Organic fruits and vegetables

Organic fruits and vegetables
To Love Oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance. --Oscar Wilde

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Go plant a garden!

Last week I went to the grocery store and filled my cart as usual. The only three things in my cart that had labels were the box of shredded wheat (which my husband insists on having), the steel cut oats, and the toilet bowl cleaner (no jokes please). I felt like a weirdo.  I had so many vegetables to ring up- a head of cauliflower, 3 bell peppers, three packages of mushrooms, two cucumbers, a bag of kale, two heads of lettuce (red and romaine), a bunch of radishes, a bag each of apples and oranges, three limes, two containers of strawberries, a bunch of bananas, a package of pea pods, a head of red cabbage, a bunch of broccoli, two sweet potatoes, a bulb of garlic, and a bag of onions. You might ask, "Can she use all that stuff in one week?"  Yes, and it still might not be enough.

Vegans eat a lot of quiet, unassuming foods.  They don't come in fancy packages that claim to be low in fat, or high in vitamins.  They just come in their natural colors, and they carry no health claims. Their packages are often edible. They have trouble competing with the loud bombastic packages of junk food in the next aisle.

We pay more for processed foods then the sticker price shows us. Good research shows that homemade food is more healthy.  Don't be fooled, not all junk food is candy and cookies.  Some companies make foods that are purportedly "healthy" but they can't come close to what you make at home with whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.  Resist the urge to buy cheap processed food that has removed all of the fiber, added lots of salt, fat and sugar, food coloring, emusifiers, and other additives to make it look more appealing.  Companies can even sell it inexpensively to you because much of the ingredients are subsidized by the government.  (That's another blog post).

Take control of your diet.  Cook and eat most of the time at home.  As Michael Pollan says "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants."  If everyone in the family helps in the production and clean up, the burden is lightened. My grandmother always said: "Many hands, light work."  Some children won't eat vegetables because they don't know what they are.  So, let's get everyone out in the garden planting those whole foods, weeding them, and picking them.  Plant a fruit tree this year.  Let every child pick their favorite vegetable to plant and be a steward over.  Let's get acquainted with "real" food like our grandparents were.

Save your vegetable peels, coffee grounds, and scraps and dig them into the soil. Whenever you put some of the carbon from your scraps back into the soil where it belongs, you do just a little bit to help with global warming.  This is "organic gardening" at it's best. It's actually fun to see the soil get richer because of this little bit of loving care. It's also a great job to give kids.

Old and young alike can be a part of our health solution. I have recently encouraged my parents who are 85 and 89 years old to donate some property to the little town they live in for a community garden.  They have gardened their whole lives and could show the younger people how it is done. Then people who don't own a piece of land have a crack at inexpensive (or practically free if they put in their own labor), organically grown vegetables. Everyone deserves to be able to eat delicious and healthy food.  It should be a basic human right. I like to stay on the positive side so  I say, "Up with organic gardens!" Let's get our hands dirty and take back our health. My answer to the question of how to solve our nation's health crisis is "Go plant a garden."

Alisa Gravitz, CEO of Green America has said: "Don't Panic.  Go Organic!"  It's time to start digging up a corner of the earth somewhere near you and plant something to eat.  Start small and let it grow. I've always been a sucker for the underdog.  I guess I still am.  Go vegetable team!  I believe in you.

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