Organic Love: Shopping your Way to an Organic Lifestyle

Have you ever wondered why simpler lifestyles in the country or a rural setting has supported—or spawned—longer lives and healthier people? It’s because they live off the land and have better lives than us, despite the urban setting having statistically the best chance at modest living and because they usually have lesser problems stemming from […]

Have you ever wondered why simpler lifestyles in the country or a rural setting has supported—or spawned—longer lives and healthier people? It’s because they live off the land and have better lives than us, despite the urban setting having statistically the best chance at modest living and because they usually have lesser problems stemming from the modern life to think about.

Another added asset is they probably ate off the land too. Vegetables, leafy greens, and produce—animals and dairy—off the land is what they had. Here’s how you could emulate them too.

Local Staples

The best organic replacements for processed food come from your local farmers or, better yet, your own backyard. If you can’t afford the time to grow or cultivate your own food, you can start by buying local produce like free range eggs or chicken meat as well as farm-grown vegetables and fresh fruit. It’s a form of supporting farmers as well as creating a better diet for your body.

The Fine Print

The problem sometimes with people buying products is that they rarely read the labels—particularly the ingredients. Most of the products you buy on store shelves are made to last through the use of chemicals. If you’re shifting to organics, you should learn to read labels. Have someone with you that can read or have your reading glasses with you. If you probably don’t know some of the ingredients, then it’s not organic.

Weekend Market search

Most local farms sell their wares in weekend markets. These are often out of the way and mostly set-up in the outskirts. If you’re searching for organic food, though, your best bet in buying one would be to drive up to these markets. You shouldn’t mind the extra mile if you want your fill of locally-grown food; it’s your way of supporting these farmers and their lives, after all.

Talk to your Local Farmers

Farmers are anyone who grows or takes care of food that goes to your table. If you’ve got farmers living locally, you should go out of your way and talk to them. More often than not, they’re in weekend markets and, sometimes, have stores where they sell their wares near you. If not, their products might be at the shelves of your favorite store. You’ll never know until you manage to talk to them.

Cultivate your Own

It might require a lot of time on your part, but you should start growing something—anything—in your backyard. This is helpful if your work is particularly stressful. The joy of growing something, coupled with the thrill of harvesting your own food, can be a source of relaxation for most people.

There are different ways how you can start an organic lifestyle. In the process, you’re helping people; your local farmer is a prime example. You’ll also learn a lot about plants if you plan to grow your own garden. Either way, going organic gives you the benefits of a healthier life.

There are many reasons to support small town farmer markets. There are the benefits you get from eating vegetables; the support you’re giving these farmers and their families; and the different options available to buy which doesn’t include a single drop of man-made stuff. However, you do have to drive all the way out of town to buy some.

Here are a few more benefits you receive from buying from these small farmer markets, if you are still looking for a reason why you should buy from them.

Reason 1: True Flavors

Looking for something tasty and fresh? They don’t come any fresher than they do in farmer’s markets. Here, you get your pick of freshly-plucked fruit as well as newly-dug up or picked vegetables. They will look good as salads or ingredients and will taste nicely as a shake or as fruit juice. If you’re looking for healthy options with good taste, go organic and support small town markets.

Reason 2: Organically Grown

Gardeners and home-farm advocates usually take a page out of these small-scale farmers; most of their fertilizers are organically-made. When you go to a small town farmer’s market and you see a product labeled ‘organically grown’, you can be sure they’re saying the truth. The freshness of the fruit is likely a by-product of the naturally-sown seed, which is grown and produced with very little to no chemicals involved.

Reason 3: Naturally Ripe

Sometimes, mass production food is ripened out of their season for max profit. Using chemicals, these fruits and vegetables are grown forcefully. Farmer’s markets don’t feature produce like those in big commercial stores; instead, what they have are seasonally-grown fruits and crops. While these may be limited because of the way they are grown, you can be sure they’re naturally fresh.

Reason 4: Rare Finds

Being a natural market, you usually find great vegetables and food sold in farmer’s markets you don’t usually find anywhere. Examples of these are red carrots and purple cauliflowers. These are naturally-grown; they aren’t your chemically-grown variety. There are a lot of these that are normally sold there and they also are great if you want to mix up your diet.

Reason 5: Very Affordable

The best reason to go to these markets, perhaps, is the price you get for the produce you buy. Usually, these vegetables aren’t that costly and they also are healthy. What better combination can you ask for?

Taking the extra mile in going to these weekend farmer’s markets gets you the best of what nature has to offer. You get two-fold benefits here, by the way; aside from the support to families, you also get to support your health.

