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Did you know that most diseases we suffer from stem from the commercially grown food we purchase to feed our families? That’s a scary thought huh? It’s true! Most of the food we buy in our local grocery stores, like meat, poultry, and fruits and vegetables are not as healthy as we may think. Before I explain to you why let me explain how food was grown when our country first began.
The first farmers here in America grew all the food they could possibly grow according to what their climate allowed and what they could get their hands on. They grew corn and potatoes and other vegetables. They harvested herbs and foraged for berries that grew in abundance in the nearby woods and fields. These early people raised animals like cows and pigs and chickens. They hunted for bear, deer, and elk. They fished the local streams and rivers for fish. What they couldn’t grow they sometimes bartered for.
These early farmers provided their families with meals that may not have been extravagant, but they were usually healthy. Meats were smoked or salted. Most foods were eaten fresh.
As time went on, and people learned more about growing and providing food, farmers began growing bigger fields with more crops and started sharing, bartering, and selling their excess to others who may not have had the room or the ability to grow what they wanted. Farming continued this way for many years, advancing and moving forward until today.
What’s In Commercially Grown Food?
At some point in the farming industry, things went downhill. The government became involved, and the local farmer became commercialized. A lot of these commercial farmers saw the ability to make a ton of money, and at the expense of our health.
Pesticides were added to crops to control the insects that could damage and even devastate the growth. Growth stimulants were added to the seeds to grow bigger plants. Hormones, steroids, and antibiotics were being used in animals that provided our meat and poultry too. Our food supply slowly but surely became unhealthy and perhaps deadly.
Hormones, Steroids, and Antibiotics
The cattle farmers, and other animal and meat providers changed how things were done. Animals were combined in small pens and started being injected with hormones, steroids, and antibiotics. These practices are common in commercially grown food and with our meat and poultry providers today. The problem is that it is all at the expense of our health.
In the United States, most large-scale beef, pork, and poultry farms treat their animals with steroids for growth, antibiotics, hormones. and who knows what else. All of these “additives” are in the meats and poultry we buy and feed our families. Yes, quite frankly, you are feeding your children hormones, steroids, antibiotics, and pesticides! That’s scary!
These very animals, whose meat and poultry we purchase after being crammed full of nasty additives and harmful chemicals, live in small confined areas and can’t move. They are commonly underweight or sick. They stand for hours in their own feces. Chickens are crammed into small crowded cages with their beaks chopped short so they can’t peck the other chickens in that confined area. Sheep are kept in small confined areas and can barely move. When did this become okay and humane? Think about those conditions when you are at the grocery store shopping for meat or poultry.
Did you know that we consume so many forms of antibiotics that, at this rate, shortly antibiotics will not be able to fight the very sicknesses that they are prescribed for? If we can’t use antibiotics to fight off diseases what will happen? Did you know that steroids and other growth hormones are linked to the reasons that our ladies are developing large breasts? It is also why we have such tall kids too.
Fruit, Vegetables, and Pesticides
Fruits and vegetables should be eaten each and every day. They provide us with important vitamins that our bodies need to stay healthy and build a good immune system. Important vegetables like carrots, broccoli, spinach, bananas, apples, citrus, and berries are readily available at our local grocery stores and are another example of commercially grown food. We buy them and we feed them to our families. The problem…pesticides.
Most fruits and vegetables are grown in huge fields or orchards to keep up with high demands by consumers like you and I. Since these fields and orchards are so large in size, farmers can’t keep up with the insects that become a nuisance to their crops and orchards. Their solution is spraying pesticides. These fruits and vegetables are heavily sprayed quite frequently. This presents 2 big problems for us the consumers.
The two biggest problems with pesticides
The first problem is that the pesticides that are sprayed are still on the food when we buy it. Yes, we wash them, but there are still traces left. When we eat them, we ingest those pesticides. That’s not a good thought to have, is it? Pesticides are proven to be linked to the causes of asthma, allergies, nerve damage, different forms of cancers and other diseases too.
The second issue is what it is doing to our bee population. Pesticides kill all pests, this includes bees and other beneficial insects. Without the bees, our crops could fail which means needing another manmade solution. If you are not familiar with the declining bee population and what you can do to help save the bees, read this. Does this mean even more chemicals?
Does this information make you question what you are buying? Are you reading this and wondering what you can do to fix it? Are you concerned about what the effects will be on your family and yourself from eating commercially grown food? I was too. Don’t give up hope though. There is a solution.
How to Avoid Commercially Grown Food
The solution is simple. Grow it yourself. Raise it yourself.
You don’t need large fields and huge orchards to grow your own food. You can grow vegetables and herbs, and even a lot of fruit in many other ways, even in small spaces. Apartment dwellers can grow food in containers on a balcony because their space is limited. No matter where you live, there is always a way to grow at least some food for yourself.
Possible small space gardening ideas:
You can google “small space gardens” and find a plethora of articles on each of these gardening forms. Pinterest is another great option. See my Pinterest Boards for some ideas.
Raising meat and poultry may be a little more complicated. Not everyone can have a cow or two, and pigs can be a challenge. But there is hope. There are a lot of beef, pork and even poultry providers in most towns that offer organic products to the public. If you can’t raise the animals yourself at least you are supporting local farmers and in return, you are receiving healthier food for your families. Check your local zoning if you are a homeowner, a lot of neighborhoods are allowing for backyard chickens now.
If you own property and have the room, by all means, start planting! Just make sure to use good heirloom seeds, which ensures your food is safe for your family.
Check the internet or your local agricultural office for local produce stands. Many towns have farmers markets where you can purchase not only fruits and vegetables but jams and baked goods as well. Again you will be supporting local farmers and purchasing healthier pesticide free food for your family instead of commercially grown food you can’t trust.
Next, look into CSA’s. These are a group of farmers that combine their efforts to provide you with shares of food for a set cost and are arranged to be picked up by you, usually monthly, at a centralized place. The type and amount of food you receive from a CSA depends on the size of the package you choose and what is available for the current season. Some CSA’s provide only produce, some provide meat and poultry as well.
There are always options when it comes to providing healthy and safe food for your family. Do the research, see what is available where you live. Then start providing your family with a healthy choice you can feel good about. We may not be able to change the world, but we can start changing ourselves.
This article was inspired by an informative and eye-opening article written by The Easy Homestead entitled “Why We Grow/Raise Our Own Food-America is Falling“. They provide more information, including a great explanation of GMO’s if you’re interested in learning more, along with some other great articles. Check them out and let them know I sent you!