When I was a young woman in the sixties, I thought I understood nutrition pretty well. My mother was an early feminist who hated housework and rebelled at the role of housewife once and for all when I was ten years old. This disturbed my father, a third-generation German-American who believed in the “kinder, kuche, kirche” (in vaguely proper English, “kids, kitchen and church”, or in American vernacular, “barefoot and pregnant”) role for women, went back to school and was never seen to wield a broom again.
But she did cook, reluctantly but dutifully, armed with an Old Fashioned and a good book to read while things baked or boiled. She cooked very well. And she taught me that meals were formed by choosing from the basic food groups. We had a vegetable, a starchy dish like rice or potatoes and a protein item at table for dinner, with some sort of bread on the side. There was always a sweet for afters. Salads were produced for pasta meals only, in lieu of cooked vegetables. To this day I set up meals this way. So do restaurants. It is how America eats.
In fact, there is nothing terribly wrong with this format for meals, except for the fact that our great-ape ancestors were noshers, nibbling at lots of little meals in the course of a day rather than sitting down to large “square” meals at three pre-determined hours, and that is how our digestive system works best. But I digress.
What is wrong with our nutrition goes far beyond when we eat or what food groups we choose to use for a meal. The culprit is the food we buy in the grocery store.
It is fairly obvious that “food items” that cannot be traced directly to whole foods are not good for one. What is not at all obvious is that you can buy fresh produce and fresh-looking meat, bring it home, cook it with skill and still give your family nothing but empty calories.
This is because real farmers are almost extinct. As Penny Kelly says in her book, From the Soil to the Stomach: Understanding the Connection between the Earth and your Health ( Lawton, MI, Lily Hill Publishing, 2001 – all quotes in this article are taken from pages 71 to 83),
“Real farming has long been one of the most demanding professions there is. Among other things, it requires you to be a scientist, keenly observant naturalist, animal breeder, weatherman, veterinarian, plant breeder, machine operator, machine repairman, carpenter, bookkeeper, manager, entrepreneur, and physical laborer, as well as your own source of self-discipline, motivation and ongoing self-education. Few people are interested in farming to begin with, and when they discover how many diverse skills and talents are required, they go elsewhere looking for easier jobs.”
After World War II, the chemical companies who had become fat while creating the materials which the military machine used for bombs and then thin when bombs were no longer produced in bulk, discovered agriculture. Labor-intensive “real farms” were vanishing. Farm families were breaking up into nuclear groups of parents and children, and an old-style working farm needed a multi-generational clan. A nuclear family, however, could make their farming into a business by specializing in growing one thing, buying lots of machinery to cut labor needs and lots of chemicals to kill weeds and fungi and wipe out pests.
As Kelly notes, “When a single farmer is raising corn, beef, chickens, fruit and everything else he eats or needs, he isn’t interested in doing something that will be bad for one part of his operation even if he thinks it would be good for another part of the operation.”
But if he is growing, say, corn and ONLY corn, he might well choose a genetically engineered seed called Monsanto 863. This seed is genetically engineered to produce corn which contains a form of a pesticide called bacillus thuringiensis, designed to attack a corn pest called the root worm. The fact that rats fed this corn develop unusually large numbers of cancers, allergies and defective kidneys has been universally called inconclusive and preliminary by those who sell that seed and those who grow that corn. It grows like gangbusters and the farmers can make a very good profit on it.
These industrial farmers make lavish use of fungicides and herbicides as well, which destroy the soil within the first three years of their use. Thereafter, no matter what seed is used, the plants are deficient in nutrients and almost worthless nutritionally
I could tell similar stories of the disastrously damaging effects of other types of industrial farming, but you get the idea. When a crop is looked at by the farmer as though he were an entrepreneur selling a product, rather than a man of pride, selling real food from seed that he saved himself, resting in or learning the traditions and heritage of the generations before him, what matters is the profit, not the product. Monsanto 863 is not real corn. Industrial farmers are not real farmers.
And as vast companies process Monsanto 863 corn into boutique foods containing Monsanto 863 corn oil, for instance, any remote possibility that the resulting food would have food value is lost. As Kelly says,
“In our present-day world there is mass-produced, factory food, and there is real food. Real food has been taking a bashing and a great deal of misunderstanding has been circulating in this country for years. Real foods seldom cause disease or allergies. After all, we thrived on these foods for 10,000 years and are supremely adapted to them.
“For example, lots of people in this country will tell you they are allergic to wheat. But what they are eating is not really wheat. It is a highly over-processed, skeletonized, bleached-out version of what was once whole wheat. Almost all of the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, natural oils, subtle metabolic co-factors, and digestive enzymes have been removed. The result is a useless substance that irritates the body. Thus the apparent ‘allergy to wheat’. It is the same story with many other foods.
“Real food is whole and full of living enzymes. Science has never been able to synthesize enzymes because it has never learned to synthesize life.
“Living food is full of organic vitamins and minerals. The key word here is organic. Lots of manufacturers are fully aware that food processing strips food of important nutrients, so they add vitamins and minerals to the foods they produce. But the vitamins and minerals that the manufacturer puts into a food item are inorganic and not at all the same as the vitamins and minerals that processing took out..
