There’s a lot of hype these days about “healthy foods.” Every week it’s something different. One day it’s extra virgin olive oil, a week later it’s pomegranates, or cactus leaves, or some bizarre looking tropical fruit than can only be consumed via $8 smoothies.
The foods that our society considers to be healthy change everyday. From low-fat to low-cal to certified organic – our definition of health is subjective and ever-changing, and typically focused on weight management. But what about health in a broader sense? What types of foods are good for our environment, our economy, or our communities?
Sustainably harvested foods, such as pure organic maple syrup and maple sugar, have a lower carbon footprint than those produced via industrial agriculture. They pollute less, waste less, and help to recycle profits back into the local economy.
Industrial processing plants used to make the high fructose corn syrup used in table syrup require incredible amounts of energy and fuel to operate, and produce large amounts of waste that are difficult to dispose of. Since small family farms that make maple syrup typically live off of the land they farm, they tend to take better care of the soil, and focus on preserving the forest for future generations.
In addition to being healthier for the environment, pure maple syrup and other sustainably produced foods are also healthier for the economy. Money spent on products from small family maple syrup farms typically stays within the local economy as farmers reinvest their profits in local labor and supply markets.
While sustainably produced food sometimes costs a few dollars more, so does a water purification system, or nutrient fortified milk, and plenty of people are willing to ante up for those. Eating right now can also help to prevent expensive medical bills in the future, due to unhealthy ingredients in “cheaply made” food. So when it comes to protecting the health of our bodies, our environment, and our communities, if your pure maple syrup costs a few extra dollars – it’s probably worth it.