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Consumers are encountering more varieties of produce, some are labeled heirloom, others are organic, hybrids, or who knows it just came off a tree or showed up at the office varieties.
For those brave enough to try new or different, you might find those heirloom purple potatoes are richer tasting; others might enjoy the spicier or bitter taste of greens like nasturtium, radicchio, or arugula. The months of August and September also give gardeners a chance to show off their spectacular carrots, beets, tomatoes, peppers and more at the county fair or farmers market. We encounter not only a cornucopia of foods and colors but the names transport you to exotic lands or whimsical fancy. You see names like: blackjack, Oak leaf, Batavian, and Fire Mountain in the salad greens, honey crisp, Melrose, Queen Victoria and Ozark apples. And some of my favorites are the berries: Cape fear, Brunswick, Wild Treasure, Summit and Jewel. Yuhum yum
This week I read “Eating on the Wild Side” by Joe Robinson. The author has an easy manner with their writing, not loading you down with Latin names, and complexity, making for an enjoyable read. Yes I purchase this as an electronic book…I’m into brain energy conservation, it is summer after all.
Here are a few of the interesting tidbits from her book.
Above all these great little trivia pursuit questions was the information on lettuce and how to keep it fresh in your fridge. You have to get the book to get this cost effective and useful tip.
So are all new or modern varieties poorer nutrition than heirloom varieties? It would appear the answer is no. There have been some truly remarkable advances in horticulture and plant sciences. Nevertheless, we innately crave sweeter easier to eat foods, this has led to the selective breading for centuries that has brought us to today’s foods. The downside is by developing sweeter, nicer looking foods we have also left behind those nutrients that made them medicine.
So to “Heirloom or not, that is the Question?” Aahh go for it, you just might find the purple potatoes, dark greens and quinoa are to your liking, and your health. But make sure you have a side of crabapples just to be sure, they can have between sixty and one hundred times the phytonutrients of today’s modern varieties!
To Summer Fun, Fresh Foods and Your Good Health
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