My family and I went to the farmers’ market last weekend, and came home wondering why on earth we hadn’t done it before! The kids LOVED it (serious miracle, getting kids to enjoy grocery shopping, right?!), and we were all inspired to eat healthier food. I was shocked when I served this Sautéed Garlic Chard to my children and all 4 of them liked it! Actually, to be honest I was a little disappointed, because there was less for me.
The fruits and veggies at our local farmers’ markets are more vivid, both in flavor and color. Vivid colors and flavors mean they not only taste better, but they have more nutrients! The reason this produce is more nutritious and tasty is that it has spent less time in transport, and more time on the tree. When a fruit or veggie is picked it starts to lose nutritional value. The quicker you eat it, the more nutrients are retained. Another factor is how ripe the produce is when picked. Fruit and veggies that have been allowed to ripen on the plant have more nutrients. For more information, check out this article.
I believe another reason that the food in farmers’ markets is better for you is that it’s usually organic, which means there are no pesticides and it is not GMO. There is a lot of debate over whether or not GMO foods are less nutritious or troublesome, and I don’t want to get into that just now. Do some research and decide for yourself. From what I’ve studied, it seems that some, but not necessarily all, GMO food is modified in a way that is harmful to humans.
Pesticides are quite obviously harmful…I mean, think about it! Do you want to eat food that has been treated with stuff that kills bugs? If it killed the bug it’s probably gonna hurt you, too! If your fruit and veggies look picture perfect, they may not actually be as good for you as ones that have been allowed to grow in their natural form!
Another battle being waged among scientists is whether or not organic produce contains more nutrients. I found this article helpful and informative from a scientific perspective. From my Christian perspective, I figure God did a good job creating natural foods for us to eat. The less we mess with them, the better off we are. Of course this is not a blanket statement, and I do believe God encourages us to be creative with our food. Changing it at the genetic level and adding harmful chemicals seems counterintuitive, especially when the goal of the modification is not health, but easier, cheaper farming.
Before I get to the recipe for the Sautéed Garlic Chard, I’d like to invite you to join with others who are making healthy changes! Let me walk alongside you on your journey towards wholeness and health! Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” May you find freedom from food habits that are destructive to a full life!