A few weeks ago we introduced our new blog, Healing the World – One Nutrient at a Time, and we are excited to continue the series. In the last blog, we wrote of the importance of a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains – a traditional Mediterranean diet – and how we can look toward traditions to guide and nourish both our physical and spiritual bodies.
Elliot M Berry, Yardena Arnoni, and Michael Aciram write in “The Middle Eastern and biblical origins of the Mediterranean diet”  that “The Bible (Deuteronomy 8:8) speaks of the seven species – wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and date honey, as well as a land ‘flowing with milk and (date) honey’, and these are also the basic staples of the [Mediterranean diet]. The MedDi is not a new diet, which is exactly the reason for its strength. In its traditional form, the food in the region was eaten according to the season and the reason. Climate dictated what was produced agriculturally, and the reason for consumption was determined by daily meal gatherings and festivals. The origins of the MedDi in fact encompass the history of Western civilization and it has its origins in the diet and lifestyle of the Near Middle East, including those of biblical times.”
Unfortunately, Westernized lifestyles have moved further and further away from traditional culinary cuisines. Berry writes, “Human genetic profiles have not changed significantly over the past 10,000 years, whereas lifestyle has been revolutionized. Modern industrialized populations are characterized by reduced energy expenditure and increased energy intake. Fat intake in the form of trans and saturated fat has increased and there is a decrease in intakes of fiber, complex carbohydrates, fruit and vegetable antioxidants, protein and calcium.”
At Coastal Roots Farm, ancient Jewish wisdom and traditions guide our work and our approach to nourishing our bodies and our community. The Jewish value of Tikkun Olam tells us of our duty to heal the world and we are working towards cultivating a healthier physical world and a more connected and nourished community. We believe that everyone has a right to dignified, equal access to fresh, healthy vegetables and that these nutritious foods play a central role in our physical health and in how we honor and celebrate our Jewish roots.
Healing our world is not just about feeding our community – it’s also about nourishing our bodies! To do that, we must grow and distribute healthy, nutrient dense food and, we are on a mission to do just that!
Over the past eight months, we found that the 19,402 pounds of fresh produce we distributed to 11,739 individuals provided each person served with the following percentage of their recommended daily value:
- Energy: 13%
- Protein: 29%
- Fiber: 65%
- Calcium: 41%
- Iron: 37%
- Folate: 106%
- Vitamin A: 169%
- Vitamin B-6: 64%
- Vitamin C: 246%
- Vitamin K: 712%
Nutritional Highlight: Vitamin K
Food sources of vitamin K include vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables, vegetable oils, and some fruits. Excellent sources of vitamin K include collards, kale, chard, broccoli, lettuce, carrots and more – all vegetables that the Farm distributes regularly and in high quantities!
Phylloquinone, also known as vitamin K1, is the compound found in plants, primarily green leafy vegetables. Without vitamin K, the body cannot produce prothrombin, a clotting factor that is necessary for blood clotting and bone metabolism. According to the National Institutes of Health, vitamin K may play a role in osteoporosis and coronary heart disease, although more research is needed. Some studies suggest that vitamin K supports strong bones and bone density. Its role in heart health may involve helping keep blood pressure lower by preventing mineralization in the arteries. This enables the heart to pump blood freely through the body.
Vitamin K deficiency can raise the risk of uncontrolled bleeding. While vitamin K deficiencies are rare in adults, they are very common in newborn infants and a given as a standard injection to newborns. vitamin K is also used to counteract an overdose of the blood thinners.
While vitamin K on its own may not seem like the superhero of vitamins, food sources that are rich in vitamin K usually contain a plethora of other critical vitamins that, together, support a healthy, strong, and active body.
Interested in incorporating more locally grown, fresh, organic produce into your diet? Come by our pay-what-you-can Farm Stand! The Farm Stand is open to community members of all backgrounds and identities and no one is turned away for inability to pay. This social enterprise model supports our goal to ensure that everyone in the community has fair, equal, and dignified access to local, fresh, seasonal, organic, and sustainably-grown food. We offer those in need up to $30 of produce at no-cost through our private check-out system. We look forward to sharing with you our bounty of nutrients! Click here to learn more about our Farm Stand including hours of operation.
 Berry, E., Arnoni, Y., & Aviram, M. (2011). The Middle Eastern and biblical origins of the Mediterranean diet. Public Health Nutrition, 14(12A), 2288-2295. doi:10.1017/S1368980011002539
 Vitamin K Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements. 2018.
 Ware, Megan RDN D. Health benefits and sources of vitamin K. Medical News Today. January 2018.
Written by Sara Telzer, Impact and Evaluation Manager at Coastal Roots Farm