Getting Smart about Carbs

Posted by in Healthy Food Choices

Getting Smart About Carbs is an article I highly recommend you read. It suggests using “Whole Grains” as against for example Blanched washed out grains for the beautifully cosmetic white breads we’re so commonly used to. The main reason behind this is during the “whitening” process, we lose a lot of the minerals which normally come with the unadulterated grains.

In addition, the following is an article I published some years ago, explaining the benefits of Organically Grown Crops

Why must we buy organic?

Buying (or growing!) organic is way healthier – Find out why!

The word Organic basically stipulates more natural, or ecological growing conditions.  Plants grow together with micro-organisms, and insects.  Imagine all these small critters which co-exist together in an “eco-environment.”  Throw some fertilizer into the equation and just see what happens! While you might end up with “a higher yielding crop,” you’ll also throw the eco-system out of balance.

And as a result you’ll end up with more weeds! Weeds are nature’s way of  absorbing excess fertility. Ingredients which can’t get absorbed into the soil and would otherwise “leach” down stream into ditches and rivers and lakes, and upset the balance of nature in wetlands. Or in some cases into thin air!

Nature is certainly quite fragile.  But it has its own control mechanisms – namely weeds and insect infestations.  Many weeds have one main function, which is to absorb this excess fertility, before it leeches.  To people who understand organic farm principles, they can tell the soil problems by which weeds grow!

The obvious ones I have experienced (even though I no longer farm, I have the exact same weeds, respond similarly in my small veggie plot!) are Red Root Pigweed, and Lamb’s Quarter.  Somewhat later Common Ragweed will show up. These are the most common “broad-leafed” weeds; and then there are also grass species such as (Green or Yellow) Foxtail, and Barnyard Grass, Witch Grass … and many more!

Each of these weeds respond to nature’s crisis when the soil is high in nitrogen, but the plants mankind has planted, are too small and too weak to consume the level of nitrogen in the soil, and due to nature’s conditions, is about to evaporate into thin air.  And so the good lord has blessed us with these plants (weeds!), which if nothing else tell us what’s going on here.

Well there are ways of dealing with these situations by using “cover crops”.  These crops are usually planted in the early fall “after” the main crops are harvested, with the intention being to absorb the nitrogen in the soil at that time (resulting in less weed pressure) and then carry it through to the spring.  This way, if less weeds grow in the fall, then there’d likely be less weed seed, and therefore less weed pressure in the spring.
Also the fiber (or residue) from the cover crop which absorbed the nitrogen in the fall, should release it slower in the spring, resulting in less weed pressure.
Now here we’ve only covered weeds, related to fertility issues.  There’s another complete band of them, whose job it is to penetrate “compacted” soils.  One of those is Milk Weed, which enjoys at least some light sand or gravely soil.  And the other one is called Quack Grass (aka twitch grass).
This one is better described in French as “Chien Dent”, which translated back means “Dog’s Tooth”! This is because the root of this weed is a strong white fiber with a point on the end of it, which penetrates through compacted clay soils.

On the insect front, insects never invade healthy crops!  On the news, or on Discovery Channel, you see huge infestations of locusts or grasshoppers in wheat lands.  One of the most common reasons for this is continuous mono-cropping, growing the same (price-based rather than eco-based planning!) crop year after year.

Now, at this point, I’d like to point out again that ecologically grown food is produced according to crop rotations, and the natural fertility cycles, rather than price.  And while despite the lies you’ll read everywhere saying ‘organic is no better than conventional’, the fact simply remains that if a crop grows along side worms, insects, and minimal weed pressure, that the mineral balance of the soil must be in good health, and so in turn the health of the crop means healthy food!

Now while organic farmers do have weeds and insect infestations, generally the pressure is not as great as the fertilizer and herbicide style farmers. Typically bad weather will wreak havoc, and things get out of balance. 
In the case of conventionally grown crops, if you see a problem, there’s always an answer on the shelf of your local pesticide shop!  On the other hand, if an organic farmer has a problem, it often results in some hard labor (weeding!), and /or crop losses.

And so if you’re concerned about pesticide residues in your food, and your ultimate health, and feel organic is healthier, you’ll realize now why you may need to pay the price.