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.