As part of my job, I (Ted) have the opportunity to go into classrooms and talk about Sustainable Agriculture. In one class there were 43 students from several counties in our state. I asked them to raise their hand if someone in their immediate family has ever had cancer. I was shocked to see all but one or two students raise their hand.
With so many families and living conditions represented in that classroom, it is eye-opening that nearly 100% of these students are experiencing the impact of cancer. Some of these families are living in towns drinking “city” water, some are in the country drinking well water, and some eat home-cooked meals while others eat fast foods. Some drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes while others do neither. I am sure you can think of other variables. Though these living conditions’ link to cancer may be confusing, it is likely these families are purchasing much of their food and drink from chemical-based agriculture and then often further processed in factories (ex: foods that come in a container).
When we eat, drink and breathe things that contain chemicals from how they were raised or processed, they can contain substances that are toxic to our bodies and ultimately our health. I believe that all of us have a toxic limit that we can withstand and then we more easily experience disease. I remember when I was a teenager that even though some of my friends smoked cigarettes they could run as fast as me. I thought smoking cigarettes was bad for you, so why could they so fast? Fast forward to today and they are not doing so well. How about you, do you know anyone that seemed to defy the laws of health for years and then “suddenly” they need surgery, prescriptions and the full force of the medical system?
The other critical factor to health is giving our bodies the vitamins, minerals and trace elements needed each and every day. So based on this, if we are eating “clean” food, free of chemicals, grown in soils rich in minerals and trace elements and not genetically modified, our immune systems will function quite well. On the flip side, if the food we eat is produced in an agricultural system that is rewarded for quantity with the help of chemical herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers in mineral depleted soils – our bodies will be starved for what it needs to fuel our immune system.
Many times we are tricked into making food choices on cost and taste. Cost is certainly a factor for all of us and this is not to be minimized. I would like for you to consider food’s total cost to include the impact it has on your health. If I eat dead, depleted food and my energy level is low, then it is an added cost I am paying. Taste is the other factor that can tempt us into making unhealthy choices. Big Mac’s are tasty for many, but not healthy for any.
It is amazing that this Godly food system is talked about in Psalms 104 verses 14 and 15:
“You cause the grass to grow for the cattle,
and plants for people to use,
to bring forth food from the earth,
and wine to gladden the human heart,
oil to make the face shine,
and bread to strengthen the human heart.”
In just two verses we find that cattle need grass to be healthy, the earth is to grow plants and bring forth our food, wine to lift our spirit, oil and bread completes what we need in this healthy food system. Pretty simple huh, nothing too complicated to grow or cook mentioned here. Isn’t it interesting that often we think if something is complicated and scientific it is better than simple?
Don’t wait until you experience disease to make healthy choices. The body God has given us is so capable of health and healing, all it requires are conditions for health. This means that even if your health is not so good now, good food is still good medicine. I truly believe that any healthy choice you make now will pay dividends later.
We have a friend who has been battling cancer for some time now. She sent a message recently saying that she is doing all she can to improve her health and is now choosing to eat grass-fed beef and taking supplements. We are praying for her healing, but ultimately she is in God’s hand.
What can you do now?
- Grow your own vegetables
- Consider a container garden on your deck or patio if you are short on outdoor space.
- Connect with local people who are growing healthy food and visit their farm to find out how and what they are producing.
- Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) for a season of good food
- Visit your local Farmer’s Market and connect with local food producers
- Most importantly, educate yourself – so you can make healthy choices
Enjoy the journey and bring your family in on the ride!