Why Fresh Is Best

We've all heard the benefits of purchasing locally grown and seasonal produce, while limiting our spending on processed and packaged foods.

At Red Rabbit, we adhere to the belief that fresh food tastes better and is better for us, which is why we use whole foods in all of our made from scratch meals. But why are whole, fresh foods actually better for us, and what's the harm in overly processed foods? Read on as we investigate the answers to these questions.

Examples of Whole Foods

Examples Of Whole Foods

Examples of Processed Foods

Examples Of Processed Foods

Fresh foods are whole foods, or foods in their natural, unaltered forms.A head of cauliflower, a bunch of spinach or a handful of blueberries, when eaten closest to their natural state, contain the highest amount of nutrients. When we process foods, we alter them from their natural form, causing them to lose a lot of essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals that keep our bodies healthy.

Consider the journey of a tomato from a few slices of freshly cut tomatoes, raw and in a salad, to a bottled juice, to a ketchup paste. That's quite a long journey that includes drastic transformations.

Fresh foods are free of artificial colors, additives, and harsh chemicals. We don’t need food dye to get a brightly colored plate of broccoli or carrots. Meanwhile, processed foods are often fortified, meaning the nutrients stripped from them during processing are artificially added back. Unfortunately, these nutrients are often added in high doses, which can pose a threat to our health. Eating fresh, whole foods means getting the right quality and quantity of nutrients without these other, less desirable ingredients in the mix.

The long ingredient list of packaged bread. How many of these ingredients can you identify? THE LONG INGREDIENT LIST OF PACKAGED BREAD. HOW MANY OF THESE INGREDIENTS CAN YOU IDENTIFY?

Fresh food is hydrated, meaning it is full of water. Natural hydration is important for the cells working hard in our bodies.

Whole foods are full of enzymes and fiber that help digestion. Processing food can take away a lot of these enzymes and fiber, so the body cannot absorb all the nutrients that remain in the food.

Additionally, foods that are heavily processed often contain a long list of ingredients, loads of salt, and sometimes even toxins. Just take a look at the long ingredient list on a typical bag of packaged bread. Most of the items are additives that are not recognizable to the average consumer.

Luckily, one of the most powerful tools to keep us healthy can be found right at a local farmers market, supermarket and in your Red Rabbit school food! By choosing foods that are real, whole and fresh, we are getting the nutrients our bodies need to stay happy and energized. Plus, fresh food is delicious, so our taste buds will thank us, too!

In Health,

Ligea Alexander & Jenna Ferman

Red Rabbit Education Interns

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