healthierfood

"One Bag" Theory for changing the world!

In 2011, my wife and I took a three week trip throughout Europe and visited some long time German friends.  It was an eye-opening trip as we saw things we did not remember being so common place in our earlier visits.

During 1972-1974, I lived in Denmark and traveled throughout the country.  In October, 1974, I returned to the US via Switzerland and the UK.  I was enamored by the countrysides, the people and the reputed cleanliness of the places I lived and visited.  

As luck would have it, in 1980, I took a job with a firm that had me traveling the world and I was fortunate enough to spend nearly 6 weeks in Europe.  The "Wall" was still up so my travels entailed the whole of Western Europe and Scandinavia.  The cities and towns and countryside were, as I had remembered, beautiful and shopkeepers appeared to take pride in keeping their stores very clean and tidy.  I still see an older woman, in the Netherlands, bending over a well used broom/brush implement and scrubbing vigorously on the front stoop of her small store.  She was representative of the shopkeepers throughout Europe as I traveled.  These industrious folks were up early and stayed late.  I loved the experience and wanted to return as often as possible.  This is not to say that were not sketchy areas in the larger cities and some countries were a bit dicier than the rest.  I recal Piccadilly Circus eing the place in which I felt the least secure.  Walking through the railway neighborhood of Stuttgart left me a bit anxious but on the whole, I would walk for miles in any country and any time of the day or night and felt safe and it appeared that the locals took pride in their surroundings.

It was this memory and positive impressions that prompted me to offer Paris to my wife as the site of our honeymoon, in 1994.  We spent 10 days in the artist district, she is an artist and it felt this would be the appropriate place to inspire her if she elected to paint.  Dicey, indeed; our hotel was a haven against the neighborhood of strip clubs, noisy night clubs and the like.  We are not prudes and appreciated the unique ambience of the area but found that the imposing Sacre'-Coeur Cathedral had been plagued with graffiti and various forms of defacement.  We took a tour of the Versailles Palace and found visitors' names etched in the woodwork and on many of the statues, inside the palace.  As we strolled the palace and the grounds I was reminded of my trip to the Vatican and watching a young couple etch their names in the soles of Peter's statue.  It seemed the "romantic" language regions had begun defacing their heritage at an alarming rate.  I held out lots of hope for the rest of Europe.

Fast forward to 2005.  We returned to Germany to visit friends and found that it had remained relatively unchanged.  Our friends own a butcher shop that has been in their family for nearly 200 years.  They live in a little backwater, bedroom community to Cologne/Koeln.  We enjoyed our outings and walk-abouts in their town.  It seemed much like I remembered the small towns and villages during my earlier visits.  Our connection to this family was through their son who had spent 2 summers in our home.  I would drive into Koeln with the father, on his early morning rounds of deliveries and purchases.  Koeln had a more edgy appearance as there were signs of graffiti and some of the industrial areas were not as well treated as I remembered from 25 years earlier.  I assumed it was just a big city thing and happily returned to the small town and drove the AutoBahn to see idyllic farm communities from which our ancestors immigrated to the US.

We returned to this same small town,, in 2011, as mentioned earlier.  The people were still friendly and we still enjoyed ourselves.  What was different was that the entire side of the our friends' shop had been grafittied and the town was showing signs of tagging.  As we travelled through Scandinavia, a bastion for cleanliness in the '70's and '80's, we found graffiti in cities large and small.  It was this new reality that prompted us to create the idea of "one bag".

While in Germany, we spoke with our "German Son" about the tagging that was obvious in his hometown.  We asked why it was allowed to remain and he said that it was just the way things were now and that no one had the desire to fix it.  The problem was bigger than one person and so why fight it.  The community might address it but it would take time, meetings and money before a program could be hashed out to fix the results of tagging.

We asked him what he thought one person might do to make a difference.  He remembered the media highlighting Rudy Giulianni and his idea that if you fixed the broken window and removed the graffiti immediately that it would change a neighborhood.  In our discussion we asked him if one person on every block picked up one bag of trash could that have an affect on the neighborhood.  As he thought about it he realized that one person could have an impact.  We challenged him to think about how he could change the world, one-bag-at-a-time.

During our travels, we picked up trash and tried to leave each place we visited in better shape than we found it.  When we got back to our friends' home, we bought some nail polish remover and some cotton wipes women use to clean off makeup and nail polish and spent the day walking through town attacking the various tags we found.  We started with our friends' wall and then walked along the main walking street.  Townspeople watched these two strange Americans removing  graffiti from walls and pillars and windows.  We took plastic bags and collected debris and garbage from an abandoned parking lot, just above the main shopping area.  It was very empowering to us and left an impression on the residents.  A little girl, probably 4 or 5 watched us clean off paint from a pillar and then looked her mother and said, "Sauber ist besser"; clean is better.  We can only hope the message got through.

