Important Food And Health Facts Worth Knowing
We all know how easy it is to lose sight of the connection between our food, and where our food comes from. Food for most of us is something that you buy from a package at the store.
Unfortunately, the food available to us at the local grocer may not be a healthy source of nourishment for us as individuals, or for our families. This is why it’s important to get personally involved in educating ourselves about health, food, and nutrition. This helps to make wise choices for ourselves, for the people in our lives we care about, and for our community. Consider these points about food, and how they pertain to the produce we provide at North Florida Farms:
Most store-bought produce is picked weeks, if not months before you receive it. Although it may look fresh, in most cases it is not. Pennsylvania State University research indicates that produce can loose up to half of its nutrients within a week after harvesting.
Once a vegetables or fruit is picked, it immediately goes into senescence, which is a decay process. The cell membranes begin to break down, releasing enzymes that cause vitamins and phytochemicals to degrade. The process is irreversible. Frozen produce usually goes through this same deteriorating process. So although you can sometimes rehydrate tired-looking produce, such as spinach, by soaking it in cold water, you can’t recover lost nutrients.
Because our produce at North Florida Farms is Locally Grown, you receive it usually within a day after it’s picked. Because the varieties that we offer are all fresh, you can taste the difference. You also have the confidence of knowing that the nutrients have not been depleted due to the time involved with shipping and storage.
University of Texas research (see Time Magazine article), along with dozens of other studies, has proven that in the last 50 years most produce available in the United States has lost up to 40 percent of its nutritional value due to current farming methods. Most produce is grown using synthetic fertilizers, in soil which has minimal microorganisms. It is grown primarily for long shelf life and high yields, not for nutrient value.
Rather than focusing on produce yield and appearance, our farming methods are concentrated on growing produce that allows you to eat healthier. We give our crops and their soil all of the essential vitamins and nutrients needed to produce the healthiest varieties possible.
While the United States receives over $70 billion a year worth of agricultural products from other countries, the FDA only inspects 1.3 percent of the food being imported. Many of the countries the US receives produce from are known to use unsafe farming practices. Combine this with widespread unregulated, unsustainable US farms and your risk of food related illnesses and even death increases.
At North Florida Farms, food safety is our first priority. We use only the safest and ethical farming methods, in a rigidly controlled environment. Nothing on our farm ever comes in contact with the pathogens, bacteria, or harmful chemicals associated with food-born sickness. We grow for the community just as we do for our own families. In fact, our children eat the produce from our farm so you can bet we use the utmost care.
Most conventional farming methods use synthetic fertilizers, pesticides (insecticides, nematocides, fungicides, etc) and preservatives. These toxic chemicals have been proven to contribute to a decreased immune system, cancer, and heart disease, especially in children. The overwhelming evidence from all the top universities and governmental panels is alarming.
At North Florida Farms, we only use the best organic products in our farming practices. This gives you the security of knowing that what you are eating is chemical-free and healthy. Research from leading universities offers solid proof that eating organic produce is one of the best steps towards improving your nutrition, health, and general well-being.
As a result of years of farming experience and our advanced farming methods, we are able to provide you with produce varieties that are not usually available in stores. These gourmet and heirloom varieties include Rosa Bianca Eggplants, Brandywine Tomatoes, Eel River Melons, and many more.
Because we give each one of our plants exactly what it needs and we use controlled farming environments, we are able to provide you with the produce varieties that you prefer all year long. When extreme heat and cold ends the growing seasons for other local farmers, we continue to supply the community with fresh, delicious, and healthy produce varieties.
When large industrial farms enter communities and replace small farmers, they often have a negative impact on the local area. Most large-scale farms buy supplies from outside of the community, leading to decreased income for local businesses. The toxic chemicals also produced by factory farms often effect the air quality, ground water, and scenic beauty of communities. Unfortunately, most decisions involving large-scale farms are made from a centralized location, often thousands of miles from the community in which the farm exists. This takes the power away the local area and puts it the hands of big business. (see more facts here)
At North Florida Farms, we are committed to the community. Our food is grown locally, for the local people. Our system is organic and sustainable – we actually help to restore the local environment through bringing the soil back to life, supporting local wildlife and ecosystems, and providing nutritious food. Because we live in the local area, our decisions always reflect the best interest of the community. This model of agricultural is an innovative approach to getting back to grass-roots way of life.
Reduced Environmental Impact
By living a modern lifestyle, the average US family contributes up to 50 tons a year of carbon emissions. A large part of this results from supporting international based conventional farming, which creates emissions from farming machinery, storage, and shipping.
By participating in regional based farming, you reduce your carbon imprint by up to 10 percent. At North Florida Farms, we don’t use any emission producing farming machinery and because our produce is locally grown, there is virtually no energy used in storage or delivery. This gives you the pleasure of knowing that while you are receiving the best organic locally grown produce, you are doing your part in creating a healthier sustainable environment.