Last week we presented the problem: Our bodies are suffering because our world is suffering. This includes the way agriculture takes care of the plants and the soils in which they grow. Through the use of pesticides, herbicides, and artificial fertilizers the plants grown in our country and many of the countries from which we get our produce donít have as much nutrition as the same varieties of plants did a hundred years ago.
In addition to the lack of nutrients from how our plants have been grown many agricultural practices cut back on the nutrients even further. I am talking about the way produce is picked green, so it is less likely to spoil before it reaches market. The problem with picking produce green is that it is in the ripening process that many of the vitamins, minerals and especially enzymes are created. Before the fruit ripens the plant keeps these nutrients for itself. Have you ever noticed how many garden plants seem to know that their growing season is almost over? They begin sacrificing portions of the plant itself in order to mature and ripen the fruit. This is because nature has programmed the plants at that stage to be more concerned about preparing for the next generation instead of itself. Therefore it puts everything it has into the seeds and the surrounding pulp that will feed those seeds. This doesnít happen earlier in the season as the plant strives for new growth for itself.
In modern agriculture fruits are picked green, and then put into cold storage until they can be sold and delivered to market. Sometimes that market is halfway around the world. Sometimes it takes more than a year to get there. Even though the produce is not ripening during this time there is some loss of nutrition from being in cold storage for so long. When it does finally get to market (if not before) two things are done to it. The first is that it is irradiated. This kills any harmful germs that may be lurking on or about the produce. Unfortunately it also kills the natural enzymes in the food, as well as most of the remaining nutrition. Just before it is delivered it is Ďgassedí. This makes it look ripe, even though it really isnít. Iím sure all of us have picked up a fresh piece of fruit, like a peach, that looks bright and healthy. When we bite into it instead of being soft, sweet and juicy it is hard, sour and dry. This is because it really isnít ripe, it just looks like it.
This is just the produce. What happens to our meats?
Natural meats grow wild. The animals forage for their food. They move about, sometimes slowly and sometimes very quickly as they evade predators. How does that compare with modern meat production?
Modern meat animals live in tight quarters, where they hardly move at all. Sometimes they are indoors all day and never even get to see the sun. They rarely run from predators because they are very well protected by the buildings or fences surrounding them. There isnít enough room for enough plants to grow to feed them, so food is brought to them. This food is nothing like what they would find in the wild. Most of our meat animals are herbivores, they are meant to eat plants. The foods fed to them are ground up parts from other animals and grains. These are things they would never eat in the wild. Because of this unnatural food, and the close quarters, these animals are more likely to get sick than their natural cousins. To prevent sickness caregivers give them antibiotics. These antibiotics stay in the meat and we consume it as well. This practice has led to Ďsuperbugsí that are extremely resistant to antibiotics.
The other chemicals they give these animals are hormones. They give them these so they will produce more, more meat, more milk, more eggs, whatever it is that is being sold. These hormones also stay in the meant and are in it when we eat it. Have you noticed that kids are getting bigger faster? These hormones could be one of the reasons. If the hormones are given to the animals to make them get bigger faster, doesnít it stand to reason that they will do the same thing to anyone that eats that meat?
So, I have spent two weeks pointing out the problem. Our bodies are being bombarded with chemicals they were not meant to handle. Our foods are not giving us the nutrition we were meant to have. Our water is full of chemicals to keep us safe. And our air contains particulates from our automobiles and factories. What are we supposed to do? Do we simply give up and live lives of inadequacy and sickness? Is there a way to fight back?
Since all disease is caused by one or all of three things letís look and see what we can do. The first of these is too much of something. We call this toxicity. We have just looked at many of the ways that toxicity enters our bodies, but there is one more that I want to touch on. Too much of a good thing can also be toxic. Have you ever eaten too many prunes? If you have then you have an idea of what I am talking about.
When we take in too much of a nutrient the body must store it, neutralize it, or dispose of it. All of these put a strain on the body. The more strain we put on our bodies the more worn out our bodies become, and the more susceptible to illness. Good clean water is good for us, but we have all heard of the athlete that drank too much water while racing and died of over hydration. So the first thing we need to do is to watch the quantities of what we put into our body.
The second thing we need to do is to watch the quality of what we put into, and onto our bodies. We can get away from the side effects of toxic growing methods by eating only organic produce and eating only naturally raised meat. This includes any dairy products we eat. The pasteurization of our milk products changes the nutrients in them into toxins. If at all possible we need to be eating only organic, raw dairy products.
Our skin is a wonderful organ. It not only protects us from our environment, but it also acts as a sponge to absorb that environment. None of us would think of drinking the oil from our cars. Did you know that a lot of the lotions and cosmetics we use are made of the same thing, or worse? Our bodies absorb those chemicals, thinking they are nutrients. Then they have to work extra hard to try to cleanse themselves from them. This is greatly adding to the wear and tear on our bodies. One good rule of thumb is never to put anything on our bodies that would be harmful to put in our mouth. Look at the phrasing on that. I didnít say that we wouldnít put it into our mouth, but that it would be harmful if we did. Some natural products that would be safe to eat we wouldnít eat because it tastes too nasty to us. These are perfectly safe to put on our bodies.
So the first step in creating a healthy body is to quit putting toxins into it. Next week we will discuss ways to get rid of the toxins we already have in our bodies.