With the movement shifting towards more local, freshly-grown or cultivated produce landing on the table, it’s easy to give some love and awareness toward farmers. Healthy foods mean a more productive and longer life. By supporting organics, we also support the Earth that has given us so much.

Growing crops is to give back to both people and the Earth. However, farming is a serious life; there are many farmers that are barely making ends meet as it is. If you plan to support local farming, you should do it all the way. Here are ways on how you might do it.

Restaurants that support and use locally grown produce/Check

Restaurants always use fresh ingredients, but some of them go all the way. There are those that use locally grown vegetables and meat fresh from the farm, whether they source it from large- or small-scale farming operations. The Eat Well Guide as well as Diners’ Guide to Ethical Eating are only some of the guides you can look to if you want to know which ones support local farmers. Alternatively, you can call restaurants to inquire whether they support local produce or not.

Pay attention to ALL your food/Check

Farmers grow crops and there are some popular food choices that always get the nod; asparagus, tomatoes, and wheat are only some of the crops that always feature. Humble pie crops like beans and mustard seeds don’t always get the nod, but rotation is required to always make the soil healthy and high-yield. Learn to eat those crops as well if you plan to support farmers all the way.

Eat rare/Check

Rare here doesn’t mean a rare steak. What it means is to search for food which is considered native to your area. These are known as ‘heritage breeds’ and they differ from place to place, but are considered cheaper to race. If you want to plan a diet, include more of these local varieties than food that grows in other places. Doing so supports farmers whose budgets are mostly restricted they only have space for local produce.

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Include fresh harvest in your menus/Check

This might be too much work, but it’s required if you want to make a difference in supporting your local farmers. As the seasons change, learn to shift your diet into seasonal crops to maximize buying local produce. For example, shift colder month crops like kale or beet greens when you cook pesto. If you want to create pasta for summer, substitute peppers, zucchini, and tomatoes.

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Volunteerism/Check

The biggest support that you can give, though, is to volunteer your time to local farms. A local farm near you might need extra hands to support a large variety of tasks. Use your time wisely and you’ll find that you can grow your own food.

Perhaps the way to healthier, more affordable food is to go back to the basics. Farms are always in need of help; be aware of what is happening in your community and lend a hand or two. Doing this will go a long way in supporting local farms.

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Dip into some Fun: Fun Dips that are Healthy Too

Everybody loves snacks, who doesn’t? However, those salty, crispy chips, by themselves, aren’t worth what leafy green salads and celery sticks are. There’s a compromise you can have, though; you can substitute your snack dip for something healthy. If you’d rather have a bag of chips to go for Super Bowl Sundays or even just […]

Everybody loves snacks, who doesn’t? However, those salty, crispy chips, by themselves, aren’t worth what leafy green salads and celery sticks are. There’s a compromise you can have, though; you can substitute your snack dip for something healthy.

If you’d rather have a bag of chips to go for Super Bowl Sundays or even just for kicking back, here are some healthy dip ideas to pair with your favorite snack.

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Designed by Freepik

First dip: Tzatziki

This Greek dip is not too difficult to make; the only problem, however, is obtaining some of the ingredients. You have to have a thick whipped Greek Yogurt as well as fresh cucumber, dill, garlic, lemon juice, as well as salt and pepper to taste. It’s better if you have your own garden for them.

Second dip: Greek Yogurt Ranch

Another dip with a Greek ingredient in it, this is a meshing of two cultures—American and Greek. It is American because of the ranch part. Aside from your chips, this is a great dip to create for your vegetable salad as well. You only have to have garlic, onion (both powdered), as well as dill and parsley (dried), a squeeze of lemon and good ol’ salt and pepper.

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Designed by Freepik

Third dip: White Bean

White bean can be grown as a rotation crop for others. When you’ve got a surplus of it, mix it together with garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil, among others, to create a tasty dip. Aside from the main ingredients, spice up the variety by mixing other stuff in it.

Fourth dip: Hummus

If you’re planning something kosher for that snack time, why not try batching up a super tasty hummus dip? What you need for this is to get chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice. Aside from those ingredients, you can add other materials to create good taste.

These are only a few options for your healthy snack time. If you’d rather have thin-sliced, deep fried potatoes—commonly known as potato chips—consider making it healthy with these dips!

