Should I choose organic and local foods?

Choosing food for yourself and your family can be overwhelming.  Is it really that important that we eat organic or eat locally?  Actually, it is.  Your first priority might be to eat a well balanced diet with whole grains, fruits, veggies, lean meat, and low fat dairy.  If you are eating mostly fresh foods, you are doing great so far.  But where are these foods coming from?  Most of us go to our supermarket of choice and do our regular shopping.  Some of us are buying the organic versions of the "dirty dozen" and the rest conventional; some of us are just buying what's on sale that week; some of us are buying the same products over and over again just because it's easy and convenient.  We all should consider going local with our food choices and that doesn't mean you have to spend a lot of money, especially if you are eating fresh.  I know we don't live in an ideal climate to get fresh fruits and vegetables all year long but there are many great options.  First of all, the benefits of eating fresh, local, and organic is not only do these foods have less chemicals added to them, but they are more nutritious.  When produce is grown in healthy, non-toxic soil, their nutrients are retained and the product tastes better.  The less travel the food has to do, the better quality overall.  When you eat local and organic, you eat seasonally which guarantees more variety.  With more variety in your diet comes more variety in nutrients.

You don't have to switch your whole diet to organic and local tomorrow.  Start gradual by just adding one food at a time.  Check out your local farmer's market or try a CSA.  Check out Irv and Shelly's Fresh Picks which delivers local and organic produce, dairy, and meat to your home.  The prices are comparable to grocery stores and it motivates you to try new foods.  And if you don't know how to prepare any of the produce, the website provides great recipes, storage tips, everything you need!

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