Howdy from down on the farm! We are nearing the end of our series on Simple and Easy Skills to Make you Grocery Store Free. If you haven't joined us on the journey please find those previous posts below:
Week 1- Simple and Easy Ways to Make you Grocery Store Free Includes free menu plan and more)
Week 2- 7 Reasons for Eating Seasonably Down on the Farm
Week 3- Learn to Eat in Season and Love it! Includes menu planner, recipe cards and Seasonable Eats Chart
Week 4- Food Recalls Make you Sick and Tired: Best Ways to Gain Food Security Learn why eating locally is so great!
This week we are sharing 5 great reasons to grow your own food, the essence of this blog series. This is the most productive and best way to kick the grocery store to the curb!
#1 Saves a Load of Money
Gardening may be done where ever your live. If you are living in an apartment plants may be grown in pots inside and out (on a porch), quail may be raised in cages for eggs, fish in tanks for more food. If you have a small city lot, whether you are renting or buying, square foot gardens, raised garden beds and container gardens work great. If you are blessed with 1/2 acre, 1 acre or 40 acres you can grow some or all of your own food.
Gardening is a low cost investment. You may spend as little as a dollar or two on seeds and use the ground or container that you have or you can invest money into garden beds, compost and tools. Gardening can fit any budget. Just keep in mind that it is an investment, that means a little more up front than what you might spend at the grocery store initially.
You get way more from a packet of seeds than your money will get you in the grocery store. Lets take zucchini for instance. Our family, when we buy our produce, go for the organic, locally grown produce. At the moment zucchini is going for over $3 a lb at our local health food store. This year, I (and yes I'm taking the credit for this) planted 17 zucchini plants. Most gardeners jaws are dropping right now. One plant is said to feed the world. Hand raised high here.. yes I'm an over achiever and I couldn't part with those starts that came up. So to say the least we have our share of zucchini. I weighed a single days harvest last week and we had 7.5 lbs. x $3 a pound would have been $22.50. I think we paid for our $2 package of seeds, don't you? We get that harvest about every other day for the last month. Lets say thats about 112 lbs of zucchini, thats over $300 of food in one month. A savings wouldn't you say?! I know what you are thinking, how do you eat that much zucchini?! Check out our Zucchini Recipe post for ideas. But also make sure you plant some other seeds too! ;)
Cooking from scratch with whole foods cuts your food budget down. Now one more step, growing those whole foods, is going to make your food bill plummet.
Money isn't everything though, lets check out some other reasons to grow your own food.
#2 Better Health
Now that you are eating all those home grown whole foods your health will be better for it. What do you get from better health? More ability to do things around the home because of better health and more time in which to do those things. Time that was previously spent on taking care of your health. Better health means less doctors visits and less spent on healthcare. It means less time lost from work because of illness. It means less time spent with sick children. All of that is money in your pocket. Not to mention saying goodbye to any health problems that may have been diet related. Its amazing what food can do for our bodies when its the right type.
We get nutrients from the garden that we can't get at the store. There are so many microbes in the soil that get washed off and sanitized when it goes to the grocery store. When we grow our own food there is a freshness like no other and a plant picked at its peak is more nutritious than one that is picked when green and then shipped from thousands of miles away.
Fresh air is great for our health. After a long winter no doubt everyone is ready to get out and about. What better reason than to go out and work in the garden for a while. Its an excuse to get even more fresh air. In times past people use to spend much more time outside than we do in our modern culture.
#3 God's Gym
Nothing like a workout in God's Gym (aka the garden or yard or barnyard). Thanks to Justin at Abundant Permaculture for the term (Earth's Gym), though we added our own twist to it. There is nothing like using a pitchfork to turn hay or clean out barnyard stalls to get a good sweat going. Or digging up potatoes, pruning plants, climbing apple trees for apples, bending over to plant seeds or pull weeds. And guess what? Instead of paying for a gym membership, gym clothes or workout videos this exercise PAYS YOU - in food! See reason #1 for growing your own food. Each and every gardening tool will give you a new workout and probably find muscles for you that you didn't know you had.
Gardening increases the amount of fresh air going through your system and with this exercise you will leave your work feeling ready for the rest of your day. It just clears up the mind and makes thinking much easier!
