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Upgrade Your Recipes With Fresh Produce

Men's Fitness visits premiere produce farm The Chef's Garden and uses freshly harvested heirloom tomatoes in an easy salad recipe.

More often than not, we have no idea where our food comes from. I’m not talking about the stuff that comes wrapped in shiny packaging—the manufacturer’s information is usually printed on there somewhere; I’m talking about food that’s yanked from the ground, the stuff you buy at the grocery store with absolutely no clue as to its origins. I mean, a tomato is a tomato, right? Well, not exactly. Beyond the fact that produce start to lose nutrients the moment it is harvested—in other words, the longer it travels to get to you, the less nutritional punch it packs—the way in which produce is grown can have a huge impact on its nutritional profile, not to mention its flavor.

To learn more, I left New York City—and the comfortable convenience of my around-the-corner grocery store, because, hey, I’m guilty too—and took a trip out to Huron, OH, to visit The Chef’s Garden, one of the country’s premiere produce farms that provides fruits and vegetables to some of the best restaurants in the United States. (And if you’re not an Iron Chef alumnus, they also offer home delivery to anywhere in the country here.) In Ohio, I met Men’s Fitness food columnist Candice Kumai and Farmer Lee Jones, co-owner of The Chef’s Garden and The Culinary Vegetable Institute in nearby Milan, OH. In the video, I get in the kitchen with Candice to see just how much of a difference quality ingredients can make.

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