Just yesterday, Nicole and I had a new friend, Sonam, visit our farm from Ladakh, India. Ladakh is at the foothills of the Himalayas, with mineral rich soil that’d been covered with a glacier 1000's of years before the first people settled there. It is also home to one of the coldest deserts in the world.
Sonam is a missionary and he and his family grow food and raise animals such as Yak and sheep as part of their everyday life. That is part of what they "do" for a living. The word organic was somewhat new to his vocabulary. In Ladakh, everything is grown organic. No need for a government trademarked name or some sort of certification saying it’s organic, it just is.
As we walked around the farm, Sonam shared with me a story about one of his visits to America. He said he had come to the states on some business and had dinner with some friends while he was here. As the meal was served, Sonam’s wife had smelled the food and whispered in his ear “Don’t eat it.” Not to be embarrassed, he ate the food anyway, thinking “How bad could it be?” For 15 days after that meal, Sonam was so sick he passed blood.
Could it have been a bacteria strain in undercooked food? Perhaps, but it made me think about how American food is now perceived by people outside of this country. Do foreigner’s wince at the thought of finding “good food” when they come here? Maybe, but here is what I do know; GMO's (no labeling required in America), hormones, antibiotics, arsenic, herbicides, and pesticides all can be found in our food at any given time….Did I miss anything? Probably did. Doesn’t that make you want to scream? Our kids, our spouses, our parents and friends all eat this and what do they get out of this wonderful food system - sick. Of the four pillars Thomas Jefferson said would be the foundation of American prosperity (Agriculture, Navigation, Manufacturing and Commerce), looks like we’re down to two.
I remember when we traveled out of the country and the saying was "be careful what you eat and drink, you could get very sick." I wonder if foreigners are thinking that way about us.
What can you do? Start at home. Read labels, cook at home, eat more raw organic veggies and grass fed meats, buy a juicer and use it, check out important resources like Weston Price, Eat Wild, and The Organic Center. Don’t just be aware, be informed.