This has changed how we look at our lives and purpose.  Whenever we are out and see shopping carts lazily deposited in the middle of the parking lot, or trash dropped inches from the garbage can, we step in to make a difference, at least in that place at that moment.  We challenge everyone, everywhere to make a difference and join the "One Bag" army.  It is like the young man throwing sea stars back into the ocean; you may not save them all but at that time and in that place you make a difference to that one sea star.  Make a difference.

healthierfood

Food That Sets You Free

F
 
Fresh Foods   Benefits      
Apples Protects Heart Prevents Constipation Blocks Diarrhea Improves Lung Capacity Cushions Joints
Apricots Combats Cancer Controls Blood Pressure Saves Eyesight Shields Against Alzheimer's Slows Aging
Artichokes Aids Digestion Lowers Cholesterol Protects Heart Stabilizes Blood Sugar Guards Against Liver Disease
Avocados Fights Diabetes Lowers Cholesterol Helps Stop Strokes Lowers Blood Pressure Smoothes Skin
Bananas Protects Heart Quiets a Cough Strengthens Bones Controls Blood Pressure Blocks Diarrhea
Beans Prevents Constipation Helps Hemorrhoids Lowers Cholesterol Combats Cancer Stabilizes Blood Sugar
Beets Controls Blood Pressure Combats Cancer Strengthens Bones Protects Heart Aids Weight Loss
Blueberries  Combats Cancer Protects Heart Stabilizes Blood Sugar Boosts Memory Prevents Constipation
Broccoli Strengthens Bones Saves Eyesight Combats Cancer Protects Heart Controls Blood Pressure
Cabbage Combats Cancer Fights Constipation Promotes Weight Loss Protects Heart Helps Hemorrhoids
Cantaloupes Saves Eyesight Controls Blood Pressure Lowers Cholesterol Combats Cancer Supports immune System
Carrots Saves Eyesight Protects Heart Prevents Constipation Combats Cancer Promotes Weight Loss
Cauliflower Protects Against Prostate Cancer Fights Breast Cancer Strengthens Bones Banishes Bruises Guards Against Heart Disease
Cherries Protects Heart Combats Cancer Ends Insomnia Slows Aging Shields Against Alzheimer's
Chestnuts Promotes Weight Loss Protects Heart Lowers Cholesterol Combats Cancer Lowers Blood Pressure
Chili Peppers Aids Digestion Soothes Sore Throat Combats Cancer Clears Sinuses Boosts Immune System
Figs Promotes Weight Loss Helps Stop Strokes Lowers Cholesterol Combats Cancer Lowers Blood Pressure
Fish Protects Heart Aids Memory Supports Immune System Combats Cancer  
Flax Aids Digestion Fights Diabetes Protects Heart Improves Mental Health Boosts Immune System
Garlic Controls Blood Pressure Lowers Cholesterol Combats Cancer Kills Bacteria Fights Fungus
Grapefruit Protects Against Heart Attacks Promotes Weight Loss Helps Stop Strokes Combats Prostate Cancer Lowers Cholesterol
Grapes Saves Eyesight Conquers Kidney Stones Combats Cancer Enhances Blood Flow Protects Heart
Green Tea Combats Cancer Protects Heart Helps Stop Strokes Promotes Weight Loss Kills bacteria
Honey Heals Wounds Aids Digestion Guards Against Ulcers Increases Energy Fights Allergies
Lemons Combats Cancer Protects Heart Controls Blood Pressure Smoothes Skin Stops Scurvy
Limes Combats Cancer Protects Heart Controls Blood Pressure Smoothes Skin Stops Scurvy
Mangoes Combats Cancer Aids Memory Regulates Thyroid Aids Digestion Shields Against Alzheimer's
Mushrooms Controls Blood Pressure Lowers Cholesterol Kills Bacteria Combats Cancer Strengthens Bones
Oats Lowers Cholesterol Combats Cancer Fights Diabetes Prevents Constipation Smoothes Skin
Olive Oil Protects Heart Promotes Weight Loss Combats Cancer Fights Diabetes Smoothes Skin
Onions Lowers Heart Attack Risk Fights Fungus Combats Cancer Kills Bacteria Lowers Cholesterol
Oranges Supports Immune System Combats Cancer Protects Heart Strengthens Respiration  
Peaches Prevents Constipation Combats Cancer Helps Stop Strokes Aids Digestion Fights Hemorrhoids
Peanuts Protects Against Heart Disease Promotes Weight Loss Combats Prostate Cancer Lowers Cholesterol Aggravates Diverticulitis
Pineapples Strengthens Bones Relieves Colds Aids Digestion Dissolves Warts Blocks Diarrhea
Prunes Slows Aging Prevents Constipation Aids Memory Lowers Cholesterol Protects Against Heart Disease
Rice Protects Heart Fights Diabetes Conquers Kidney stones Combats Cancer Helps Stop Strokes
Strawberries Combats Cancer Protects Heart Aids Memory Calms Stress  
Sweet Potatoes Saves Eyesight Lifts Mood Combats Cancer Strengthens Bones  
Tomatoes Protects Prostate Combats Cancer Lowers Cholesterol Protects Heart  
Walnuts Lowers Cholesterol Combats Cancer Lifts Mood Aids Memory Protects Against Heart Disease
Water Promotes Weight Loss Combats Cancer Smoothes Skin Conquers Kidney Stones  
Watermelon Protects Prostate Promotes Weight Loss Lowers Cholesterol Helps Stop Strokes Controls Blood Pressure
Wheat Germ Combats Colon Cancer Prevents Constipation Lowers Cholesterol Helps Stop Strokes Improves Digestion
Wheat Bran Combats Colon Cancer Prevents Constipation Lowers Cholesterol Helps Stop Strokes Improves Digestion
Yoghurt Guards Against Ulcers Strengthens Bones Lowers Cholesterol Supports Immune System Aids Digestion
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healthierfood

