Day 25: Authentic and Deep Foods
Eliot Coleman and Four Season Farm; Helen and Scott Nearing; The Future of Food; Authentic, Organic, and Deep Foods; Total Diet Study
“Anything as important to you as your food source should be as close to you as possible.” – Eliot Coleman, Four Season Harvest
Welcome to Day 25!
The information today is huge. As you grow to understand the importance of the integrity of your food, a closer look at the agricultural or agribusiness practices which produce and provide your food become a focus of contemplation and investigation.
In the Summer of 2005 I had the pleasure of spending some evenings with Eliot Coleman, organic farmer at his Four Season Farm on the coast of Maine for over 40 years. Eliot coined the term “Authentic Farming,” in response to the USDA’s agribusiness-controlled attempts to compromise organic standards:
FOUR SEASON FARM
TO OUR CUSTOMERS:
The new USDA “organic” standards will take effect soon. It is obvious to us that they were designed more for the convenience of large scale marketers in faraway states than to satisfy the nutritional quality concerns of the food buying public. The USDA standards define a lowest common denominator. We strive for higher goals. There needs to be a new best-practices label so customers looking for the superior quality of fresh, local produce from committed small scale growers can easily find it. Therefore, we will not become a ‘certified’ organic farm. As of October 2002, we are marketing our FOUR SEASON FARM produce under a new label for the 21st Century – “Authentic.”
“AUTHENTIC” – THE BEYOND-ORGANIC LABEL
“Your guaranteed seal of quality from a farm near you.”
The word authentic derives from the Greek – authentes – “one who does things for him/her self.” The “Authentic” label means:
All fresh vegetables are produced by the growers who sell them and are produced within 50 miles of their place of final sale.
Soils are nourished, as ill the natural world, with farm compost, plant and animal wastes, and mineral particles from ground rock.
Green manures and cover crops are included within broadly based crop rotations to maintain biological diversity.
A ‘plant positive’ rather than ‘pest negative’ philosophy is followed, focusing on correcting the causes of problems rather than treating symptoms.
The growers’ fields, barns, and greenhouses are open for inspection at any line so the customers themselves can be the certifiers of their food.
The goal is vigorous, healthy crops free of chemical contamination and endowed with their inherent powers of vitality and resistance.
The FOUR SEASON FARM label “Authentic” assures you that our food is grown on land farmed organically since 1968 by growers who strive to cultivate, harvest, and deliver the tastiest and most nutritious vegetables.
What does it all boil down to? Truly, it is love. David Wolfe said it very well in a talk I listened to recently:
“You are what you eat. And it cannot be cheated. If we eat food that has no minerals in it, that becomes us. If we eat food that is created without love or prepared without love or grown without love, that becomes us.
That is the big thing, by the way. When we get to the TRUTH. The truth is – the big problem is – that the food today is grown without love, raised without love, prepared without love, delivered without love, and eaten without love. That is the real thing. And everything else is just a side show.”
– David Wolfe, 2005
The Future of Food
Beyond the files attached for you today, there is available online a 2 hour documentary called The Future of Food which is a must-see event:
There is a revolution happening in the farm fields and on the dinner tables of America — a revolution that is transforming the very nature of the food we eat. THE FUTURE OF FOOD offers an in-depth investigation into the disturbing truth behind the unlabeled, patented, genetically engineered foods that have quietly filled U.S. grocery store shelves for the past decade. From the prairies of Saskatchewan, Canada to the fields of Oaxaca, Mexico, this film gives a voice to farmers whose lives and livelihoods have been negatively impacted by this new technology.
The health implications, government policies and push towards globalization are all part of the reason why many people are alarmed by the introduction of genetically altered crops into our food supply. Shot on location in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, THE FUTURE OF FOOD examines the complex web of market and political forces that are changing what we eat as huge multinational corporations seek to control the world’s food system.
The film also explores alternatives to large-scale industrial agriculture, placing organic and sustainable agriculture as real solutions to the farm crisis today.
See the entire video in the Media & Documentaries Section today!
Please consider the huge impact that you can have by making more loving food choices. It may be the very best vote you ever cast.
