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The Superfood vs the Real Food?

How necessary are these new exotic foods to an otherwise healthful diet filled with real whole foods? Do people need to supplement their lunches with pitaya and baobab? A new warning that a diet rich in regularly produced fruits and vegetables (you mean like carrots, broccoli, bananas?… like our whole foods supplements) is probably sufficient for health and energy and that unusual foods (think “superfoods”) can be unpredictable and even possibly harmful. Many of us don’t think about the way it could impact the absorption of our regular meals, or how it may interact unfavorably with your daily medication. Some would argue that because of serious soil depletion, toxic pollution, and fast moving pace in our lifestyles that in the modern world eating regular old farmed food just isn’t enough to be healthy anymore. I get that, we need to bridge the gap. So yes, supplementation is key. But that doesn’t mean we need to bridge the gap with some special, amazing foods from a far away land.

We were just talking the other day, myself, Dr. Mitra Ray, and another friend, Linda, about these foods from other countries and one of those is quinoa . So let’s talk about that because many of those that jump on the Transform 30 diet think “gluten-free = quinoa”.  Obviously it is a nutrient-dense, gluten-free grain. That’s why my family originally used it. It comes from the Andes, where it has grown alongside potatoes, with roaming llamas and alpaca for thousands of years. Guess what? My family doesn’t use quinoa at all anymore. With the huge demand in Europe and the United States to have more healthy, gluten-free grains, quinoa—which is very high in protein—has become very popular, especially among foodies.

So now, Bolivians cannot afford to buy quinoa, and the quinoa-growing region of the country is also the most malnourished because those who grow quinoa for export now purchase refined grains to eat from the store. In Peru, quinoa now costs more than chicken. As well their own soil now faces decreased soil fertility, as farmers mine their soil to grow quinoa year after year to meet our demand, instead of using traditional methods of rotating their crops with animal pastures to restore fertility and prevent erosion. Asparagus production for export in Peru as well has led to water shortages that locals need.

In India, farmers have seen groundwater levels drop, and have been forced to go further down for water. From 180 or 190 feet, and now even as far down as 550 feet. And the water is getting dirtier, and is polluted more and more with pesticides and chemicals.

Then we get into that which rises to buying local. Transportation costs of food is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions. A basic diet of imported products can use four times the energy and produce four times the emissions of an equivalent diet from domestic and local foods.

And many of our own precious resources have been “wildcrafted” to almost an extinction in their natural habitats, and this includes considering the growing essential oil business that I love.

Simply put, the richest nations in the world for the most part, are eating their way through ecosystems all over the world, and without a concern for where our future is going. If you want to be organic, you want to be engaged in the “green” discussion, then you have to admit that you are still a consumer, even if you are eating gluten-free quinoa and fair trade chocolate. Over-consumption and sustainability are not compatible to this lifestyle, no matter how eco-friendly we try to be about it. So we need to stop feeling like it’s our right to eat superfoods every day, on demand.

The people who grow it for us often don’t have enough to eat at all because of it. And we need to think globally starting now. That brings me to the Juice Plus+ farm to capsule initiative. Juice Plus+ starts with farm fresh produce that, whenever possible, is carefully grown by midsize family farmers for the best quality nutrition. To avoid shipping the fruits and vegetables long distances, which would compromise their nutritional value, The Juice Plus+ Company locates juicing and drying facilities as close to its farmers as possible. And when that’s not possible, they use a process called Individual Quick Freezing (IQF) to lock in the nutrients of each fruit and vegetable before they have time to degrade. This also allows for a consistent supply of Juice Plus regardless of the growing season. Think about the foods, and the vibrations that you get from it. Why it feels so much better to eat something you grew in your Tower Garden, instead of purchased at the store from the organic farmer in Chile. I know that I am one to talk, because I love my hemp milk so much… but at some point we have to reduce, and now may be the time.