Posted by: terrapraeta | January 12, 2010

Eat the Weeds


This old man I’ve talked about
Broke his own heart,
Poured it in the ground.
Big red tree grew up and out,
Throw up its leaves,
Spins round and round.
I know all this and more.
So take your hat off
When you’re talking to me
And be there when I feed the tree.

Belly, Feed the Tree

So a friend of mine on Facebook has been posting links to a series of videos on youtube called Eat the Weeds. It looks like a really good series of videos for an aspiring – or practicing – forager. Dude calls himself Green Deane and he covers a lot of little details that might otherwise be overlooked. For example, in the episode on daylilies he points out that guidebooks list the daylily as edible – which it is – but what they don’t tell you is that some of the thousands of cultivars may not be edible. Good point.

In any case, after checking out some of the videos, I headed over to his website and took a look around. In addition to the videos, he also writes a blog and so I perused. Now I know I like this guy. He wrote an article recently entitled Nutrition or Food?. Good Stuff. Give it a read. For all of my efforts to get onto the paleo diet (sometimes effectively, sometimes less so), the one recurring theme I have been sticking with is eating real food. I don’t care what the fat content is, nor the grams of sugar. But I do care if I am eating a whole food or some otherwise processed bit of crap labeled “food.”

Meanwhile, another friend commented today on the rising occurrence of cancer. Nowadays, we all know someone that has been struck with cancer. Hell, I had a pre-cancerous growth a few years back and ended up having a conal biopsy of my cervix. It cleared up the growth and the assumption is that I continue to be free and clear. (no recurring symptoms). But it certainly gave me pause and I nearly had a complete hysterectomy (some days, I wish I had 🙂 )

In any case, the point is, why are we seeing so many cancers these days? Sure, environmental toxins, are part of it, but I suspect the single biggest cause is the food we eat. Even “whole foods” are a problem when we are eating corn-fed beef, pesticide sprayed vegetables and hormone laden meats of all stripes. This simply cannot be healthy and yet most people ignore it rather than deal with the issue head on. After all, the government wouldn’t allow such a thing, right? Ha!

So, for me, while I do not always eat as healthfully as I should, this is going to be the year that I commit fully to making sure that the foods I eat are not factory processed, are (in fact, not just in labeling) organic, hormone and antibiotic free, and preferably, are produced within my 100 mile radius. It will take me a little time to find the resources locally to provide everything, but by the end of the year, I hope to have it completely down. Time to network 🙂

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Responses

  1. Tp sez: or some otherwise processed bit of crap labeled “food.”

    Yuck-foods? 🙂

    I hear Penrose has lots of orchards… and there is grass-fed lamb down by Pagosa Springs…

  2. Hey —

    I haven’t made direct contact, yet… but we have a guy locally that does meat goats… and one of my co-workers just told me she has a girlfriend up in southpark that does free range grass fed beef. So its a start 😉

  3. Yup. And another thing… commercial pet food makes CAFOs profitable (sez Sharon Astyk). So I’m gonna start makin’ my own cat food. At least start with the wet stuff this year. Can’t be that hard, nah?

  4. Hey —

    Yeah… I have Angel on commercial food… but only because the vet put the scare in me about large breed puppy’s uneven growth rates. Once she is full grown then we’ll see. I’ve already been feeding her everything I eat in small quantities just to see what she likes and make sure nothing gives her stomach problems….

    tp

  5. I once had a shepherd who liked raw onions. Go figure! 🙂

  6. I’ve (now) figured that if the “food” our culture serves up is bad, the off-the-shelf pet food is even worse.

    Anecdotal evidence? Our 3 cats – 1 diabetic @10y/o (now 16), 1 colitis (@13y/o – fatal at 15)

    3rd cat has had the benefit of high$ prescription food (required for others) for last 5 of his 10 years, still doing ok (if a bit large).

    Granted, lifestyle for these locked indoor cats is bad news – not too dissimilar from our modern human culture. It often racks up more lifespan their some feral brothers, but at what “cost”?

    -Jim

  7. Hey Jim!

    Yes yes and yes 😉

    I’m hoping this tipi thing works out, if for no other reason than for the good it’ll do my girls;-)

    tp

  8. Hey!

    Update… quick websearch gave me nine farms within a 50 mile radius (roughly) providing various meats and produce. Some of them attend our farmers market… but I’d rather develop a relationship, and I don’t generally much care for farmers market pricing, so….

    Best part… two of them, both in the Gunnison area, describe themselves as uncertified, “beyond organic” operations. These are people I want to meet 🙂

    tp

  9. Thank you for your kind words. As time goes on and the more I know the more I think we should eat like our great grand parents. Their diet worked. I’m not sure the chemist in the kitchen is such a good idea.

  10. Hey Deane —

    You’re welcome. However, our great great grandparents certainly had some things right, but they also had an average lifespan much shorter than they *should* have… I much prefer the neolithic model for good health 😉

    tp

  11. The first question to ask is what does a “healthy” diet do? The answer is one most likley dies of heart disease and cancer just like most folks, only a few years later, and perhaps less protractedly. So a good diet –what ever that may be — buys us a few years, some a couple, come many. Next, most of our ancestors did not get to the stage of life to die form heart diease or cancer. Injury, infection or issues related to child birth were the major killers. Thus our great grand parents indeed could of had shorter life spans, but not because of diet per se. The irony, of course, is we have modern medicine which one would think would extend life but the counter balance is bad diet so folks end up not living longer those their ancestors despite modern advanages.

  12. Hey Deane —

    I disagree. Heart Disease and Cancer are modern afflictions. They were virtually unknown amongst our primitive ancestors and cancer, in particular, is a disease of industrialization.

    A healthy diet should provide what it has been shown to provide to our ancestors. Healthy strong teeth, well formed musculature, mental clarity, an active lifestyle well into “old age” and lack of degenerative diseases. Of course, with the toxins prevelant in our air, water, and even wild foods, this may be asking too much, but eliminating toxins placed into our foods intentionally should get us at least part of the way there.

    tp


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