eating well and health insurance reform

Submitted by Susan Miller on Sun, 09/13/2009 - 11:43.

Michael Pollan makes the connection between big insurance and big agriculture. He's good at it - drawing us the picture that is. Here's his roadmap to healthcare reform in the US:

Big Food vs. Big Insurance

Yesterday I spent the better part of the day in the kitchen cooking. I had an abundance of harvest both from my garden and the farm's "family holdback" produce I had carried home over the past two weeks. I had to take all that fresh produce and prepare it for eating over the next few weeks and months.

Last weekend - summer squash blanched and prepared for freezing - summer onions chopped and packaged for the freezer, mizuna pesto prepared for stuffing tomatoes and for sandwich spread for the weekend trip to Detroit, first modest corn harvested - steamed and eaten with no added anything - delicious! Who knew you could grow any corn on 6 hours of sun a day?

This weekend - cook those amazing beets and research recipes for future prep (maybe today),  roasted roma tomato sauce with onions, thyme, marjoram and basil, colcannon with kale, onions and parsley, pesto genovese, pumpkin pie (the pumpkin volunteered from last year's compost and produced 5 perfect pie pumpkins). But the big event was when my South Indian roommate taught me how to make what she calls "gojju". It is a sort of spicy sweet sauce (would we call it Heinz 57 or A-1?) as a condiment for everything. Oil, dried red chillies, black mustard seed, cumin seed, tomatoes blanched, skinned and pureed, asfoteida, tamarind, jaggery and cook till it thickens - Wow! Yes, only the red chillies and tomatoes are local, but I told her that long after she has moved to Shillong, I'll be making this sauce. We do have Indian grocers here and it was a great way to use up some of those tomatoes.

Today I plan to check out the pears that are ripening on the pear tree on the corner of Washington and Lee Roads and perhaps make a pear/almond upside-down cake. OK, again, not all ingredients are local, but it is fun to make use of the bounty that our local food shed is offering right now. The dog is exhausted from the hours spent at attention in the kitchen yesterday.

Here are some pictures of the kitchen adventure:

Roma tomatoes and siskyou onions with olive oil, thyme and marjoram sprigs just roasted.

Pureeing the tomatoes for the gojju sauce.

Pumpkin pie and two more pumpkins to make two more pies...

How that pie looked a few weeks ago. The pumpkins were snuggled into the tomato forest and grew alongside 15 or so lbs of potatoes, more lettuce than I could eat, radishes (harvested and consumed months ago), amazing beets, mustard, bush beans that continue to "put out".

The herbs came from my tiny herb spiral.

It is amazing what one can do with compost, under $5 worth of seeds and some sun and rain. I only watered this garden 5 times!!!

As Wendell Berry has said, farming/gardening is an act of civil disobedience. I'm down with that. I have also been able to share the harvest with my neighbor - one pumpkin is growing on his side of the fence and I weekly place a pint of cherry tomatoes in his milk door/mailbox. Is it good fences make good neighbors or good gardens make good neighbors? A couple of years ago, with plenty of incredulity, he supplied me with his mowed leaves and grass to help me kill the grass on my front lawn. I would guess that the cherry tomatoes and the beans I deposited a couple of days ago make the shade garden in the front yard more palatable.

In any case, Pollan points out with regard to health insurance reform:

"As things stand, the health care industry finds it more profitable to treat chronic diseases than to prevent them. There’s more money in amputating the limbs of diabetics than in counseling them on diet and exercise."

So while we ponder that, here's another thought forwarded to me by a friend: (this is more in my ongoing "make 'em sick, make 'em well series")

Noisy Roads Increase Risk Of High Blood Pressure

Will the opportunity corridor be drumming up even more business for the CCF cardiologists? Maybe we should consider, instead of a noisy road, a calm garden corridor? I mean isn't this predicated on so much vacant land in that forgotten area? Based on what I can grow in my shady, tiny backyard, what would be more healthy and cost efficient for Cleveland, more roads to maintain or more kitchen gardens?

OK, enough thoughts for today - back to the kitchen and the yard.

