What have spinach and toilet paper got in common? It seems that both are essential in times of crisis………

What a strange place to live in at the moment. Who would have ever thought there would come a day where governments would close schools and public entertainment and companies would make people work from home.

I was following the news recently and saw with surprise how many people felt the need to secure themselves with adequate groceries and other essentials. We see empty supermarket shelves and people fighting over toilet paper (oh the TP!).

Little Girl Grocery Shopping with Mother
Family grocery shopping in the supermarket

But it’s not just the “tail” end of the process that is currently affected. Leaving home to go shopping in times like this can be hard for some and many are worried about how bad it might get and how they will be able to feed their families. Fresh produce isn’t something you can stock up on as it has to be fresh in order to preserve the vitamins.

Did you know that China is the world largest producer of spinach with 85% of global production? In times where viruses such as the new coronavirus hits this is not a comforting situation. While Popeye used to eat his spinach out of a tin, nowadays we prefer our spinach to be fresh, ideally right from the garden.

Fresh green spinach
Fresh green spinach, essential for everyone that wants to eat healthy food.

You may be surprised to learn that studies from University of California Davis and Penn State University show that some spinach can lose up to 90% of its vitamin C value within the first 24 hours after being harvested, and up to 50% of its folate (DNA and cell health) and carotenoids (vitamin A and antioxidants) after a week, even when refrigerated. It may help to wet a tissue and put it together with the spinach in a resealable plastic bag, keeping some air in the bag to avoid them getting squashed.

You might be an absolute expert or if not you might be interested to know that there are three main varieties of spinach. There is the dark green spinach that you get in supermarkets, the flat smooth spinach often referred to as baby spinach (easy for salads for example) and finally the spinach that has slightly crinkled leaves. In a survey done by Bon Appetite Magazine it was found that more than 56% of people eating vegetables say that spinach is their favorite one.

But what can you do now? You love spinach and you know about all the healthy benefits of this super-green superfood, but you want to be independent of the global supply chain. Not only because of the virus but also because you care about the vitamin content your leafy greens are having. Why not start a home hydroponics garden? While there are various appliances out there small and large, if you have a little space and are into DIY you can easily set up your own system with supplies from your local stores.

However you do it, channel your inner Popeye with lots of fresh, healthy spinach – especially if you are raising little superheroes!

Stay safe, and eat healthy.

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