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Eating Close to the Ground

As we sat across the desk from the doctor discussing my wife’s symptoms, I’ll never forget a phrase the doctor used while prescribing the routine for my wife to re-gain her health. She said, “Eat as close to the ground as possible.” We both understood what she meant.

The doctor was referring to an organic, raw plant-based diet. Eating “close-to-the-ground” simply means eating as natural as possible and avoiding food products containing hormones, steroids, antibiotics, chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, etc. You get the picture.

The importance of eating fresh, locally grown, organic food cannot be overstated when it comes to our health. More and more people get that. Unfortunately, the majority of the population still does not.

Photo by Arina P Habich

In a nation of abundance, grabbing a bite to eat can resemble a random act without much thought. Our taste buds dictate our favorite food choices as if they were reading a menu, and we respond with, “That doesn’t sound good to me” – “I’m not hungry for that” – “Yea, that’s what I want.”

It’s an oddity how we can train our taste buds with salt, sugar, spices, etc., and develop tastes for a variety of foods. If someone removes sugar from their diet for example, and then takes a sip of soda pop after a while, the pop tastes much, much sweeter than it did before – to the point that it is undesirable. That’s a good thing.

In countries where the food choices are more limited, real hunger over-rides the dictate of taste buds. Real hunger and starvation is why someone can eat bugs, or from a garbage can.

Ever wonder how on earth animals in their natural habitat eat the same thing over and over, day in and day out? It’s simple. They eat for survival. They don’t have as many food choices as we humans, nor do they have physicians, medicine and health food stores full of nutritional supplements. They eat food that provides their nutritional needs and their food “is” their medicine.

That said, our bodies need nutrition to function properly, maintain health, and fight disease. In modern society, we have become complacent in knowing the origin of our food. We understand that farmers grow food, and we are under the assumption that if it is sold in the grocery store, it must have come from a farm and it is indeed, food. “NOT!”

But what if it has a USDA stamp on it, and the FDA approved it for sale as food to the public? While it is great that we have safety rules and guidelines for our protection, if you are dependent upon a government agency to determine what you should and shouldn’t eat, you may need to take a closer look at Politics 101.

Case in point: I was at a friend’s house once, when the grandma came in with her 3 grandchildren. She had taken them out for the day, and like most awesome grandmas do, she bought them a surprise treat – of their own choosing. When they came in, I didn’t pay much attention to anything except greeting everyone. But after a couple of minutes, a real ruckus broke out. The kids were laughing, having fun and creating all kinds of commotion.

Photo by Viviana Rishe

The oldest child came over and offered me a piece of his “candy”. Apparently, it was some sort of horrible tasting trick candy that you have to hold in your mouth for a little while before it starts to actually taste like candy. One of the children even squealed, “It tastes like doo-doo!” And the child wanted me to put that in my mouth!? I don’t think so.

I tactfully mentioned that this product was not food, and that it had been created in a laboratory somewhere. It was marketed and sold for profit to children as a type of food-product, but it has no nutritional value at all. In fact, the chemical make-up of this junk is detrimental to our health. The grandmother’s naive response? “Well, the FDA approved it. It’s got to be safe.”

Back to eating close to the ground.

My garden – Spring 2019

Apart from increasing our health and building strong disease-resistant bodies, the benefits of eating fresh locally grown food are many. It eliminates some of our use of boxes, wrappers and plastic disposables, thus reducing the size of landfills. It heals the planet by building healthy soil, and it lessens our carbon footprint by reducing emissions.

In the beginning – 2017

And beside being the smartest thing we can do to move toward greater self-reliance, when we actually grow some of our own food, we have a personal food source with additional therapeutic benefits that come from being outdoors; getting exercise, breathing fresh air, getting sunshine, touching the soil and cultivating life. Plus, we know exactly what has gone into producing the food we consume from our garden.

There’s no time like the present to get started.

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