Gone are the days when conventional farmers laboured under the concept of working and battling the whims of nature to produce healthy nutritious food. Today conventional farming, in pursuit of productivity to satisfy ever increasing demand, has subordinated natural quality to modern agriculturally induced quantity. This has involved heavy reliance on a wide range of modern chemicals, including herbicides, pesticides, insecticides and synthetic fertilizers, in conjunction with a new hi-tech range of additional chemicals to assist in crop acceleration, scheduled ripening and shelf life presentation and freshness extenders.
This has resulted in farm produce that has lower nutritional values in comparison with produce cultivated by traditional farming methods. At the same time, it is also adversely affected by a barrage of potentially unhealthy chemicals now available to the modern farmer. As the world’s population continues to grow this unfortunate trend is set not only to continue but also to intensify.
A few small farmers, having seen the deleterious consequences of modern conventional farming and the potential for a high quality grade niche market, have reverted back to the time-honored traditional farming methods of producing foods the good old “organic” way. However, since organic farming methods are more labour intensive with lower yields, the final product, although nutritionally healthier, is more expensive.
So, today, the conscientious consumer is faced with the dilemma of either purchasing relatively inexpensive conventional farmed products of less nutritional value and bland flavours, or of hunting down and paying more for organic foods to reap the rewards of higher nutritional value combined with greatly improved taste and texture.
Remember that the best investment you will ever make is in yourself. It is the quality of the foods you consume that is the cornerstone of good health and vitality.
• To remove surface toxins from fresh vegetables, herbs and fruits, wash them thoroughly. Ideally soak and rinse them using alkalized water with a pH of around 10-11. You may also wish to select farm produce in accordance with their different pH properties in order to achieve a healthier alkaline diet (see the Acid-Alkaline Balance).
• Search out locally a traditional farmer’s market of freshly cropped locally grown produce. Enquire about the availability of various farm products as the seasons unfold and build fresh seasonal ingredients into your selected menus. In order to derive the maximum nutritional value from fresh products they must be consumed as quickly as possible. Remember, the nutritional value of any plant food begins to deteriorate immediately after picking. Hence, periods of transportation, market and home storage all add to a deterioration in nutritional value. Thus you should shop everyday for fresh farm produce.