In an increasingly uncertain world, we need food production systems that can cope with dramatic climatic variations, provide nutritious diets, and build the resilience of communities and landscapes.
Natural groceries: fresh or conserved, tropical or local?
To obtain the best nutrients best buy natural groceries by choosing only fresh and local products.
by Francesca Marotta
To buy natural groceries choose simple foods that are fresh, instead of conserved or highly sophisticated products. Apart from the apparent fact that more simple foods require less energy and raw materials, they are also healthier: the more a food product has been processed, flavoured, coloured, stabilised, frozen or even irradiated, the more it’ll be poor in vitamins and nutrients, and can be rich in potentially harmful additives and allergens.
Always read packaged food labels carefully, and always choose those that are less complex and with the least amount of additives. Beware of terms such as “ecological”, “genuine” and “natural”, that don’t have any specific value and are only used to entice consumers. Organic products, instead, are awarded official certification by recognised certifying bodies. This is to be sought out on labels.
Tropical or local? Imported fruit and vegetables are only fresh in appearance. They have been picked much earlier than they are sold in shops and markets: in the meantime, they have been conserved in special modified atmosphere fridges, treated with antiparasitic gases, and have had the time to lose plenty of their vitamins, as well as their flavour.
Furthermore, in many countries where tropical fruits and vegetables are grown, pesticides and antiparasitics which are illegal in other countries on the basis on their dangerousness are used. Products typical of your geographical areas are thus to be preferred, and if possible buy your groceries from the closest producer, better yet if they are grown with organic and biodynamic farming methods.
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