Why local produce tastes and heals better
Have you ever walked into the grocery store in the middle of winter and picked out a beautiful, red tomato? It looks perfectly delicious, but when you get home and slice into it, you discover it’s bland and mealy.
If you’ve been fortunate enough to taste a tomato fresh off the vine in June, July or August, you know that no grocery store variety can compare. It’s succulently sweet, juicy, and good enough to eat by itself, or perhaps sprinkled with a dash of salt.
Why is it that two tomatoes can look the same on the outside, and yet provide such different flavors?
It comes down to the gardening.
Many grocery store tomatoes are picked when they are not yet ripe and then treated with ethylene gas which causes a reaction and turns the skin red. The result is a glossy red exterior encasing a mealy, underripe interior.
When it comes to flavor and texture, a freshly picked tomato wins every time.
But did you know it’s not just a matter of flavor? Research has shown that local produce contains more nutrients than the commercially grown variety. As soon as a crop is harvested, the nutrients begin to deteriorate.
Some produce takes days or even weeks to be transported to its destination. Add a few days sitting on the grocery store shelf, and then a few more in your own refrigerator, and these vegetables and fruits lose a significant amount of their potency.
Vitamins and antioxidants may be more than 100 percent higher in local crops versus imported ones. If you want to get the maximum benefits of vitamins A, B, C, and E, not to mention the immune-boosting properties of antioxidants, consider shopping at a local farmers market or growing your own garden. Start small with an herb garden or a pot of tomatoes. The taste of freshly-picked basil atop your sun-ripened tomatoes will be well worth it!
At A Mighty Oak, we use as much beyond-organic and local produce as possible. At Intended Way Farms, we grow our own tomatoes, herbs, sweet potatoes, and so much more. Whether it’s a sprig of freshly picked parsley to garnish your eggs, or sautéed spinach harvested from our backyard, you’ll get the healthiest and tastiest produce possible! We hope you’ll have the chance to sample them as part of our farm-fresh breakfast during your visit to A Mighty Oak.