As I have recently taken some days off from posting and delving into the issues that face us daily, it has occurred to me that ignoring things don’t make them go away. Now don’t get me wrong, I have known this for quite some time. I am an expert at ignoring things I don’t like. However, in today’s American society it is detrimental to just ignore things and hope that they get better without the intervention of the American people.
It isn’t even about liberal versus conservative or religious versus non-religious. It is quite honestly people who care about other people, and those who use people to promote whatever agenda makes them the most money. I have talked before about how we are trying to eat better in our home, and once you start researching how to really do that you will find that nothing is safe anymore. Going to the grocery store is basically going to go and pick out which kind of cancer you want to die from. As you all know, I am an Obama supporter – but that doesn’t translate to, “I support every decision or policy he has ever made.” His signing of the Monsanto Protection Act makes me cringe, but you know – it’s money in his pocket once he leaves office. That’s how politicians work no matter how awesome they are on some issues. We are an easily distracted lot of individuals, and politicians with the help of the media have ensured that we stay distracted and misinformed.
Stephanie brought up a really good point the other day when she said that the only reason we are knowledgeable about companies like Monsanto, GMO foods, and cancer causing agents in our packaging, soaps, hairspray, deodorant… (well you see where I am going right?) is because we have the Internet. Without this tool, we would live in out little bubbles, our “safe” communities, and we would never even realize that one company owns the majority of food production IN THE WORLD. In order to profit from that – they genetically modify seeds, soil, water, and plants to produce a higher yield without care or concern for the health of the people consuming it. It’s a vicious cycle of collaboration between food producers, pharmaceutical companies, corrupt healthcare systems, and an ignorant population. The thing is that now, with the help of this communication tool; the “ignorant population” part is starting to fall apart. Thank God.
We are learning now (at least in our house) to view food as fuel for our bodies rather than a ride on a delicious train to a painful death. When I was younger, one of the things I remember my youth pastor saying to us was the phrase, “Garbage in, Garbage out.” While he was talking about devil music and playing Dungeons and Dragons – I am reminded of that saying now with food. Our bodies respond in kind to what we put in it. If we put cancer causing agents in our bodies – we get cancer. If we avoid them (which today is nearly freakin’ impossible) we can live long healthy lives, even reverse some of the damage we have done to ourselves. The more I learn, the less excuses I have to ignore my own knowledge. It is quite inconvenient. Being ignorant and eating a Big Mac is so much easier than researching, finding an organic farmer, paying a higher price for organic beef, making my own buns, growing my own lettuce (with seeds purchased from anyone not associated with Monsanto), growing my own tomatoes so I can make my own ketchup… yeah. It’s hard.
You know what I am finding though? The more we change – the more we enjoy our food and the better we feel; the easier it gets. We have been brainwashed to save time, to make things easy, to appreciate “fast” more than we appreciate “good.” Now we aren’t there yet. We still buy produce from the store, but we are trying to at least grow some if it in our backyard. We still buy tampons, deodorant, and hairspray. The nicely packaged meat in the store still makes it into our home (it won’t for long – we plan on buying a cow from a farmer we know; we are gonna need a bigger freezer). You see though – even though we aren’t there yet, we are thinking about our futures and paying attention to how gullible we have been as a society. Change is hard, and changing food might be one of the hardest things ever (aside from quitting smoking). At least though we have stopped eating fast food, we prepare as much as we can here at home, and we use as many ingredients from the garden as possible. It is slow and steady change, and hopefully our bodies will respond positively.
This week my goal is to learn how to make our own bread and tortillas. I eat tortillas as snacks. I always have, and I love soft fluffy flour tortillas. There should only be five ingredients in them: flour, water, baking powder, Lard ( yeah I know, there are plenty of recipes though that leave the lard out) and a pinch of salt. On the package of tortillas sitting in my home right now there are 24 ingredients listed, most of which I can’t pronounce. How is that even food anymore? It’s more like a nasty chemistry experiment that we eat. For the cost of a couple packs of tortillas, I can purchase the five ingredients I need and have enough to make the equivalent of 6 packages bought from the store (or more). I just need to take the time to make them. You know what else? They will taste 100% better then what I normally purchase. I’ll let you all know how they turn out.
So anyway, while being aware can be inconvenient, ignoring things can quite literally kill you. I am thankful for this Internet thingy that allows me to expand my mind, my health, and my influence. We can absolutely rewrite the script handed to us by politicians and monster companies looking for profit at our expense. If we stop purchasing – they will stop producing, or at least start trying to do it in a more responsible way; but only if we demand it and kick ’em where it hurts – in their wallets and offshore bank accounts.