to love and support
& local produce
With spring, comes a flood of seasonal farmers markets, which means it’s easier for you to access farm-fresh produce.
If you’re wondering why farmers markets may just be the greatest thing to pop up in your neighbourhood this spring, here are 3 big reasons why you should seek out your local farmers market:
1. Fresher Produce:
Farm-fresh produce tends to be seasonal and is more likely to have been recently picked, which means that you’ll be giving your body more nutrition.
Much conventionally-grown produce is picked then sits on a truck, or at a warehouse for weeks at a time before you find it on your local grocery store shelf.
When produce sits for a long period of time, the amount of nutrients in the produce decreases depending on how long it is allowed to sit for before heading to market.
Lastly, farm-fresh produce is more likely to last longer in your refrigerator or on your counter because it’s more recently picked, so you get more longevity out of your fruits and vegetables, which means less frequent trips to the shops.
2. Fewer Pesticides:
Farm-fresh produce grown at smaller farms is less likely to have as many pesticides as conventionally grown produce.
Conventionally grown produce usually has to adhere to certain standards when it comes to not using certain pesticides that are known to be carcinogenic; however, produce that is coming from other countries doesn’t necessarily have to adhere to those standards.
Regardless of where it comes from, fewer pesticides are better for our health, which is one of the major reasons to seek out farm-fresh produce available at your local farmers market.
3. Less Expensive:
One of the most common reasons for people to not purchase organic produce is because of its high cost.
The good news with farm-fresh produce is that it’s less likely to be as costly; it may still be slightly more expensive than conventionally grown produce, but often is competitively priced with commercially-grown produce, and in some cases can be less expensive.
How do I find a farmer’s market?
If you’re unable to get to a farmers market, here’s what you need to know about purchasing organic produce…
There are certain fruits and vegetables that are known to carry more pesticides, often called the “Dirty Dozen”.
If you’re unable to purchase these fruits and vegetables from a locally-grown source, you can seek them out in the organic food aisle.
Sweet bell peppers
If you’re unable to purchase the “Dirty Dozen” either locally or organic, wash them well…
If you’re unable to purchase those fruits and vegetables above that tend to carry more pesticides from either a local or organic source, make sure you wash them well.
Running water and a clean sponge or brush does a great job at cleaning, but so does a basic fruit and vegetable wash made from the following ingredients:
1 part water
1 part vinegar
Note: The best way to use this wash is either to scrub the produce in the wash or to pour the wash over the produce; soaking the produce in the water for a longer period of time can cause some of the nutrients to leech out into the water and be lost when the water is disposed of.
If you have extra space in your yard or at your home…
Plant your own fruits and vegetables, which can help ensure they’re grown without added pesticides. Here’s a list of easy-to-grow fruits and vegetables:
Basil: Grows best in the sun or in a warm environment, and can be grown either in a pot or in the ground.
Carrots: Grow best in cooler weather, and are one of the easiest vegetables to grow.
Lettuce: Can also be grown in a pot or in the ground and are very easy to grow, as they grow quickly.
Tomatoes: A grow-at-home favorite, tomatoes are also easy to grow and require a warm and sunny place.
Peppers: Similar to tomatoes, they require a warm and sunny place to grow but are relatively easy to grow and are so tasty. They also come in many shapes and sizes.
Raspberries: More delicate, but also easy to grow. They like to be grown in a minimally-windy location with plenty of warmth and light.
Strawberries: A very versatile and easy fruit to grow because they can be grown in a pot, in the garden, or in a hanging basket. They are best planted in April and May and grow nice flowers as well.
Squash: Also easy to grow and grows well in more sheltered locations out of the wind and weather.
Cabbage: Cabbage likes plenty of water and grows best in the spring and fall, and in fact is one of the most frost-resistant plants you can grow, so it does particularly well in colder temperatures.
One problem with growing cabbages is that it attracts grey ‘mites’ when grown in a veggie garden – often requiring a lot of pesticide to control, which defeats the purpose of growing organically.
Mint: Can be grown both inside and outside and can even grow all year long. Mint is versatile, can be added to various recipes and has great digestive properties.
Farmers’ markets, farm stands, and mobile markets are crucial components to a healthy food system.
They provide outlets for agricultural producers to meet the rising consumer demand for a variety of fresh, affordable, and convenient products grown directly from the farm.
Farmers’ markets offer more than just food, but an experience, entertainment, and the pleasure of meeting your neighbours and community members, making your trip worthwhile.
They are also the perfect way for consumers to fight against the inflation we have all been facing.
The foods at farmers’ markets are fresh and last longer than foods purchased at big box stores and are higher in flavour and nutrition.
It’s a great time to celebrate farmers’ markets and we welcome everyone to come out and find out what they are all about.
