How to eat more local, seasonal vegies each week: Food Connect
As an acupuncturist who aims to improve the overall health of each and every one of my patients, if there is one general piece of lifestyle advice that I could give nearly everyone it would be:
Eat more whole foods, particularly vegetables.
How many serves of vegetables should you aim for in a day?
Five serves per day. “What is a serve?” I hear you ask. Check out these guidelines. Generally, a cup of raw or a 1/2 cup of cooked vegetables is 1 serve. You’ll most likely need to spread them over at least 2-3 meals. (It’s okay to exceed your vegie intake but don’t exceed your fruit intake of two serves/day due to the sugar content.)
Don’t forget that some fresh produce is best eaten organic or chemical free. What are the dirty dozen?
How can you eat this many chemical-free vegies easily?
Let me tell you a story…
Once upon a time, many years ago, I was at a Mind Body Spirit Festival. A man walked around giving out organic carrots for people to taste. The carrot was deliciously sweet to taste. The man was Robert Pekin – the brains behind Food Connect. He gave me a brochure about his Community Supported Agriculture program he was about to start. I became a subscriber as soon as they opened and continued my subscription for years. Something happened and I got out of sync. I’m so glad that I am once again a subscriber and picked up my second box today.
Here’s why I love Food Connect:
- You can purchase a vegie, fruit or fruit and veg box in different sizes from Food Connect.
- If you don’t want a box, you can select your own foods from their extensive list. See here.
- They also sell breads, flours (including brown rice flour), sauces, honey, eggs and lots more.
- If you don’t want to order every week, you don’t have to. Or if you do, you can set up a standard order.
- The produce is sourced locally within 400km of Brisbane and is either chemical free, bio-dynamic or organic.
- The produce is in season, unlike many of the offerings in our big supermarkets.
- You support local farmers and get to know a little about their farms. They are featured in the newsletter in each box and you can also do farm tours.
- You choose which ‘City Cousin‘ you will pick your order up from. These wonderful people are found in every few suburbs.
- It’s not that expensive. The box featured above and below cost $44. I’ve found this reduces my weekly food bill by not needing to visit the shops most days.
The produce in the box I picked up today had traveled only 184km. This would not be the case if I had bought the same items in a major supermarket.
Having a weekly order of vegies each week will increase your vegie intake easily. You will need to eat through them before the next order is due. It also saves you having to do day-to-day grocery shops. If your fridge and pantry are stocked with fresh vegetables already you will be more likely to eat them.
Tonight I turned my vegies into this delicious tofu and vegie curry:
So make the commitment to increase your vegetable intake. If it’s not through a scheme like Food Connect, regularly visit farmers’ markets for your groceries or even grow your own fresh produce!
For further information on Chinese Medicine contact Dr Sarah George (Acupuncture). Sarah is a practitioner of acupuncture (AHPRA registered), massage therapy and natural health at her Broadbeach clinic and is the Chinese Medicine Senior Lecturer at the Endeavour College of Natural Health Gold Coast campus.