AttachmentSize
DSC08874.JPG166.86 KB
DSC08878.JPG147.88 KB
DSC08880.JPG137.88 KB
DSC08575.JPG165.78 KB
DSC08577.JPG150.13 KB
DSC08586.JPG166.35 KB
( categories: )

Lookig for some optimism

  Thank you for your images today, Susan.  I am going to try and get photos of my neighbor's yard--a guy who works all week long, but who also managed to grown in less than 1/4 acre: corn, celery, pears, rasberries, strawberries, peppers, zucchini, chard/lettuces, eggplant, and tomato.  My neighbor lives in the city.  It can be done.  And, I can tell you that folks living in the "Forgotten Triangle,"  soon to be bulldozed by the Clinic and the Opportunity Corridor, are doing it, too.
 

A win/win situation for all

Susan,

Your garden and the story that you tell of your garden, prefectly illustrate the "progress equals preservaton" equation.  By taking a proactive approach to community [social] based problem solving, you increased the health and wealth of your family and your neighbor's family.  At a cost dramatically less than you would have had to pay for the exact same products produced in your garden, to say nothing of the pollution you would have caused by driving back and forth to the store, you've made quantifiable progress on various fronts; in a reduction of CO2 emmisions and in the increased consuption of lower-stress, locally grown food.  All was achieved without causing any harm to your environment, and that signals preservtion.

I think what you've done is admirable--inspirational.  It's a win/win situation for all.

Eternity

  I planted pumkins, three

 

I planted pumkins, three types and acron squash...none… I got none. I had tons of blossoms and nothing turned to fruit...I should have given them more space I think, I was told not enough bees to pollinate them? I am also seeing mildew on the leaves....

We have a small community garden, the tomatoes did well for a while then they had some issue and died? I have some real nice lemon geranium, I put in a container of sugar it makes the sugar lemon flavored. I made lemon sugar cookies with it. We have tons of parsley, oregano, sage and basil. Some things did really well and others did not, the rain I think, too much maybe and to many people watering on top of it.

I also have a huge Mulberry that attracts rabbits and squirrels and birds, they have happy hour when the fruit begins to ferment, literally they lay around each other on the lawn. That all has seemed to have slowed as we have some resident predatory birds, I find causalities in the garden all the time.

This is interesting stuff, all about genetic engineering…

I wonder what they put on fruit to keep them from having worms in them, that is basically a larva not to be confused with worms that can live in a humans. I discovered that years ago that being the difference. We had cherry trees growing up, my younger brother contracted pin worms. Of course my parents, not knowing thought it to be from eating cherries without checking them for worms. It is not the case since they are very different things.

So what are they putting on the fruit, one thing is bacteria Bacillus Thuringensis. That’s because they found it to be what kills the bugs. They have been dusting fruit with that for years. Then they began to find ways to actually engineer plants that produce that naturally. Well maybe that should read unnaturally? Actually I think that’s evolution, that being the plant natural mechanism being pushed further, rushing what the plant would normally do to survive over time. That being through natural selection, the plant that is resistant to the infestation persists and those that are not decline. Eventually over time those that remain are resistant. But that has a flip side, the insect are and have the same ability. That being the moth that can handle the higher levels of Bacillus Thuringensis survives and the one that does not declines.

So they are now insuring that the actual insects that are susceptible to Bacillus Thuringensis are around, breeding them and then releasing them into the environment.

Bacillus Thuringensis is bacteria, and it occurs naturally.

Think about that, if the field was infested and a few plants survived then what is the difference? Those are the plants that they keep engineering, that being the attribute to produce a natural mechanism.

Then you have to see if we are susceptible to that mechanism? Oh you can see were that all goes can’t you? Some people are more susceptible to certain things then others. However good nutrition and exercise increases that, and oh yeah and avoiding stress. This is bacteria and it has been dusted on plants for years. We should have a natural mechanism in fact we do it's antibodies, and being exposed to bacteria will build that up. I am using conjecture, it also could be destroying it as well. As antibiotics do the body responds to them and them then eventually does not.

Nothing has been claimed that I have read about Bacillus Thuringensis destroying the immune system. What they claim is that it is affecting the liver as a toxin that cannot be processed. Then also some are claiming it is causing a loss of reproductively in mice. The mice being feed corn that produces higher amount of Bacillus Thuringensis.

I would say that mice feed food that had higher amount of bacteria and in high dose may become sickened? They are not able to define the mechanism that causes the lack of reproduction, thats like finding the mechanism that give the wife a headache? Not felling it, not feeling good, lack of interest do to that?

I have to wonder if they can engineer something that was not naturally possible to begin with? Some plants evolved defenses that make them poisonous to humans some are fatally toxic.

