I recently read an alarming article, indicating that consumers are sacrificing nutrition for price during this economic downturn. Apparently, it is not solely an economic recession – it’s also a “nutrition recession.”
As stated in the Progressive Grocer article, “more than half of consumers say price, not nutrition, is the most important factor when grocery shopping in this economic climate,” according to a survey released by the Midwest Dairy Council, which was conducted during April and polled 1,002 people.
I am, by no means, faulting anyone for cutting costs in today’s environment – that is a must. One thing that should not be conserved, however, is your health. Besides genetics, we possess complete ownership of our health, and what you insert in your body should be of great importance. (For more proof, read Michael Pollan’s, “In Defense of Food”).
Like Stephanie Cundith, a registered dietitian with the Midwest Dairy Council, points out in the article, these survey results underscore the need to educate consumers about cost-effective nutrition.
Listed below are a few suggestions:
* One solution is purchasing products that are typically inexpensive and full of nutrients, like fresh garlic, bananas, potatoes, apples, oranges, carrots and onions.
Fresh California-grown garlic, for example, is equipped with phosphorous, potassium, zinc, allicin, calcium, iron, germanium, polyphenols, arginine, selenium, manganese, Vitamin C and B, just to name a few, and studies suggest eating fresh garlic can combat such medical conditions as high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, strokes, cancers, diabetes, arthritis, the common cold and more.
* Purchase items, such as fresh garlic, that are lasting and versatile. In other words, if you buy a head of garlic, it can last nearly two weeks, as a clove a day is the recommended serving size. On top of that, fresh garlic can be used in nearly every cuisine, so it’s easy to incorporate into your diet.
* Shop at your local farmers market – following Memorial Day weekend, markets throughout the U.S. will be offering considerably more products, as harvests get underway. Depending on region, most farmers markets will last through August, maybe September. Not only is the food fresh and flavorful, many items are less expensive than the grocery store, especially the fresh produce. Plus, you get to interact with the grower – a very valuable resource for nutrition and cooking. You’re also supporting the local, domestic farmer.
Use this link to find a farmers market in your area – http://www.localharvest.org/.
* Plant a garden in your backyard, or if no backyard, a pot. Summer is gearing up, which means gardening season. It requires a little research and maintenance, but it’s not difficult to grow your own tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, peppers, herbs, strawberries, watermelon, etc. in your own backyard. If I can do it, you can do it :).
Now through early June is the best time to get your garden in the ground.