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The plan was to talk about Asia today. But when I received an email from Environmental Working Group (EWG) with such an uber-cool infographic (click image above) that essentially explains – in pictures, no less – some of what I wanted to share with you about US industrial agriculture, food waste, misaligned US exports, and the benefits of small-scale farming, I jumped right on that info go-cart. Wasn’t that better than my typical word pile-on, getting all caught in a word mosh?
If you’re unfamiliar with EWG yet you care about toxic chemicals in your food, in your water, or in your skincare products, check them out. They’re my go-to site anytime I want to know what’s in anything I apply to my person: lotion, face cream, mascara, hair products, etc. Their site Skin Deep is phenomenal and houses data on over 60,000 products.
Small-scale Farming? YES!
Yes, small-scale, organic farming can eradicate world hunger. One compelling example is what has happened in Russia. On about 20 million acres of Russia’s land, nearly 17 million Russian families grow organic gardens creating 38% of Russia’s total agricultural output. According to an article on Reclaim, Grow, Sustain, 25% of Russia’s families create 38% of Russia’s ag output during a short growing period of 110 days. The same article explains the history of lawns and how the wasted space of lawns could be used to grow food. Besides taking up space, lawns have, in my opinion, a dark side: hazards to our health and the environment by way of chemical fertilizers and synthetic pesticides. This reminds me of the Food NOT Lawns movement we saw in Santa Cruz, California. Turns out that movement began in Eugene, Oregon, near to our current neck of the woods. Go Oregon!
Can Pesticides Be Rinsed Off?
Keep an eye out for more information on the topic of small-scale farming in an upcoming post where I’ll share short videos from an interview I had with a local Southern Oregon organic farmer who discusses how organic agriculture can save the world (my words). Good Timez.
Day 10: My Food Justice Experience
Yesterday was my midway point. I crossed a line – literally and metaphorically. I had some of my usual pangs, the kind that strike about noon upon realizing I still have 5 or 6 hours to go before eating the real deal, a real meal. They’re not hunger pangs so much as sad pangs. My little cup of barley late morning (I mistakenly called it lunch, but it’s more like a brlunch) helps tremendously. Surprisingly, I had a workable amount of energy. I don’t plan to run any races, but this Food Justice Diet has sustained very long work days and short morning hikes. When I did this in 2010, living on just one meal a day and no other food – no snacks, no nightcap of warm hemp milk – it was much harder. Again, I consumed 200 less calories a day in 2010 than I am now, that’s 20% less.
Now, I’m eating at least 200-600 more calories a day than someone who is truly living with hunger. I will not pretend to know what it’s like living in dire straits wondering when and where I’ll get my next meal. Plus I’m eating everyday, unlike those who have serious food insecurity and may only eat a couple of times a week.
Day 10 Food Intake
Today was more of the same, much like those living with hunger around the world, who rely on a small handful of food staples from one meal to the next changing it up with what’s most available – herbs and spices. This may be one of the last meals I have with brown rice as it seems I have a thyroid/autoimmune issue, possibly Hashimoto’s Disease, which could be caused by genetics, radiation, or age. I’ll be making the switch to Basmati rice as advised by my new awesome Ayurvedic MD. You’ll be hearing more about her. The good news is: Wow. This would explain a lot about how I’ve felt for a couple of years. I envision writing future posts about Hashimoto’s and nutritional ways to deal with it.
You’ll notice two areas highlighted in yellow. I’m still working out calorie discrepancies with certain foods. I think this is more accurate now?
The macronutrient ratios are decent. On a normal day, I would work harder to decrease the fat percentage, just a tad.
Day 11: My Food Justice Experience
So much for all the bells and whistles of how great I felt yesterday. Call it a moment of weakness, call me willpowerless, call me a bloody fool, call me whatever, I succumbed to the pressures of the almighty mermaid in the sky. While running (more like ambling) errands, the husband and I were seduced by the green and white siren. I guzzled down a soy, vanilla bean steamer. It’s not even a drink on their menu, but ya know, they will hold the pickles, hold the lettuce like the best of ’em. It was so divine and yummy while going down, but I’ll be the first to admit, as I hide behind a sheepish grin, that I felt on the hellish side of crappy afterward. Looking at the sugar content, 27 grams, explains a lot. I haven’t been eating processed sugar for 11 days, and my body revolted. I paid a lot of money to feel like shite. I continue to learn these lessons and then promptly forget them in the face of a dangerous seawench who sells 5 dollar lattes.
Add to it, a good friend came to visit. All the boys were hanging out in the living room, eating pizza, drinking brewskis, and watching football, basically having fun. I, with my beans and avocado, slunk back to my desk to be here.on.the.@#$%damn.computer. I’m having one of those, “is this worth it?” moments.
Day 11 Food Intake
Tomorrow is another day.
Saving our planet, lifting people out of poverty, advancing economic growth… these are one and the same fight. We must connect the dots between climate change, water scarcity, energy shortages, global health, food security and women’s empowerment. Solutions to one problem must be solutions for all.
To read other posts in this series, click click click the links. Please share your comments!
Day 1: The Food Justice Diet
Day 2: Alarming and Curious Statistics
Day 3: Finish Your Plate, There are Children Starving in Ethiopia
Day 4: The Nameless Hungry
Days 5-6: “Where Does She Get Her Protein??”
Day 7: One Small NGO Making a Big Impact in Ethiopia
Day 8: The Language of Hunger
Day 9: Plenty of Soy Solutions in Latin America
Days 10-11: Can Small-scale farming feed the world?
Day 12: Why Organic Farming?
Days 13-14: The Have and Have-Nots of Southeast Asia
Day 15: Have You Eaten Today?
Day 16: Hunger in America
Days 17 & 18: Hunger’s Dirty Little Secret
Day 19: Eat Plants
Day 20: Watch This, Read That
Day 21: The Power of Activism