This column will feature short articles concerning family food production and its web including food consumption, nutrition, health, and ‘wealth’. The web of food acts as a safety net. Food ideally is more a web than a chain, in that the threads: production, consumption, nutrition, health, and ‘wealth’ are interwoven and bonded. [restrict]
The food we eat frames our thoughts. The food we eat directly ‘feeds’ the ability and agility of our thoughts and thinking processes. Local foods especially traditional foods, for instance, fish improve our intellectual capacity and functioning. Folklore describes fish as ‘brain food’, studies have confirmed this.
Conversely, ‘globalization’ and the ‘food industry’ promotes fast, easy, convenient foreign foods. As you are, what you eat, as we eat more foreign foods, which are fast (hasty, shortsighted), easy (morally loose), and convenient (without strong bonds) and foreign (alienated). We will become foreigners in their own land, that is, our lifestyle especially consumption habits and patterns will be foreign (alien) in our own ecologies. We may become the foreign invasive species that devastates our ecology. We import ninety percent of our food, so we have reached 90% of our way to devastation. Our NCD’s state of emergency slams home this point.
Relatedly, we are also, what our ancestors ate and drank. What does this mean to us today? Our bodies and food have developed microorganisms that assist as in digesting and full utilizing our [traditional] food. Some people refer to this as probiotic. In addition, traditional root crops are high in fiber and ‘burn slowly’. Whereas, rice and sugar are near fiberless and a concentrated energy source that ‘burns fast’. If our body were a car, traditional roots crops would be the equivalent of gasoline in a car, whereas rice and sugar would be the equivalent of jet fuel or ‘nitro’. With ‘nitro’ the engine goes faster than it was built to do and the ‘nitro’ soon burns out the engine.
Recent and growing research into cancer and other maladies are giving us pause for thought, especially thought for food. Research into the accumulative effect of pesticides, other agricultural chemicals, food processing aids, and food additives gives us sufficient reasons to rethink the safety of these chemicals. So do we stop eating? No, we suggest avoiding chemical laden foods and eating instead whenever possible locally grown food from a family farm.
Other areas for thought for food are:
- “Food miles”- the more miles a food travels the greater potential for pollutants generated by the food transport and packaging.
- “Farming in California”- What brings greater returns for your dollars, supporting already rich factory farms in California or family farms is Palau?
- “Food Waste” – Estimates of imported produce wasted is 20-30%. Family farmers strive to minimize waste by harvesting as closely as possible the amount requested/needed by patrons/customers.
- “Know your Farmer” – Does your farmer ‘mine the soil’ or does she have a stake in the land? [/restrict]