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Natural Awakenings Space & Treasure Coast Florida

Organic or Local?: Buying food with the environment in mind can be complex...

Mar 12, 2011 07:06PM ● By Kris Urquhart

Organic carrots…check! Organic spinach…check! Organic cucumber…not on the market shelf. Now what? Should I burn more gas and drive to another store to find it or buy non-organic? Which is the best choice: local or organic? Trying to buy healthy food with minimal environmental impact today can be complex. If I didn’t have a black thumb I would consider turning my backyard into an organic garden and declare the problem solved. It certainly could be a full-time job finding and preparing the best food with the smallest environmental footprint for my family. Since I already have a couple full-time jobs as a mom and publisher, I have to make small changes as I find them. I have found that keeping lists in my wallet of the dirty dozen (top 12 foods to buy organic) and of seafood with the least mercury is helpful when I need a memory jogger. However, in my perfect dream world, I would prefer my own organic chef to do the shopping and prepare the meals. Oprah has one, so why not?

While putting together this issue I’ve learned two new things to add to my repertoire for a healthy kitchen. First, it may be time to replace my non-stick cookware. According to our health brief on page 13, “Compounds in non-stick cookware may be associated with elevated levels of cholesterol in children and teens.” While more research is needed, why not play it safe? The second epiphany falls in my favorite “because it is good for you” category (which is where I justify my dark chocolate habit). Apparently there are eight compounds in Canadian maple syrup that can be linked to human health. “It turns out that the syrup contains not only many naturally occurring vitamins and minerals such as zinc, thiamine and calcium, but also substances reported to have anti-bacterial, anti-cancer and anti-diabetic properties,” states our Sweet Medicine brief on page 12. The good stuff is definitely on my “must buy” list from now on.

This month’s Natural Food issue is jam packed with recipes, detox tips, and advice on defining your own food revolution. Try the Gorilla Juice on page 16 to stay hydrated and the Spinach Soup on page 23 for a spring detox. Choose some easy container herbs for your kitchen in our green living column (page 30) and find out how to start your own backyard chicken coop on page 32. Then find inspiration from Nell Newman in our wise words column on page 34. As we move into spring I hope this issue inspires healthy changes for your natural kitchen.

Here’s to a healthy food revolution!

Kris Urquhart, Publisher