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Sherry Rheaume

Heads Up


                                “Organic Food Has No Nutritional or Health Benefits”
    That was the heading of an article on Yahoo news July 30th. OK That caught my attention, so I read it. It went on to say that “consumers were paying higher prices for organic food because of its perceived health benefits, when there was no significant difference in nutrition from food that is not organic.”
    While this may be true, it is misleading because they do not talk at all about the adverse health effect of pesticides and herbicides that are used on all commercial crops that are not organic. They completely miss the reason people choose the higher priced organic foods. The more important question everyone should ask is “Is the organic food in the grocery stores really free of pesticides and herbicides and, what are the long term effects of these chemicals on the human body?”
    Over the years I have noticed that when there has been media coverage like this, or misinformation about the food we eat, it is because they are trying to break a company that is stepping on the prophets of some bigger businesses who has friends in high places. Always do your own research and never rely on the media for all your information.
    It is very hard to grow organic food for anyone, but for the farmer out there who has to compete with the commercial farms, well; let’s just say that I am surprised that organic food is as cheep as it is. Even in my own garden that I have taken great care to keep it organic; but even with all the work I put in to this, I see herbicide mutation in my tomato plants. My guess is, one of my neighbors has used weed and feed or some other grass beautifying toxin, and the wind has carried it to my tomato plants.   
    Vegetables that we grow ourselves have the highest enzymes if they are eaten within twenty-four hours of when they are harvested. After twenty-four hours you start losing these enzymes which are important for the digestion of minerals nutrients. You will not get this from mass produced food bought in the grocery stores because most of it is grown somewhere else, harvested green and shipped in.
    Trace minerals are absent in some soils that have been over farmed. You can add the trace minerals back to the soil in your own garden and compost to keep the soil more healthy. Commercial farmers do not do this; they just add nitrogen for the big vegetables that look better on the produce shelves. Most of the time, they are lacking in trace minerals, and in some cases, the nitrogen is not natural but chemical.
    My goal is to first, get my community educated about what healthy food is and how to grow it. And second, to get the community involved in doing farmer’s markets and food co-ops so that we are eating closer to home. It helps to personally know the person who grew the food on your table, whether it is vegetables or meat, dairy or grain. You trust what you are eating and if there is something wrong with it, you can go directly to the source and work toward getting better food.  You want to be proud of what you yourself have grown and be sure that the person eating your produce or meat has the best. Community can support each other in the quest to treat the earth and our bodies healthy.
    For those who are interested in further reading on this subject, here is a great article on nutrition and agriculture.