Thoughts On Food – From My Swing

Reader Contribution by Bruce Mcelmurray
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 In my recent topic I wrote how we hike down to our swing which is a very peaceful and quiet place to contemplate and think about subjects. So what do we think about in that swing? Multiple things but one that keeps reoccurring is the food we eat.  I grow our own spinach, lettuce and swiss chard, and clearly have no luck with zucchini and some other vegetables at this altitude. I read along with many others the potential hazards regarding some of the commercial food we purchase possesses. How it contains antibiotics, chemical preservatives, genetic changes and other additives that are harmful to our bodies and health.  Like many other people we are very concerned with what we eat and how it may effect our general health. We personally  live in a very healthy place where the air is more pure than most other places and our water comes from our own well.   No one lives between us and the top of the mountain so there is no human contamination  of our water source.  It is unnecessary to run it through a filter or chemical process because it comes out of the ground 215′ below us as pure as can be.  So our main concern is what we eat.

We all need to eat to survive and I get overwhelmed at what I learn about commercial food and the long term harmful effects it can have on my body.  Clearly we can’t trust our government agencies to fully regulate harmful pesticides and herbicides for us – they are too strongly influenced by the power and money of the chemical companies.  So here stands Mother Earth News which seems pretty much alone in trying to educate people like myself about potentially harmful things that could harm us.  

Recent studies now tell us that organic is better for us because it contains fewer pesticides and herbicides.  That we should utilize our local farmers market for home grown food.  I agree with that and hope those who  sell us food and claim it is organic are always being truthful.  We live quite a distance from our nearest farmers market and it is only open one half day a week so it is infrequent that we can attend.  I believe that buying local however is a very wise choice when ever possible.

I am disturbed over how the chemical companies seem to be re-engineering and manipulating our food sources.  How some people consider chemical additives as the natural thing to do. When I grew up it was rare to hear about a child with cancer.  Now days they have hospitals exclusively for children with cancer. Something has intervened to cause all this disease.  We see so many television bites about sick children that I fear we may come to accept it as natural consequences of living.  Could some of it come from what we eat, what we breathe, what we drink?  Our immune system’s seem to be less able to protect us. I personally hope that I never get so over exposed to children/people sufferings to where I lose my sensitivity for it. That when I see a child struggling to live on television that I never stop shedding tears for what they are going through.

So when I go sit on our swing and contemplate things I remember how it was when I was a child and how it is for children today.  How everyone seems so busy that little time is probably given to thinking about how we may be slowly and incrementally harming ourselves with our fast paced lifestyles.  How we are more prone to just drive through a fast food restaurant instead of preparing our own meals. The more I contemplate these things the more I feel helpless I feel.  

I read topics in Mother Earth News that I know are vital to our good health and necessary to educate us.  I wonder how many other people read the same articles and instead believe the chemical companies.  How many believe convenience carries inherent risks and you either learn to live with it or simply ignore it. I wish there was a clear and simple answer but it is beyond my ability to find one.  I think about these things from my quiet spot on my swing.  I think of these and similar issues and my only conclusion is that we should all be very thankful to Mother Earth News for being persistent in publishing these articles so we are able to make informed choices if we choose to.  Were it not for the staff of Mother we probably wouldn’t have this valuable information unless we actually searched for it ourselves.  How many of us would actually do that?  Not many I expect – every one seems so busy now days.  

So please take a moment and write Mother Earth News and tell them how thankful you are that they are our watchdog and keeping us informed and educated over hazards that may impact us.  I’m doing it in this blog topic and I think you should let them know too.
Ponderings from my swing – for more on Bruce and Carol McElmurray go to: