by tomer houja
There is a good chance that you have seen an organic food aisle at one of your local grocery stores. In fact, you may have even driven past a farmers market where organic food was sold. Unfortunately, if you are like many other Americans, there is a good chance that you kept right on walking or driving by. This is because many individuals do not eat organic foods.
Despite the fact that organic foods are not consumed by nearly all Americans, they still come highly rated and recommended. In fact, many health conscious individuals swear by them. Many claim that eating organic foods helps to promote lifelong health and happiness. Organic food consumption has increased in popularity over the years and that increase continues to rise at a relatively steady pace. If you are interested in eating organic foods, but if you have never done so before, you may be wondering what the benefits are. If so, please continue reading on.
When it comes to organic foods and their benefits, you will find an unlimited number of benefits. For starters, did you know that organic foods can help the environment? They can and this is a point that many do not take into consideration at first. Farmers who put pesticides in their fields and on their foods, are not only putting consumers at risk, but the environment at risk as well. Depending on which pesticides and other chemicals are used, the soil and other nearby areas can suffer damage. By eating organic foods, you are providing a small, yet still helping hand to help protect the environment.
Another unique benefit to eating organic that many individuals do not think of right away is the assistance that is provided to organic farmers and organic food manufacturers. Right now, the number of organic food manufacturers is quite small and many are small to medium sized businesses. The same can be said for farmers. The decision for many farmers and companies to go organic can be difficult and risky. Therefore, by purchasing organic foods, especially fresh fruits and vegetables, you can take comfort in knowing that you are helping many small to medium sized farmers and organic food companies stay in business.
Organic foods can also help to improve your body and health. In fact, organic foods may be able to help cleanse or detoxify your body from harmful chemicals. When you stop eating foods that are tainted with pesticides and other chemicals, your body will expel the current and remaining toxins from your body. This means that your body should be clean, chemical free, and pesticide free after a specific period of time. Of course, remember that you want to stay healthy. For that reason, if you decide to start eating organic foods, try to stay doing so. If you are a parent, one of the best ways to help ensure that your child has a happy and healthy life is to get them started on eating organic foods as early as possible.
Another one of the many benefits to eating organic foods is the better quality. In fact, many individuals claim that organic food tastes much better. One reason why farmers claim to use potentially harmful pesticides and chemicals is to kill bacteria.
While this does sound like a good idea, the bacteria that can be present when fruits and vegetables grow isn’t necessarily bad. In fact, some say that it helps to foods grow in a certain way. This, apparently, in turn helps to produce better results, which should better tasting, more natural food.
As you can see, there a number of benefits to eating organic foods. In fact, the above mentioned benefits are just a few of the many reasons why organic food should be given a close examination. If you would like more information on organic foods, including the benefits of eating them, consider speaking with a professional healthcare provider, like your doctor. He or she can help you decide if switching to organic foods is the right decision.
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The summer NASFT Fancy Food Show is an annual ritual for us. I’ve been going for over twenty years but for the last ten years, I’ve been dragging my husband to the show. Every year, I’m looking for new organic ingredients and new products that are compatible with my business, to keep up with trends that would better serve my high end clients and to stay informed. In the past years, I’ve found new products that were just coming onto the retail market and I was able to taste it (which helps decide how I’m going to use these) and I get to talk to a company representative (which helps me know how they recommend using it).
Organic is getting a larger awareness and the show has dedicated a larger space on showroom floor. It’s good to see the general public is being more aware of what they are putting in their bodies and the industry is moving in that direction of filling that need.
The show is a showcase for new products and the celebrity chefs come to sell their new products. In the past, we’ve met and spoken to Bobby Flay, Inna Gardner, Paul Purdhomme, Jacque Pepin, and others. This year I got a chance to meet Lidia Bastianich, a very nice lady in person who took a minute from her busy schedule to chat with me.
The show also has food demonstrations. Most memorable in year’s past, was a sake lecture by a sake sommelier was very thorough. We’ve seen alcohol mixologists throwing drinks in the air, making ten drinks as fast and accurate as possible, pizza-making-dough-tossing break dancers, beers from around the world – this year we didn’t stay for any of them.
As we entered, we noticed giant areas on the showroom floor designated to specific countries and regions. I like to methodically course down each aisle. This way I get a chance to sample different olive oils from Spain, Portugal and Italy; to sample exotic fruit from Mediterranean; olives and cheeses from around the world; Japan’s soy wrappers, soy sauces and tamaris; take trinkets, magnets and pens; taste coffee, spices, chocolates, nuts; learn about specialty stuff and upcoming trends.
