An interesting article

The Wall Street Journal had three health-related articles today 2-15-2010). Since I'm lactose-intolerant I read one on that subject first and may blog about it in the future. One had nothing to do with diets, but dealt instead with winter asthma. The third article was titled "Why Some Foods Are Riskier Today." That one really got my full attention. It talked about food-borne illnesses which affect 76 million people a year in America (and that's only the ones that get reported). Most are not severe, but nearly a third of a million lead to hospitalization and 5,000 of those affected die.

Well some of the apparent recent increase in these food-related cases may be due to better detection and reporting; lots are due to three major causes: new "bugs" that can lead to sickness;  consumers desire for raw foods which have not been treated to remove bacteria and food imported from areas of the world whose food-safety regulations aren't as stringent.

Many of us want to have the wide variety of food items year round that we can buy from local sources only in season. This may increase our menu choices, but also can lead to consumption of dangerously tainted vegetables and other foods. Over the past three years my wife and I have become more and more "locovores," people who basically eat things produced in our area. That does limit when we can have mangoes or rambutans or other fruits and vegetables, but it also supports local agriculture and, at the same time, makes our diets safer.

I've also given up on my formerly nearly rare hamburgers and purchased grass-finished (non-feedlot) bison, lamb and beef from local and regional growers. Our dairy products come from a farm about eight miles northwest of us.

I see this as a trend in our area. There are more farmer's markets, more opportunities to purchase locally grown/raised foods, more awareness of the risks of our mass-production food industry.

They may cost a bit more, but frequently the taste is better and clearly the risk is lower. it's worth the small amount more that I pay. An often added benefit is being able to buy heirloom tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables that we don't usually see in the supermarket.  To whatever extent is possible for you, I'd suggest becoming a locovore; it's a habit you'll find healthy and tasty.

2 Responses to “An interesting article”

  1. I agree. I'm more and more suspicious of fruits and vegetables grown outside the U.S. Even so, the new asparagus from Mexico that was in the markets this week looked so good that I bought some...asparagus is one of my favorite foods, so I was willing to take my chances.

  2. I agree Peter. I think buying and eating more local food is better in so many ways. Thanks for the great reminder.

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