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Food is Medicine: Where to find the good stuff

Farmers_market

Food can be the best medicine or the slowest poison.  Most of what is in your local supermarket isn’t what I or your great-grandma would call food, and the remainder is full of pesticides, herbicides and other additives that have no place in our bodies.  Fortunately, organic foods are showing up on supermarket shelves, but these still pale in comparison to the freshness that local farmers offer you, and for less money than you’ll spend at Whole Paycheck.

Here are three online resources for you to find the best quality, fresh, whole foods from local farmers near you. These three directories will help you locate farmers’ markets, grass-fed meats, healthy restaurants, and grass-fed raw milk in your area.

  • Local Harvest has a searchable database so you can find local organic food, or find companies that will ship nutritious goodies right to your door.   Buy locally if it’s available in your area. Locally grown foods are fresher, tastier and more nutritious than anything you’ll find in the supermarket. Buying locally also builds the health of your regional economy–buying directly from family farmers helps them stay in business.
  • Eat Well Guide also focuses on locally sourced, organic, sustainably farmed foods. Search the database for suppliers in your area or use Eat Well Guide to help you eat well on a trip! Put in your starting and ending locations and the guide will find healthy eateries along your route.   If you opt to register for free with the Eat Well Guide site, you can also save your search results as a downloadable PDF file.
  • RealMilk.com has a state-by-state listing of where you can buy real raw, unprocessed, pasture-fed milk. The health benefits of raw milk over processed have been debated, but in fact, raw milk has many health benefits. Often, people who are lactose intolerant actually can tolerate and enjoy unpasteurized, grass-fed milk. The enzymes naturally present in raw milk assist us in its digestion; pasteurization heats the milk, destroying the enzymes that help us digest lactose (milk sugar). Pasteurizing also denatures (flattens) the fragile, three-dimensional protein molecules in milk; the body mistakes them for foreign (non-food) proteins and mounts an immune reaction. Many who are allergic to pasteurized milk have no problem with raw milk. There’s much more to say about raw milk for several more posts.
    If you want to know more about the benefits of raw milk, check out the 148-page PowerPoint presentation authored by the Campaign for Real Milk: http://realmilk.com/ppt/index.html

How about the food you already have at home? Don’t waste money by letting food go bad, or by throwing out food that still may be good! But how do you know if those things in the back of the fridge are still safe to eat?

  • StillTasty.com will help you determine if that food in your fridge or cupboard is still good, and gives you tips on the best ways to store different items. There’s even an app for that, and it will send alerts to your iPhone when your food is about to expire, and will help you create shopping lists.

I’m fortunate to have farmers’ markets year-round where I live, and I love sampling the fruits and talking with the farmers. I go crazy for organic cherries, figs and tomatoes in the summer, and I can’t do without 100% grass-fed, truly free-range bison, beef, lamb and eggs from my local farmers.

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