Give that Nature a Raise! February February 6, 2005

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Have I mentioned how impressed I am with nature? I gave it a job review just last week. I mean, all those things it does for us, like make the trees magically bud and the gnomes come out and those talking cloud creatures - sheesh, nature is a good employee. Sure it hasn't yet gotten around to making a "real" tooth fairy for chimps or a Santa Claus for tube worms, but still I'm putting it in for a raise. Don't get me wrong, I love ordering nature around and getting entire flocks of seagulls to move with the wanderings of my mind, but lately I've been perplexed as to why nature hasn't acted on my latest memo and instilled us with the ability to produce vitamin C. It's confusing to think that humans -- along with primates and guinea pigs -- are the only mammals on the planet that have lost the ability to produce their own stash of this very important vitamin. We produce vitamin K from bacteria in our intestines and vitamin D when ultraviolet light hits our skin but vitamin C, that wonder nutrient that helps us stay healthy, is a big no-show in the self-production department. Vitamin C is vital to the production of collagen (which is abundant in connective tissues), prevents and cures scurvy, and can be beneficial in the treatment of iron-deficiency-anemia. Plus, according to the Pauling Institute, vitamin C is a great aid in combating colds, cancer and cardiovascular disease. I know I've tried to produce my own vitamin C by sitting quietly in a field chewing cud and "thinking like a cow," but to no avail. Well, luckily we have help. Nature, in a random act of kindness, decided to produce citrus during the winter cold and flu season. Did I mention, I'm recommending nature for a raise?
Murcots: Sure it sounds like a small furry mammal that lives on the plains of Africa but in reality it is a wonderful mandarin. Murcots are those dark orange pieces of citrus in the crate this week. You can tell them from the stem and leaf that are attached at the top. They are super sweet and juicy. We love them around here and your vitamin C craving will be satisfied. Each of these has about 35 percent of your vitamin C for the day (varies by size of fruit). Enjoy and be fruitful!


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