No Food Left Behind

24 Feb

According to the USDA, 30 – 40% of the food produced in America goes uneaten.  This statistic is shocking and sad when there are people all over the world who are malnourished and starving to death.  Food waste, however is completely avoidable and there are things we can do at home to ensure that we aren’t taking for granted and wasting any of this precious resource.

One method of food preservation is drying which has been practiced all over the world since ancient times.  This process removes all the water from the food which inhibits the growth of bacteria.  Traditionally, water was removed by evaporation either by air drying, sun drying or smoking.

An electric food dehydrator is a great tool to have which speeds up the process and gives more consistent results.  This works by using a heat source and air flow to remove moisture.  The temperature to which you set your dehydrator will depend on what you are drying.  Fruits and vegetables tend to need a higher temperature than herbs will.  Once dehydrated, food should be kept in airtight bags or containers and be kept in a cool, dark area.

20140204_123349-1

Aside from a longer shelf life, dried food does offer some advantages over fresh.  Dried fruits generally contain more fiber than the same size serving size as their fresh counterparts.  Nearly all of the vitamins and minerals are retained when food are dried, such as vitamin C, vitamin A, beta carotene and potassium.  Since all of the water is extracted from the fruits and vegetables, their nutrients are condensed into a smaller package.  This makes it easier to pack them and eat healthy on the go.

dried fruitdried veggiesflax crackersraw falafel

Food cooked above 116 degrees will lose a lot of it’s nutritional value.  By using drying as a preparation method, you are eliminating the need to cook your food.  The addition of more raw food into your diet can have many health benefits including clearer skin, more energy, improved digestion, and weight loss.  Just a note, when consuming fruits and vegetables raw, it is especially important to go organic.

I have been interested in learning more about the raw food diet and different recipes to incorporate more into my diet.  As I read and research more, I will write and share my findings with you.

I invite you to join me on this journey and follow my new Raw Food Series…..coming soon!

Until next time!!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: