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Food as Medicine

Interesting concept:  Food as medicine.

I want to be healthy.

I talk to people about nutrition. I read about nutrition.  I watch DVDs about nutrition.  Some foods just make me happy.  I look at them and I feel good, like a luscious melon, a casaba.   As I chew each bite, I feel better and better and better.

Quite a few researchers believe that proper nutrition can “fix what ails ya.”  From cancer to diabetes to obesity to arthritis to autism, etc. etc., good nutrition can help prevent or curb the problem.  I wonder why we would want to pop a pill, eat junk food, when proper nutrition can ward off disease and keep us pretty healthy.   Many doctors have people with gastro intestinal problems simply stop eating foods with GMOs, and the patients get better on an organic diet.  The problem is finding out which foods contain GMOs because of the intense anti-labeling/ misinformation campaign: Proposition 37 was defeated in California by intense spending by the biotech industry. But we can guess—processed, boxed foods probably contain GMOs as well as products that contain soy, canola, or corn—to name only a few.  We ALL have a right to know to know what is in our food.  This is a fundamental right, I think.

If I grow my own food and shop at local organic markets, I know exactly what is in my food and where it came from.  This is important to me.

I want to be healthy.

On a regular basis, I have a green smoothie for breakfast. Brown rice and vegetables for lunch.  A green salad, kale and red onion stir fry and quinoa for dinner.  Takes a bit of time to prepare.

A good diet, exercise, laughter, meditation to help keep us balanced and healthy—it sounds so simple.  Is it?  I think so.  Why then is it so hard to accomplish?  Well, for one, I LOVE sugar:  chocolate chip cheesecake, cherry pie and ice cream, ginger cookies.  I have a very long list of desserts I adore.  White Death, my partner says.  I haven’t read that book.  And, when I get super busy, the first things to go are exercise and time for meditation.

So, I have to be vigilant, keeping my eye on the prize, so to speak:  great health. Some recent DVDs I have watched are Genetic RouletteEating, and Planeat.  What each of these films has in common is pure, clean food is the basis of health.  Food is the medicine we need.

I want to be healthy.

Check out the NuGenesis—Food as Medicine Farm website:  http://nugenesisfarm.org

Kathy Bero who started the farm is a cancer survivor and believes in “fighting disease through diet.”  Some of the top foods to eat are kale, collards, garlic, red onion, purple asparagus, red beets, leeks, blueberries, walnuts, almonds—ALL ORGANIC!  She believes in prevention, prevention, prevention.

My partner just picked some purple asparagus from our garden this morning.  It is beautiful.  This purple asparagus on a blue plate with rice, red chard and a yam.  Aesthetically pleasing as well as so tasty—and healthy!!

Shouldn’t it just be wrong for corporations to lobby Congress simply on the basis of profit—with little or no consideration for public health?  We know that corporate executives, lawyers and board members have been appointed to governmental departments, such as the FDA and the EPA as well as the Department of Agriculture.  When these corporate representatives finish their tenure for government, many return to their previous jobs, such as working for Monsanto. The revolving door. That just isn’t right.  This is not for the public’s benefit; this is for profit.

As a public we have the right to know what is in our food—if we want to make healthy choices.  We need to be educated truly in good nutrition—not what the meat, dairy, biotech, sugar industries, for example, would like us to believe as espoused in the old food pyramids—or new food pyramids for that matter.

I want to be healthy.

Therefore I do tons of research about food.  Do I have time to do this?  No, but, really, what is more important than one’s health?  Money?  Can’t eat it.  Well, that is not exactly true. I did hear on the news yesterday that a dog left in the front seat of car with 5 one hundred dollar bills, ate them.  That is an exception.

So, try a good kale stir fry in little organic olive oil with garlic.  (Be careful when frying foods because frying can release aldehydes.)  On second thought, let’s just eat that kale raw. Yep.

Pamela Spoto is an educator, poet, and lover of all living things.