Sunday, July 6, 2008

Real Food

I was spoiled as a child. My dad had grown up on a farm so we always had a good size vegetable garden in the backyard. My mom made the majority of our food from scratch. I can trace the exacerbation of my health problems as a teen went I started eating more processed foods. As a young adult I went back to eating the way I had as a child but I haven't had the time to maintain my own garden and I really missed the difference in quality. This had been my dilemna for a while.

I drove up to what looked like an old time market at the Poway Farmer's Market on Saturday morning. I went up to Jr Organic's booth and picked up my bin of weekly vegetables. While I was there I also picked up a dozen of some of the best eggs I've ever had for $2.50 and a bunch of beautiful flowers for $4. I joined a CSA 2 weeks ago and now I’ll never go back.

CSA stands for community supported agriculture. It basically allows small farms to sell directly to consumers. These farms can grow food in an ethical and healthy way, like avoiding pesticides and rotating crops to avoid soil depletion. It also supports family-owned local farms. The vegetables are picked that day so everything is very fresh. It is also the cheapest way to buy organic foods. Another added benefit is that the people who sell and buy there are very friendly. It makes you feel like you are part of a community. Warning: The vegetables aren’t as pretty but they definitely taste better.

In terms of Chinese nutrition each food has its own properties, and diet is adjusted according to the seasons and one’s constitution. As a general category low glycemic vegetables tend to clear heat, detoxify, and build yin and blood. High glycemic vegetables are qi tonics. In order to be healthy it is crucial that the food we eat be healthy and free of toxins.

Two wonderful references on Chinese nutrition are Paul Pitchfork’s Healing with Whole Foods and Maoshing Ni’s The Dao of Nutrition.

For a list CSA's go o Local Harvest or Eat Wild.