Sunday, October 31, 2010

Wish I Lived in Iowa on Tuesday



Update 11/5/10 - Francis Thicke ran for Agriculture Secretary of Iowa. He was the only candidate for statewide office in the entire country running on a sustainability platform. Running against a candidate whose campaign was largely supported by Big Ag, he unfortunately wasn't able to garner enough votes to win the office - a loss for Iowa, and a loss for the entire country.

My fervent hope was that he would win. Our country is sorely in need of environmental consciousness among our elected officials. Although Mr. Thicke didn't win this election, he had broad-based support in Iowa and added a great deal to the very important conversation in the US regarding the need to return to sustainable agriculture. Small family farms have taken a beating in recent decades in this country. Government subsidies have contributed in large part to the growth of industrial-scale farming and contributed to the decline of family farms.

With the explosive growth of farmers markets in recent years and a small percentage of consumers demanding and seeking out safe, healthful food for their families, organic, sustainable farming methods are on the rise. While the end of October also signaled the end of farmers markets for this year in our area, I encourage everyone who hasn't yet to investigate how your food is being grown. If you haven't, and if you're purchasing conventionally-grown, factory-farmed meat, eggs, dairy, and produce, you might be quite shocked at the conditions your food is being grown in and shocked at the hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, and other chemicals on your dinner plate. If you haven't already, watching the documentary film Food Inc. is a good place to start.

It's no wonder the health of our nation has declined so dramatically in recent decades. The rise in degenerative disease in this country is shocking. Big Ag is poisoning our food, water, and air, and Big Pharma is continuously coming up with new, and often more dangerous drugs to treat the diseases our adulterated diets (not to mention our chemical-laden soaps, shampoos, toothpastes, deodorants, cosmetics, and cleaning supplies) are triggering.

Events in my own life in recent years, including developing a chronic, inflamatory autoimmune digestive disease several years ago, returning to my vegetable gardening roots in the last couple of years, and nurturing my ten-year-old puppy George back to good health through a radical change in his diet have been eye-opening experiences.

You may be wondering why I'm talking about this. This is a garden blog after all. Aren't I supposed to be talking about pretty flowers and beautiful tomatoes?

Although I was told several years ago when I was handed the diagnosis of my condition that it was treatable (with drugs,) but not curable, I'm now on a mission to prove the doctors wrong. Heartened by witnessing seeing my beloved companion George healing from his chronic, supposedly incurable health conditions through dietary changes, I'm resolved to get the toxins out of my own diet, and out of my environment as much as I can. If changing from a commercially-prepared diet to a healthy, pure, whole-foods diet works for an elderly dog, it can work for humans too. I'm on a mission to prove that for myself, and will be sharing my journey with you in the hope that it may be of some value to you too. If it makes a difference in the life of just one person, or even one pet, it will be worth the effort.

12 comments:

  1. Hi, Linda! I've tried a few times to watch the video, but unfortunately, my computer is acting up and I can't watch anyone's videos right now. I don't know what the speaker's message was about the new face of agriculture, but my hope is that measures can be taken to preserve the family farm. As farms get bigger and bigger and become more like corporations, that's when profit becomes the only concern.

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  2. Hi Rose, Thank you for your comment. I couldn't agree more with what you're saying. I'm sorry you weren't able to see the video. Francis Thicke, recent candidate for Secretary of Agriculture in Iowa is the speaker. I've updated the post with a link to Mr. Thicke's website.

    It's been a busy couple of weeks for me, and I didn't have the time I would have liked to be able to talk about why I posted the video. I'm still pretty busy with the end of the gardening season and doing fall cleanup for my clients, but had some time this evening to update the post with some personal reflections on Mr. Thicke's candidacy and why it was meaningful for me.

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  3. Linda, I'm so glad you had time to add some explanation here. Sounds like we have something else in common. I have a chronic digestive problem, too, that doctors don't seem to have a cure for. It all started after taking a round of pretty strong antibiotics years ago--makes you wonder, doesn't it? I'm looking forward to seeing how your dietary changes work for you.

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  4. Wow Rose! My problem developed after a bout with food poisoning several years ago (factory-farm-produced food.) I was treated with a strong IV antibiotic followed by the usual 10-day oral antibiotic. I later learned of the serious side effects this antibiotic can cause.

    Big Ag made me sick, and Big Pharma made it worse. The only way for me to live my life without severe disability is to take steroid drugs (with their attendant side effects.) The drugs are expensive. (Big Pharma is the most profitable business on the planet.)

    None of the maintenance meds work for me. I've tried every class of them, at least one or two from each class. Either they don't help at all, or the side effects are too debilitating to tolerate, or both.

    It's quite a profitable marriage - Big Ag makes us sick, and Big Pharma provides, not the cure, but a way to 'manage' the illnesses. I intend to escape this paradigm, and have faith I can and will do it. I'm excited to meet this challenge.

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  5. p.s. You may have to register to view it, and I highly recommend listening to Dr. Fuhrman (Morgan Spirlock too,) here: http://tinyurl.com/26lkn49

    (Just so you, (and anyone else reading this,) know, I'm not on anyone's 'bandwagon' nor am I anyone's 'disciple.' I've been, and continue seeking the facts for myself from a multitude of diverse resources, and have developed a personal approach to meeting this challenge.)

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  6. I think since it is your blog, you can say whatever you want.
    I want to hear more about your whole-foods experiences. I am attempting this, again.

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  7. I think you're right Rosey!

    I'll be happy to share what I'm doing. Hopefully it will be encouraging. I'm curious what you're doing too.

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  8. Hey Garden Girl,
    I tried doing a Vegan blog but I fizzled out. It was too many at one time.
    Rosey

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  9. Too bad he didn't win. After I saw your mentions of him I did some research and was rooting for him.

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  10. I know what you mean Rosey. One blog is enough for me.

    Yep, Iowa, and the country could use someone like him in public office MBT. I hope he'll run again. I think he'd win next time, now that folks know who he is and what he's about.

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  11. It's really nice that you've given a larger voice to Francis Thicke -- I hadn't heard of him before (though I was interested in similar candidates local to me). Sometimes these candidates run simply to force the big money races to acknowledge their issues. I was shocked last summer when my family drove through Iowa on a summer vacation. I knew the state grew corn as a monocrop but I didn't realize that meant the entire state was corn. At one exit where we stopped for lunch we even saw corn growing in the medians of the road and in the excess patches of earth between shopping malls.

    On another note, I wanted to ask if you'd be willing to submit your post on growing kale to the new blog carnival I'm hosting. It's one of my favorite veggies too, and I'd love to have it represented as a great cold season crop. Here's the link to the carnival:

    http://www.appalachianfeet.com/2010/11/12/how-to-join-the-new-blog-carnival-called-how-to-find-great-plants/

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  12. That is sad AF. One of my ancestors founded a town in Iowa. Our family's records paint a portrait of a beautiful, wild state with lots of woods and wildlife.

    Thanks for the carnival link - I've submitted the post.

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