Food and the ways in which it can help solve the issues we are facing today.

Today I awoke just after dawn, as i looked up and out of the living room window, all I could see were beautiful blue skies. I was recently told by a friend about the wetlands near by in the Cherry Creek State Park, I have been in the park to ride and train on my road bike ( pedal bike, incase someone wasn’t sure), So i took the roughly 4 mile drive  to the state park to look at and learn more about the wetlands. As I  came into the park, I  proceeded to head down to  the trail, I  learned about how the water in the Cherry Creek Reservoir was once heavily polluted, and how they were able to clean up the water, fascinating story in and of it’s self, but before i talk about that, let me start where i left off in my last blog. In my  last Blog I had mentioned that I would like to show everyone why our food ( food system) is so important, to our health, environment, and economy.

So here we go… Lets start with were most of our food comes from, and that place is a farm. What is a farm- It is an area of land devoted primarily to the practice of producing and managing food ( produce ,grains, livestock). Farms may be owned and operated by a single individual, family, community, Corporation, or a company. A farm can be a holding of any size from a acre to several thousand acres. Most people would agree that besides water, food is the most important thing we put in our bodies. In 1870 it was estimated that 65 to 70 percent of all people in the United States were employed in Agriculture. As of 2008 2.5 percent of the population is employed in agriculture. Most food now comes from large scale farms and many are Industrial/ factory farms. It seems we have gotten away from true  farming as a whole, and let a small amount of people and corporations produce the majority of our food.

Why is food so important other than giving us calories and energy we need to function each day, to live our lives so to speak?It has seems it has never been as important as it is now,  in this country we are becoming more and more ill, with diseases like cancer and Heart disease, and Diabetes that didn’t really exist 50 years ago, and so we have  Dis-ease or lack of ease in ones life. The direction I’m  going  will show the true importance of food. Over 2000 years ago  Hippocrates said ” Let your food be the medicine, and let the medicine be they food.” In numerous journals on nutrition and scientific research in different fields dealing with food, it is estimated that 80 percent of all disease could be preventable by  proper nutrition alone. So one might see how important food could be. Organic farming has the potential to help with these issues relating to health. Maria Rodale’s ( of Rodale Publishing) father was a farmer before they called non-synthetically chemical treated farming Organic, back in the 50’s it was called Sustainable farming.

You see Food helped me heal from a long term illness, and has the ability in many ways to heal so many illnesses, and rejuvenate our bodies. How  Could our food system help restore our economy.  First I will give you an example of how one State is working on restoring its economy through a local sustainable food movement. Michigan is a state  right now working on stimulating its economy, its a grassroots movement. You see Michigans unemployment rates are at 12.6 percent, in some areas near and in Detroit those numbers have reached 27 percent, some say as high as 45 percent if you account for people working part time and still looking for a full time job and wage. ( Detroit news)

Michigan is working on getting the State back in job gear and moving forward in Business and it is requiring New Innovative approaches. The Michigan Good Food Charter spells out one idea, help schools improve school food choices and the States Economy at the same time by helping schools buy food in Michigan. The Charter Proposes a public – private effort to provide a state allocation of 10 cents per school lunch to schools for  buying locally grown fruits and vegetables. In 2011, Michigan Schools served 141. 4 million lunches, a 10 cent allocation would put $14 million per year into circulation, generating new Jobs, and potentially inspiring new business investments, this would create so many opportunities in economic Developments in Local and regional Food markets, for farmers, food businesses, local governments, businesses in general, schools, Hospitals, restaurants, and you can see where im going with this, potential for growth in almost every area within the state.

Many people have been wondering about Organic food, and some are saying what is so important about it, First let me start with a Word and that word is Sequester, One definition of Sequester is to capture or hold, or isolate. I have learned over time that Trees Absorb and Sequester Carbon dioxide ( Co2) and extremely high levels of carbon dioxide and what many scientists say is causing Global warming ( Climate change).   Now lets look at the Farming side of this issue and its impact on Global Warming, according to Rodale Institute a Non-profit dedicated to Pioneering Organic Farming through research and outreach, Organic farming may be one of the most Powerful tools we have to fight against global warming.

Since 1981, data from the Rodale Institutes Farming Systems Trial ( FST) has revealed that soil under Organic agricultural management can accumulate about  1,000 pounds of Carbon per acre foot of soil each year. This accumulation is equal to about 3,500 pounds of Carbon dioxide per acre taken from the air and sequestered into the soils organic matter, when multiplied over the 160 million acres of corn and soybeans grown ( two of the most commonly grown crops in the US) nationally, a potential for 580 billion pounds of excess Carbon dioxide can be sequestered when farmers transition to Organic grain systems.

