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June 2013

Spring has sprung and before you know it, we will be cruising into summer!  A number of fruits and vegetables are at their peak this month, including strawberries, raspberries, cherries, sugar snap peas, carrots and cucumbers.


Have you ever noticed that there is a huge taste difference between the strawberries you buy in winter and the ones you buy in spring/summer?  Strawberries picked this time of year are juicier, sweeter, and, well, just taste so much strawberr-ier (if there is such a word)!  If you can, try to hit up your local farmers' market for this peak produce.  It will help support your local farmers, and since the produce has a shorter distance to travel, it will be even fresher!


This month's e-newsletter focuses on seasonal spring and summer produce, the arguments for and against organic produce, as well as a yummy recipe using some of spring's bounty.  Hopefully, you will feel inspired to get out and enjoy all that nature has to offer!



Joanne Soolman, Registered Dietitian / Co-Owner 

Soolman Nutrition and Wellness LLC


He Said, She Said: Organic vs. Conventional


We often field questions from patients regarding which is better, organic or conventional produce, especially this time of year when people are visiting farmers' markets and pick-your-own farms, growing their own gardens, and generally enjoying the abundance of different fruits and vegetables that are in season.
He Said
Would you rather pay less for your produce now and risk discovering later that conventional food is actually harmful, or pay more now for organic and risk finding out later that conventional would have been totally safe all along? 

In other words, whether you choose to buy conventional or organic, you are taking a gamble either way.  The decision is personal and based on your own concerns and priorities.

The middle ground between the poles is also a perfectly valid option.  For those looking to pick their spots, the Environmental Working Group is a helpful resource.  They publish a guide to help shoppers determine which fruits and vegetables they consider most important to buy organic based on pesticide contamination.

When it comes to organic vs. conventional produce, there really is no one right answer for everybody.  As long as you are eating fruits and vegetables, you are making the right choice.
She Said

While in general I try to buy mostly organic fruits and vegetables, I am not obsessive about it.  Yes, there are good reasons to buy organic (no pesticides, chemicals, hormones or genetically modified organisms (GMOs)), but there are a lot of myths out there about why organic foods are superior to conventional foods. 


Although many people believe that organic produce is more nutritious than conventional, numerous studies have shown that there often is no difference in nutrient content between the two. What really seems to matter is how long the produce sits on the shelf, as more nutrients are lost when produce sits out for longer periods of time.


While it is true that organic produce is grown without pesticides or chemicals, it is not necessarily better for the environment than conventional produce, as conventional farming is more productive and efficient than organic farming. According to the Hudson Institute's Center for Global Food Issues, if we were to switch all conventional farming to organic, we would need to cut down 10 million square miles of forest.


Finally, just because organic produce is chemical free does not mean you don't have to be careful about washing it.  It is still susceptible to bacteria.  


So, while I don't think there is anything wrong with choosing organic more often (It's good to reduce our exposure to chemicals and pesticides.), it is important to know that organic is not inherently better than conventional.

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Practice News
Youth Sports Teams Sponsorships

We are proud to be sponsoring two youth sports teams this spring: the K12 Purple Panthers softball team in Needham, and the AAA Mets baseball team in the Newton North Little League!

Recipe of the Month
Quick and Easy
Summer Salad

* 1-2 cups pre-washed greens (such as Olivia's spring mix) 

* 1 tsp olive oil 

* 3 Tbsp almonds, unsalted 

* 1 peach 

* 1/2 cup raspberries   

* 1/2 cup blueberries


1. Place the salad mix in a bowl (or portable container if bringing to work/school for lunch).


2. Drizzle the olive oil over the greens.


3. Add the almonds.


4. Wash the peach, slice it as desired, and add it to the salad.


5. Wash the raspberries and blueberries and add them to the salad.


6. That's it, you're done!


Salads are so quick to make (We defy you to spend more than five minutes making this one.), and you can save yourself more time by making two at once: one to eat immediately, and one for the next day.


Also, the parts are easily interchangeable.  Don't feel like almonds?  Add walnuts or peanuts.  Olive oil is too flavorful?  Use soybean or canola oil.  Your raspberries went moldy?  Use strawberries.  Your wife fed your spring mix to your pet rabbit?  Use baby kale or spinach. 


Tailor your salad to your likes and change it up on occasion to give your body a wide variety of nutrients and your taste buds fresh new flavors!


Soolman Nutrition and Wellness LLC | (781) 237-0470 | |
555 Washington Street, 2nd Floor
Wellesley, MA 02482

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