Healthy Foods
Choosing Fruits and Vegetables

Healthy foods contain vital nutrients the body needs to feel good. There are unhealthy foods that contain poisons and the body has to deal with them. This is where we get into trouble.

     Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Fresh fruits and vegetables

Just looking at the fresh fruits and vegetables will not tell you which contain the poisons. There's more to know and you have to read signs or ask.

Are they pesticide free?
Are they organic?
Have they been grown using chemical fertilizers?

Choose Organic Foods When Available

You can find foods grown both organically and sustainably if you have a farmer's market nearby. I have been shopping at the local farmer's market for a number of years now. The produce is grown by the small farmers, in season and grown close by.

I support my local health food store as well. This particular health food store is great at providing good quality organic produce most of the time. You may have a health food store in town that carries fresh locally grown produce.

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is another option. This would be a local farm nearby.

Local farms sometimes have fresh produce stands. If you find one, be sure and ask for pesticide-free. If you live in town you might take a drive to the country where these stands are quite commonly found. Sometimes your phone book will give you the information, or a search on the Internet.

Also, more mainstream grocery stores are carrying a line of organic foods.

Not All Organic Foods Are Equal

The larger health food stores have been providing their organic fruits and vegetables from really large organic farms. When shipped over long distance, the fruits and vegetables are not as fresh. Some can be picked before they are ready so they ship better. If they are out of season, like apples, they may have been in cold storage. These are usually waxed to sustain their freshness.

I used to buy my foods from a small chain of health food stores called Mrs. Gooches located in Southern California. That chain was sold to Whole Foods. I noticed a different feel about the store when they took over. Minor but still different.

One difference was wines were brought in and stocked right up front in the store. Another, was foods containing sugar came in. Mrs. Gooches didn't allow foods containing sugar. Wines and foods containing sugar are not considered when I shop for healthy foods. My favorite ice cream contained honey instead of sugar. It was soon abandoned by the new owner.

Several years later, Whole Foods grew out of their "little market type" building and moved into a vacated, "mainstream grocery store" building. It was really exciting to see them grow and I loved it at first. But their store was so large they couldn't find enough organic produce to fill up that section. Their supply lines were not enough, initially. They brought in more and more conventional produce.

When demand for organic foods increase, more foods have to be produced. I do know that Wholefoods has made great efforts to meet that demand. They are far ahead of the grocery stores that have recently begun to include a small section of organic fruits and vegetables in their produce section.

With recent shipping costs on the rise, I am seeing more demand for local produce by the larger stores. While shopping at my local farmer's market, I learned this particular farm was now supplying Vons and Trader Joes with heirloom tomatoes. This is a significant improvement.

It's up to you to decide what quality you want, or can afford. But most important is this: reduce your intake of foods that are grown with synthetic chemicals and pesticides.

Choose Small Family Farms When Available

Most growers or farmers, prior to the 1900's were seeking optimum farming methods. Not thinking about growing healthy foods, the chemical industry infiltrated agricultural procedures, intending on growing wealthy instead.

Today, our small farmers are struggling to hold onto their basic farming principles while trying to make a living. You can watch a very enlightening video, Grocery Store Wars, to understand more about what our small family farms are up against. It's very entertaining and has a far-reaching message. You should enjoy it!

More You Can Read...

Here's other related articles you might find helpful.

Healthy Fruits - Berries are at the top of the list. If you eat a variety of berries, you'll be getting more value from these healthy fruits than if you just stay with one kind.

Phytonutrients, what are they? - Find out what they are, how they work, how critical it is to get these nutrients, and what healthy foods have them.

Please feel free to email me if you have questions or comments. I am always happy to respond.

Go to Food Nutrition Guide from Healthy Foods