See you in The Green Room!
Review: The Future of Food, a must-see documentary that exposes the biotech threat to life on our planet by Mike Adams
There is a cabal of power-hungry corporations that are systematically destroying humanity’s future. These companies have taken over the food supply, injected pesticides, viruses and invading genes into staple crops, engineered “terminator” genes that make crop seeds unviable, destroyed the livelihood of farmers and used every tactic they could think of — legal threats, intimidation, bribery, monopolistic market practices and many more — to gain monopolistic control over the global food supply.
The biggest and most extensive scientific study and research into the benefits of organic food has found that it is more nutritious than ordinary produce and may in fact lengthen people’s lives. They also contain higher levels of antioxidants and flavo-noids which help ward off heart disease and cancer as well as higher levels of beneficial minerals such as iron and zinc. (But you could’ve told them that.) Newcastle University have been leading this £12m, four-year project, funded by the European Union and their findings show that organic food contains more antioxidants and less unhealthy fatty acids.
Small Farmer Wins Moral Victory Over Monsanto by Barbara Minton
Percy Schmeiser has a check for $660 and a Right Livelihood Award to prove that sometimes the little guy wins. In a modern version of the David vs. Goliath story, a 77 year-old Saskatchewan farmer and his wife are now considered folk heroes following settlement of their legal battle with agribusiness giant Monsanto Canada Inc., after the company sued them for patent violation of genetically engineered canola seeds in 1997. The Schmeisers were sued after plants from the genetically modified canola seeds were found on their farm near Bruno, Saskatchewan.
After the turn of the previous century there was a lot of experimentation with mono cultures. By that is meant growing only one field crop, e.g. corn or wheat. This is a principle that goes against nature, which works with ecosystems based…
Permaculture shows us the path to a backyard revolution by Isaac Harkness
There’s a reason why bananas are the world’s favorite fruit. They are cheap to buy, soft and easy to eat and full of fat-free nutrients. Frequently found in our lunchboxes, breakfast mix and often one of the first foods babies eat, they are a household staple. More than two-thirds of U.S shoppers include them in their regular grocery shopping.
But the much-loved banana is in trouble. Two damaging diseases are destroying our favorite yellow food and threatening to wipe out the bananas eaten by consumers in the U.S. “Banana production as it stands is facing an existential crisis,” said Dan Bebber, a plant and disease specialist at the University of Exeter. “There will have to be a revolution in how bananas are produced for production to continue.”
Media, Films, & Documentaries
[Audio Talk] Deep Foods with David Rainoshek, M.A.
BILL MOYERS JOURNAL | Michael Pollan Interview | PBS
Bill Moyers sits down with Michael Pollan, Knight Professor of Journalism at UC Berkeley, to discuss what direction the U.S. should pursue in the often-overlooked question of food policy. Pollan is author of In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto.
[Documentary] The Future of Food
[Documentary] The Botany of Desire
[Short Documentary] Living the Good Life with Helen and Scott Nearing. A film by John Hoskyns-Abrahall and Bullfrog Films
A much-loved film about a remarkable couple. During the Great Depression Helen and Scott Nearing quit city life and moved to Vermont. He was a brilliant economist, she a concert violinist. Together they made Forest Farm synonymous with the ideal homestead. In the noble tradition of Thoreau, Scott was an influential figure in American life for nearly 70 years. Scott died in 1983 shortly after his 100th birthday, Helen lived into her 90’s.
Filmed in 1976 when Helen was 74 and Scott 93, the Nearings are seen still growing their own food, cutting firewood for fuel, and putting the finishing touches on a large stone home built by hand.
Through their books, public appearances, and by the example of their lives, the Nearings remain an inspiration.
[Documentary] Food, Inc.
For most Americans, the ideal meal is fast, cheap, and tasty. Food, Inc. examines the costs of putting value and convenience over nutrition and environmental impact. Director Robert Kenner explores the subject from all angles, talking to authors, advocates, farmers, and CEOs, like co-producer Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), Michael Pollan (The Omnivore’s Dilemma), Gary Hirschberg (Stonyfield Farms), and Barbara Kowalcyk, who’s been lobbying for more rigorous standards since E. coli claimed the life of her two-year-old son.
