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If you’ve never put much thought into choosing a turkey, then it’s time to talk gobblers. On one end of the spectrum is the conventional turkey, which comes from giant factory farms, and on the other is the local, heritage turkey, which can probably be found pecking at the grass near you. Locavores would advocate for heritage birds (ancient breeds with peak rearing, diet, and flavor) as the gold standard, but any small farm is likely to raise its birds better than the ones that supply the grocery store, which often pack thousands of turkeys into sheds, limit their access to sunlight and soil, overfeed them for quicker slaughter, and regularly inject them with antibiotics. For a compromise friendlier to your pocketbook, opt for a local, organic bird, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be heritage. It comes with a higher price tag than a conventional gobbler, but included in that price are transparency, peace of mind, and a better planet. Just make sure to contact your farmer early — those tasty local birds go fast!
need to hold up for shipping. That means it’s sprayed with fewer harmful pesticides, and, in the case of meat, includes fewer antibiotics. When you buy something at a farmers market, you know exactly where it’s coming from, and, if you have any questions, just ask the farmer. Finally, buying local supports your town’s economy, keeping your neighbors’ jobs safe. Eating locally means eating seasonally, and that makes Thanksgiving the perfect time to experiment with the locavore lifestyle. Because the usual Thanksgiving menu dates back to Colonial times, the menu is already packed with foods available in the fall, like sweet and russet potatoes, pumpkins, and cranberries. Green beans are a summer vegetable, but local varieties keep well canned or frozen and can be pulled out for an all-local Thanksgiving. For rolls and pie, source local flour or head to your town’s bakery. You can round out your menu with seasonal produce by searching LocalHarvest.com, a database of local farms and their offerings. That just leaves the day’s centerpiece: the turkey.
call themselves “locavores” and do their best to eat foods grown in their own regions by farmers with transparent practices whom they know by name. Because of this trend, the U.S. has seen a boom in farmers markets over the last 20-plus years, from less than 2,000 in 1994 to nearly 9,000 today. Locavores have myriad reasons for choosing food grown close to home. First, they say local food has better flavor. While conventionally grown tomatoes, for example, are often picked states away and gassed to turn them from green to red, farmers market tomatoes are usually plucked at peak ripeness less than 24 hours before they’re sold. Local food also has more vitamins and minerals. Montclair State University researchers showed that local broccoli, for example, had twice the vitamin C of broccoli shipped in from out of the country. The same holds true for other vegetables, fruits, and proteins. Transporting food a shorter distance also lowers carbon emissions, and local food is more likely to be organic because it doesn’t
T ea T ime W hat ' s S wirling A round in Y our C up ? Tea has been consumed for thousands of years and is the second-most popular drink in the world, with water being the first. It is the national drink of several nations, including China and India, and is an integral component of religious ceremonies the world over. Drinking tea has been known to reduce stress, promote relaxation, and improve sleep. In addition to these instant benefits, tea can also help improve a person’s long-termhealth through regular consumption. Y our H eart
has found that regular consumption of tea lowers the risk of cognitive decline in the elderly by 50%, while APOE e4 gene carriers who are genetically at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease may experience a reduction in cognitive impairment risk by as much as 86%.” Y our M ood Tea leaves contain the amino acid L-theanine, which stimulates several feel-good neurotransmitters, like serotonin and gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA). These neurotransmitters help boost your mood and alertness. According to a study by the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China, tea even has the ability to ward off depression. The study took 22,817 participants with 4,743 cases of depression over 11 studies, and 13 reports found that individuals who drank three cups of tea a day decreased their depression risk by 37%.
According to Harvard Health Institute, several studies show that those who regularly drink black and green tea are at a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease. These types of tea contain antioxidants and flavonoids, which are plant chemicals that help dilate arteries and reduce bad cholesterol. Studies also link tea consumption with improved vascular reactivity —how well your blood vessels respond to stress. Y our B rain Flavonoids don’t only fight heart disease; these chemicals can also reduce any vascular damage to the brain. The National University of Singapore has conducted studies that link reduced risks of dementia in the elderly with regular tea consumption. The results speak for themselves:“The longitudinal study involving 957 Chinese seniors aged 55 years or older
So, the next time you want a warmbeverage that will do your mind and body good, reach for some tea and bask in all the health benefits as you sip.
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