Anyone who has ever enjoyed a salad, a burger, or even a bowl of crunchy dog kibble has a farmer to thank for their meal. Farmers have a hand in just about anything that may land on your dinner plate, regardless of whether how farm fresh it is, or how long a microwave dinner sat in the freezer before deciding to thaw it out. They may even be responsible for your t-shirt, if it’s made of cotton.
Not all farmers are created equal, as some are small local farms with a great quality for life for their livestock, or Great Aunt May checking on the cucumbers each morning. Others are commercial farms, where meal production is an assembly line and some of the animals never see the light of day. It is these reasons why farm fresh foods not only taste better and are healthier, but are also more environmentally and socially conscious to consume.
Fresh foods also pack the most punch for their health benefits, as products that have sat on the shelf for a long time or have been in storage lose benefits over time. Often vitamins degrade, and the longer they are out of their natural habitat, the worse the produce fares. Farmers know the importance of this, which is why they like to sell their products local, or even open up their gates to let people pick their fruits and veggies fresh, or select an animal for slaughter.
Apples: A popular crop that during the autumn can be one of the freshest crops Americans enjoy, apples are nutritious and delicious. Many people enjoy the novelty of apple picking, and have enjoyed the crunch of an apple only seconds off the tree, but aside from its flavor, it provides antioxidants and fiber which are important in a healthy diet.
Bison: Often overlooked as beef is the most common red meat, bison is a specialty livestock that some farmers specialize in raising. The animals are fairly low maintenance, and roam free in pasture eating their heart’s delight of grass and plants. Once they end up on the dinner table, they provide a healthy dose of omega-3s while being lower in fat and cholesterol than their distant relative the cow.
Eggs: Eggs are considered a dietary stable by many, and with die cause as they are packed full of vitamins and minerals. They’re an excellent source of protein, and offer a great supply of vitamins B2, B6 and B12, along with vitamin D and omega-3s. Different breeds of poultry also have different eggs that provide various nutritional benefits.
Kale: Kale is considered by many one of the healthiest vegetables and with due cause as it is packed with so many nutrients and benefits in a single serving. Aside from being high in fiber, which helps with digestion, it also has a huge serving of vitamins K, A and C, along with manganese, copper, calcium, iron and several other important vitamins and minerals.
Milk: Milk is well known to people as a huge provider of calcium and protein to the diet, and is a staple in many recipes. Many people can thank their bone health to having milk as a part of their daily diet.
While these are only a few healthy products that farmers produce, there are many others that are suitable to various dietary needs. What is healthy for one person may not be the healthiest to another, but generally people can know that when given the option between farm fresh and not, farm fresh will win out in almost every situation.