<p class="bodycopy"><span lang="EN-US">We have beets coming from many of our favourite farms this week.&#160; Golden beets and striped beets from Sand Springs Ranch in Lac La Biche, purple beets from Peas on Earth in Sturgeon County and a lovely bag of mixed beets from Sundog.</span></p> <p class="bodycopy"><span lang="EN-US">The beet is the taproot portion of the beet plant and can be eaten raw or cooked.&#160; The stems and greens of the beet plants are also edible and available when the plants are young (mid-summer).&#160; </span></p> <p class="bodycopy"><span lang="EN-US">Beets get their distinctive red colour from the pigment betanin in the betalain family, which is not broken down by the body (and why beets can sometime surprise you the next day!).&#160; Betanin is used as a natural food dye for many ice creams and sugar confectionaries.&#160; Betanin breaks down in the presence of heat, light and oxygen, meaning that when you make beet chips this week, you will notice that the cooked beets are lighter in colour than when they were raw.</span></p> <p class="bodycopy"><span lang="EN-US">Golden beets and striped beets owe their distinctive colours to pigments from the same betalain family, and in the case of striped beets, a variation in pigment expression during the development of the beet. </span></p> <p class="bodycopy"><span lang="EN-US">So many cool reasons to love beets.&#160;</span></p>