Okay, we started in Morocco, then worked our way to the back – where Lou sampled cheeses from Wisconsin; down through Mexico to taste tequila, liquors and exotic flavored waters.
Next was Korea, lots of different juices – first I’ve ever tried garlic juice, “It’s good for your body”, explained the booth attendant (it tastes exactly how it sounds). Seaweed, I ask the vendor a question, he gives me a crooked smile, blank stare and starts scooping up piles of seaweed to give me.
Then gourmet candy, chocolates, pastries and cookies. Then, cheese – Gouda, Brie, cheddar, mozzarella, spreads, chocolate and cheese concoction, Manchego, artisan cheese and cheese and cheese.
Coffee in new packaging, new flavors, new sweeteners, powdered mixes, different pods, different strengths.
Spreads, chips, dips, crackers, wafers, crisps, rice cakes, veggie flakes, styrofoam sheets, twigs and sticks. Pickled tomatoes, peppers – hot spicy, vegetables, and fish.
France – french cheese, teas, gourmet sweets, chocolates, mustards and sauces. “Boy is it hot in here, hundreds of people bumping, jostling, elbowing, pushing, shuffling and shoving”.
Dessert – rum cake; corn bread; birthday cake; cookies – chocolate chip, oatmeal, butter, sugar, and many more; shortbread; tarts; rice crispy cakes; brownies; scones and chocolates
Cheese and cheese and cheese. “It feels like I’ve eaten my weight in Brie”, overheard at the Fancy Food Show.
Fish in a can – sardine, bacalau (cod), tuna, squid, and scallops.
Thailand lots of foods in jars and cans
Italia - you guessed it … olive oil, pasta and pork (they’re not afraid of showing a picture of a cute piglet with a baseball cap on, right next to the carcas of a cut up pig).
We notice upstairs, the front vendors are major distributors from various countries and in the backside are vendors that serve the food industry – restaurants, distributors, supermarkets, and trying to develop interest on the general public. From speaking to the booth attendants, we learn a lot of the products are being introduced and still need approval for import.
Funny trends of 2010
- Utensils made of food “Can I have another fork? I ate mine”
- Flavored gourmet sauerkraut
- Oatmeal is going to make a comeback
- Food shaped like other unrelated food (a chocolate and cracker treat in the shape of wild mushrooms)
- Crazy flavored drinks
Who was there?
First and foremost are the distributors (executive sales people in expensive suits making multi-million dollar deals) then small suppliers (looking for new products) then store reps and down the line to food vending machines operators – there was something for everyone.
Overheard on the Fancy Food Show Floor
- “The number one selling apple juice in Frankfurt”
- “It’s selling in 2000 stores in the us”
- “I think those private airlines will be interested”
- “You need to use the Men’s room?”
- “Do you remember where we parked in San Francisco?”
- “I can’t believe people waiting for a slice of make at home pizza”
I’m a third of way through and I’m already exhausted, this is going to be a long trip.
Chile – seafood, pork and wine.
Soups - everywhere you turn somebody is telling you soup is the next “big thing”, weird green tea soup, mom’s recipe, grandma’s recipe, auntie’s recipe, soup to go, soup to snack, soup in a sack, soup for truck stops, soup for stay at home moms, soup for health and soup on a stick (okay, that one I made up)
The stall vendors, all try to pitch their wares at me. If something interests me, I stop and chat for awhile, asking questions, tasting samples and trying to figure out how to serve this to my clients, as well as figuring out how I can get my hands on some of the new products.
My husband is on a different mission, he wants to sample everything and move on, “I try to avoid eye contact. I don’t want to waste their time, keeping them from making an actual pitch to an important contact. I’m not going to buy their product at the wholesale level why should I bother them just let me taste it and give me some samples.”
Turkey – what could come from Turkey? Olives, pickled peppers, exotic sweets, spices, dried goods. Beautiful displays.
Spain – again with the olive oil? six or seven different olive oil vendors and by now, I couldn’t tell you which one was better than the other, some cute bottles some olive oils treated like expensive wine (gentle men in expensive suits, slurping olive oil from a wine glass and gazing into the sky).
End of the first day – I have so many different cuisine in my stomach it feels like the UN Assembly cocktail party.
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