About ten years ago something happened. I woke up.
I became aware that a lot of people were writing about the changes to our foods that had been going on since the mid 1990s and about how some illnesses also had a surge in diagnosis since that time.
The skeptic in me says coincidence does not necessarily show a cause. The cautious part of me decided I needed to prove it to myself.
Having read about how some of the genetically engineered foods kills insects that typically infiltrate plants like corn by causing their stomachs to rupture, I began to think how my daughter, born in 1994, started developing something like irritable bowel syndrome before she was 20 years old. The doctor at the college health center recommended she have a colonoscopy which I wanted to schedule with my doctor when she spent the summer with me. He said, no, 19-year-olds should not need colonoscopies, and we made an appointment to talk with him. After hearing her symptoms and the history, he urged her to repopulate her stomach with probiotics and her symptoms eased. Smart man.
As I read more and more I decided we would switch to organic foods where we did not know a farmer who grew a specific food item. We decided to have a six-month trial and surprise, surprise, we have continued this practice for at least four years now. When we follow our own rules, we feel better. But we generally do not recognize that until we travel and end up eating “regular” food. And then the uncomfortable issues start again.
A few months ago the Federal government approved chickens being sent to China to be butchered and then sent back to American markets. What with past issues with pet food and baby food, I am not comfortable with any of the food grown in the United States going overseas for processing. Especially since the USDA eliminated the “country of origin” labeling also!
CHINESE WORKERS PROCESSING CHICKENS
Today I read that the milk industry has petitioned the FDA to CHANGE THE DEFINITION OF MILK to include aspartame. Their point is that it would not need to be on the label and sweet things would be “healthier” without sugar. (Oh, and since so many people are now aware of the ill effects of that artificial sweeter, the FDA has approved changing its name to “Amino Sweet,” so watch for that on your labels!)
For those of us who prefer to know what is in our food, this is unacceptable. Personally, I really can not, nor do I want to, have a cow. (Pun intended) But it is getting to the point where the ONLY way to control what you are putting into your body is to source all your food from farmers you know. Farmers who tell you their growing methods. Farmers who are more interested in health than becoming rich.
I really am impressed by ALL the farmers I know, whether they grow with organic practice or even if they grow conventionally. Farming is hard work. Yields are highly dependent on a huge unknown–the weather. And generally, farmers do not make much income. Long hours, low pay.
And yet, most of the farmers I have met are passionate about what they do. They may be exhausted, but they have the drive to keep on growing food for us.
We are extremely fortunate in Oregon’s Willamette Valley to have almost all our food needs met by local farmers. We need to go a bit farther for citrus and for sugar, but the foods we personally eat and the foods prepared in the kitchen of Can-Do Real Food, we support our local farmers as much as possible.
There are tons of diets that claim to offer a healthier body. No one size fits all, but many can lead to better health. But above all, start cooking from whole foods and leave the frozen foods with their high sodium and loads of preservatives at the store. Not only will you discover what foods really taste like, but you will feel proud that you can nourish yourself so deliciously.
Can-Do Real Food provides you preserved foods that have been made from local food raised on farms that are certified organic, bio-dynamic, or naturally grown or farms that grow in the organic style. Our only products that come from trees that have been sprayed are the hazelnut butters. Although new trees planted in the past year or so are a strain that is resistant to insect infestation, the mature trees must be treated or there would be no crop of nuts at all. All other produce used to prepare the recipes in the Can-Do Real Food kitchen are raised without any chemical treatment for insects or weeds. You may opt not to buy our products, but it won’t be because of added chemicals.
CAN-DO REAL FOOD
NO ARTIFICAL ANYTHING!
[Beth Rankin lives with her husband Graham in McMinnville, Oregon. An advocate of the production and processing of organic foods, she is the CEO of CAN-DO REAL FOOD. Rankin is also the publisher of a blog
“Going Places Can-Do Zero Waste” where this article first appeared on July 15, 2017. Readers are encouraged to check out her blog-site at: http://candorealfood.com]
Believe it or not there are over 300,000 churches in the United States, with affiliation to about 217 different Christian Protestant denominations. While about 60% of people say they attend church each week, the number is really about 20%, thereby showing us the first crack: not “walking the walk.” After all, the Ten Commandments includes Thou Shall Not Bear False Witness…..in other words, DO NOT LIE.
