the natural way

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Jim Fain Last year I worried that with too much rain I would miss our weekly outdoor market. This year I worry that with too little rain the selection will suffer. I enjoy the event and especially the fresh, locally grown produce. Worry doesn't do too much good, does it?

We are fortunate to live where so many varieties of fruit and veggies are grown. Picking your own produce like blueberries and juicy peaches just points out how fresh and good local foodstuffs can be. We are blessed and it is good to be reminded.

I'm a strong advocate of choosing foods that travel the shortest distance between the garden or ranch and the table. Science in this century is moving fast in the nutrition field and some of the laws governing the production of food aren't really as good as they seem. The laws defining "organic," while beneficial to the consumer, have no bearing on the loss of nutrients caused by shipping long distances.

Organic produce from South America may conform to federal law but, due to time and distance, be found lacking in delicate enzymes along with other phytonutrients. For instance, one of these is found in a supplement called ModuCare. This is called a sterol/sterolin. Everyday the veggie is refrigerated, more of these beneficial yet delicate guys degrade. Sterols and sterolins are proven to lower cholesterol, improve the immune system and lower allergies. Most of the time we don't get enough of these from our foods.

I also like full cream butter and cheese, but only if produced from grass-fed cows, which many dairies do.

Worried about cholesterol? Well, grass-fed cows produce milk, butter and cheese high in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). While available in a supplement known as Tonalin, CLA has scientific evidence showing it can lower cholesterol, boost the immune system, protect the breast from cancer and help people lose that midriff know as a spare tire.

As with any fruit or veggie, be sure to wash it first and, for veggies, eat raw or lightly steamed. Due to the sugars in fruit, I suggest them as snacks between meals.

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