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October 21, 2010

The 5 Crops You Need To Grow

Potatoes, corn, beans, squash, and eggs. (Do you "grow" eggs?)

Food in Uncertain Times: How to Grow and Store the 5 Crops You Need to Survive,

So the first thing I would say is, garden if you can and if you enjoy it. Whether you garden right now or not, though, learn more about how to store and use the food that is grown locally.

[. . .] After incorporating potatoes into their repertoire, European populations thrived and expanded, erratic weather, Little Ice Age, or no.

... Grains and beans are the ultimate survival crops because they are so long-storing.

... We grow corn, the easiest of all grains to grow and process on a small scale. Corn is also, in areas where it grows well, by far the highest yielding of the grains. In addition, unlike the small grains, you can grow corn with nothing but a shovel or heavy hoe.


August 2, 2010

Michelle Obama On White House Garden And Child Nutrition Bill

Michelle Obama - A food bill we need begins,

Last spring, a class of fifth-grade students from Bancroft Elementary School in the District descended on the South Lawn of the White House to help us dig, mulch, water and plant our very first kitchen garden. In the months that followed, those same students came back to check on the garden's progress and taste the fruits (and vegetables) of their labor. Together, they helped us spark a national conversation about the role that food plays in helping us all live healthy lives.

Later, she moves onto the Child Nutrition Bill,

Right now, our country has a major opportunity to make our schools and our children healthier. It's an opportunity we haven't seen in years, and one that is too important to let pass by.

The Child Nutrition Bill working its way through Congress has support from both Democrats and Republicans. This groundbreaking legislation will bring fundamental change to schools and improve the food options available to our children.


Go read.

July 4, 2010

Reasons To Grow A Garden

There are some great reasons to grow a garden in a post up at Huffington Post, by Dr. Andrew WeilFounder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, titled Fat or Carbs: Which Is Worse?

From the post,

Science writer Gary Taubes has done more than anyone else to deconstruct the Keys mythos and replace it with a more sensible view, informed by better science. I recommend his book, Good Calories, Bad Calories: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom on Diet, Weight Control and Disease. It presents more than 600 pages of evidence that lead to these conclusions:

  1. Dietary fat, whether saturated or not, is not a cause of obesity, heart disease or any other chronic disease of civilization.

  2. The problem is the carbohydrates in the diet, their effect on insulin secretion, and thus the hormonal regulation of homeostasis -- the entire harmonic ensemble of the human body. The more easily digestible and refined the carbohydrates, the greater the effect on our health, weight and well-being.

  3. Sugars -- sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup specifically -- are particularly harmful, probably because the combination of fructose and glucose simultaneously elevates insulin levels while overloading the liver with carbohydrates.

  4. Through their direct effects on insulin and blood sugar, refined carbohydrates, starches and sugars are the dietary cause of coronary heart disease and diabetes. They are the most likely dietary causes of cancer, Alzheimer's disease and other chronic diseases of modern civilization.

My point here is not to promote meat consumption. I've written here previously about humanitarian and ecological reasons to avoid a meat-centric diet, especially if the meat comes from factory-farmed animals. Instead, my purpose is to emphasize that we would be much healthier as a nation if we stopped worrying so much about fats, and instead made a concerted effort to avoid processed, quick-digesting carbohydrates -- especially added sugars.
There is much more at the original link. This is great information for your health, and a great reason to be growing food!