by Aimee Perrin
Several years ago, I decided to eat only organic food, and I felt great about the decision our family had made. It seemed a little obsessive way back somewhere between 1996 and 2003. I guess it was a gradual development. Denny and I had been shopping individually, before we were married, from health food stores since the early 70’s. Denny even owned a health food store in Hammond Louisiana, where we met. Then in the 80’s, when we started having children, we began making more conscious decisions about our food and where it came from, still figuring that USDA Organic was the best.
Fast forward to 2003 when we both began our 7 years as Raw Foodists, we were certainly obnoxious, and elitefully (is that a word? it should be, anyway we were it) declared that everything we put in our mouth was not only raw, but (air quotes) “Organically Grown”, by golly!
While on the all organic Raw Food diet my husband Denny had developed seriously painful, infected teeth. He didn’t want to go to the dentist since: 1. He felt the problem was partly caused from dental work he had had in the past; 2. He knew the dentist would offer doses of anti-biotics, their only option to fight a serious tooth infection. And, if you have read any of my other blogs, you probably know our opinions of anti-biotics. Put briefly, they destroy the bacteria in the gut, which can ultimately cause further disease.
I googled the words, “Cure tooth decay” and found the book,Cure Tooth Decay, by Ramiel Nagel’s. I highly recommend his book, you can purchase it through our Amazon link. While explaining the cause of tooth decay, Rami mentioned the Weston A. Price Foundation. And the fact that indigenous peoples still eating their traditional diets had absolutely no tooth decay!
The Weston A. Price Foundation is highly supportive of small family farms, for good reason: the only way to find these foods that traditional peoples included in their diets are to grow or raise them yourself or buy them from local farmers.
I’m talking about the new Super Foods, healing foods such as organ meats from grass fed animals, humanely raised on their natural diets. broths made from bones and meats of these same animals and raw dairy from animals raised on grass from your local area.
While Denny was healing his teeth and I was making the shift to a new diet, researching, we began a commitment to buy only locally grown foods.
For the year of 2010, while reading Michael Pollen’s Omnivore’s Dilemma and Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, we decided we could survive eating only food that comes from local farms.
At this same time I was still producing crackers for my company, Aimee’s Livin’ Magic. Most days I was using at least a pound of peeled garlic, impossible to get locally. 98% of the peeled organically grown garlic came from China! Yes, that was the only place I could get that much garlic. At the time our company was also using seeds, like sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds from China all claiming to be organically grown.
A few of our concerned customers stopped buying our products because of this. I was feeling more and more uneasy about buying Organic Food from China. What were their practices like, was it really organic? I was making these decisions to eat only local, farm-raised food for myself. This was one of the main reasons Aimee’s Livin’ Magic went out of business. I no longer felt ok about importing all the raw ingredients to make the food.
A great quote from an article on Natural News, “Organic farming in a clean environment produces clean, organic foods. But organic farming in a polluted environment produces contaminated organic foods. And China is one of the most polluted chemical cesspools on the planet.”
Read the whole article: http://www.naturalnews.com/039195_organic_foods_China_pollution_nightmare.html#ixzz2Lpe12SIl
When you buy Organically Grown food from the grocery store or even the local health food store,
- What do you really know about how it was raised or grown?
- How much fuel did it take to get to the store?
- How long did it take to get there?
These were all questions I was asking myself.
Yesterday, February 23, 2013, Denny and I went to the Seacoast Eat Local Winter Farmers’ Marketin Rollinsford New Hampshire, a mere 20 minutes by car from our house. This Farmers Market has become a huge deal in our area. There were at least 1/2 mile of cars on both sides of the road on each side to the entrance and a parking lot full of cars, and a steady stream of eager shoppers and community members entering the huge greenhouse where there was about 75 booths, mostly of farmers from farms within a hundred mile radius.
I didn’t start out to write a review of our local farmers market, although I certainly could do that—all favorable.
I could walk up to any booth and have a discussion with the farmer whose food I am getting ready to purchase. I could ask,
“What do your animals eat while there is snow on the ground?” To this I would like to hear,
“Hay, that I produced on my farm, without the use of pesticides or fertilizer.”
We can still buy some vegetables like cabbage and some greenhouse grown kale and lettuces. And I can ask these farmers, who may not have an organically grown sign at their booth, “Do you use fertilizers or pesticides?” Becoming certified can be prohibitively expensive for a small farmer.
Is it possible to actually Stay Out Of the Grocery Store?
What items we might purchase at a grocery store, large chain, or even our local health food store:
- Toilet paper – we could use a clean wet rags, but not yet;
- Paper towels – Denny uses these to paint with, but we could use rags, right?;
- Raw ground chicken for our pets – I would love to buy this directly from farmers, we are working on this;
- Shampoo, conditioner and soap. Ok, soap we could definitely buy from farmers. I saw a farmer yesterday with her Goat Milk soap for sale;
- Coconut oil and coconut, shredded and arrowroot, see my blogs about my Coconut Cookies and the Miracle of Coconut Oil http://liveinmagic.com/yummy-coconut-cookiesbutter-transports/ and http://liveinmagic.com/alzheimers-coconut-oil-miracle/;
- Tea and coffee, like Barbara Kingsolver in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, there are some things you just have to import. p. 35, “Hedging, we decide to allow ourselves one luxury item, each in limited quantities, on the condition we’d learn how to purchase it through a channel most beneficial to the grower and the land where it grows. Stephen’s (here I could substitute Denny’s) choice was a no-brainer, coffee. If he had to choose between our family and coffee, it might be a tough call.” I absolutely loved reading this book, I’d let you borrow it if I could. You can order it from our Amazon link.
Some of these items we certainly could get on line, but that is not the point, and I still enjoy the community of the local health food store. Our local store does a good job of stocking lots of locally sourced foods and personal care products: cream and yogurt from a local dairy, meat from a local farm, chapstick and candles from a local bee keeper. I search out these products when I find myself between Farmers Markets still in need of supplies.
Living without packaged foods.
This was an easy decision for us. And this is how it went. I was already eating very low carb, because of the type 1 diabetes. Denny joined me on this, because of his hypoglycemia. We are always researching diets, trying to find the perfect diet for healing. We did a lot of reading about the paleo diet and the success many were having on this diet. Since I had been eating low carb and no grains since 1996 and having great results with my health and balancing my blood sugars giving up all packaged food was automatic!
Basically if you are eating No Grains, you are eating no packaged food! Funny right. All packaged food are made from grains and most have added GMO hormone- wrecking soy, high fructose corn syrup, GMO corn and its derivatives. Once these substances come into a factory, do we really know where they came from? Or what’s done with them? But I KNOW what happens in my kitchen!
I buy food from local farmers I trust. Then I add Salt, Pepper and dry herbs, and organic extra virgin coconut oil. We currently do fine without imported olive oil by using Lard that I make myself (http://liveinmagic.com/why-lard-by-aimee-perrin/for my blog about the health benefits of lard) and coconut oil or Bacon drippings from our local bacon. That’s it. I always spend less than 20 minutes preparing a meal completely from scratch. Its simple and delicious.