Cookus Interruptus - How to Cook Healthy Food Videos
how to cook fresh local organic foods
despite life's interruptions

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F r e s h * L o c a l * O r g a n i c

Text reprinted from Feeding the Whole Family (third edition) by Cynthia Lair (Sasquatch Books, 2008)
Fresh
Fresh is best. The chemical composition of food changes radically a few hours after harvest simply because it is cut off from its food and water supply. Fresh food, particularly fresh produce, gives us maximum nutrients and flavor. Frozen food can be good too. Most of the nutrients are retained in foods that are frozen however some of the enzymes, color and flavor will have disappeared. If purchasing frozen fruits and vegetables, the texture will have changed. The foods are much less crisp than fresh foods because the cell structure is damaged by crystallization of water. Canned foods have most of their nutrients present but the flavor, color and texture suffer. One exception is tomatoes which are picked at maximum ripeness and canned the same day. Often a canned tomato will be superior in flavor than a fresh tomato purchased in February that was flown thousands of miles.
Local
Did you know that 86% of our fruits, nuts and vegetables are grown on farms surrounding America's cities? Most farmers who sell their food locally don't artificially treat crops to withstand shipping and extend their shelf life. Have a conversation with some of the non-organic vendors at your local farmer's market and you may find out that some local farmers do not use synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, but lack the size or profits to go through the rigorous process to attain organic status. Many farmers will sell their eggs, beef and pork directly to the consumer. The same is true for milk and milk products from healthy cows and goats. Check out www.eatwild.com and click on your state. Consider subscribing to a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) where a box of fresh, locally grown produce is delivered or picked up every week. The site www.localharvest.org has listings.
Organic
Your organic purchase says that you support the growers and manufacturers who are producing food without the use of the synthetic fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides, herbicides or pesticides that pollute your body and your world. Buying organic produce, especially locally grown produce, also helps keep you in tune with the seasons. Many believe that organic produce tastes better and contains more nutrients.

Make a special effort to use organic products when preparing food for pregnant or nursing moms, infants, and children. Toxins found in the mother's food can cross the placenta to the growing fetus or wind up in breast milk. What may be tolerated by a mature adult may prove harsh to the immature system of fetus or infant. Regulatory practices used to control pesticides in foods are based on studies of pesticide exposure to the general population, without regard to the special needs of infants. Some of the most pesticide-saturated foods are ones that we routinely give children to snack on, including strawberries, peanut butter, apples, peanuts, raisins, and potato chips. To find out which foods contain the most pesticides, visit the
Environmental Working Group web site.

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