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Sourcing the best foods isn’t easy, given our dependence on supermarkets and convenience. But it’s essential for mastering both the flavor and nutritional value of your dishes.
Cold-Pressed Extraction Methods
Extracting oils and other materials from fruit and vegetables is as old as time. Olive oil pressing alone can be traced back to approximately 2500 BCE. And there are numerous ways oil is pressed from ingredients. All methods use pressure and force. Yet some also include the application of heat. Yet heat detracts from the taste of a pressed oil or other ingredients, such as brewing materials. So the best olive oil and vegetable extracts come from 100% cold-pressed methods. So always check the processing method when making a decision on an oil.
Buy from Local Producers
Living in a city makes it tricky to find local food producers. But they are there if you look. Even the biggest cities are typically surrounded by farmland. And you can find many unique producers within cities themselves. For instance, high-end delicatessens make most things from scratch like bread and cheese. However, just a few miles drive will take you to fabulous farms where you can often source the freshest seasonal ingredients. Meat, fruit, and vegetables are easy to come by these days. Yet you can also easily source seafood in coastal regions.
Know the Journey when Sourcing the Best Foods
Celebrity chefs like Gordon Ramsay and Raymond Blanc often speak of the importance of knowing where your food comes from. It helps you make better decisions about the food quality. But you can also help out local rural economies since 90% of us use supermarkets:
- Buy directly from the source as close to you as possible, such as locally caught fish.
- Don’t be afraid to ask your vendor any questions about where your food has come from.
- If possible, visit the source of your ingredients to feel closer to your food.
Even in a big city, you can access very fresh food. New York’s Fulton Fish Market and London’s Billingsgate Market are perfect examples. But be sure to ask questions about your food since a reputable vendor will be knowledgeable and get to know the area from where food is sourced.
Alternative Cooking Methods
When cooking, most people will oven roast, grill, or fry their foods. These are all excellent ways of preparing meals. However, depending on the ingredients or cut of meat, you can lose both flavor and nutrients. Some fare better by being cooked in alternative ways. For example, fresh smoking fish removes bacteria and cures the flesh. Yet it also retains original flavors, locks-in nutrition, and adds even more taste. Additionally, boiling vegetables for too long loses large amounts of much-needed taste and any vitamins and minerals over steaming.
Grow Your Own if You Can
Of course, an excellent way to make sure you have the best possible food is to simply grow your own. If you have land to use, you are lucky. And making use of land for your own food is a luxury that most people don’t have these days. However, even if you live in an apartment or smaller home, growing your own food is easier than ever. Most herbs will grow well indoors, or you can use LED lamps to mimic sunlight. Additionally, you can grow root vegetables in barrels since they need deep roots. And beans will climb and grow well over trellises and external walls.
It doesn’t have to be a challenge sourcing the best foods for maximum potency. However, it helps to get cold-pressed oils, know your food’s journey and try growing your own vegetables.