“The body has a great deal of difficulty utilizing inorganic minerals and chemically synthesized vitamins because these molecules are too big, or are oddly shaped, or they do not have the subtle energies that produce the dozens of secondary effects which help coordinate the full power of the metabolic reaction the body is trying to organize and carry out. A good analogy here might be the difference between trying to build a fire with dry, seasoned wood, and trying to build a fire with wet wood. The wood is still wood whether wet or dry, and it will burn eventually, but in the meantime the warming effect of the fire is greatly reduced.”
Our bodies are chemical distilleries. They are designed to break down and metabolize whole foods. They use the enzymes in the foods to aid that process. When there are no enzymes in the food, and when the nutrients are chemicals, added to the food rather than being an organic part of the food, those chemicals are not metabolized either. So reading the label, the food sounds pretty good. However, the label does not mention that all of these added nutrients are unavailable, for the most part, to the average human body.
The obvious answer for the American consumer is to insist on organic foods:
crops grown without chemical pesticides, fungicides or herbicides
hogs, cattle, bison, sheep and goats free of hormones, fat or protein supplements and allowed to eat real pasturage and to roam from pasture to pasture
chickens and other fowl allowed to range within a spacious area rather than being confined to an enclosure where they cannot roam and free of hormonal diddling
dairy products that are from cows or goats free of hormones or supplements and offered according to organic standards.
It is very difficult to find such real foods in our supermarkets. And when you can find them they cost the earth. People often feel they cannot afford them.
However if you begin to understand that real foods keep people healthy, this perception can change. As Kelly says,
“If you don’t want to bother learning to feed yourself differently, then you don’t really want to heal yourself. Expecting someone to give you a pill or cut out your parts and make you magically better is childish, irresponsible and doesn’t get to the source of your problem. This kind of expectation is like demanding that others do for you what you are unwilling to do for yourself. To start a true healing process, it’s almost a given that you will have to change your diet to real, whole, organic food.”
Years ago, when Kelly and her husband became real farmers, she had rheumatoid arthritis and he had breathing problems. They are now both disease-free. Their tactic was simple: they ate the food they grew, and their methods of farming were organic. Good, living soil was created, living water was used and local heritage seeds were located and planted. When they made bread it was from the whole wheat, ground but not altered. And they healed into healthy people.
Kelly suggests that we look at the cost of eating dead foods: medical costs, dental costs, prescription and over-the-counter drugs, unpaid sick days and unpaid days where you are nursing a sick family member. The list can go on. Add up all of the money you have spent on these things in the last year and voila! You have an idea of what you can afford to spend on good nutrition.
Kelly makes a final point that bears our serious consideration. After listing all the items above, plus a page-full more that I have spared you, she says,
“Take a good look at these costs and their total. This should do several things. First it should give you a fair idea of what you could really afford to spend on good food.
“Second, it should make you see the amount of time, energy and money you spend compensating for mediocre-to-poor health.
“Third, ask yourself, “To what degree do the costs and activities in this list seem normal?” The more normal they seem, the more caught you are in the thinking produced by our current food system. What could you be doing with that same time, energy and money if you were perfectly healthy and free to do whatever you wanted?
“Lastly, can you even imagine being supremely healthy? Or would this leave you feeling out of the circle of family, friends and co-workers who are struggling with illness, fatigue, the effects of degeneration and catastrophic disease?
“The important lesson in all of this is: don’t tell yourself that you can’t afford good, whole, high-nutrition food because I’m going to turn that around and tell you emphatically that you can’t afford not to buy good food. If you can’t afford to buy it, then grow it.”
We at L/L Research have a dream of creating a bio-dynamic farm at Avalon Farm, here in Kentucky. We want to live the Law of One, which says that all things are part of one unified whole, by creating a little world of our own and belonging to that world just as much as the land and animals belong to us. We want to heal into wholeness, physically as well as spiritually, mentally and emotionally.
It is expensive. It is hard, dirty work. It is slow, painstaking work. The forest and meadow must be tended. The soil must be prepared. The water must be prepared. Local, heritage seeds must be found.
Yet it is also vastly creative and heart-opening work. Tomorrow, we will begin our annual Homecoming Gathering. We will be offering beet soup made from our own crop; beans just picked yesterday; eggs from our free-range chickens. We are as proud as new parents! And we are genuinely attempting to walk our talk; to live the material we have gathered from the Confederation sources over the years. On August 14, 1988, Q’uo said,
“What you would do to aid the planet is precisely what you may do to aid the cells of your second-density body. Indeed, there is no density which is not moved by the honest declaration of love, faith and unqualified support. We do not ask you to do this as a duty. We do ask you perhaps to find affirmations in which you believe, and to repeat them often, or simply to tell the earth, tree, bush, flower and plant about you, mentally or out loud, “I love you. Enjoy the sun; enjoy the rain: You give me pleasure.”
“May each of you place his feet upon the earth and know it to be holy ground. May your heart move in rhythmic consciousness with all that is. May you feel and allow yourselves to be part of an infinite creation which is all one thing.”
I open my arms and embrace your spirit. Let us find and eat food that has been grown with respect and love, and let us be healed by that love. Let us together join with the mountains that clap their hands and the little hills that skip like lambs in the dance of living consciousness of which all that is, is a part!