plan your weekly meals, think about where your food will be coming from just as much as what food you will be consuming. It is equally important! Your body will thank you and so will the local farmers that work so hard to produce quality products for us.