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A BRIEF HISTORY OF DAIRY:
HOW MILK GOT A RAW DEAL
Simple - because when milk first became popular people
kept their own cows and the sanitary conditions
they was kept in was unknown along with
any control over what the milk-producing cows at
It wasn’t the milk that was the problem
It was the unregulated and possibly
unsanitary environment it came from
All raw milk was different.
This is no longer the case and
everyone should consider consuming
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Raw milk vs Pasteurized
the whole story
'Raw milk vs Pasteurized'
'7 reasons to drink Raw milk'
'Skinny on Skim milk'
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Why was milk
pasteurised in the first place
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Why grass-fed milk is better
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7 reasons to drink raw milk
and 2 reasons not to
What makes Raw Honey
so distinct from Regular Honey?
Honey is a naturally sweet liquid that bees make in a honeycomb that has live enzymes and antioxidants.
The role of the honey bee in making honey is unimaginable.
Here is the main difference between raw honey vs regular honey.
Honey, as it is present in the honeycomb and extracted in a hygienic manner, is RAW HONEY.
In the olden days, people had the chance to charmingly taste the raw honey directly from the beehives. Wow! it was a wonderful moment though.
When people slowly found that the honey market is large and open to profit earning tactics.
Then the regular honey took birth with the motive of profit.
Let’s dive in to know the Regular Honey?
Regular Honey or processed honey is honey that is commonly available in the market, It has undergone high heat and ultra-filtration to make it smooth and shiny.
This nature of honey largely appeals to many customers in the market.
One more risk regular honey carries are – it might be adulterated with synthetic honey HFCS or Rice syrup.
How does Raw Honey look like?
When honey is extracted from the honeycomb, honey has bee pollen and live enzymes.
As a result, Raw Honey looks cloudy and blurred than the processed honey.
How are they different?
Raw Honey varies with its taste, aroma and texture, as a result of honeybee taking nectar from different flowers.
Our world is blessed to have a large region of forest and jungle where honeybees forage for pollination.
On the other hand, regular honey is uniform in taste, aroma and texture.
It is far away from the tag of pure honey.
Honey loses its sheen and natural properties after heating at a high temperature due to the process called pasteurization.
Why is Raw Honey expensive?
During bulk production of honey, honey is usually extracted in unripe conditions.
Unripe honey has a high moisture level hence it tends to spoil by fermentation.
It becomes obligatory to process honey with high heat to remove moisture.
This increases shelf life.
Raw honey is procured directly from the source in a ripe condition. Honey ripened in honeycomb does require processing therefore, it sets out in the market without high heating and ultrafiltration.
So the careful selection of ripe honey makes the availability of Raw Honey difficult and expensive.
Is Raw Honey Safe?
Raw honey is absolutely safe except for children with the age bracket of one year or below.
This is because Raw Honey may contain spores of bacteria ‘Clostridium botulinum’ which is harmful and causes food poisoning in children.
Though not every honey contains these spores of bacteria for the safe side doctors advise not to consume honey by infants below one year of age.
In fact, in many traditions, honey is tasted to newborn infants but we don’t hear any bad news related to the baby falling sick because of honey.
Anyone above one year can very well combat the spores and does not fall sick even the raw honey contains Clostridium botulinum spores.
How to store Raw Honey?
Storing Raw honey is very crucial else it may become unusable.
1. For longevity, the best way is to store it in glass, stainless steel or earthen pot.
2. The bottle or vessel in which honey is stored should be airtight. Otherwise, it may get fermented.
3. It should be exposed to RH (Relative humidity) above 48% otherwise it may imbibe water and the top layer get fermented. thereby spoiling honey.
How beneficial is Raw Honey?
Raw Honey has incredible health benefits.
It contains many beneficial nutrients like vitamins and minerals which are crucial for health.
Furthermore, it also contains live enzymes and antioxidants which lower the risk of inflammation, heart and cancer diseases.
On the contrary, regular honey doesn’t include these properties in it.
All these properties lose their value when we heat honey at a high temperature and ultra-filter it.
Where to get the Raw Honey?
The best way to get the Raw Honey will be from your local supplier or from the farmer. Or search for small brands which have access to the source of honey.
How to judge Raw Honey and Regular Honey?
In today’s time and age people judge Raw Honey with the conventional outdated method.
As substances like invert sugar, high fructose corn syrup HFCS and Chinese rice syrup behaves like honey when tested with conventional methods.
Using the conventional method to detect the adulterants in regular honey sold in the market now is highly impossible.
Because it only examines the physical nature of honey, but not its innate properties.
There is one way you can verify Raw Honey by checking if that brand is selling varieties in honey.
As an illustration, only the genuine brand can sell varieties in honey but not synthetic brands.
Difference between Raw honey and organic honey?
‘We extract organic honey from organically certified areas.’
Though it may sound good it is all a commercial gimmick.
The quantity of organic certified honey sold in the market nowadays is far high than in the organically certified area.
Organic honey can be at the risk of processing. If processed even organic honey comes in line with regular honey as it can not be identified easily.
