Creating a Life of Plenty

Getting On My Soapbox

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I apologize to those readers who might be offended by a preachy moment….but I feel I must post this.

Why is it that what I hear most often when I talk about our potager is that people would LOVE to be able to grow their own food, be organic and be more green, but they just don’t have the time? I hear that a lot when it comes to trying to live more organically. From the co-worker who says that she can’t use cloth reusable bags “because I have children” Really? To those that say I have a lot of time on my hands if we have time to collect rain water, compost and plant a garden and they are too busy to consider it. (I work full time and attend school half time and have a home to manage…just like everyone else.)…it is about choices

Some of those folks I don’t feel comfortable asking these questions, but those who I know well; I ask gently, how much time would you spend if it meant your child would avoid being diagnosed as Autistic or developing serious food allergies? How much time would you spend if it meant you may avoid Alzheimer’s? Obesity? Intestinal Cancer or to rid yourself of the dependency on pharmaceutical vitamins and nutrients.

We should all know that organic food (vegetarian or not) is a healthier alternative.

HIGHER NUTRIENT LEVELS

Official food composition tables, including data compiled by the US Department of Agriculture, reveal that since the 1940s the mineral levels in fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy have declined substantially in conventional foods. Combine this with earlier (pre-ripened) picking, longer storage, and more processing of crops, and it’s not surprising that we may be getting fewer nutrients in our food than we were 60 years ago.

Artificial fertilization also causes lush swelling of produce. This indicates the presence of more water and less actual food. The difference in nutrient levels between organic and conventional foods can be enough to achieve the recommended daily allowance for certain nutrients without the aid of supplements. In addition, without the chemical pesticides, plants produce more (10-15% more) phytonutrients (antioxidants).

LOWER PESTICIDE RESIDUES

Most pesticide-residue safety levels are set for individual pesticides, but many samples of fresh produce carry multiple pesticide residues. Rules often do not take into account the “cocktail effect” of combinations of pesticides in and on foods. Research is emerging confirming the potential for such synergistic increases in toxicity of up to 100-fold, resulting in reproductive, immune and nervous system effects not expected from the individual compounds acting alone.
Researchers have linked symptoms such as headaches, tremor, lack of energy, depression, anxiety, poor memory, dermatitis, convulsions, nausea, indigestion and diarrhoea with dietary intakes of pesticides.

Belgian research has found that women diagnosed with breast cancer are six to nine times more likely to have the pesticides DDT or hexachlorobenzene in their bloodstreams compared to women who did not have breast cancer.

START NOW FOR YOURSELF AND FOR THE SAKE OF YOUR CHILDREN

While switching to an organic diet will assist you with better nutrition, and health, children’s immature and developing organs, brains, and immune systems, plus their larger intake of food per pound of body weight, combine to make them even more susceptible to toxins than adults. American toddlers eating mostly organic food have been found to have less than one sixth the pesticide residues in their urine compared to children eating conventional foods, lowering their exposure from above to below recognized safety levels.

Pesticides in foods can affect motor skills, cognition, mental acuity and can be a contributing factor to other childhood diagnosed conditions such as autism. In addition, it can increase aggressive behaviour in children…wonder why so many children are ADHD?

ANTIBIOTICS

Considering the growing problem of increasing antibiotic resistance in pathogenic bacteria, animal farming may be a much larger contributor to the problem than over-prescription of human antibiotics by doctors.

While the use of antibiotics is severely restricted in organic farming, they’re used extensively in non-organic farming to promote growth and to prevent disease from decimating intensively reared, overcrowded, stressed farm animals. As much as 60% of all the antibiotics used in America are given to farm animals, not people.

Clearly, if we are ingesting the flesh and products of sick animals that are pumped full of antibiotics and ingesting plants that are hosed down with herbicides, pesticides, etc. That all goes into our bodies….and we wonder why we are obese, sick and angry…hmmm

So is organic food better for you? In my opinion, yes. Decreasing one’s toxin burden and increasing one’s intake of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants can have a significant impact on health, especially when trying to improve or restore health.

Can people afford it? I’m certain of it. Official household spending statistics show that the average family spends five times more on junk food, carry-out food, alcohol, and tobacco than on fruits and vegetables, and five times more on recreation than on fruits and vegetables. Most parents want to make the best choices for their children and most adults want to make good choices for themselves. To make healthier choices they need encouragement and education.

Organic food isn’t a luxury. It’s how food’s supposed to be, and a valuable part of any lifestyle intended to maintain, improve, or restore health.

Stepping down off the soap box now

Happy Gardening!

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