Gardening is also a wonderful workout for children, who are usually most willing to help any how! In reading about ADHD, autism and other details about the spectrum of learning issues, many of the therapies are simulating things that children would naturally do on a farm. Such as balancing on a balance beam vs a log to improve balance and body awareness. Pushing and pulling heavy carts of books to expend energy. It leaves me wondering..... if we returned to our farming roots would the numbers of children with ADHD, autism and learning disabilities decrease dramatically?
Sometimes it seems that we have lost so much education in our modern age. Sure we can google this and that when ever we have a question. But is that really knowledge? Or just being resourceful? When one grows their own garden they learn all sorts of things about the seasons, season changes, weather patterns, when to plant, when to wait, when to harvest, how to harvest.
Instead of learning about plant parts in elementary school gardeners learn them by growing the plant. Learning what part of the plant is good to eat, which part is not, how to use the plant, how to save seeds. Reading about the plant parts is one thing but working with them, growing them, cooking with them, is a whole new education that just doesn't come out of a book. It also sticks in the memory a lot better.
Gardening also teaches us about cooking and preserving. Knowing the characteristics of a plant and what kind of weather it likes or doesn't and how much water it needs, tells us about preserving that plant for future use. Do we want to ferment that plant, dehydrate it, can it, cook it, eat it raw, save it for winter or eat it now because it doesn't store so well?
We learn about budgeting too because we have to know how much our family eats of which vegetable, how long that harvest will last us until the next harvest, what to eat if it doesn't last. How much money it will save us to grow it or if it isn't worth our time and effort and we should plant something else.
It also teaches us about life and death. All things must come to an end and that is true with every garden. We are excited to start the seed in the ground and be God's help in watering the plant and pulling away the weeds. We watch it grow bigger, bigger, bigger until it reaches full maturity and fruits. Then we take our harvest from the plant. And then... the plant dies. Perhaps it will come back next year or maybe we just saved the seed. The off-spring of the plant which will live on the next year. Gardening can teach so many lessons.
Life and death are just one spiritual lesson that gardening teaches us. Our first beginnings were in a garden with Adam and Eve, an apple tree and a serpent. Our Savior was buried in a garden after His Crucifixion. At Easter we celebrate the Divine Gardner who rose from the dead. The entire old testament is filled with so many parables about the garden and raising one's own food. It was a way of life back then to have to work and garden for ones substance. While food is still necessary for us we have lost our connection with it through the use of the grocery store and mass production.
And he said: Let the earth bring forth the green herb, and such as may seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after its kind, which may have seed in itself upon the earth. And it was so done.  And the earth brought forth the green herb, and such as yieldeth seed according to its kind, and the tree that beareth fruit, having seed each one according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. -Genesis 1:11-12
Weeds can be a symbol for sin and vice in the world. When we pull that grass away from that squash or cucumber we are saving that wanted plant from another unwanted plant that will take away its nourishment. Sin is so much the same way. It sucks away the nutrients that we need, God's grace. Good microbes and earth worms are like God's gifts, they are God's gifts! They help the soil become rich and healthful to the growing plant.
The garden is a wonderful place to meditate on God's gifts and His teachings. Its a great stress relief and way to relax.
Alright, how do I grow my own food? If you have come this far with us in the blog series you learned that the best way to get started it to buy what you might grow and learn how to cook with that and menu plan around it. In our next post we will talk about how to get started with gardening. We hope that you will join us. The best way to keep up with our new posts is to join our e-newsletter (by the way you get a free cup of tea to boot!). You can do that here! Want to see what we are un to daily? We tend to favorite Instagram so if you aren't following us there then hop on over to our page and start following! Also keep up with both blog posts and Instagram goodness on our Facebook page.
Last week in our blog post, 7 Reasons for Eating Seasonably on the Farm, we talked about the reasons WHY to eat in season. How that benefits our health, the world that we live in, our pocket book and so on. If you missed out on that post please hop on over and read that one first. Today we are talking about the HOW of eating in season. I really think that the practice of eating in season brings the love of seasons to each person even if they only truly appreciate that vine ripe tomato in the hot days of summer. A tomato in any other season just isn't the same!
How to Find Seasonal Foods
When eating foods that are in season first we have to know where to find those foods. It can be as simple as shopping at the same grocery store that you currently shop at or as fun as hitting the farmer's market in your local city or visiting a local farm.