Losing Weight

A bit of a distraction from raising healthier food.  But making yourself healthier is also a good thing.  We recently completed a 40 day cycle of the HcG diet and have respectively lost between 35 and 40 pounds.  For Stan, that means going from a 42 inch waist to 35 inches.  It has been a while since those numbers existed.  I am inserting some details for the program and what we did to make it work...there is a great deal of work and effort involved and we are pleased that we did so well.

Here are the basics-
The first 2 days are "loading days" eat as much as you can, especially fatty foods.  The HcG will mobilize  your fat, making it easier to burn and helps you not to feel too hungry during the 500 calorie days.

Day 1 Load-Weigh yourself and log it in your online journal or paper journal.Do not weigh again until Day 4.
-Begin the day by taking 10 drops of HcG in the morning and15 minutes before your snacks and meals.
-Eat and eat and eat during the 2 day loading period.  We had pecan pie and ice cream for dessert, every day!!
-Drink lots and lots of water-helps you stay full, during the 500 calorie days and the will flush your system.

Day 2 Load-follow the HcG ingestion above and drink lots of water.

Days 3-42 Low Calories

-Take you HcG as recommended above-10 drops in the morning and then 10 drops 15 minutes before each snack and each meal.

Standard day will be as follows:
10 drops HcG then 15 minutes later-
Breakfast is herbal tea or coffee (organic black)
Mid Morning Snack an apple, or an orange, or 1/2 grapefruit, or 7 medium strawberries with a full glass of water.  No other fruits are permitted during this time.
Lunch is 3.5 oz of pre-cooked meat and a single vegetable...do not cook with oil, fats, dairy or sugars!
Take your mid-afternoon snack-same choices as the mid morning snack.
Dinner-same as the lunch above.

Here is what we used to guide our choices.

Meats: 3.5 oz. per meal, pre-cooked weight.  We used a digital food scale we bought from Target.
Beef-steak, extra lean ground beef and roast
Buffalo/bison
Veal-not our favorite
Chicken Breast-skinless boneless
Wild Chilean Sea Bass
Wild Flounder
Wild Halibut
Lobster
Crab
Shrimp
Elk and Deer
Tilapia, Orange Roughy and Grouper
Haddock

Vegetables-only one per meal-do not mix
Lettuce-any kind                               2 cups
Spinach                                             2 cups
Asparagus                                        2 cups
Cabbage                                           2 cups
Tomatoes                                          1 cup
Cucumbers                                        2 cups
Chard                                                 2 cups
White, Yellow or Red Onions           1 cup
Beet Greens                                      2 cups
Red Radishes                                   2 cups
Celery                                                2 cups
Fennel                                               1.5 cups
Chicory Greens                                 1 cup
Turnip Green                                     2 cups
Watercress                                       1 cup

Fruit
Medium Apple-get a huge variety and feel free to microwave them with cinnamon and Nutmeg-breaks up the sameness
Medium Orange-go for variety-Navels are a bit pithy, Valencias are sweet but seedy.
1/2 Grapefruit-pinks or yellows, all good
Handful of Strawberries-7-10

Some folks told us Melba toast was OK  but we did not go that way as the wheat thing directed our thinking.

