The value of eating local…everything!

IMG_7689The debate still stands. Local over organic or organic over local? Which is it?

You can likely defend both sides until the cows come home (literally) but is that really worth your time? Wouldn’t it be worth it to know that the purveyors of your food, whether it’s a head of kale or a chicken breast have done the homework for you? It would be comforting to be able to trust that what you are putting into your mouth is good enough to eat, without question.

I have been posed with this question for years, being active in the food and nutrition community helping people make better choices around food. What it always came down to for me at the end of the day was to do your best. If you do the research and ask the right questions, you should have no problem eating the best quality food.

If you are stuck on the label thing, here is the deal. If you can get the benefit of both “labels” local and organic, of course that is always best.  Just remember they are just labels at the end of the day. You can still have farmers and companies doing whatever it takes to meet the same standards of organic; which includes no pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, hormones or antibiotics – however either they can’t afford to go certified organic or they just don’t see the necessity if they are doing everything according to those same practices. On the other hand you can have something labelled as organic and it’s either travelling from far away or it may not even be “healthy” for you.

At this point when push comes to shove and you have to make the choice between local and organic from across the world, it may be in your best interest to choose local. When food is travelling from across the world, even though organic, it loses its enzymes, nutrients and life force. So what you are left with is an organic strawberry from South America that may have been ripened on a truck, train or plane. This means that unnatural gases and methods have been used to artificially stimulate the growth process.

When it comes to animal protein, it’s extremely important to consider where it’s being sourced from. As the last thing you want to do is support the industry of factory farming as most non-organic and conventional meat is coming from this source. With that being said, there is a surge of companies that are sourcing naturally raised meats and adhering to humane and sustainable practices. This does not necessary mean that the quality is sacrificed even if it’s not labelled as organic. The most critical thing to consider with animal protein is that they are meeting the same criteria that you would expect from it being approved as organic. This is when you need to make the best choice you can with the options at hand.

Here’s a choice for yah!

What if you knew that the animal protein you were choosing was 100% antiobiotic free, local, free run, no added hormones and antibiotic free? I know I would be game. As someone that has just recently started to include animal protein in my diet (more on this in an upcoming blog series), I am adamant on sourcing the best quality meats and wild fish. I like to get to know my sources intimately. I like to ask my thorough questions and trust knowing exactly where my food is coming from.

I am so grateful that there are companies like truLocal that have done the work for me. They have the answers to my questions. Although you won’t see organic on their website, you can rest assured they are sourcing some of the best quality local meats Ontario has to offer. Who also couldn’t argue with the food being delivered right to your door? I still love to go out and pick all my own produce, as handling my own food is very important to me. But when it comes to certain items it’s nice to be able to stock up in one shot and have enough items to last me a month.

They have a variety of items available to choose from and you can create your own monthly “meat plans” so that you know what you are getting and when. Many of the items come individually freezer packed and ready to go. Some of my favourite items so far from truLocal are the chicken breast, thighs, ground turkey, wild salmon and cod. I can honestly say the taste and the quality is absolutely there. If you are looking for sustainable, real food options that meet any of the standards of what true quality food looks like, this is it!

My favourite creation so far has been making my own turkey burgers from scratch. Using just ground turkey with some herbs and spices. Then I formed them into patties and baked them at 350 F for about 1 hour. From there I wrapped them up in (local + organic) collard greens, cooked onions, mushrooms & sauerkraut. Of course it had to include one of my all time favourite not local but organic foods, avocado. All this with a side of fries and fermented local veggies!

At the end of the day, the choice is yours, I am just here to give you some options and ideas. I just ask that you value the importance of choosing local.

If you sign up with trulocal today, use the code ULTIMATEHEALTH to get 2 free Striploin steaks, or 4 Wild Caught Alaskan Salmon Filet added to your box! 

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