When searching out seasonal foods in your local grocery store you want to think about what season it is. Many of us know that watermelons grow in the summer as do tomatoes, we know that pumpkins and squash come the end of summer and into the fall ect. Many of traditions and our culture are based on these things so some of them will come naturally. You will want to look up online what is in season in your area and when. This great database by the Sustainable Table gives you a way to search your area and time of year for seasonable foods, just click here to check out their database. Usually the price of the produce in the grocery store will tell you how seasonal it is. Also many grocery stores are now placing the details of where the item was grown or placing a local sign near the price tag. If it was grown in Mexico it is probably not seasonal for our area. Look for those locally grown signs and stick with things you know tend to be eaten in the season you are in.
A great way to get an education, without searching online for what is in season, is to visit your local farmer's market or a small local farm. When you visit a farmer's market they will only have farmers there that are local and have grown all their fruits and veggies (even meats) on their farm. This means that they are not imported and they are only growing what is in season. This is probably the best and easiest way to switch to foods that are in season. To find a local farmer's market near you check out the USDA Local Food Directories Listing found here. You can also Google or look on Facebook by typing in a city near you and the words 'farmers market'.
How to Plan and Prepare Seasonal Foods
Now that we know WHERE we find seasonal foods what do we do with them? Many of us are use to eating what ever the recipe we are making calls for no matter what the season is. Hamburgers in the middle of winter with tomatoes and lettuce, no problem! Oh wait there is snow out on the ground... maybe those things are not in season right now.
Some of eating in season requires an adjustment to our mind frame and our eating habits. While it is natural to want a juicy watermelon in summer to cool you off, we are just very habitual people that we have to make a mental effort to change our habits. Which is why the prior post was about reasons for changing to seasonal foods.
Adjusting Foods you Already Love
Here are a few ways to adjust the foods you love to our current season:
#1 Make Your Favorites Seasonal
It is always easiest to start with those foods that are familiar to you and your family and just tweak them a bit to fit the season. Lets take a few examples and tweak them a bit:
Hamburgers- Keep the bun (make sure its whole foods!), keep the cheese, keep the meat (both local and grass fed of course) but lets change out those veggies for the season. In the summer lettuce and tomatoes are fantastic or maybe change it up and add some fresh basil pesto to your burger. How about the fall? In the fall use sautéed mushrooms and cheese. In the winter how about some fried onions from storage and some homemade BBQ sauce, preserved pickles or go for a veggie burger made from beans and rice. In the spring what about trying a cauliflower 'chicken' burger or adding grilled spring onions and herbed mayo to your beefy burger.
Tacos - In the spring, fried cauliflower tacos are wonderful and taste like cod fish. Add some in-season cabbage slaw and your good to go! In the summer some grilled chicken with zucchini and tomato salsa with fresh fruit on the side would be perfect. In the fall how about these Chipotle Quinoa Sweet Potato Tacos with Cranberry Salsa? They look great! Last but not least, the winter taco, how about a potato and chorizo taco? Or ground beef and lentils with preserved tomatillo salsa?
Lasagana- In the spring use a white sauce and fill it with chicken and spring veggies such as asparagus, spinach etc. In the summer its time for the tomatoes and basil to shine! In the fall a good butternut squash lasagna would be perfect and in the winter hopefully you preserved some of those lovely tomatoes into sauce, dehydrated some mushrooms and have fresh spinach growing in your greenhouse or cold frame, or even from the store.
Spaghetti- Springtime spaghetti could be a white sauce with lot of spinach and asparagus, in the summer again the tomatoes and basil will shine through and some grilled chicken or ground beef. In the fall its time to turn those zucchini into noodles or find a spaghetti squash and add to your sauce what ever veggies you have on hand. The winter is always about featuring your preserved foods or cold, hearty winter veggies such as squashes, hearty greens and root veggies. Mix it up a bit with a white sauce, use veggies as noodles, your stored or dehydrated spices and veggies. Get creative!
Salads- We eat these year around because our kale seems to want to grow year around. Our lettuce is totally another story. We always start with a base of greens, what ever is fresh, local, seasonal. We add what we have and there have been some combinations that looked strange but tasted great. Our travels abroad to Russia, Bulgaria and Rome have taught us a few things about salads! Like that citrus in them is better than tomatoes and fruit of any kind for that matter. Our favorite winter salads have apples, dried cranberries or raisins and nuts with an apple cider vinaigrette. Sometimes we eat that through the spring if our spinach is abundant and apple storage lasts that long. Eventually in the spring we welcome radishes, carrots, cabbage, strawberries, sugar snap peas. In the summer its tomatoes, green beans, zucchini, peaches, blueberries, cucumbers. In the fall apples start coming back and we tend to cook more veggies during this time when the weather is cooling off.
