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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 10/21/16

Eating Well is a Revolutionary Act

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Message Chuck Nafziger
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Slicing pears for the dehydrator
Slicing pears for the dehydrator
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"We all need nourishment for our psyche. It is impossible to find such nourishment in urban tenements without a patch of green or a blossoming tree. We need a relationship with nature. I am just a culture-coolie myself, but I derive a great deal of pleasure from growing my own potatoes."

Carl Jung

If you don't have a few fruit flies in your house, you may not be enjoying the harvest as much as you could. Life tries to abound around us as it has during all of human evolution. Only recently have humans been misled into trying to live in sterile environments.

Fruit fly
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Who knew fruit flies had lower eyelashes?

What Does It Mean to Eat Well?

I am lucky to live near the very fertile Skagit Valley in the Pacific Northwest so I have access to some of the finest food in the world. Many of the farmers around here grow organic foods as do most of my neighbors. Our local "Transition" organization, , has set up a neighborhood farmer's market which, along with sales, includes food and seed swaps. There are two food co-ops relatively close where I can get any organic food I do not grow or cannot get from the local farmer's market. I have a small orchard and my dehydrator goes non stop during September and October. The pleasures of harvesting, preparing and eating very tasty, nutritious, healthy, non toxic food are one of life's high points and every day I thank my luck at being in this paradise.

Why Do We Need a Food Revolution?

During my 72 years, I have watched drastic changes as the quality of air and water have become iffy and food has gone from garden or farmer grown to highly processed Wonder Bread, to sterilized, genetically altered, over packaged, over processed, toxic industrial junk. Consequently health in the USA is going into the dumpster. Obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart conditions, and high blood pressure are deadly consequences of the industrial food industry. According to one Wikipedia article, the US ranks number 50 in longevity.


That figure is totally unacceptable for the country that spends the most on healthcare. Healthcare in this country is "for profit" so illnesses are treated with expensive pharmaceuticals, but little or no effort goes into prevention or cure. Insurance companies base their rates on anticipated medical costs plus a percentage profit for them. As costs go up, they make more money, so they have no incentive to push for cheaper healthcare. Across the board, from industrial farming to the medical profession to the insurance industry to the pharmaceutical industry to the genetics and pesticides industry, maximizing profit endangers the health of US citizens.

A government is supposed to protect its citizens, but currently government protection and regulation of these industries is a joke. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)is in bed with big Ag. Whether in the FDA or in congress, laws meant to regulate and insure safety from industry are written by industry and rubber stamped by the "regulators." Congress passes "farm bills" that subsidize the worst of the toxic food industry. If it were not for subsidies on growing corn, we would not have GMO corn and its associated pesticides destroying what were once fertile soils in the Midwest. We would not have high fructose corn syrup and refined sugar in almost every packaged food. Our meat would not come from sick, grotesquely abused, antibiotic soaked, corn fed animals. The over use of refined sugar in this country is addicting, maiming and killing people through obesity, heart disease, liver disease, diabetes and cancer.
click here

Factory farming is killing us and the soil upon which we depend. click here If we are to regain control of our food and our health, we have to resist Big Ag in every way we can. Our government and its "regulators" are raking in industry's bribes so they will not make the change.

How Does This Revolution Work?

The first step in getting out of a hole is to quit digging. Read labels with eyes open: most nutritional claims are lies; words like "natural" have been redefined to include chemical toxins. Stop buying and eating processed and packaged food. Those foods are not cheaper. Any time savings is small and the ingredients are usually extremely unhealthy. Time and money "saved" are no match for the low energy, expensive health care result from eating those toxic calories. Watch out especially for sugar, corn and wheat and all chemical flavors, colors and preservatives. Real food does not need this stuff to taste good.. Michael Pollan's book In Defense of Food covers this well. If you need any convincing, do some people watching in grocery stores. Go into a Safeway or other big box store and look at the people. You need not be a doctor to see that most are overweight and unhealthy. Refine your observations and see that the ones in the middle aisles, sometimes called the "morgue" in grocer's parlance, which contain mostly sugar packed garbage are less healthy than the ones shopping in the side aisles where there are more ingredients and fewer packaged foods. Then go to a co-op where attempts are made to supply organic local food and see much healthier looking people. The visual difference of the shoppers is startling if you care to look at it.

I need to reiterate about the propaganda used in selling bad food. Lies seemingly are OK to the FDA, and Big Ag is successful at bribing "nutritionists" to tout worthless, harmful calories as health food. It is worth mentioning that food in the "morgue" has ubiquitous marketing in the mainstream media. Try to keep a child out of the "morgue" where he sees all the sweets and other garbage that play familiar tunes and show pretty pictures in his head as seen first on Saturday morning cartoon shows.

My premise is that by eating good food, we not only become more healthy ourselves, but we also quit contributing to the corporations that are controlling and wrecking this country. Industrial Ag, pharmaceuticals, fossil fuels, medical and insurance industries all profit from our bad health and all bribe our government to let them keep doing the nasty stuff they are doing. Our health will improve and we will quit giving our hard earned money to those who are harming us. There is an increasing preference for organic food. If we had free markets and a representative government, this would already be making a big difference, but we don't have free markets and our government is run by and for corporations. The propaganda mill and government guidance are all on the side of poison industrial food. The fight to eat well is difficult. In many neighborhoods it will require creation of new markets. We are bombarded with lying hype that Monsanto is "trying to feed the world" and that "GMOs are not dangerous and unhealthy. We are conditioned to buy the cheapest calories to fill our stomachs in a rushed world. The revolution will require a resurgence of common sense, and a sharp look at the damage to health and the environment compared to the empty promises and guarantees flooding us.

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I deal with the contradiction of being a retired mechanical engineer and a Luddite at the same time. I have lost faith in our government: it is totally controlled by the corporate monster that is gobbling up the world. It uses mechanical engineers (more...)
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