Monday, May 30, 2011

Farmer's Markets-God's Apothecary

Senior Life- God’s Private Garden
June 2011

“And God, not Monsanto said, let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself upon earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God, not bioengineers, saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1:11-12)

It’s an old fashion, newfangled concept: the freshest, seasonal local fruits and vegetables, raw honey, artisan cheese, wines, brews, breads, clean grass-fed meats, and bug-fed chickens straight from family farms to the kitchen. I adore going to farmers markets; lively social centers where I always run into smiling friends and bask in the warm glow of community. These outdoor markets keep me grounded to the earthy roots of nutrition where fresh food fare is vastly more significant to a senior’s health than the eventuality of a geriatric doctor.
Thirty years ago eating local was a radical notion, but times are a  ‘changin’.  Farmer’s Markets provide sanctuary from proliferating genetically modified grocery versions of Gods creations. Anyone who sees this biotech time bomb with spiritual eyes will recognize that genetically modified plants and animals are not about improving quality or providing healthful alternatives to the world. They’re playing God and polluting His creations. God’s law doesn’t sanction genetic alteration even though bioengineers proudly market altered organisms as something helpful to humans.  The author of all life is God who created every species to reproduce after its own kind. Thus, there’s no reason for man to modify DNA and cross transplant genes from one entity into another. In false hubris, man creates species God never intended to exist. Such alteration of species violates God’s natural order. Do I hear amen! 

Community Farmer’s Markets solve the growing problem of food access and the plight of family farmers. Farmer’s Markets remind us fresh wholesome food grown without contains maximum heavenly nutrition that sustains body and soul. As you know, to remain mentally and physically sturdy, our manufacturer expects us to eat balanced meals containing complex carbs, clean plant and animal protein, fruit and vegetables, nuts, seeds, healthy fats, and an occasional goodie as a reward for being a good steward of His creation. Nevertheless, we’ve departed from the road of nutritional righteousness, settling for what’s set before us as long as it’s effortless, looks and tastes familiar.

Our grandparents didn’t eat from the golden arches,  smoked non-filter Camels, drank hard liquor, decanted clouds of heavy cream into their Folgers, ate globs of butter and bacon fat, and dinner was either chunks-o-beef, pork, chicken or fish. They did not however, use poisonous chemicals and growth hormones and sure, some of the crap they ate was gross, but our grandparents knew the importance of fresh balanced meals and taking care of themselves in a much less neurotic, self-interested way.  
What’s right is often forgotten by what is convenient. In a haze of suitability, Americans have resorted to buying Del Monte and Dole plastic fruit salad cups shipped from China. Oh, the agony of inconvenience!
Happily, Americans are transcending this mind-set and increasing their intake of fresh local produce and backing off on meat and taters three times a day, and whole grains are replacing potatoes. Folks are returning to the simple preindustrial revolution lifestyle of their forefathers; foraging for fresh food from local farms. If great-grandfather wouldn’t have recognized it as food, then it’s not fit for consumption. So don’t eat anything that comes in a box, tube, or bag.  

Breaking pre-industrial revolution tradition has proved catastrophic to the collective health of a great nation.  The backbone of America, the Family Farm has all but been destroyed by Big Food and ‘Monsatan’.  Let us all return to the ‘Farm-acy’ and dance till the music stops.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Food is Sacred

With summer peaking, the solstice passed, our warm earth begins to cool, days get shortened while shiny plump crows caw over painted harvests and compost crusted gardeners and family farmers dance, sing, and reap in joyful celebration. 

The third sphere from the sun freely yields what grows on its bountiful surface. The ultimate recompense of human bumblebees seeding, growing and reaping food, herbs, and flowers from Earth’s gardens is to express; to create then harvest beauty and nourishment with inspiration drawn from the altruistic well of Nature’s soul. The plant world lives not in isolation but in sacrosanct interdependence with our shared earthly milieu.  Just as skin, bone, and brain form the whole of human carbon based organisms, edible plants are upstanding, indispensable human compatriots; equal members connected by our common oneness.
There's no form of food consumption more quixotic, satisfying and soul-stirring than eating what’s been recently harvested from a small garden plot or neighboring family farm.  Not much fossil fuel gets burned when plucking and reaping zucchini or sweet cherry tomatoes a few steps or blocks from the kitchen counter top. Green families feeding their clan from their sequestered vegetable plot squeeze pennies doing so.  Diligent gardeners are acquiring gigantic freezers together with an eagerness to resuscitate the ancient mysteries of canning. 

Growing and raising food and supporting local farmer is an excellent way to obtain the freshest, most nutritious energy-packed produce, often at reasonable prices. Wisdom decrees learning to store, temperature control, and preserve perishable plant foods. The American family throws away $500 of food annually due to poor product management.  Plant foods need a little help from their green friends. 
Like garlands of pearls, flower buds blossom expressing joy by putting forth their delicate, aromatic petals.  When a flower is respectfully picked for aesthetic delight, the Earth has a sense of well-being, for the Earth cheerfully shares its prosperity. For example, when the corn is reaped in the autumn or when animals graze on the plant growth, fostering Earth has a sensation of well-being such as that felt by the cow when its calf suckles milk.
A home filled with natures abundance has extraordinary energy; a delicious vibration of love and respect. Food is sacred; our supper tables an altar of gratitude to the Great Spirit.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Cruciferous Veggies with 'NO-Cheese" Sauce

2 tbs. wheat free soy sauce
1 tbs. lemon juice
2 ½ tbs. raw cashew or sunflower butter
Dash of cayenne pepper
1/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes
2 tsp. potato starch
½ tsp. onion powder
Dash of garlic powder
1/3 cup almond milk

  • Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and gently heat.
  • Stir frequently to avoid lumps and burning.
  • Add extra yeast or potato flour if too runny or almond milk if too thick.
  • Once the ‘sauce’ is as thick as you like, it’s ready to serve over enchiladas, pasta, vegetables, and nachos or for a cheese base for a baked casserole.
  • We suggest not cooking it too long, however. Heat kills!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Water: The Source of Life

Under a colander of stars, moonlit waters mirror heaven, revealing the intimacy between heaven and earth. Man is privileged to live on what planetary astrobiology considers one of the Cosmo’s rare, blue water planets. Nevertheless, man knows and cares more about the moon than he does the sanctity of our planet’s waters, the life blood of Earth.
Clearly man only sees what concerns him. Thoreau wrote instead of looking to the sky, look into the placid reflecting salubrious waters for signs and promises of the morrow, referring to water as earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.
When the Great Spirit christened earth, the first morning sun rose, nestled within a soft yellow and raspberry sky; the atmosphere, land, water, plants and microbes were pure. If not for H2O on earth 4.5 billion years ago, all life would simply not exist. It seems anomalous calling our beautiful planet ‘earth’, when it’s clearly an ocean star as man and earth’s surface are made up of 85 percent water.
Envisioning water as clean, humans shower, wash clothing and cars, and over-soak manicured ego lawns and gardens with fresh water, yet most earthlings rehydrate their most holy possession, the human temple, with rivers of frou-frou coffees, artificial fruit drinks, and fizzy colas. Assuredly, Earthlings wouldn’t ever shower in Diet Coke nor swim in a rippling stream of Mountain Dew. But then again, nothing surprises me anymore.
Of the thin veneer, very little of earth’s water is pristine. Earth’s water is increasingly unusable; befouled by man-made contaminants. Thoreau would be distressed, sobbing at the willy-nilly use of earth-poisoning herbicides to rid vanity lawns of highly nourishing dandelions, tiptoeing purslane, and constellations of flora and fauna.
Slow progress in protecting water’s integrity is not acceptable, as more than three million people die every year from avoidable water-related disease and more bodies of water such as the Gulf of Mexico are dying. If man rises to meet this challenge, he must altruistically foster respectful approaches that are people-centered and earth-friendly.
Complex life is uncommon in our enigmatic universe. Earth needs loving stewardship and prudent, conscious conservation for future generations to survive. Clean water should not be a luxury, but it could possibly become one. Water is constantly recycled, and we all live downstream from some power plant, manufacturing facility or industrial agriculture complex. But healthy families, communities, environments and economies rely on clean, safe water. To ensure our water resources for the future, we must protect them today. The tragedy in Fukushima illuminates society’s agony of inconvenience when potable water is scarce or tainted.
Remember we are merely guests here; caretakers. Dominion is subjective and abused.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

New Food Trends 2011

Re-awakened hungry Americans, motivated by a need to know more about the source of the food they feed their families are returning to their ancestral traditions. They’re hunting and foraging closer to home at community farmer’s markets and local sources for clean meats, artisan breads, mushrooms, local honey and cheeses, colorful, nurturing produce and frequenting more mom-and-pop-owned diners. Farm-friendly, organic, non-GMO, naturally occurring, scratch cooking and canning are becoming today’s dietetic mantra.
Health and convenience drive today’s food sales. People are returning to eating family dinners at home where they control the ingredients. They want less hassle, easy to prepare, ready-to-eat fresh ingredients.
Home food preservation and bulk cooking have rebirthed as earth-connected folks grow, preserve and enjoy harvesting their verdant gardens or community farmers market, not scientific laboratories. They do this to eliminate toxic sugar, salt, unnatural preservatives, MSG and food colorings. Other factors are the weak economy, frightening food recalls and an honest desire to improve health via fresh food, controlling its quality from the farm to the fork. Consumers are picking naturally healthy foods such as fruit, vegetables, salads, nuts, whole grains and pro-biotic yogurt. Fruit is now America’s second-favorite snack.
More are grazing, driving demand for healthier single-serving snacks in vending machines, nutrition and fibrous diet bars, smoothies and energy drinks. Alkaline waters such as Fiji, Smart Water, Kangen and Penta waters are “in.”
Felonious trans fats (hydrogenated) are finally “out” for their rock sold connection to acquiring heart disease. Demand for low calorie and light products will continue to grow. Also, watch for allergen-free claims on food labels. Next to low fat, whole grains were the most influential food label claim. Dairy products with cholesterol-lowering sterols and antioxidant-rich chocolate are making an appearance. As more people become aware of soy dangers, consumption is waning.
We’re all physicians who can heal the magnificent Holy Temple. Nearly two-thirds of shoppers embrace Hippocrates’s avowal, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” They doctor through diet to prevent and manage health disorders such as diabetes, obesity, Crohn’s, fibromyalgia, atherosclerosis, heart disease, cancer and more.
Want an occasional vegetarian meal? Mobile food applications are exploding and offer convenience beyond the name and address of a restaurant. You can score a menu, prices and a reservation. Everything you need to cook a healthy meal at home; recipe, shopping list and coupons are also at your fingertips.
Responsible chefs are entering school cafeterias not only to brighten up the menus but to entice kids to eat healthy foods. Kids and adults alike have comfort zones when it comes to food’s appearance and flavors. Breaking away from barriers and bad habits can be an exciting food adventure; one that wakes up your taste buds and improves your perception of living, nutritious foods from our creator.
These trends hold promise if the amoral food industry offers convenience without industrially trashing once healthy foods. Fads will come and go, and the government will continue to analyze health claims made by food manufacturers. The ageing of baby boomers is driving the food industry in a new direction, one that could have a significant impact on the future health of the population. And that can only be a good thing.
After all, food is about more than just nourishment, it’s also about culture, and weaving the threads that bind the tapestry of a thriving community.