#2 Switch Out Ingredients for Seasonal Veggies
Necessity is the mother of invention right? Later this spring I found myself totally forgetting to buy celery. Well it wasn't at the farmer's market so what is a girl to do?! I found that using fennel in place of celery in many dishes didn't affect the taste much and sometimes made it more exciting. It is very similar to celery in its texture and form but has a bit of a licorice bite. I must say, in our curried chicken sandwiches it brought more life to it.
Another example could be onions. In the spring, 'spring onions' are ready to use, sub them in place of your typical storage onion (or what we might consider a regular onion). Chives come on a bit after spring onions so those could be used next in season. You could pull your onions from the garden early and use them as 'new onions' and later on use your storage onions.
Potatoes also do not grow year around but are typically stored for long periods. In the spring new potatoes or fingerlings will be more affordable than your typical baking potato. Start with the new potatoes and wait for the fall for your baking potatoes.
Take a look at the veggies in your recipe, are they what is in season now? Could you trade out something else instead?
#3 Try Something New!
Its ok to change up your eating habits and try something new. Many ethnic recipes tend to use whole foods that are in season because for most of them that is all they have avialable to them. A blessing in disguise if you ask me, they do not have to learn what is in season as we who are reading (and writing this post) have to work to learn.
Resources, Data Bases and More
A lot of eating in season is just eating what is available to us. The best way to know what that is to shop the local farmers market (or purchase a CSA), see and purchase what is available and then learn to make do with those options. That could be related to learning a language by full emersion such as when a student partakes in an exchange program. There is nothing like learning by diving in. Though even those students do their due diligence before they fly off to their country of choice.
Below we are excited to share with you some of the resources we use to learn to eat in season! Our favorite place to find seasonal recipes is on Pinterest! It is probably the main reason we use this social media website. Its just full of too many good ideas. We have a board of recipes for each season. Feel free to click on them and check them out!
Make sure you also check out the Sustainable Table's Seasonal Food Guide online! Its super easy to just enter the area you live in and then the season you are searching and up come a list of your seasonal foods! How awesome is that?!
Another great place to find seasonal recipes at the Sustainable Table
Download our Seasonal Eats Pack here for free which includes a menu planner for local, in season and whole foods as well as a list of seasonal foods and free recipe cards! Don't miss out on this great resource!
Howdy from down on the farm! If you are just joining us, welcome to our 6 part series of learning how to ditch the grocery store and grow all your own food sustainably. Our first blog post in the series may be found here; Simple and Easy Skills Make you Grocery Store Free. Make sure to check that out if you haven't already and grab those free printables!
Today we are going to share some great reasons about WHY you would want to eat in season and WHAT eating in season is. The third post in this blog series will go about showing you the HOW to eat in season. We have some great resources and recipes for that upcoming post.
What is Eating in Season?
Eating in season means that we eat the foods that are harvested in the season we are in. Simply put we would not eat watermelons in December or pumpkins in May fresh from the garden. Instead we would be eating pumpkins in the fall (put up in cold storage or preserved) and watermelons in August or September depending on the area you live in. Another good example is tomatoes, nothing tastes better than a garden fresh tomato in August but those December tomatoes taste off and are never as flavorful as in summer.
"All things have their season, and in their time all things pass under heaven." - Ecclesiasticus 20:22
#1 Forces us to Use Whole Foods
Why should we eat with the seasons? We would love to share with you 7 different reasons. The main purpose of our blog post today though is to follow up with progress and ditching the grocery store and growing a sustainable garden. So the main reason to eat seasonably is that it first forces us to eat whole foods. If we are eating with the seasons we are not consuming things like potato chips from the store, microwave meals, fast food etc. We are cooking at home from scratch with real whole foods grown/harvested in the current season. We are picking which ingredients go into our foods from the type of sugar and flour to the type of potatoes we use to make our own chips and if we bake or fry those. For this reason its much healthier as well as more affordable. For when we do the work ourselves we save money by paying ourselves to do the labor.
