Which one, cilantro or coriander caused Thomas to smile like the Cheshire cat at the Mountain Fresh Farmers Market? As he continues to shop for fresh produce to use in the Latin-themed recipes he’s going to make for us next week, he sees a big basket of cilantro! I really didn’t think too much about cilantro, until I learned how powerful this particular herb can be. The bone-building minerals like calcium of course, but also potassium, iron, magnesium, and manganese make cilantro a must-have for strong bones. It’s also one of the best herbal sources of vitamin K, which helps put calcium back into your bones. Studies have proven its detoxification capabilities for removing heavy metals from the body. While cilantro can’t remove all metals, nor does it prevent disease it’s certainly an herb that I’m going to pick up more frequently and incorporate into my meals, my body will thank me! As for the stink-bug part of Thomas’ story-It’s true, that some people find the smell and taste of cilantro to be quite unpleasant. That’s because some rare individuals have a cilantro SNP in one of their ‘smell genes’ the olfactory receptor OR6A2. Polymorphisms in this specific gene cause them to hate the herb, but it’s very rare. If you’d like to learn more about how genetics plays a role in the foods we choose this is a really great article https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6722914/ .

As for that Cheshire cat grin, it turns out he’s gets jazzed about healthy food! Technically, Thomas is holding cilantro, but when the plant goes to seed, it’s referred to as coriander. We’ll have to check in with BACKBONE FOOD FARM and see how they grow and manage this terrific herb! http://backbonefarm.com/ or call 301-233-2082.

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