Digestive disorders seem to be on the rise in this country — almost to epidemic proportions — evidenced by the number of new cases of lactose intolerance and gluten sensitivity to the more serious chronic cases of celiac, Krohn’s or colitis. Many people, in general, are simply “not feeling well.”
Maybe we’re more sensitive to this since we’re food producers and keep our eyes on this sort of stuff. But look around you, count the number of friends and/or family members that are struggling to find a diet that works for them, that will make all phases of their digestion feel “normal.”
The remedy, as recommended by dieticians, is usually some sort of prescribed diet: Paleo, gluten-free, vegan, vegetarianism, you name it. It’s all out there, depending on who the last expert was that you talked to. These diets all have a cleansing regimen attached to them, too.
This is serious stuff. After all, feeling healthy on a daily basis is what it’s all about. To assist us here at Indian Ridge Farm & Bakery, to get clarity out of all the confusion that exists out there, is a research-based organization that we belong to, the Weston A. Price Foundation. It’s a non-profit that disseminates the research of nutrition pioneer Weston A. Price. He traveled the world looking for nonindustrialized peoples who seemed to have great physical form and perfect health, generation after generation. What he found common among these societies was that their members all ate nutrient-dense whole foods and vital fat-solubles found in animal fats.
In our modern day, the Foundation’s mission is to “restore nutrient-dense foods to the American diet, and support a number of movements that contribute to this objective, including accurate nutrition instruction, organic and biodynamic farming, pasture-feeding of livestock, CSAs, honest and informative labeling, prepared parenting and nurturing therapies.”
They have a fabulous website (www.westonaprice.org), a quarterly journal, “Wise Traditions,” and a cookbook Nurturing Traditions. The website is our “go-to” when we have digestive, nutritional or diet related questions. We read the journal cover-to-cover and dip into the cookbook when looking for nutritional meals. Highly recommended, especially if you’re in the “not feeling well” category and seeking some answers.
Related to all this is the widespread chemical toxicity that surrounds us, whether it’s in the food we eat, the air we breathe or the water we drink. In the US alone, there are over 100,000 chemicals approved for human use. That’s a staggering amount. A recent study demonstrated that after sampling blood cells in some 1000 umbilical cords taken from newborn babies and their mothers, an average of 250 chemicals were found. That’s really discouraging. Even our babies in the protected womb have fallen susceptible to chemicals before they’re even born.
Unfortunately, the most readily available chemicals are found in our food supply. Application rates of herbicides and pesticides continue to rise on an astronomical trajectory. For instance, the amount of glyphosate (the herbicide in Roundup) used on crops in the US has increased from 27 million pounds in 1996 to 250 million pounds in 2009. Total herbicide use increased 527 million pounds during that time period.
What’s responsible for this dramatic increase? Mostly the introduction of Genetically Engineered seeds, or so-called GMOs. These seeds — primarily corn and soybean, but becoming more widespread in many more plants on a seemingly daily basis — are developed to withstand the insult of the herbicide glyphosate on weeds. In practice, farmers plant the seed and then spray their fields with enormous amounts of glyphosate to control weeds. The glyphosate residue in the plants is then consumed by humans — either directly, or indirectly through meats and the food byproducts of livestock.
The result? It’s not good. Most recently, the World Health Organization classified glyphosate as a “probable carcinogenic” showing it causes a range of cancers including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, renal cancers, skin cancers and pancreatic cancers. Other scientific studies have linked glyphosate to breast, thyroid and liver cancers. Why doesn’t this get more media attention? That’s a whole other story. But suffice it to say that our corporate-dominated media will not report disparaging facts about its other large, corporate friends, namely Monsanto, which produces Roundup, and, by design, the very GMO seed.
We advocate strongly the banning of GMO in the US (besides the fact that GMO foods have never been tested on humans) and the outright banning of glyphosates. Unfortunately, there is now a new generation of herbicides being approved that will make glyphosates look mild. One of the main ingredients in Agent Orange, commonly known as 2,4-D has now been approved to be used with glyphosate in fields across the land to control the so-called “super weeds” that have developed a resistance to Roundup.
When it comes to our good health, we’re chasing a moving target, for sure. But that’s the beauty of small, diversified organic farms such as ours. We strive to steadily produce, whether in the bakery, in the pasture or in the garden, the most nutritionally-dense foods and pastured animal fats available to our customers. All done organically, without GMO grains, without glyphosates or any other harmful chemical.
That’s our promise to you. Here’s to your good health and ours.