#2 Trains You to Eat What you can Grow
The second most important reason is that by eating in season it trains us to eat what we will grow ourselves. If we eat a watermelon out of season in December we will never be able to eat what we grow. Watermelons love warm weather and it takes a lot more effort and tools to grow them out of season. By eating in season we can 'pretend' that we are eating from the garden. We learn what we would be growing in the garden if we were growing our own food and we also know what we would be harvesting. It gives us practice on the cooking and preservation of those items that we may grow later. It also gives us an education in gardening before we dive in and grow our own. Eating in season also gives us a chance to discover if we want to grow that vegetable or fruit in our own garden or if its not something that we would enjoy. There is no reason to grow what you won't eat.
#3 More Affordable
Eating in season is also more affordable. When fruits and veggies are in season they are usually in abundance. Take for instance zucchini. We have it in abundance down on the farm right now with 3-5 or more a day. The grocery store or farmers markets are also going to have an abundance and the general rule of supply and demand applies here. When there is more supply the price goes down according to the demand. It also costs less to grow zucchini in the summer locally than to have to import it from another location far away and so naturally the price would be less. This applies to all seasonal fruits and veggies not just zucchini.
#4 Better for our Health
Seasonal eating is much healthier for us because the fruits and veggies are usually picked at their peak. They tend to be more local and so they travel less. For these two reasons there is much more nutrition in an in-season fruit or vegetable than there would be for an out of season veggie or fruit. They are also healthier because they are a whole food and not processed. Eating seasonal foods, locally, provides even more nutrition because they are harvested at their peak. When they are picked at their peak they also have more flavor than those picked too soon. Did you know that bananas are typically gassed to speed up and control their ripening?
#5 Inspires Creativity
Eating whole seasonal foods tends to inspire some creativity in the kitchen. When you have gone through 10-20 zucchini, zucchini sautés just don't cut it any more. Many can probably attest to baking zucchini bread, zucchini cake, zucchini this and that and the other. By the way... have you seen our zucchini recipe board on Pinterest? Just incase.... you know... your like us and have lots of zucchini hanging out! Yum... I think its time to make some zucchini brownies now.
Any how, case in point. When there is an abundance of produce it forces us to come up with interesting dishes, ways to preserve them and use them in order to make sure they don't go to waste. And while that might seem like a trial, some of the best things have been invented out of necessity.
#6 In Tune with God's Seasons
"All expect of thee that thou give them food in season." -Psalm 103:27
This reason to eat foods in season is what started our little farm adventure. We are Catholics here down on the farm and the Catholic Church has what is called the Liturgical Year. Its the means by which the Church organizes the year and its devotions. Every Sunday's Mass has certain prayers that go with it and certain Bible verses and stories that are read and meditated on. There is also a day of the year in which each Saint has his/her feast day and that is commemorated in the Mass. This is what is called the Liturgical Year. Just as in a secular calendar, the Church's calendar has seasons and we call those Liturgical Seasons. All of the lessons are very much based on the cycle of the earth's seasons. In the late fall and early winter we have Advent, the waiting of Christ coming to earth (time before Christmas), in winter we have a long Christmas season, then in the Spring we welcome Lent and Easter. The summer time is referred to as Time after Pentecost or as Maria Von Trapp called it "the green meadow".
It is this Liturgical calendar that brought us to love and appreciate every season for its harvests, for its rest, for its work. We celebrate and do penance according to the season in which God has designed and it isn't only designed in His liturgical calendar but also in the world which He created. When we add eating in season to this we look forward to summer because the fruits are on their way, sometimes we look forward to the end because the zucchini is done (can you see where my brain is these days?!). God in His omnipotence has certainly ordained that certain fruits and veggies grow during certain seasons so that they are the most beneficial to us during certain times. For God has a purpose in all His designs. He created nutrition packed berries and water filled fruits to help cool us in the summer and He created many wonderful nourishing greens and cruciferous veggies to help our systems clear out after a long winter of heavy rich foods. God is so good in designing things for our benefit! Eating with the seasons brings us closer to God and His creations.
#7 Better Steward's of God's Creations
"And the Lord God took man, and put him into the paradise of pleasure, to dress it, and to keep it." Genesis 2:15
When God created Adam He created Him to take care of the world which He just made. As descendants of Adam, we are called to do the same and make sure that we are using the tools that God gave us properly. When we eat in season we are more likely to eat locally sourced food. More often than not that locally sourced food doesn't require the chemical usage that a food from a distance will require to preserve it. Those whole foods will not come, usually, wrapped in plastics and as much packaging had it traveled a long distance or if it was preserved for a long time. So there is much less waste especially if you compost or feed food scraps to farm animals. Less energy is used when growing foods in season than out of season. Less fertilizer and less water is needed. Eating in season is also very sustainable. When we use the left overs of those whole in season foods properly they can also build up the soil where we can plant again. A food system based on processed foods, grown abroad creates a lot of garbage waste, labor waste and resource waste that could be saved by eating whole foods grown locally and in season.
