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Saturday, July 25, 2015

No You're Not Crazy - Food Doesn't Taste As Good As It Used To

Most meats and vegetables and some fruits has way less flavor than they did decades ago. That's because large scale industrial  farms strive to produce as much food as possible on the cheap. For instance, animals are feed bland feed that produces bland meat. Then animals are butchered very young which results in less flavorful meat from mature ones.

Also, today's chicken are bred to be plump not tasty. Actually, they don't even look like chickens chickens of the past and their breasts are much larger. The story is similar with other animals and crops. Pigs are 25% younger but 25% larger when slaughtered as they were in 1948. Beef cows are 50% younger but produce 60% more meat. Hens lay twice as many eggs. So all the food from these animals are bland.

If you go to Europe, you'll  noticed that everything tastes better. Even the milk. That's because all GMO crops and some pesticides and antibiotics used in the US are banned in Europe. Also, European slaughter houses  have more stringent  sanitation, inspection and humane handling standards than US slaughter houses. Also, there are more small family owned farms that produce quality crops and livestock.   

Meanwhile, one acre of American farmland produces three times as much rice, four times as much corn, two and one half times as much wheat, and five and one half times as much strawberries.

Eating bland food isn't just less enjoyable, it's less healthy. A study published by the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that an assortment of 43 garden crops contained  20% less vitamin A and C as the same crops grown in the 1950's.

So if you want to buy food with flavor, buy meat from mature animals that ate natural diets. Seek out grass-fed beef from cattle that lived at least 22 months of age. Ask any small farmer and they'll tell you that it is unnatural for a cow to eat anything but grass. Cows that are raised on small dairy farms that graze only on grass  live and average of 14 years. Cows that are force fed grain and antibiotics on industrial dairy farms live an average of 14 months. So buy pork, ham and bacon from pasture raised pigs at least six to seven months old. And buy chicken from pasture raised birds at least 9 to 18 months old.

Unlike the premium prices charged by supermarkets like Whole Foods, these types of meats are usually available at a reasonable prices  from www.FreshDirect.Com ,  farmer's markets and Amish food stands.  Just keep in mind that they may not be 100% organic, but the livestock was raised and fed in a natural small farm environment and butchered humanely.

When buying seafood, you'll find that wild-caught fish tastes as good as it ever did. Just try to avoid buying farm raised seafood if you want great flavor. 

 Also, when shopping for produce, keep in mind that organic produce will sometimes not be more flavorful. That's because it has to be trucked in from long distances to reach supermarkets like Whole Foods. So you're paying a premium for organic produce that may be a month old or more.

The produce you buy from farmers markets may not be organic, yet it's a lot fresher and more flavorful  than what you would find a supermarket. Plus farmers who sell at these markets often prioritize flavor over crop yields. But sample the goods before you buy since something sold at a farmers market does not mean it will taste great..   

The absolute best way to obtain just picked organic produce is grow your own  or  join a CSA ( community supported agriculture) To find a CSA or organic farm stands near you visit http://www.localharvest.org/csa/

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