The filmmaker takes his camera into slaughterhouses and factory farms where chickens grow too fast to walk properly, cows eat feed pumped with toxic chemicals, and illegal immigrants risk life and limb to bring these products to market at an affordable cost. If eco-docs tends to preach to the converted, Kenner presents his findings in such an engaging fashion that Food, Inc. may well reach the very viewers who could benefit from it the most: harried workers who don’t have the time or income to read every book and eat non-genetically modified produce every day.
Though he covers some of the same ground as Super-Size Me and King Corn, Food Inc. presents a broader picture of the problem, and if Kenner takes an understandably tough stance on particular politicians and corporations, he’s just as quick to praise those who are trying to be responsible–even Wal-Mart, which now carries organic products.
[Documentary] King Corn
KING CORN is a fun and crusading journey into the digestive tract of our fast food nation where one ultra-industrial, pesticide-laden, heavily-subsidized commodity dominates the food pyramid from top to bottom corn. Fueled by curiosity and a dash of naivete, college buddies Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis return to their ancestral home of Greene, Iowa to figure out how a modest kernel conquered America.
With the help of some real farmers, oodles of fertilizer and government aide, and some genetically modified seeds, the friends manage to grow one acre of corn. Along the way, they unlock the hilarious absurdities and scary but hidden truths about America s modern food system in this engrossing and eye-opening documentary.
A graceful and frequently humorous film that captures the idiosyncrasies of its characters and never hectors (Salon), KING CORN shows how and why whenever you eat a hamburger or drink a soda, you re really consuming … corn.
[Documentary] The Future of Food
Review from Amazon user Fracois-Hughes: A MUST-SEE! Thank you to Ms Garcia! This is the VERY BEST, most informative and well-done documentary on the matter. The essential is summarized in one place: a DVD that is real easy to follow. It is quite comprehensive. Some very strong reports/interviews from well-known scientists, and testimonials from genuine farmers. Also all the animations are excellent. And the photography is in many places beautiful (especially the part filmed in Mexico).
On the top of that, it is also the best documentary I’ve ever seen, flowing along an amazingly informative path. I highly recommend it for a) those who know about this matter, and b) those who don’t know yet about it :~]
Farmageddon highlights the urgency of food freedom, encouraging farmers and consumers alike to take action to preserve individuals’ rights to access food of their choice and farmers’ rights to produce these foods safely and free from unreasonably burdensome regulations.
The film serves to put policymakers and regulators on notice that there is a growing movement of people aware that their freedom to choose the foods they want is in danger, a movement that is taking action with its dollars and its voting power to protect and preserve the dwindling number of family farms that are struggling to survive.
[Audio Interview] The Organic Manifesto with Maria Rodale on Underground Wellness
Maria Rodale, author of The Organic Manifesto, and guest Leah Zerbe, stop by to discuss the importance of local and organic farming. Topics will include the dangers of chemical-saturated farming and genetically modified seeds, how organic farming mitigates global warming, and why chemicals aren’t necessary to produce an abundance of healthy foods.
[Audio Interview] Farmageddon Documentary with Kristin Canty on Underground Wellness
Kristin Canty, director of the documentary Farmageddon, stops by UW Radio to discuss how our access to safe, healthy food is at risk. Topics will include the urgency of food freedom, the dangers of the industrial food chain, and what we can do to help the dwindling number of small family farms struggling to survive. Watch the movie trailer at www.farmageddonmovie.com.
[Audio Interview] The Origin of Organic Farming: A Revolutionary Philosophy with Eliot Coleman
In this interview, Eliot Coleman of The Four Season Harvest talks about:
The history of organic farming over the last 100-150 years
How Industrial Agriculture is focused on treating the symptoms with “miracle products” that are only quick fixes simply for profit
How organic farming is revolutionary as is strives to correct the causes
How the power of advertising has influenced farmers and resulted in lower food quality and poorer yields
How Helen and Scott Nearing “walked their talk”
How Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring was so influential in the organic movement