Seasonings-Salt, pepper, vinegar (balsamic and apple cider), mustard powder, garlic, sweet basil, parsley, thyme, marjoram and one lemon juiced per day for any seasoning.  We used cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and allspice for the baking of our apples in the microwave.

We sometimes used stewed tomatoes and combined that as our tomato vegetable and it made the meats taste really great when we cooked them together. 

healthierfood

Food For Thought

I have been thinking about sustainability-it is a pop culture term these days.  What exactly does it mean and is it relevant or not?  Like so many people, I put the term in my Google Search and got a plethora of hits-29 million to be exact.  Like numerous folks, I selected the first hit that happened to be everyone's favorite, Wikipedia.  The number one source of questionable facts.  Here is the first definition it offers:

Sustainability is the capacity to endure. In ecology the word describes how biological systems remain diverse and productive over time. For humans it is the potential for long-term maintenance of well being, which in turn depends on the well being of the natural world and the responsible use of natural resources.

Sustainability has become a wide-ranging term that can be applied to almost every facet of life on Earth, from local to a global scale and over various time periods. Long-lived and healthy wetlands and forests are examples of sustainable biological systems. Invisible chemical cycles redistribute water, oxygen, nitrogen and carbon through the world's living and non-living systems, and have sustained life for millions of years. As the earth’s human population has increased, natural ecosystems have declined and changes in the balance of natural cycles has had a negative impact on both humans and other living systems.[1]

There is abundant scientific evidence that humanity is living unsustainably, and returning human use of natural resources to within sustainable limits will require a major collective effort.[1] Ways of living more sustainably can take many forms from reorganizing living conditions (e.g., ecovillages, eco-municipalities and sustainable cities), reappraising economic sectors (permaculture, green building, sustainable agriculture), or work practices (sustainable architecture), using science to develop new technologies (green technologies, renewable energy), to adjustments in individual lifestyles that conserve natural resources.  This definition comes from Earth Policy Institute Natural Systems

One might conclude that mankind has emerged on the scene only to blunder into a formerly self-sustaining creation.  We are told that science will develop new technologies that will make our lifestyles sustainable.  I am asking myself, "was it not this same scientific community that told me that even the sun will burn out in time?"  So how can they possibly come up with solutions that will make human life more sustainable?  Also, wasn't it the same scientific community that developed so much of what we have deemed progress over the past century?  Is the answer really to be found in science?  This deserves a closer look.

healthierfood

Food For Thought

I have been corresponding with a farmer, in Kentucky.  He, like so many farmers, is a true steward of his land..  He is using natural chicken manure for fertilizer and practices minimum tillage.  He leaves the stubble in his fields to produce organic matter and reduce erosion.  This is a shout out for Jim Long of Hilliard Farms, in Clinton Kentucky.  He is using best practices and wants to know how to improve on what he is doing.  He illustrates my belief that those who are in the business of actually producing our food indeed want to do the best possible job.

We have been corresponding about how to measure the overall health of your crops.  The farming world spends time taking soil samples to determine what minerals are missing in their soils, as they prepare for the coming planting season and then order what the testing arm of the fertilizer and chemical companies recommend.  It is logical to do this since their yields have been increasing and that often is the measurement of success and profitability.  An interesting thing has been showing up, as the crop yields have been growing.  Corn and Wheat showed an increase in overall bushels per acre, this past year.  Many are congratulating themselves in this uptick in production.  There is a problem exhibiting itself in this increased production and that is that the weight per bushel seems to be dropping.  Historically, wheat has averaged 56 pounds to the bushel, in some areas the weights have been as low as 40 pounds to the bushel.  Even non-mathematicians can figure out that higher bushel yield and lower bushel weight means that the actual increases in production have not yielded increases in fact.  Corn, historically, has averaged 53 pounds per bushel and have seen a similar decline in the actual bushel weights.  A casual observer might conclude that the current farming methods are maxing out their incremental increases and we might be topping out and facing future problems.

If the food industry touts the higher bushel yields as progress, what they face is lower weight and a higher demand for the grain staples in order to produce food products.  The apparent increase in bushels and the assumed surplus in raw grains will evaporate when the produces realize they need more bushels than before to make their standard product quotas, due to the lower weight per bushel.  This could create real shortages, rather than the expected surpluses spiking the price of grains in the US and foreign markets.  We know when these kinds of issues occur, in any business, the government officials charged with overseeing the industry are usually the last to know or notice and the first to point fingers at everyone else.  So be prepared to see some high powered fingers being pointed at processors, agricultural chemical concerns and industrial farms.  There will be little to no discussion concerning the Agricultural Department's set aside programs and subsidy programs that mandate some of the current practices and behaviors undertaken by farmers and industrial farm enterprises.  The media will get on board and stir the pot with their own brand of castigation and fault finding--we just have to keep in mond most of these folks have never milked a cow and would not know a plow from a manure spreader.