How to Eat in Season & What's on the Menu?
Now that we know and understand why eating in season is so healthy for our body's and minds, why it is much more affordable and how it helps us to be better at taking care of God's green earth, HOW do we do it? What veggie grows during what time of year? How do we cook it? We plan to answer those questions and provide some free tools for you to put to use in next weeks blog post. Please make sure to return for part 3 of our 6 part series!
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Have you seen the constant articles in the news about food sources be tainted with heavy metals or foods, such as the latest news that much of the chocolate for sale contains amounts of lead. Also the articles about food containing things that they should not contain such as the plastic in rice in China? Sadly these kinds of food issues are nothing all that new. In Fr. Fahey's book, the Church and Farming, he addresses many of these things. It use to be common place that grain mills would add fillers to bulk the flour out and bring in a higher dollar.
Any time that our food is processed from its original state and/or grown by a large corporation we will risk the danger of contaminates in our food sources along with food that is not healthful for our bodies.
Today we are sharing an excerpt from Fr. Fahey's wonderful book, which was written in the 1950's, regarding the processing of food. What the danger it poses to our health and how we should avoid them. We previously shared an excerpt from this wonderful book on our blog, incase you have missed you can find the link below:
12 Factors to Good Health - Food Health & Proper Nutrition
Processing of Food in General
The Church and Farming
By: Father Denis Fahey
+ Imprimatur 1952
I have devoted so much space to bread because of its importance, that I must limit myself to some general observations concerning other foods. The work is simplified for me, however, by the excellent Appendix I, contributed by Dr. N. Philip Norman to Tomorrow's Food. From that very valuable statement, which I strongly recommend to my readers to study in its entirety, I take a few extracts:
"Food in modern times undergoes amazing treatment. Provident Nature has given us food-stuffs that are perfect for man's utilization, but we are not connect. We mutilate the original food pattern: refined, polish and separate it into fractions; hold it in undated cans or packages for indefinite periods; add chemical preservatives; cook it carelessly; and finally, add vitamins and minerals to make it fit for human consumption … Can there be any explanation for this meddling and mutilating of our food except huge profits to processing concerns? Certainly the public's health is deriving no benefits from such tampering … Consider another sign of the times - the constant increase in size and number of hospitals .. .What we are suffering from is malnutrition, plus the innumerable ills that follow in its wake…"
Large Businesses & Foodstuffs
"Large businesses have developed for handling our foodstuffs. They now dominate our minds, and it will require unremitting, concerted efforts for us to free ourselves. Their attention has not primarily been focussed on healthier human beings. As a result of advertising campaigns and clever propaganda, we have come to think as they want us to think; we have accepted what the have told us as facts. Not only have our thinking and acting been influenced, but our tastes have been so conditioned that we now crave the nutritionally minus concoctions they prepare for us … To elucidate what has been happening to our food supply, we give a few examples:
"Polishing rice- which robs the cereal of its antineuritic factor.
Separating grains into fractions instead of using the whole grain- which gives u bread and cereals of inferior quality.
'Refined' table sugar - all minerals and vitamins are extracted from sugar cane or beet juice for this product.
Products made from 'refined' sugar: sweet beverages, confections, and bakery commodities.
Combining berries and fruits with large quantities of 'refined' sugar in jellies, jams and preserves.
Citrus fruits, picked before they are ripe or subjected to gas treatment to develop colour.
Perpeared and pre-cooked breakfast foods and cereals.
Bolted (literally filtered) flours, chiefly wheat and corn.
Meats and fish are … soaked in 'smoke solutions' or injected with… chemicals and 'smoke solutions'...
Mass production of eggs' which gives us non fertile eggs, devoid of an essential hormone...
Addition of artificial coloring and flavoring to foods gone insipid because of processing, etc. etc.
"Although research in nutrition has revealed that the caloric and biologic (quality) food values are interrelated, it is with the latter that we are chiefly concerned. When we ask how many calories a certain meal contains, we are inquiring into the amount of heat units it will produce.
The benefits that man derives from food, however, cannot be measured only in calories; food is not to man what coal is to a furnace. One of these benefits has to do with disease prevention.. Lowered resistance follows faulty nutrition as night follows day.