So if you ever wondered what they used to crop dust on a field of corn, is was likely bacteria Bacillus Thuringensis and at least then, that being when they did you could wash that off. Now its actually in the plants and they are now working to raise bugs to make sure they remain susceptible to that level of bacteria. We as humans are not adapting we do not have short live cycles, we do not evolve like that, we may die from something but we likely procreate before that happens.

Most scientist agree that Bacillus Thuringensis levels in the corn we eat are not significant enough to pose any significant health risk. They are also genuinely concerned that they could be bringing about a super strain of insects that are immune to it.

Round and round, each thing is less alarming once you really get into it, and they really need to keep a objective rein on it….

I planted pumkins, three types and acron squash...none… I got none. I had tons of blossoms and nothing turned to fruit...I should have given them more space I think, I was told not enough bees to pollinate them? I am also seeing mildew on the leaves....

We have a small community garden, the tomatoes did well for while then they had some issue and died? I have some real nice lemon geranium, I put in a container of sugar it make the sugar lemon flavored. I made lemon sugar cookies with it. We have ton of parsley, oregano, sage and basil. Some things did really well and others did not, the rain I think, too much maybe and to many people watering on top of it.

I also have a huge Mulberry that attracts rabbits and squirrels and birds, they have happy hour when the fruit begins to ferment, literally they lay around each other on the lawn. That all has seemed to have slowed as we have some resident predatory birds, I find causalities in the garden all the time.

This is interesting stuff, all about genetic engineering…

I wonder what they put on fruit to keep them from having worms in them, that is basically a larva not to be confused with worms that can live in a humans. I discovered that years ago that being the difference. We had cherry tree growing up, my younger brother contracted pin worms. Of course my parents, not knowing thought it to be from eating cherries without checking them for worms. It is not the case since they are very different things.

So what are they putting on the fruit, one thing is bacteria Bacillus Thuringensis. That’s because they found it to be what kills the bugs. They have been dusting fruit with that for years. Then they began to find ways to actually engineer plants that produce that naturally. Well maybe that should read unnaturally? Actually I think that’s evolution, that being the plant natural mechanism being pushed further, rushing what the plant would normally do to survive over time. That being through natural selection, the plant that is resistant to the infestation persists and those that are not decline. Eventually over time those that remain are resistant. But that has a flip side, the insect are and have the same ability. That being the moth that can handle the higher levels of Bacillus Thuringensis survives and the one that does not declines.

So they are now insuring that the actual insects that are susceptible to Bacillus Thuringensis are around, breeding them and then releasing them into the environment.

Bacillus Thuringensis is bacteria, and it occurs naturally.

Think about that, if the field was infested and few plants survived then what is the difference? Those are the plants that they keep engineering, that being the attribute to produce a natural mechanism.

Then you have to see if we are susceptible to that mechanism? Oh you can see were that all goes can’t you? Some people are more susceptible to certain things then others. However good nutrition and exercise increases that, and oh yeah and avoiding stress. This is bacteria and it has been dusted on plants for years. We should have a natural mechanism in fact we do it antibodies, and being exposed to bacteria will build that up. I am using conjecture, it also could be destroying it as well. As antibiotics do the body responds to them and them eventually does not.

Nothing has been claimed that I have read about Bacillus Thuringensis destroying immune systems. What they claim is that it is affecting the liver as a toxin that cannot be processed. The also some are claiming it is causing a loss of reproductively in mice. The mice being feed corn that produces higher amount of Bacillus Thuringensis.

I would say that mice feed food that had higher amount of bacteria and in high dose may become sickened? They are not able to define the mechanism that causes the lack of reproduction, that like finding the mechanism that give the wife a headache? Not felling it, not feeling good, lack of interest do to that?

I have to wonder if they can engineer something that was not naturally possible to begin with? Some plant evolved defenses that make them poisonous to humans some are fatally toxic.

So if you ever wondered what they used to crop dust on a field of corn, is was likely bacteria Bacillus Thuringensis and at least then, that being when they did you could wash that off. Now it actually in the plants and they are now working to raise bugs to make sure they remain susceptible to that level of bacteria. We as humans are not adapting we do not have short live cycles, we do not evolve like that, we may die from something but we likely procreate before that happens.

Most scientist agree that Bacillus Thuringensis levels in the corn we eat are not significant enough to pose any significant health risk. They are also genuinely concerned that they could be bringing about a super strain of insects that are immune to it.

Round and round, each thing is less alarming once you really get into it, and they really need to keep a objective rein on it….