As I mentioned, Jim and I have been discussing how to measure the well being of plants.  It seems that simply taking soil samples is now wanting.  I suggested to him that measuring BRIX within plants might be a realistic measure of the plant's well-being.  BRIX is the percentage of sucrose within the plant.  The higher the BRIX readings, the healthier the plant.  A higher sugar content, within the plant the higher its density, mineral content and protein content.  There is a device, Refractometer. that can be purchased for $100 that allows farmers  and consumers to see how many BRIX are in the plants being grown and eaten.  I think consumers ought be more proactive in finding out how healthy their food is and not just react to media frenzies and resort to blaming everyone else for their lack of information self-education.

What is being discovered, is that if farmers pay attention to the BRIX within their crops, they can determine how healthy their soils are and whether or not the soil is hosting enough of the positive micro and macro live forms in the soil.  It is these creatures that make soils productive and when the soil is only used as means of putting man-made fertilizer into plants these little creatures are forgotten and the BRIX drop within the plants.  When the BRIX drop then we begin seeing weight per bushel declines.

As I mentioned, the average wheat and corn per bushel weight has been 53-56 pounds.  As it edges lower, one can assume the BRIX for these crops are quite low.  An anecdotal story of a farmer with high BRIX in his white wheat indicated he had 63 pounds per bushel!  An onion farmer who is also cognizant of the BRIX levels with his crop has measured BRIX levels of 13 in his plants!!  The average for onions is about 6 or less.  This same farmer, because he has healthy soils and high BRIX has been able to reduce his herbicide costs from $250 per acre to $40 per acre.  The healthier the plants (higher BRIX) the fewer weeds and pests invade the crops.  For those afraid of having pesticides in their foods take note...there is a way to lower the use of pesticides and increase the quality and taste of your foods...help communicate the need to support the micro and macro organisms in the soil.

Because I would like to encourage interest in the measuring of BRIX in food you put on your table, let me give you the spreadsheet highlighting the various levels for numerous plants.  Take an active role in educating yourself and finding the perfect tomato, onion or grape.  When you do, laud the farmer, and provider of  your excellent foods.
    REFRACTIVE INDEX OF CROP JUICES    
    CALIBRATED IN % SUCROSE OR BRIX    
  Poor Average Good Excellent   Poor Average Good Excellent
FRUITS         VEGETABLES        
Apple 6 10 14 18+ Aspargus 2 4 6 8+
Avocado 4 6 8 10+ Beet 6 8 10 12+
Banana 8 10 12 14+ Bell Pepper 4 6 8 12+
Cantaloupe 8 12 14 16+ Broccoli 6 8 10 12+
Casaba 8 10 12 14+ Cabbage 6 8 10 12+
Cherry 6 8 14 16+ Carrot 4 6 12 18+
Coconut 8 10 12 14+ Cauliflower 4 6 8 10+
Grape 8 12 16 20+ Celery 4 6 10 12+
Grapfruit 6 10 14 18+ Corn Stalk 4 8 14 20+
Honeydew 8 10 12 14+ Corn (Young) 6 10 18 24+
Kumquat 4 6 8 10+ Cow Pea 4 6 10 12+
Lemon 4 6 8 12+ Endive 4 6 8 10+
Lime 4 6 10 12+ English Pea 8 10 12 14+
Mango 4 6 10 14+ Escarole 4 6 8 10+
Orange 6 10 16 20+ Field Pea 4 6 10 12+
Papaya 6 10 18 22+ Green Bean 4 6 8 10+
Peach 6 10 14 18+ Hot Pepper 4 6 8 10+
Pear 6 10 12 14+ Kohlrabi 6 8 10 12+
Pineapple 12 14 20 22+ Lettuce 4 6 8 10+
Raisin 60 70 75 80+ Onion 4 6 8 10+
Raspberry 6 8 12 16+ Parsley 4 6 8 10+
Strawberry 6 10 14 16+ Peanut 4 6 8 10+
Tomato 4 6 8 12+ Potato(Irish) 3 5 7 8+
Watermelon 8 12 14 16+ Potato(Red) 3 5 7 8+
          Potato(Sweet) 6 8 10 14+
GRASSES         Romaine 4 6 8 10+
Alfalfa 4 8 16 22+ Rutabaga 4 6 10 12+
Grains 6 10 14 18+ Squash 6 8 12 14+
Sorghum 6 10 22 30+ Sweet Corn 6 10 18 24+
          Turnip 4 6 8 10+

healthierfood

Food For Thought

Orlene and I measured our pH levels, on Sunday, February 14 and found that our pH is nearly 7.0 which is neutral.  That is a great thing and we attribute this positive momentum to the drinking of our favorite concoction.  We seem to have fewer sinus issues, we are sleeping better and snoring less.  Changing the pH appears to strengthen our immune system and Orlene's Fibromyalgia is getting better. 

