Eat with the seasons for more nutritional value

Friday 30th November 2012

What kind of foods would you eat if you wanted to look after your heart?

That’s probably an easy one to start you off with because we’re told that if we eat five portions of fresh fruit and veg a day we will keep our tickers in fine fettle.

No one can have missed that message can they?

Well keep reading on to discover how even raw carrot can be ruined by a modern fast food chain.

Seriously, how bad a chef do you have to be to render a fresh root vegetable nutritionally useless?

I despair.

I started last week’s letter referring to a Canadian study about the danger of junk food.

One thing that made me smile was that the junk food they used was “a sandwich made of sausage, egg, cheese and hash browns” – looks the like classic breakfast wrap from a well known fast food chain doesn’t it?

Well I suspect it was.

The very same highly litigious purveyor of over-processed stodge which destroyed the carrot I referred to earlier…

A friend collected his daughter from a party at the local home of ‘Golden Arches’ and was pleasantly surprised that along with the obligatory plastic toy she held a bag of carrot sticks in her hand.

He was telling me that for a fraction of a second he was about to revise his opinion of the chain and thought they might have begun to make a change.

Then he tried a carrot piece.

“It was flaccid, wet, overly sweet and a completely artificial texture,” he told me. “I had to spit it out, and I love raw carrot!”

What on earth could they have done to a simple raw vegetable? I assume that as the carrots come pre-peeled, sliced and packaged, something is sprayed onto them during this process to ensure they don’t rot quickly (I can’t bring myself to say ‘stay fresh’).

Or maybe they just have been hanging around so long, that all the natural taste, texture and goodness had drained out of them.

What ever the reason, my friend says his daughter (who also loves raw carrot) only ate one piece and he reluctantly put the carrot sticks in the bin.

Now, he’s a tight Northerner, who I know would have been hurt and dismayed at having to throw something away, so the carrot must have been bad.

And after airing this story in the snug I’ve been safely assured it’s the same with their pieces of apple.

So, it isn’t just that their main offerings that will clog up your arteries, but even their healthy stuff, is so badly handled that it has ceased to have any real nutritional value.

Discover how to really treat a winter root vegetable, and why your red blood cells will love you for it

So we look to other purveys of fine food to help us out…

Why are our supermarkets so keen to get us to eat more fresh vegetables?

As I told you on Sunday, our supermarkets have announced they are going to make it easier for us to get to fresh fruit and vegetables.

After a Sainsbury’s study showed that seven in ten people don’t meet their daily ‘greens’ target a dozen big-name stores, including Tesco and Waitrose, have pledged to make fruit and vegetable aisles bigger and sell more fresh produce.

After years of selling more and more processed food, have the supermarkets really been struck by a conscious?

Are they giving more space to fruit and veg to just help our diets or is there another reason, and one with a hidden risk to your health? This is the bit of the story you need to take note of.

You see one of the findings of a recent Guardian survey was that there had been a 27% rise in the cost of vegetables and a staggering 34% in fresh fruit since 2007.

These costs are because they insist on shipping food from halfway around the world rather than pull in the fresh local produce like the shopkeepers of old did. The result might be shelves full of greens and fruit, but most of it is out of season, expensive and far less nutritious than the local seasonal variety.

So although you supermarket may soon have wide aisles, brimming with offering from around the world, both your pocket and health could be hurt unless you know which ones to look for.

Not only do these non-seasonal produce not carry the same nutritional content, they don’t taste as nice and damage the planet because of the distances it has travelled. And finally the supermarkets get to charge you more because they are so ‘exotic’.

This has to stop.

We need to be told the real truth about how our food is being manipulated, and what we are being forced to eat.

Lastly, we have to take back the power of deciding what we eat, how we cook it and where we get the best quality product from – and all at the lowest possible price.

Stick with seasonal food, don’t fall for the supermarkets imports and not only will you save money – the food will be much more nutritious and taste better.

I wrote Season to Taste because I wanted to share a lifetimes experience of good food with you, I didn’t realise that it could make such a difference in Austerity Britain.

Season to Taste is packed with tried and tested recipes for raw seasonal ingredients, it shows how easy good food can be prepared, but also how each ingredient can improve your health or help in controlling common conditions.

Try my full colour, hardback book on a 30 day money back trial – click here


Yours, as always


P.S. Don’t think I am ignoring the blatant trumpeting of the statins and exercise report published in the Lancet this has made me so angry that Lara stopped me from writing my response as it was upsetting the children. More of that on Friday...








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