Happy berry season! I’m just back from picking more than 5 lbs. of blueberries at my local patch and what a crop! The bushes are loaded with large, perfectly ripe and ready-to-eat globes of purpley-blue bliss. This is the most abundance I’ve seen in this field throughout the 5 years I’ve been picking there.
Why do I pick berries when I could easily go buy them? The reasons are many, but here are my top 5:
- Freshness and quality. The only fresher version is off the bushes in my yard (whose production level is not quite up to how much I eat each year.)
- It’s fun! It takes me back to my first food related job: picking berries with my cousins. Memories and stories galore from those years, not to mention the experience of working for a crew boss!
- I am supporting a local farmer, my community and ‘voting’ for sustainability with my purchase.
- The planet benefits: no food transport costs or packaging.
- Being outside gathering Mother Earth’s bounty reinforces living in rhythm with the seasons and partaking in what is provided for my sustenance right where I live.
I’ll pick over 10 lbs. of blueberries to eat over the next year in smoothies & muffins because I love their nutritional bang and health-giving goodies:
- Superior antioxidant levels that support immune health
- Low glycemic index: help regulate blood sugar*
- High in Vitamin C and fiber
- Compounds that help protect against UTIs (Urinary Tract Infections)
- Polyphenols protect the brain from inflammation & oxidative stress which may, in turn, defend against degenerative effects from aging, stroke and Alzheimer’s & Parkinson’s disease.
*(A blueberry grower I spoke with was diagnosed as borderline diabetic. Her doctor said the next time she saw her, they’d be prescribing insulin unless something magically shifted. The woman began eating 1 cup of blueberries each day and her blood sugar levels evened out so well that she has been out of the diabetic zone for several years!)
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