So you can see how an organic food system ( organic soil) has a significant potential  to capture and retain or sequester carbon dioxide. Some say this could create a tremendous shift in time, to help greatly reduce or eliminate Global Warming, so many possibilities.  So now many are saying wait Bob, aren’t the soils the same for both Conventional farming systems and Organic farming systems, the answer is by Rodale and many others Institutes is NO, Rodale Institute Believes the answer lies in the decay rates of soil organic matter under different management systems.  In the Conventional system the application of soluble nitrogen fertilizers stimulates more rapid and complete decay of organic matter sending carbon into the atmosphere instead of retaining it in the soil as Organic Systems do.  Organic farming Sequesters Co2, where conventional farming lets a large amount back into the air, contributing to global warming, via releasing carbon dioxide ( Co2) This is what the Rodale Institute has shown with these findings and so many more.  ” Until Now, much of the light we are generating, here on our research farm has been hidden under the  proverbial barrel, but we’re taking off the barrel, and busting it up for firewood. We’re going to let the light of this amazing research done here shine on the farmers, consumers, and environmental activities”.  Rodale Institute-

Now in terms of the environment, lets move on to water and a few reasons why it is so important! Numerous scientists, and many lectures I have been to see ,say that almost every body of water on earth is polluted or compromised to some extent, from ponds to streams, rivers, to Oceans.  The question many have asked is, Why are they so polluted?  Over the years several surveys have been given to people all across the US, this survey asks “Who is the leading cause of water pollution in the United States, majority of people responded with an answer of Factories being the major cause of water pollution. The correct answer according to scientists in the field of water management, biology, ecology agree that it is from water runoff from Conventional farming and the use of synthetic fertilizers and chemicals people put on their lawns, this eventually gets into water systems, and in many cases reaches the largest bodies of water, the oceans.

This issue with water runoff  is so bad in the Midwest due in large part to conventional farms ( synthetic chemicals via fertilizers, insecticides, herbicides, etc.) , in that all this water runoff goes from farm to streams, to rivers, to Mississippi river then into the Gulf of mexico, now their are thousands fo miles of what is called ” Dead Zones in the Gulf, water temperatures are higher in these dead areas.

I would like to  end where I began, thats with talking about the Cherry Creek wetlands. So I went down to the wetlands and the park has these little signs every so often, the signs talk about how the reservoir and how a while back it was very polluted, mostly because of all the homes built close by, the expansion of homes, if you will.  The runoff from the lawns ( chemical fertilizer and large amounts of Phosphorus) ran into the storage drains then into the wetlands and then finally ran into the reservoir, polluting the water, at one point it wasn’t safe to drink, and the fish unsafe to eat. Over a period of time they amazingly naturally cleaned up  the wetlands, they planted and grew different species of plants to absorb and extract heavy metals, and neutralize the Large amounts of Phosphorus and chemical fertilizer from the lawns and gardens ( conventional) and  from the residential homes and some businesses near the reservoir.

Let me now explain how i have an understanding  of  how plants can do this,  you see  I myself had been diagnosed  with heavy metal poisoning, it went undiagnosed for years, my whole body got to the point where it started to shut down, in a last chance effort, at least that is how it seemed at the time I worked with a lady who was able to start the help I needed, she gave me the foods that would help it move out of my body, a natural form of chelation one might say, I used greens, ( Kale, romaine, chard, collard greens) and vegetables, she told me My system couldn’t handle conventional food, because of the chemicals and reduced nutrients they  provided so everything was organic, at least the produce and the Buffalo, Beef, chicken where.  I started to feel like my nervous system was calming down, my sleep in the first 4 days was greatly improving, I had hope, actually I had more than hope, I started researching how food could heal almost any disease, and so much more, it was blowing my mind, I was thinking  why wasn’t this common knowledge in our society, but I will later share why it has been hidden for so long not discussed in Mass media, and in Colleges. I will share this in a later blog.

Lastly a few months before learning about the wetlands at Cherry Creek State Park, i learned about how the area in Chernobyl in the Ukraine at the time it was the Soviet union, they had a Catastrophic nuclear accident involving the nuclear power plant, and it is considered the worst accident of it’s kind, the radiation exposure is linked to 10,000 plus deaths, many say as high as  150,000 , no one knows  for sure on the totals. It is said that it contributed greatly to causing the eventual Collapse of the Soviet Union, this all happened in the spring of 1986.  To this day they  are still trying to clean up the area, most of the water in the region is contaminated with radioactive material, and extremely high levels of radiation, they are now planting sunflowers on a floating raft which resulted in reducing the impact of radiation in the waters up to 95 Percent.

The secret is the root structure of the Sunflower plants which is so dense and strong, thus able to extract heavy metals such as arsenic and lead. Even the radioactive element can also be absorbed, including uranium and stronium-90 that can cause gentic mutations in humans , as I was researching this subject, I was thinking to myself once again how amazing food and plants can be, they have the potential to heal our bodies and the many elements of life on earth, i was speechless.

The next blog I will discuss why Organic food costs more than conventional farmed food, and a few other interesting and fun things about food in general.  Until next time peace and may we all find an understanding of life through better Knowledge.  Take care

 

Your Friend,

Bob Kyes

June 14, 2012Permalink Leave a comment

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