Belly Dancer Jacqueline Takes “Farm to Table” Cookout Tour at Tanaka Farms

On May 27, 2017 I visited Tanaka Farms in Irvine, CA with my husband and took the “Farm to Table” Cookout Tour. What brought me there was a little inspiration from wanting to eat more vegetables for a healthier body and also find a local farm. I had never heard of Tanaka Farms until I googled, Farms In California. The California Agricultural Tourism Directory appeared and I found a couple farms located in Orange County, CA. I chose Tanaka Farms because I liked their website and educational programs such as the “Farm to Table” Cookout and Strawberry Tours.

Since my husband and I are always interested in learning and making memories, we decided to join the tour and understand what farming entails. We were taken on a guided tour through a few of their ready-to-pick vegetables which included kale, boy choy, swiss chard, Japanese turnips, and carrots. We wore our boots and got muddy, but it was all worth it to us. Our tour guide Nikki taught us to pick off the leaves of the chard and kale in specific places because they would taste bitter if we picked the wrong ones. For Kale, it was better to pick the leaves in the center and for chard it was best to pick the leaves off at the very bottom of their stem. Never in my life have I picked vegetables from the ground and then ate them. To have this experience in the bustling and busy world we live in, it was truly beautiful.

Jacqueline picking fresh vegetables at Tanaka Farms!

After we picked our vegetables, we washed and prepared them in boxes. Then cooks grilled them and served us our own boxes back. The farm also provided everyone with a strawberry kale salad, grilled zucchini, and strawberries. We also added chicken to our list and it was grilled to perfection with a little something sweet to make you want to come back for more.

Over the years I have learned about the importance of a healthy diet that consists of a rich diversity of vegetables. A few years ago I learned from researching about health and nutrition that vegetables contain so many great vitamins and fiber that help our organs and body function well. According to the American Cancer Society, it is recommended to eat a minimum of two and a half cups of fruits and vegetables a day to help lower the risks of stomach cancer. I’ve also followed Doctor Eric Berg on social media and he discusses the importance of vegetables in regards to various health and organ concerns on his YouTube channel.

Today it is easy to fall victim to fast-food. It’s always around the corner, ready-made, and a quick fix. However, the sodium and sugar content can be detrimental to your organs if eaten too often. I’ve found that I gain water weight too easily after consuming fast food, alcohol, and certain breads and meats. I am so inspired by all of the knowledge that surrounds us about the importance of eating more vegetables and how they can positively affect your organs. Visiting Tanaka farms reinforced something that has been in me for a while now to really make an effort of eating more vegetables. I am also considering joining their subscription box program where they pack vegetables from their farm.

I hope that you are also inspired to eat more vegetables everyday. Please consider visiting and supporting your local farm too!

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