There’s so much hype about organic, local and whole foods that your weekly grocery-shopping trip can get seriously confusing. It’s pretty obvious that local, organic, whole foods – like the veggies, eggs, meat and fruit found at your local farmers’ market – are best for your body and our earth. But, if we don’t have access to a market or co-op or prefer to shop in a grocery store, what should we be looking for? What’s best for our bellies, families and earth?
1. Go local. First and foremost choose local items if available. Buying locally grown produce and meat supports the local community, reduces the amount of shipping need to get the foods to you, and also, local farms typically use organic and ethical practices. Also, local foods are seasonal foods, meaning the environment in which they are grown is not altered to create artificial conditions to help them grow.
2. Opt organic. If local is not an option, go organic. Organic produce, meats and dairy are not exposed to the harmful pesticides and hormones that are often pumped into our foods. Organic items, though they may be shipped from farther away, save our earth from over exposure to harmful toxins.
3. Eat whole. If there are no local or organic options, pick whole foods that are unprocessed like fruits and vegetables, grains, oats, rice and fresh poultry, meat or fish. Avoiding overly processed items like granola bars, microwave meals, chips or composite meat (like chicken nuggets) will undoubtedly reduce the amount sugar, sodium and saturated fat entering your system.
So there you have it, your new food pyramid. At the tippy-top is local, which trumps all with its goodness, sandwiched in the middle is organic, which is still beneficial for our bodies and our earth and the foundation of it all is whole foods. Obviously, if you are lucky enough to come across local, organic, whole foods, snatch up and enjoy as many as possible while they’re still in season!
This article was written by Guest Contributor Cailen Asher. Cailen is a freelance writer and the blogger behind Lifestyle Maven, a blog offering simply fabulous ways to cultivate health and unearth happiness. Her passion for a life of healthy balance is the backbone of her blog, and her passion for well-living is evident in every tip, recipe and piece of inspiration she offers her readers. Cailen also hosts Lifestyle Classes and offers Lifestyle Consulting to help individuals find their authentic selves and craft a life of health & happiness. In addition, she has published a book entitled Well-Designed Living: a guide to designing the home & defining the self and is currently working on her second – a cookbook – entitled Vegetables & Vodka. As a foodie, avid yoga practitioner and cocktail aficionado, Cailen is actively living the lifestyle she helps her clients and readers achieve. Learn more at www.CailenAscher.blogspot.com.
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