Not exactly. There are many foods that are a part of the modern diet that are lacking in nutrients. The obvious culprits are fast foods and processed foods. However outside of that it helps to also seriously think about where you get your fruits and vegetables.
In this blog I'm going to focus on produce. I'll cover meat and dairy in a subsequent blog.
The vegetables and fruit you get at the farmer's market or your garden are vastly different from what you get at the store. Why? Simply because of how food is transported, stored and brought to market.
Where It All Begins
Produce is at its freshest and most nutrient dense when it's first picked. Unfortunately in North America often times produce gets picked, then trucked to a warehouse. From the warehouse it eventually makes it to the grocery store. Then you drive to the grocery store to purchase vegetables and fruits.
Once you get your groceries home chances are that most of the produce sits in your fridge, or on your counter for a few more days. By the time you cook what you bought it has a fraction of the nutrients that it did when it was first picked. Most likely much of the produce you're buying was harvested weeks or even months ago. What?!
Yep. Here are some averages for how long from harvest to the store for most of the produce that you're buying.
According to Delish, the apples that you buy in a run of the mill supermarket are chemically treated to stop them from rotting, and then stored for nine to 12 months before hitting shelves. Not as fresh as you may think. Besides the chemicals they're sprayed with, the apples aren't as fresh as you might think. And because they're not at their freshest they're also not at their most nutrient dense.
Even from farmers markets, potatoes are often stored for awhile because, simply put, they can be. According to the website for the Washington Potatoes industry group, potatoes can be stored for up to 11 months after being harvested, prior to being sold. Some are sold immediately, but others could hang around in a warehouse for awhile.
Lettuce and Spinach
Though lettuce and spinach can't be stored the way that potatoes and apples can, both are likely several weeks old by the time you get them from the store. If you're eating your greens because you think they're very healthy chances are that unless you're getting them from your own garden what you're getting from the store isn't as healthy as you think.
I could go on and list other foods as well but you get my point. The three root causes of disease are a lack of nutrients, chemical toxicity and stress. When produce is stored for long periods of time it loses nutrient density. Those nutrients are what your body needs for health. The other thing to consider is that when produce is sprayed with chemicals to keep it from rotting those chemicals eventually come into your body when you eat it.
If you're not buying organic produce chances are that what you're buying has been sprayed right from seed or even grown from GMO seeds. That's alot of chemicals you're being exposed to. Not only are you missing nutrition but you're also bringing chemical load into your body. Can you see how over time this might become problematic for your health?
What Can You Do?
Buy organic whenever possible to decrease your chemical exposure. Organic produce might not be perfect but it has more nutrients than chemically sprayed produce. It'll likely also be fresher.
If you have the space grow some of your own food. Make sure you do it without chemicals. This summer my boyfriend and I started our first garden. We've been enjoying our own kale, lettuce, broccoli, onions, peppers and herbs from our very first garden. We've been supplementing this with superfoods.
Over a year ago I switched to superfoods that are dehydrated at the farm level. Because they're dehydrated at room temperature at the farm level all their nutrition and enzymes are intact. The bonus is that these foods are shelf stable for up to two years. Using these superfoods has been a game changer in my personal health. You can contact me to learn more.
I hope this blog has been good food for thought. Until next time, be well.
Photo by: Dan Gold