Whereas raw honey has a distinct natural aroma and bee pollen content and the presence of its live enzymes is highly beneficial for human health.
Be wise and educate yourself in judging the Raw Honey yourself in the market.
This ancient food will surely provide you with a lot of health benefits and saves your hospital bills.
Raw honey has been shown to be an effective prebiotic, meaning that it nourishes the essential good bacteria that populate our digestive system (Eteraf-Oskouei & Najafi, 2012).
It is the type of complex sugars in honey known as fructooligosaccarides that helps the good gut bacteria grow (Roberfroid et al, 2010). An Australian study recently showed that honey was as effective as the commercial prebiotic ‘Inulin’ (Cokcetin, 2015).
Not only does honey support the growth of good bacteria but it can also kill bad bacteria and therefore has been shown to be effective in correcting digestive bacterial balance (Cokcetin, 2015).
Healthy bacterial balance in the gut has long been linked to good overall health but has more recently come into the spotlight – and it is fascinating (for me anyway!).
New research shows that there is a direct connection between the balance of good bacteria and the health of the brain, called the gut-brain-connection (Burnet, 2012).
It has been proven that high levels of good bacteria has a beneficial impact on mood, anxiety, capacity to problem solve and memory, as well as assist in the treatment of epilepsy (Burnet, 2012).
Not all questions as to how this works have been answered, but it is certainly an exciting area of research.
Honey is a good source of antioxidants, meaning consumption of honey assists in the destruction of free radicals – the compounds that accelerate ageing and disease.
One study found that honey can have approximately 0.79 – 1.71mg of antioxidants per gram of honey (variable depending on the type of flowers the bees foraged from) (Schramm et al, 2003).
This study found that by consuming honey in place of other sweeteners (artificial or natural) can protect the body against oxidative stress (Schramm et al, 2003).
Raw honey contains vitamins, minerals, proteins and phytochemicals like hydrogen peroxide which works to give honey its amazing antibacterial properties (Alvarex-Suarex et al, 2010).
Historically honey was used as a medicine amongst the Ancient Egyptians, Chinese, Greeks and Romans for wound healing and to prevent the spread of infections such as digestive and/or skin diseases (Eteraf-Oskouei & Najafi, 2012).
Across the world at the moment, honey and other natural antibacterials are again being recognised as viable weapons in medicine -specifically in the fight against antibiotic resistance (Irish et al, 2011).
Using honey in medicine is called Apitherapy and is in instances where disease causing pathogens are not responding to conventional medicines/antibiotics.
For healthy individuals honey has been shown to reduce the number and spread of common bad bacteria’s in the digestive system from minor pathogens to the real nasties including E-Coli (causes diarrhoea, urinary tract infections and septicaemia) and salmonella to name just a few (Mandal & Mandal, 2011).
Do not cease a course of antibiotics without consulting your doctor. Apitherapy should be used in consultation with a health professional.
Another way that the antibacterial properties of honey have been put to use throughout history is in ‘wound healing’, where it is applied as a liquid bandage over a wound which not only prevents bacteria and other nasties from infecting the wound but also kills those that are already there.
How honey works to heal a wound:
The enzymes in the honey draws moisture away from the wound to dehydrate the bacteria and limit its spread (Alvarex-Suarez et al, 2010).
The sugar content of the honey makes a sticky protective barrier which nasties (bacteria, virus and other microbes) cannot get through (Mandal & Mandal, 2011)..
The sugar content and acidity of honey give it antiseptic properties – meaning it kills bacteria it is in contact with (Irish et al, 2011).
The anti-inflammatory properties of honey speed up tissue repair. By reducing the inflammation at the wound site the tissue is able to focus on repair rather than preventing infection (Alvarex-Suarez et al, 2010).
The intricate chemistry giving honey these incredible qualities can be destroyed when exposed to heat and therefore to attain these benefits it is important to purchase raw, untreated honey.
Many companies heat their honey to prevent crystallisation – which is where the honey goes slightly solid. Nectar Honey is not heat treated or blended and it is as fresh from the hive as possible.
Although raw honey may crystallise – which can be reversed through gentle immersion in warm water – the benefits it gives you is far superior to that of mass market pasteurised honeys.
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some disturbing secrets
Maybe you’re not getting
the healthy food you think
you’re paying for!
I tried the honey test – it works!!
Did you know that one of the first coins in the world had a bee symbol on them?
Did you know that there are live enzymes in honey?
Did you know that in contact with metal spoon these enzymes die? The best way to eat honey is with wooden spoon, if you can’t find one, use plastic.
Did you know that honey contains a substance that helps your brain work better?
Did you know that honey is one of the rare foods on earth that alone can sustain human life?
One spoon of honey is enough to sustain human life for 24 hours
Did you know that propolis that bees produce is one of the most powerful natural ANTIBIOTICS?
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