We also spent three days interviewing farmers.  We learned that most, as I suspected, want to be good stewards of the land.  They, like all of us are facing rising prices for production and less income as the commodity markets fluctuate.  We are proposing to them that developing healthier soils will lower the costs of production, short and long term.  So many, for so long have been creating yield by adding chemicals and getting results that help them meet their costs and make a living that they are not aware of the health of the soil.  Healthy soil is nothing that is taught in the agronomy classes and therefore, no tests exist that will measure the abundance of life in the soils.  They can determine chemical content in the soils but not find out what percentage of earthworms, positive bacteria and nematodes are in the soil.  Because such tests do not exist, these aspects in agriculture have been overlooked.  

We talked with a farmer who indicated that in raising potatoes, his cost per acre is $3,000.  Most farmers, in the part of Washington we visited, have acreage averaging 700-1500 acres.  If we assume that his acreage is 1,000 acres we find that it costs $3 million to run his business.  His income is based on tons per acre and the potato processors pay between $110-150 per ton.  The amount per ton is based on starch content within the potato samples from his fields.  On a great year, when all of his tonnage is receiving top dollar, to break even, he needs to yield 20,000 tons; or 20 tons per acre!  To make a living and have money to invest in the next year, he would need a yield of at least 50,000 tons!  If he has some variations in his crop out put and earns less than $150 per ton, you can quickly see the pressure farmers feel to have higher yields each year, in order to stay ahead of their costs.

Many farmers concluded the answer for them is to get larger, acquire more ground, each year, or cease to exist.  It seems, for many, there is no farming that can obtain moderate success because the cost of being in the business is so high and literally, everything is on the line, each year.  We believe that dependence on chemical infusions, in order to meet the production necessities has led to this kind of farming mentality.  There are enough uncontrollable variables in farming that very few dare to deviate from what appears to be working.  We offer a third pillar, healthy soil, that might allow them to have fewer variable to face because the soil is healthy and provides more of what the plants need and require without looking to chemical suppliers to even their playing field.

We begin seeking farmers who want to use their soils as an ally and not see it as something that may may not support their farming efforts.

healthierfood

Food for Thought

In December, we attended a 2 day farming seminar.  We were taught about the science of farming and techniques for improving the soil so that it becomes more productive and the natural elements of the earth are allowed to do what they were created to do.  During this time, our moderator, also addressed the idea of making our own bodies more productive.  It is to this point that this post is made.

A farmer stood up and told us his story.  He had been over 300 pounds and suffered from Type II Diabetes.  The disease was beginning to sap his life energy.  He was in the hospital and expecting to have some toes amputated.  He called our moderator and asked his advice.  The moderator suggested that a change in body chemistry might positively impact the diabetes and give him a better life.  The farmer listened and did exactly as was suggested.  As he stood before us, it was clear he no longer weighed 300 pounds and his diabetes was under control.  He told us he began drinking a mixture that moved his acidic body chemistry to a more alkaline state.  It could be that this solution might benefit others an so let me provide it to you.

In a gallon of water (we use tap water, Marty uses distilled water), put a table spoon of Pickling lime.  It is a powdered substance you might find in wholefood type outlets.  We could not find it anywhere in the Kirkland, Bothell, Redmond, Bellevue area so ordered it online.  With shipping, it came out to be about $5 per package.  One package should give you enough lime to last several months.  Let this solution sit in your refrigerator overnight.

Pour 2 cups of this solution into a gallon pitcher.  Add 1 cup of blackstrap molasses ( Grandma's Molasses will work if you cannot find the blackstrap variety.).  Add one-half of a 10oz. bottle of magnesium citrate to the mix.  Juice a fresh lemon and add this to the container.  The rounder the lemon, the sweeter the lemon, Meyer lemons were recommended and we found some at an Albertsons.  If you cannot find this brand of lemons, they come in prepackaged bags, just go through the individual lemons at your produce or grocery site and find as many as you can shaped like oranges and less like the typical, elongated lemons.  Add a hint of peppermint oil, about a quarter teaspoon, and stir up the mixture.  Fill the gallon container with water while stirring.  Sample and add more mint to suit your personal taste.  More is not always better, in my opinion.

Keep this stored in your refrigerator and drink a large glass in the morning and in the evening.  It is refreshing and will help to move your body's pH to a less acidic level.  We have been doing this since December and feel it makes a positive difference.

