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This blog is the home of THE MAMALUTION! Calling all moms, grandmoms, sisters & aunts to tap into their instinctual & intuitive wisdom to save the day! It is time for our collective voice to be heard.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The REAL Food Movement

Eating locally is becoming increasingly popular. Numerous stories are flooding mainstream media featuring the next generation of young farmers, community supported agriculture, locavores, farmers markets and tips on growing your own garden. These heroic efforts are the saving grace and potential salvation for the future of nutritious food. Let’s take back our threatened food system and save ourselves.

(http://foodfreedom.wordpress.com/2009/06/16/hr-2749-totalitarian-control-of-the-food-supply/ and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WH8Tchm4NKQ)

The nutrients in food today have drastically reduced since they were first researched in 1940. Since that time a 40% reduction in mineral content has occurred due to the widespread use of agrichemicals used on the soil. According to the “Worthington Report” in 2001, “organic food contains significantly higher levels of Vitamin C, iron, magnesium and phosphorous and significantly fewer nitrates than conventional crops” (The Little Food Book: You Are What You Eat, p. 129). It’s like eating four apples today to get the same nutritional value in one apple 70 years ago.

Yet even today, organic standards have been weakened as more and more corporate food giants have come on board with their own organic lines. Attempts have been made by the USDA to alter the definition of “organic” by including genetically modified foods or those grown using toxic sludge. As the organic industry grows and big business puts pressure on the government to make exceptions to the rule we must continue to use our voices to maintain the purity we currently have. The reason the organic industry is growing is due to consumer demand. So although it is impossible to completely avoid all contaminants in such a toxic world, we do know that eating organic reduces our toxic load considerably and is better for our children.

We need to demand NUTRITIONALLY DENSE food – even over organic. Instinctually we gravitate towards foods that are more nutritionally rich because they taste sweeter and as a result we eat less. Ultimately, hunger is the result of a lack of nutrition – our bodies are starving from the DEAD foods we are feeding them. We need to get the minerals and vitamins our bodies require for ultimate health from the foods we eat, not packaged foods and supplements. Avoid packaged, processed foods of all kinds – even those labeled organic. There is no healthy packaged food. It is just a gimmick to keep consumers buying fast food. Simple meals made with fresh ingredients are always best and more cost effective.

We now have the knowledge and capability to merge science and technology with nature and produce foods that maximize DNA potential, are nutrient rich and disease resistant, have a longer shelf life and taste better! When we choose to buy organic we must research the company or farm we are buying from! Fresh, local organic is always best. Take the comparison of non-organic collard greens and iceberg lettuce. Nutritionally speaking collard greens (being a dark leafy green) are much better for you than iceberg lettuce (which is devoid of any real nutritional value), yet non-organic collard greens contained 270 pesticide residues (including traces of DDE and DDT) while the iceberg lettuce had only 122.

Eating fresh is always best from a nutritional stand point, but not eating organically grown produce can actually be dangerous, especially for small, growing children as the supposedly “safe” levels of pesticides sprayed on fruits and vegetables are based on the size and serving of an adult male, not a young child. If you are not eating all organic, you need to know which non-organic fruits and vegetables to avoid. Many of the most dangerous fruits (apples, strawberries and grapes) are the ones our kids love the most! What child eats just a few berries? Celery is at the top of the list with a whopping 240 pesticide residues; cucumbers came in at 189; summer squash at 185; tomatoes at 214 and potatoes at 205. Dried raisins had 200 industrial chemical and pesticide residues (up an additional 90 residues within a thirteen year span). Check out Diet for a Poisoned Planet by David Steinman.

We must be wise consumers to determine the quality of organics we are dealing with. Frozen organic fruit grown in China is not the same as fruit grown in California due to water quality, air quality and processing standards. Organic produce from Mexico is more suspect because organic standards there are not as stringent as in the states. We are also looking for products that aren’t traveling excessive distances to get to us. Yet in areas where farm land is diminishing daily (like where I live in Connecticut) it is getting harder and harder to afford “local” foods as the demand exceeds what is available. Local food is not always organic yet farmers’ market prices in some areas are exceeding organic food prices as consumers seek out the latest and greatest in the new “local” niche.

The bottom line is that we need to demand food that is not sprayed or treated in any way so that our children can think clearly. It is more critical than ever that we feed our families nutritionally dense real food that will sustain them and not add to their toxic load. More and more farmers are beginning to realize that particular attention needs to be given to the soil in order to grow food high in nutrition – including those labeled organic. Dr. Anderson, a leader in the field of sustainable agriculture, determined in his research that the nutritional content of foods today are 15 to 75 percent less than a half a century ago “due to the poor nutritional practices of the farmers that grow the food”.

The overuse of the nitrates in agriculture to promote fast crop growth post World War II developed as a way to dispose of the over production of nitrates used in making explosive bombs. “The problem is (according to Dr. Anderson) that the crops are not fit to eat. There’s no nutrition there to speak of, and that’s part of the reason we have degraded our food.” Nitrogen has been promoted both as a pesticide AND a fertilizer by those in the business of making money, not farming. As a result, we have a situation where there is a lack of good soil remaining to grow food that our bodies need. Interestingly enough, when we grow crops in nutrient rich remediated soil, the crops not only taste better, are larger in size and produce greater yields, but they are also pest-resistant! Amazing – it’s as if Mother Nature really knew what she was doing! The challenges confronting farmers today due to the implementation of chemicals are numerous compared to those facing farmers 100 years ago.

There is a growing movement being launched by small-scale organic farmers who are on the cutting edge of this technology to bring to market this real food we are talking about. It is called The Real Food Campaign. The goal is to establish new standards by growing food with high levels of vitamins, carbohydrates, minerals, antioxidants and trace minerals (matching or exceeding pre 1940 USDA mineral levels). These HIGH BRIX foods will be flooding the market as both retailers and consumers begin to not only understand, but taste, the difference. BRIX tests the levels of sugars in the food – explaining the difference between a home grown juicy tomato of the past and the cardboard, tasteless relics of today. Grocery stores are already beginning to seek this high brix food because it is more shelf stable, lasts longer and creates positive experiences for their consumers bringing them back for more!

The campaign is linking together farmers, consultants, distributors, wholesalers, retailers and consumers educating them about the fact that it is possible to grow higher quality foods. Our role as consumers is to support the movement by purchasing these products but to take it a step further by telling others. When we have options we become empowered rather than helpless. We have a solution! We are getting back to the basic building blocks inherent in Mother Nature to solve some of the crisis we are challenged with today – biochar, algae, enzymes, mycelium…Mother Nature has the tools to remedy the solution IF we let her.

For more information about the Real Food Campaign, visit www.realfoodcampaign.org ! Support their efforts by becoming a member!

REAL FRESH FOOD is available through The Growing Green Co-op. To place an order, contact Julia at Julia.Whittier@comcast.net (Hartford pick-up) or for more information about a drop-off location near you, contact Imani@thegreenvibration.com

1 comment:

newmami_rgv said...

Amen to that. I shop weekly at my local farmers market and it seems like it's growing smaller and smaller because people think they can buy "organic" at the grocery store. Not always true. I will surely join and spread the word!