Thursday, September 6, 2012

36 Leaves

That's how many leaves are required to work for one apple.  36 leaves photosynthesizing and creating the skin and sweetness for one apple.  Did you hear that they have finally created a genetically modified apple?  The most stubborn and difficult of all fruits has finally been conquered by that it won't brown!  Welcome to September, Food Awareness Month!

By way of Wendy Johnson, by way of the Buddhist Global Relief website, Wendell Berry offers some helpful suggestions for us to consider when it comes to our food:

  1. Be aware of what is involved in eating by “reclaiming responsibility for one’s own part in the food economy.” See how eating takes place “inescapably in the world” and “is inescapably an agricultural act.”
  2. If possible, “Participate in food production to the extent you can” by growing and preparing some of your own food.
  3. “Learn the origins of the food you buy, and buy the food that is produced closest to your home.” When possible, “deal directly with a local farmer, gardener, or orchardist.”
  4. “Learn, in self-defense, as much as you can of the economy and technology of industrial food production.”
  5. “Learn as much as you can, by direct observation and experience, if possible, of the life histories of the food species” and “what is involved in the best farming and gardening.”

In other news, Stanford just published a study, I think a meta-analysis where they analyze a large group of studies looking at roughly the same subject, and produce a statement about what the studies found in total.  The final word that was relayed to me last night is that they say organic food and conventional foods are no different when it comes to essential nutrition.  All I can say is in my heart of hearts I do not think that is wholly true AND it misses the big picture.  It may put some people's minds at ease or allow others to say "I told you so" but it shouldn't.  Using pesticides is still bad for the planet and bad for the health of all living creatures.  Not everyone believes the scientists who largely agree on this but they probably will someday.  The fact that using genetically modified foods as a main part of our diet is primarily a United States thing is concerning.  The fact that LARGE corporations like Monsanto and ConAgra are huge opposers to the California initiative to require labeling of GMO foods is also concerning.  What is the message that it sends when they don't want us to know what's in our food?  

Finally, I had a dream the other night that I was an X-woman (like the comic book where people mutate and have superpowers).  But I was only 70% X-woman, they tested my blood to find out how much power I had.  The problem was, because I was only 70% X-woman I was not accepted by those who were full X-(wo)men but I was enough X-woman to be hunted by the government.  Probably a big reflection of my thoughts these days: farming and institutions.

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