Many refined or otherwise processed 'new foods', such as those we have already listed, have been robbed of vital, health-promoting factors. The food processors earn large profits for their mutilation of food patterns, which if left undisturbed are entirely right for our consumption and are not in need of being 'enriched,' 'restored,' or 'fortified.' Food so devoid of nutritional value as to require 'restoration,' 'fortification,' or 'enrichment' is not wholesome food … As a chemical nutritionist, the writer has had considerable experience in the practical application of nutrition principles to his patents."
Nutrition and Physical Degeneration
It would be possible to give what may be termed an a posteriori proof of the physical degeneration caused by processed foods, by selecting passages from Dr. Weston A. Price's fine book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, already alluded to. The book is illustrated by photographs taken all over the world. What Dr. Price says about two countries as far apart as Switzerland and New Zealand is typical of what he found everywhere, as a result of the introduction of processed in the place f natural foods. Of Switzerland he reports: "High immunity to dental caries, freedom from deformity of the detail arches and face, and sturdy physiques with high immunity to disease were all found associated with physical isolation, and with forced limitation in selection of foods. This resulted in a very liberal use of dairy products and whole-rye bread, in connection with plant foods, and with meat served about once a week. The individuals in the modernized districts were found to have widespread tooth decay. Many had facial and dental arch deformities and much susceptibility to diseases. These conditions were associated with the use of refined ceral flours, a high intake of sweets, canned goods, sweetened fruits, chocolate, and a greatly reduced use of dairy products. I inquired of several clinicians in Switzerland dental caries and tuberculosis among the people of Switzerland. I noted that the reports indicated that the two diseases were generally associated. We shall find a corollary to this in many studies in other parts of the world."
On pages 207, 208, 210, 211, Dr. Price gives excellent photographs both of Maori and white inhabitants of New Zealand. The following are some of his comments on the photographs: "Since the discovery of New Zealand the primitive natives, the Maori, have had the reputation of having the finest teeth and finest bodies of any race in the world. Only one tooth per thousand teeth had been attacked by tooth decay before they came under the influence of the white man. In striking contrast with the beautiful faces of the primitive Maori those born since the adoption of deficient modernized foods are grossly deformed. Note the marked under-development of the facial bones, one of the results being narrowing of the dental arches with crowding of the teeth and under-developtment of the air passages."
"The original primitive Maori had reportedly the finest teeth in the world. The whites now in New Zealand are claimed to have the poorest teeth in the world. An analysis of the two types of food reveals the reason."
The remedy obviously demanded by commonsense is the reorganization of our methods of dealing with food and the reeducation of our people, "Could it not be successfully argued," write James Rorty and Dr. Philip Norman, "that the public investment of money, education and administrative energy in the rationalization of our food economy and culture, all the way from the farm to the dinner table, to the measures of a biological accountancy, would net greater gains in health than an equal investment in medical therapy?"
Two obstacles lie in the way of that sane attitude. As the first obstacle to sane reform concerns the medical profession, I shall allow doctors to put it before my readers.
Reorganizing Our Food Methods
Thank you Father Fahey, your words of wisdom from 64 years ago! They are a great light at the end of this dark tunnel of food confusion that we live in. More and more news of harmful processed foods continue to stream in the news. We constantly bombarded with articles and books telling us to eat this and eat that leaving us throughly overwhelmed. A bit of commonsense, showing that simple whole foods prepared properly, in reasonable amounts and grown locally instead of by agri-industry, are really the most healthful for us! It turns out the quality of food is surely more important than the quantity of food.
The comments on health care in relation to processd foods could not have hit home more today than it did in Father Fahey's time 64 years ago. With our socialistic health care system, more money is pumped into reaction to disease rather than into prevention of disease. With nutrition not high on the list of education, in our medical system, we are left to ourselves to answer Fr. Fahey's suggestion of a remedy to this ill. Let us share with each other this great information on how processed foods create ill health and WHAT those processed foods LOOK like. They don't all just come in a box, but they might even look like whole foods.
What information did you find most helpful in Father Fahey's writings?
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My name is CeAnne, wife to my Farmer and mama to 4 adopted kiddos. I help farm lov'n mama's (and grandmas) turn common herbs into powerful medicines without being overwhelmed. Here you will find all sorts of nourishing goodness on natural medicine, herb gardening and wholesome real foods. Read more about our farm HERE.