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Going Au Naturelle: Planting the Seeds of your First Organic Garden

What’s better than eating healthy food? That’s eating healthy food you’ve grown. City folks have it all wrong, so says our rural brothers. Whereas we’re planning gardens and having those landscaped, rural folks know how to landscape them and plan them to live. They have gardens where they grow farm produce instead of plants only […]

What’s better than eating healthy food? That’s eating healthy food you’ve grown.

City folks have it all wrong, so says our rural brothers. Whereas we’re planning gardens and having those landscaped, rural folks know how to landscape them and plan them to live. They have gardens where they grow farm produce instead of plants only used for decoration and looking pretty.

That’s the start of farm life for you. If you want to experience it even in the urban life you have, then you should try these tips out.

Prepare to Get Dirty

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Designed by Freepik

Gardening is dirt; gardening is when you get your hands dirty. It’s when you dig deep into the soil. You should pay attention to the soil, as it is what you use to grow your plants. It should be healthy and rich with nutrients in order to get the most out of your crops. You should also avoid using chemical products on it; it takes away from the idea of the organic nature of things.

Create your own Fertilizer

If you’re not encouraged to use your own fertilizer, you’re going to have to create your own. One way of doing this is by composting. It’s a term most commonly heard from people who cultivate their own food and is usually a good way of keeping your soil healthy. When you create compost, you also help the environment; it’s usually made of left-over food, dead leaves, and organic garbage, so you get to recycle instead of throwing stuff away.

Crop Rotation

Crop rotation is a way of preserving or bringing back the health of your soil. Most local farmers use it to keep their soil’s nutrients replenished. It’s a simple chore; you usually plant something else instead of the crop that was harvested. When you’ve previously planted beets, the next time, you plant something like beans instead of the same crop. It keeps nutrients and refreshes the soil.

Combine Organic soil with Mulch

If you’re new to gardening, you’re going to have to invest in mulch and organic soil. Compost is what makes up the majority of organic soil; meanwhile, mulch is created by mixing organic soil with dead husks and straw without weed. This will help with two things—one, it prevents weed from sprouting, and two, it prevents fungi from the soil from transferring to your plants.

Keep your Garden Clean

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Designed by Freepik

Cleaning your garden isn’t only for aesthetic purposes; it’s to remove plants that are long dead and use the soil for other plants. Always remember to dig up the soil too. You never know whether a diseased root or fungal matter is building up under all that dirt.

Remember to love your plants and always visit your garden! This way, you’ll be able to root out problems among your crops before they even start.

When you’re on a diet to lower blood pressure or bring back your norm, they say greens are the way to go. Aside from being naturally grown, greens don’t also feature preservatives or chemicals that are man-made. You know what they say about man-made greens; if it’s man-made, it’s probably got a few cons for you.

If you’re planning a green diet or want to have a greener one, here’s what you should go after.

Substitute Junk Food with Celery

If you’ve seen celery sticks being eaten raw, that’s because they have good benefits. Their green color is a natural aid to losing weight and increased metabolism of the body. Apart from that, celery sticks are also a natural source of potassium. Potassium, for those who want to know, brings back a bit of lost energy as well as lowers blood pressure, helping your nerves and blood.

Fruits and Vegetable for Happiness

Looking for a way to stay positives? Studies have shown that vegetables and fruits are a natural aid in staying happy. People who have a steady diet of them also are more positive and more optimistic than their non-eating counterparts. Aside from that, eating papaya and green tea leaves—particularly—gives you a better fighting chance against diabetes, which is another reason to be positive.

Peas and Green Juice—stay young

If you’re looking for the fountain of youth, the color of the liquid would be green. That is one of the benefits of green vegetables. Specifically, green peas help in increasing your immune system’s health. Another benefit of these vegetables is that they help in stopping blood from clotting as well as a natural source of Vitamin K, a stop-gap for certain conditions because of age.

Spring Greens and Broccoli—for health

If you’re looking for something that helps keep your body strong and young at the same time, go for leafy spring greens and broccoli. These vegetables are a good source of Vitamins C and K, as well as a good source of folate and sulforaphan and indoles, respectively. Folate helps you regulate cell growth and reproduction while sulforaphane and indoles are naturally occurring compounds.

A Natural Cancer deterrent

Cancer, specifically of the colon, cowers when you have kale and mustard greens in your body. Broccoli and cabbage have the same effect—a study done in 2011 showed that eating these greens gave the body a higher fighting chance against cancer. Colorectal cancer chance was reduced to 1 out of 15 when the presence of these greens was in the body.

The next time someone offers you salad or celery sticks, you know what to do. You should learn to love vegetables; aside from being generally easier to eat than meat and usually a cheaper choice, they’re also healthier for the body.

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