We’ve Moved To Ottawa

We’ve Moved To Ottawa
February 8, 2011 Heather Nicholds, C.H.N.


organic gardening books

Much of my week has been taken up by searching out used furniture for our new apartment. It can take some time to coordinate picking things up from various people, especially when you don’t have a vehicle like us, but to me the effort is worth it.

I don’t often talk about environmental concerns because I try to stick to health and nutrition, but the environment and “sustainability” is actually the most important factor for me in many of my choices – from a vegan diet plan to buying a desk.

With furniture, I try to buy used not only because it’s less expensive, but because I think there’s so much value in reusing things that might otherwise go to landfill, in extending the useful life of the resources that went into the product, and in reducing (ever so slightly) the amount of new production.

It’s nice how these benefits line up with my inner frugality, but when it comes to nutrition, that isn’t always the case. Right now, we often have to pay more for the local, organic food that is better for the environment.

Unfortunately, the environmental and health care costs associated with inferior grocery store foods are external to the prices of that food. We don’t pay for them in the grocery store, but instead those costs are paid by our taxes or not at all, meaning the planet takes the hit.

Spending more on food that doesn’t have as much of an impact on the environment benefits everyone, but when other people don’t follow the same values, your individual impact is lessened.

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If you think of these foods in terms of creating health for yourself and your family, the extra cost is an investment to reduce future health care spending – and more importantly the priceless quality of a long and healthy life.

You will read in many nutrition websites and books (including mine) about specific good foods, bad foods and superfoods, but the truth is that often more important than what you eat is the quality of those foods.

For example, there are many cultures around the world that eat very different diets, but are exceptionally healthy. Some follow a vegetarian diet plan, while others eat lots of meat. The common thread is that they eat high quality foods, foods that are grown on high quality soil or picked/caught in the wild, that aren’t tainted with chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and preservatives.

My goal this spring will be to find the local Ottawa farmers’ markets or produce delivery. Phil is in charge of growing sprouts and herbs on our window sill, and is looking for a gardening space to do some food growing starting in the early spring (if anyone has tips for me on local produce or gardening space in downtown Ottawa, please leave a note).

My question for you today is, what do you want to learn from me about health and nutrition?

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