Everyone knows eating fresh fruits and vegetables is an important part of any healthy diet. But did you know that if you buy your produce at a supermarket or grocery store, chances are you’re buying fruits and vegetables that have lost nearly half of their original nutritional value?
Produce actually begins losing nutrients as soon as it is harvested. Once fruits and vegetables stop receiving nutrients from their parent plant, vine, or tree, they begin to break down their own organic material for energy. As a result, carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and other key nutrients begin to disappear. The longer the produce sits, the more nutrients it loses.
Since most produce at supermarkets and grocery stores has to be transported several hundred miles from the farm, to a warehouse, to your store, on average it takes seven days before the fruits and vegetables arrive at the produce aisle. That means nutrients have been breaking down for a whole week! No wonder the produce only has half of its original nutrients.
To make matters worse, transporting the food over such long distances emits hundreds of pounds of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. So not only is the produce you’re buying not as healthy as it could be, it’s also contributing to climate change!
Luckily there is a solution: buy local produce.
If you are buying local produce from a nearby farm, chances are it was picked less than 24 hours ago and had to travel less than 100 miles to get from the farm to your plate. This means you’re getting nearly all of the original nutrients and actively reducing your carbon footprint. Talk about a win-win!
PHOTO FROM www.bostonmagazine.com