Marty indicated that when he was recovering from his surgery he used honey on his toes to aid in healing.  Ray indicated that he has had people with bad circulation in their feet, due to diabetes, soak their feet in hydrogen peroxide.  He stated that he had seen feet, darkened by poor blood flow, change and become soft with supple skin and increased blood flow. 

An energizing soak was also recommended.  In warm bath water, put in a half box of baking soda, a cup of hydrogen peroxide and a cup of Epsom salts.  This is another way to have you body absorb alkaline materials and positively impact your body chemistry.  We do this, at least weekly and notice a positive result.

Finally, another farmer told a story of his mechanic, who was supposed to complete a job for this farmer.  The mechanic called him and told him he was to sick, from a cold, and could not get the job completed on time.  The farmer told the mechanic to put a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water and drink it.  He told him that he would be able to work, the next day.  When the farmer went to the auto shop, the next day, he found the mechanic busily at work.  The mechanic's comment was,' I wish I had known about this soda thing earlier."

Typically, when our body is fighting off a cold, it is in an acidic condition.  Changing the pH can have a great result, in a short time.  I took this message to heart and tried it when I was getting the symptoms of a cold, scratchy throat and nasal congestion.  The cold symptoms disappeared and have not returned.  Heartened by my own experience, I was at church where I friend was clearly suffering from the "bull frog" voice and other cold symptoms.  I told him, and his wife, to make sure he went home and tried the Soda cure.  I saw them on the following Friday and he said, "I am going to have to remember that soda remedy."

Based on my experience and the results of others, the pH in our bodies shifting to a more alkaline state can yield great benefits.  It is this same principal, in the soils, that can lead to more productive farming and better yielding soils.  As the soil begins to be more neutral and the natural life within soils is permitted to flourish, great things can be accomplished.  The most important being healthier foods, and healthier people.

healthierfood

Food for Thought

As I mentioned, earlier, Orlene and I are partnering with an innovative firm, in our effort to change the world for the better.  The firm is the brainchild of a modest man, born in Kentucky and living in Indiana.  The basic premise, behind his ideas and product is that the earth needs to smell like earth.  Soil that has no smell is probably deficient in vital nutrients, earthworms, microbes, fungi and other necessary creatures that cause the soil to foster and support high yields and nutritious foods.

His goal is to help local farmers become profitable.  As in most, well thought out plans, this plan has 3 pillars.  In order for farmers to realize great yields and profitability, they rely on 3 things: Physical Action, Chemical Additives and Biological Support from the soil. 

The Physical part of the program is the efforts on the part of the farmer, "the sweat of their brows".  Farmers, today, have access to the greatest equipment and technology but this alone cannot create high yields and nutritious foods.  They still face soil compaction, drainage problems, crusted soils, low organic matter in their soils, blowing soils, temperature fluctuations within the soil and moisture variations.  Farmers also have a host of fertilizers and chemicals at their disposal.  They have been using these tools for many years and still contend with soil imbalances, insects, weeds, diseases and nematodes.  It is evident that the use of these chemicals has not eliminated the problems they were created to control.  Agricultural classes and farm programs lean heavily on the uses of these two things and we could say that this "two legged" stool has accomplished some amazing progress.  The US is seen as the "breadbasket" to the world and similar results have occurred in Australia, Europe and Canada.  The reliance on these two pillars ignores what could be the most vital pillar, in a farming program.  That is the biological pillar. 

The question is asked, "Have we overlooked the value of life within our soils?"  By focusing time and effort on enhancing the life, within soil, is it possible to reduce the dependence on the chemical pillar, thus lowering costs and eliminating the continual swings in soil imbalance. 

Imagine, having a simple solution for creating and maintaining the life of soils.  So many of the current finger pointing and blaming episodes would go away because the perceived need for more powerful and dramatic chemicals would cease!

What if farmers, large and small could, "feed" their soils so that the living things that make soil productive were nourished?  Essentially, such a practice would bolster the soil's "immune systems" making it strong, releasing more nutrients to plants, yielding crops that were more resistant to disease and insects and creating a "weed free" zone.

Such products exist and are available to farmers.  They are made of simple, natural items, like molasses, fish emulsions and similar items.  These ingredients revitalize soils and the dynamic components within soil that release nutrition to plants.  Such knowledge is not new, it has just been forgotten and ignored.  The pilgrims were shown, by the local tribes, how to add a small fish to their bean and corn planting mounds.  Gardeners, in the South, have been using molasses in their soils to discourage the infestation of fire ants in their gardens and to nourish their plants.  Combining these items has formed a tremendous, soil additive that energizes the soil and fosters higher yields and produce with higher sugars and better tastes.  Even if we do not understand the science, we definitely comprehend tastier foods.  The turf specialists at The Harvard Yard recently presented their version of molasses, fish emulsions and a "compost tea" they have created to keep their turf healthier and freer of pests and weeds.