So, what we have here is a situation where a lot of people claim they are Christian, but in reality do not even attempt to walk the walk. A lot of people claim Jesus as their Savior but few attend church any time other than Christmas and Easter and even then, attendance is not as full as in past decades.
America is no longer a Christian nation. It is a Secular Christian nation.
We have a lot of people storming the stores and knocking down anyone in their way on Black Friday to capture the deals, the better to pile presents under the Christmas tree. We have people who know one verse and the chorus to Christmas carols but not the subsequent verses nor the story of the origin of the song. We have a lot of people who have elaborate trees and lighting, not realizing these are traditions that are based in other belief systems. We have millions of people who truly believe the baby Jesus was born with cows looking over Mary’s shoulder and Mary, of course being perfect, did not have labor pains. Oh, they probably never thought of that.
We have people who stuff candy treats into baskets for their kids on Easter. We have millions of kids who love the Easter Bunny and have no idea that anything else is being celebrated that day.
We have people whose comprehension of their religion is limited to the Sunday school stories they were told when they were little. They don’t have the time or inclination for any Bible study and might really be amazed to try to reconcile the differences in the gospels if they ever did a side-by-side evaluation.
There are many people who believe there is a war on Christians because over the past few decades there has been a rising awareness that not everyone here in the United States is Christian. There are Jews. There are Muslims, There are Buddhists. There are Jehovah Witnesses. There are Mormons. There are (gasp!) atheists. And in recognition of those other people, some communities realize that pushing JUST the Christian symbols is not the right thing. And so, Happy Holidays, which has been a saying that has been a part of American culture since the late 1800s, has recently become a nastygram to many. We have some people who believe snowmen on coffee cups
COLORFUL CHRISTMAS CUPS
are a sign that Corporate America is the Devil…it may be, but red and white décor is not the sign of that.
Why are Christians feeling under assault where there is no problem? I have no idea…maybe an inferiority complex that starts with color and sexual identity and goes on into church attendance and understand Jesus’ teachings.
Okay, who am I to be calling the kettle black right now? I am a secular Jew who has been attending church for 10 years with my Christian husband. When he asked me if I would go with him I told him I would as long as I was respected. And his response was perfect, “If you are not respected we are in the wrong place.”
In the past 10 years I have attended 4 churches with him. One for 6 months when we were on sabbatical in Pueblo, Colorado was my big introduction. There the choir members welcomed us and helped me understand the rituals. I focused on the similarities of the mass and of course, it made sense; Judaism is the root. If any church misses the Jewish root in their practice, they are not practicing anything close to what Jesus did.
The next seven years was in a church in Huntington, West Virginia. There were a few people who were a bit hesitant accepting me, but over a short time they saw I was not there to mock. The priest, when I attended a class, misinterpreted that I would want to be baptized afterwards. I told her learning is part of life, but did not necessarily mean complete acceptance of doctrine.
When we moved to Oregon we started in one church but moved to another because there was a lack of music as well as no real warmth of community. We found it more comfortable with another congregation across town.
So, four different settings. I’ll bet you I pay attention more than many. It is rote to most other congregants.
I have learned enough to be “dangerous”. I have attended about ten different study groups where I have caused lively conversation because my viewpoint is different. I have been told we are all imperfect so I should not expect people to “walk the walk” all the time.
I don’t expect people to be perfect. But I do expect people who loudly and publicly profess to be Christians to at least be NICE.
In reality, I have met only a few people I feel live their faith. They exhibit true acceptance and understanding of others without imposing their viewpoints on others.
However, I have also been told I am doomed to Hell by more than I care to count. My husband has been pulled aside and told he is responsible for saving my soul. This is not the message that wins. This is a message that alienates.
And it alienates more than me. It alienates other people who claim to be Christian but just do not do something exactly as someone else thinks they should. And so, people stop attending church.
Numerous studies in this country indicate the biggest reason that Christianity is losing membership, active or passive, are the behavior of the “do it my way or you are doomed” people, most of them fundamentalists.
And many of them do not know the soul of their religion. They can spout chapter and verse but cannot find the love.
And so, pass the fruitcake. The eggnog is ready. Christmas is here.
[Beth Rankin lives with her husband, Graham, in McMinnville, Oregon. Beth is a mother, entrepreneur, writer, and consummate seeker of truth. She is the CEO of Can-Do Foods. Her blog site is www.goingplaceslivinglife.wordpress.com. We encourage readers to go to Beth’s website, and we are especially grateful that she allows us to re-print many of her articles. Happy Hanukkah, Beth!]