Monday, August 9, 2010

Food...The Real Gold

As I was working in our Garden yesterday, a beautiful August day, I looked at our struggling strawberry patch and how it looked like we might actually get it to produce after all. I reflected upon how excited John and I get over one sweet juicy strawberry that has been produced from our own hands in our own Garden. I also reflected on the abundance of our harvest as we gathered onions, tomatoes, two varieties of peppers, a zucchini (first one of the year) and broccoli to create our Sunday brunch with. As I looked at the basket containing our home grown vegetables I felt a sense of pride and accomplishment. It was our first year organic gardening and we were pleased. But there was more than personal pride going on here. As I listened to the voice within I could hear something very profound. “Food, it’s the real gold!”

We have become so disconnected to our food source and yet it is what truly keeps us alive. We need three things to survive in this world…good food, clean air and clean water. We can do without just about every other thing, except perhaps the roof over our heads and a way to stay warm and dry.

In watching the evolution of our species, from a very distant perspective of course, I could see man going from being hunters and gatherers to being stationary farmers to being consumers of material goods manufactured by large corporate entities. Each time we progress, or rather digress, we become more and more disconnected from the earth and more dependent upon others for the basic needs of our survival. The thing that really bothers me about this is that we are so hypnotized and conditioned to live this consumer lifestyle that most people never really stop to question how dangerous it is to put our survival in the hands of Corporate America.

Moving away from farming and agriculture is surely a digression. Monsanto, one of the largest providers of our food, has a mission to control the worlds food supply and they are getting closer to fulfilling this mission every day. The worst part is that Monsanto is producing food without nutritional value. They are producing hybrids and food created from seeds that won’t repopulate. This means that those using their patented seeds cannot harvest the seeds at the end of their growing season to reuse the next year. They have to purchase more seed from Monsanto, leaving them dependent upon this large Monopolizing Corporate entity for their next growing season. Monsanto has patented its hybrid seed technology and if any other farmer is caught with their seed on his land Monsanto can sue him and put him out of business. And this is happening right now in the United States and Canada. It is not that the small organic farmer steals Monsanto’s seed. It either gets on his land through the wind or by Monsanto actually depositing seed so they can sue and shut down the small farmer. And this is exactly what is happening. This large corporate anti-Christ is snuffing out the little guy leaving us more and more dependent on their lifeless seeds for our food source.

If we don’t stay educated as to what is going on we can easily overlook the dangers that are happening right in our own back yard. I have heard rumors that Monsanto has a plan to put every organic farmer out of business. Rumor has it they also have a mission to “outlaw” organic farming using the argument that those who eat organic are exposing themselves to salmonella and other food borne illnesses. But the truth is that organic food is the only food that is going to keep us alive as Monsanto continues to genetically engineer seeds to produce impressive looking fruits and vegetables with little or no nutritional value. Meanwhile Americans are getting sicker and sicker both physically, mentally and emotionally and nutrition has a whole lot to do with it. If we are not getting fed our bodies deteriorate and so do our minds and emotional bodies because when one is out of balance the rest falls out of balance.

The sicker we get the more we turn to modern medicine and Major Pharmaceutical companies to deal with the symptoms of our illnesses. Medications don’t address the problems stemming from lack of nutrition! If we are going to survive in the very near future we are going to need to return to the land and grown our own organic food. Hopefully Monsanto won’t find a way to snuff out our ability to do this, because if they do, it’s all over!

It is my belief that the more of us who begin growing our own gardens and learning the art of food preservation once again, the more difficult it will be for major companies like Monsanto to take away our right and ability to grow our own food. Remember we are dealing with the anti-Christ here and the anti-Christ is really anti-life. It is about control, domination, greed, profits, monopolizing so that the choice is taken away from the people, and ultimately death and destruction. If we don’t start waking up, and soon, we will lose our window of opportunity to turn things around.

Why would companies like Monsanto try and control our food supply? Because truly food is the real gold! What can we really do with a bar of gold? We can’t eat it! We can’t breathe it. It doesn’t keep us warm at night. It is simply a medium of exchange. What we need to stay alive is good quality food and water. What if we lose access to such a basic thing?

If you really take a hard look when shopping in the grocery stores there is already little “real” food available. It is mostly boxed, canned and processed varieties of nutrition-less filler. Even the fruits and vegetables are tainted with chemicals, irradiated, hybridized, and grown in depleted soils. There is often a little tiny organic section with a few smaller fruits and vegetables at a much higher price. The price is higher because of supply versus demand. If we began demanding organic and refusing to purchase conventional then organic prices would come down and we would all be a lot healthier.

When I visited an area of Eastern Washington popular for its apple production I noticed more and more of the orchard land being sold to big developers to build high end view homes. A few wealthy people will live in nice homes for the remainder of their short life at the cost of our food supply. Is it worth it? When I talked to my Dad, a retired farmer, about my disgust at the farmers for cashing in at the expense of our food supply, my Dad presented the side of the farmer. “When you work from sun up to sun down for little money and someone comes along and offers you millions of dollars for your land, it can be incredibly tempting.” Government subsidizes corn and soybean crops but most produce farmers are on their own, trying to remain profitable.

Unfortunately the average American has no clue what is happening to our food supply. We go about our business, go out to restaurants, go to the grocery stores and assume that the food we are buying is actually feeding us. We are also assuming that it will always be there. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but if something happened that caused our stores to close tomorrow, most of us would be without food.

A hundred years ago we would have simply gone down to the root cellar and picked out a can of food preserved from our own harvest. We would have wheat in which to make our own bread and chickens to gather eggs from. We could pick mint for tea and milk the cow for milk, butter and cheese. But now?

I realized as John and I spent our Sunday afternoon in the garden that we were truly heading the right direction in our lives. What could be a more valuable use of time then to tend to the Garden? What better source of education then to learn how to grow organic food? What better way to heal the body, mind and spirit then to reconnect to the land and allow Mother Nature to provide for us?

We are blessed to be on acreage so that we have lots of land for orchards and gardens, however even if you have a yard or a patio you can begin growing food. Why not create food gardens and edible landscaping with the space you have rather than invest all your time and energy in yards, flowers and non-edible landscaping? Instead of planting a deciduous tree, plant a fruit tree. Instead of having shrubs, have berries. Instead of flowers, tomatoes or sunflowers. There are many things you can begin doing now to grown at least some of your own food. It is not only healthful, but it gets you back to the earth, digging in the dirt, which I believe is one of the greatest forms of healing.

As the summer dwindles we plan on using our solarium to continue growing micro-greens, herbs and sprouts so we will have a fresh source of food all winter long. We are also educating ourselves on the best ways to preserve our garden harvest for the winter, with maximum nutritional yield.

Food really is our gold, and the sooner we all realize this and invest at least some of our time nurturing our own food source, the stronger we can be. That one sweet juicy strawberry will pack more nutrition for the body and the soul then a case of strawberries purchased at the market. Why? Because it was grown from your own hands with your own love and care. What could be better than that?

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely nothing! When I lived in Brooklyn I attempted growing food in my apartment, long before Earth Boxes existed. I agree with transferring all of the time and money (products brought to you by Monsanto) invested in a beautiful green lawn to creating a sustainable farm around the home that can be equally beautiful. However, integrating the landscape with a maple or oak tree and evergreen, depending on where the property is located for passive solar application, would support reducing environmental impacts of which we are finally aware.
    Allison L.Williams Hill