Like my previous posting, it is time that people, one-at-a-time, began making a difference.  Visit with your local farmers and gardeners and ask them what they are doing to promote "life" in their soils.  Make this a movement of consumers who are interested in making a difference and not just blaming or hoping someone else starts the ball rolling.  If you are interested in better tasting foods, healthier foods and fewer contaminants then talk to the farmers who grow the food.  Let them know that there is a way they can maintain their profitability while strengthening the health and well being of their soils and the consumers of their crops.

healthierfood

Food for Thought

There was a story I heard, several years ago,about an older man walking along the beach, during low tide.  On the beach, he could see countless sea stars, stranded on the beach.  In the distance he watched a young man bending over, periodically, and throwing things into the surf.  It captured the man's curiosity and he walked toward the young man.  When he arrived, he saw the young man was picking up sea stars and throwing them into the sea.  He got the attention of the younger man and asked him if he thought he could save all of the sea stars.  There were so many stranded it appeared to be an impossible task.  The young man bent over, picked up a sea star, threw it into the surf and said, "I made a difference to that one."

The story never indicated whether the example that young man set impacted the older man's behaviors that day.  We will never know if he too started to make a difference for the sea stars around him...we can hope he did.

A few Facebook sites, heralding Michael Pollan and his recent books prompted this post.  I was left with an impression that he has painted a picture of the food industry that is too big to be responsive and too heartless to really care about the consumer.  It seems he might be one who deems the assistance from an even larger government agency might solve the problem.  One large, soulless, bureaucracy helping another improve itself seems pretty unlikely.  It might even appear, impossible.  If we expect that bureaucrats, of any type, might resolve our food and agriculture issues we may be like the older man seeing the problem and waiting for someone else to fix it.

The answer is not bigger organizations impacting other big organizations, it is one person making personal choices, regardless of the apparent appearance of futility.  Rather than finding fault with things that are out of your control and feeling helpless to stem the tide, pick up a sea star and make a difference at that moment. 

Recently, the media has been nearly breathless with praise for Michelle's kitchen garden, at the White House.  This is not a new concept.  Rural America has been planting, growing and harvesting such gardens for generations.  The rub for many of us is that it takes time and effort so we have relinquished this task to others and received "a mess of pottage" from those who have readily filled this void.  As I mentioned in my earlier tomato post, it is time that everyone begin taking responsibility for their food choice, food providers and begin supporting the local producers who want you to eat well and have made every effort to maintain their soils through natural means.

My wife and I are interested in throwing some sea stars back into the surf.  We are contacting a local (Ellensburg, WA) beef rancher and will be buying our Beef from him.  The price is right, about $3.30 per pound for a cuts of meat.  The animals are grass fed and well treated.  We are growing our own, small garden, including tomato plants and trying to frequent the local farmers markets.  Does this solve the "food crisis"?  Not completely, but it does yield better foods for us and at a lower price.  Now take our small effort and multiply it by 300,000,000 people and soon you would see many of these problems resolved, because each citizen chose to make a difference in their own lives and threw a sea star back into the surf.

Just another, indulgent aside.  Another Facebook friend, a former student of my wife, was commenting that Starbucks heralded their acquisition of 65% of their beans from ethical growers.  She then had a thought," where does the remaining 35% come from?"  As is common on Facebook, a number of her friends chimed in about what to do about the giant companies that buy and sell coffee and where do they get their beans.  You could sense the breathless panic in their scribing.  Again, there seemed to be nothing they could do to solve this apparent problem.  They were all writing these frantic notes, no doubt, with a paper coffee cup in their hands!  My solution, stop drinking the stuff and cease taking part in something you do not want to support.  One person, taking a stand can make a difference and so many of the perceived problems can be eliminated or at least lessened by one.

Enough pontificating for the moment.  I wish you all well as you navigate the world's issues and find answers that work in your life.  Just remember to make a difference, everyday.

healthierfood

Food for Thought

Thanks to those who responded to the recent tomato posting and the suggestions as to how individuals can enhance the quality of the tomatoes they grow and eat..  We want to aid individuals and farmers to grow foods with richer nutrient content, color and viability.  We have partnered with Phase II, Inc. and hope to evangelize simple changes that can have dramatic results.  More will follow as we outline the science and actual application of unique soil enhancements that will permit everyone, everywhere to taste real food, in some cases for the first time in their lives.

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