June 4, 2010
A friend of mine sent me an email today that got me ranting. The email was in regards to California being on the verge of approving the use of a carcinogenic gas, methyl iodide, for use on strawberry fields and other food crops. Methyl idodide causes the following symptoms with acute exposure: nausea, vomiting, slurred speech, and other problems; massive exposure can lead to pulmonary edema; and
MAY cause fetal loss to women who live near farms where it’s used. They’re not exactly sure yet.
This makes me so angry. How about agriculture/farmers/corporations just STOP POISONING OUR FOOD?!?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
On further thought, I realized that this ties in with my pro-insect eating movement. If our culture wasn’t so squeamish about eating insects, insects in our fruits and veggies would provide the protein that meat-eaters are always complaining is deficient in vegetarian’s diets! WITHOUT the cancer-causing fat from meat!
Think about it! No pesticides = bugs in fruits & veggies (where they naturally occur) = a complete food of vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein! If you can separate yourself from our cultural biases/beliefs/assumptions about eating insects being “gross,” you can see that from an evolutionary standpoint the consumption of insects with vegetable matter makes TOTAL SENSE.
Anyways, back to chemicals.
I went to this website & saw the following article about a report CNN did about chemicals:
“On June 2nd and 3rd, CNN aired “Toxic America,” a special investigative report detailing the prevalence and invisibility of hazardous chemicals we are all exposed to in our homes, air, water and food. “For 80 percent of the common chemicals in everyday use in this country we know almost nothing about whether or not they can damage the brains of children, the immune system, the reproductive system, and the other developing organs,” noted Dr. Phil Landrigan, a pediatrician and director of the Children’s Environmental Health Center at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. The first hour of the CNN report presented the struggle by residents of Mossville, Louisiana to regain their right to live in a healthy environment despite being surrounded by 14 chemical plants. Mossville has an astounding cancer cluster, clearly linked to the contamination of the air, water and ground beneath residents’ homes. The investigation was aided by Advocates for Environmental Human Rights, a DC-based public interest law firm and Pesticide Action Network ally working with groups particularly in the Gulf states.
The second hour of the CNN report focuses on food contamination. By eating any one of the 12 most contaminated fruits or vegetables featured on the program, consumers risk ingesting between 47 and 67 different pesticides; and this result is after the produce has been washed with a high power pressure water system by USDA analysts. According to PAN’s pesticide residue database, What’sOnMyFood.org, a single serving apple may contain carcinogens, suspected hormone disruptors, neurotoxins, and developmental and reproductive toxins. CNN points out that consumers can avoid up to 80 percent of dietary pesticide exposures simply by buying organic versions of what the Environmental Working Group calls the “Dirty Dozen” produce items. Not covered in the story were dangers posed to farmers, farmworkers and their families who remain exposed to pesticides applied during the full production cycle of even those foods that retain the least residues. Also not covered was the fact that pesticides used on fields often make their way into drinking water. Thus purchasing produce with fewer pesticides on the final product will not necessarily reduce our exposure from drinking water. Sweet corn, for example, typically retains minimal pesticide residue. Yet atrazine, a known hormone disruptor and ubiquitous herbicide used predominately on corn, is found in 94% of tested U.S. drinking water.”
Now, I understand that these claims may be skewed. You MIGHT have to drink a gallon of these poisons for it to cause cancer; I don’t know. But these chemicals are in our water, our food, and our air, and they usually end up being stored in our fat. After 10 years of eating/drinking/breathing poison, I’m gonna guess that the buildup in our bodies is enough to have SOME kind of carcinogenic/neurotoxic/reproductive/developmental effect.
And if you think about it, our planet is like our bodies, on a larger scale. We keep inventing, producing and pumping out these non-naturally-occurring poisonous chemicals, and eventually the toxic buildup will just be too much for the system to continue functioning – whether that’s the body system or the entire planet.
No, not those kind of dates. It really is an annoying name for a fruit. Every time I want to talk about them, I feel like I have to explain myself.
Dates. I just recently discovered them. Around May 1st, to be precise, when I started my 30 Day Ayurvedic Diet Challenge, and No-Refined-Sugar Challenge. Dates are one of the few fruits I’m supposed to eat according to Ayurveda (along with figs, apples, pears and persimmons – that’s it), so I decided to buy some at Whole Foods. And I liked them. A little too much. I started eating 5, 10, 15 a day. Probably too many.
Last Saturday I was at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market and I came across a booth with SEVEN different kinds of dates. I bought a bag of Medjool (same as Whole Foods) I was shocked when I tasted them. They were SO MUCH moister and sweeter than the WF dates I’d been getting. The difference totally blew me away. I mean, I thought Whole Foods carried quality stuff. But these dates were AMAZING. No comparison. Delicious. I’ve been trying to shop at Farmer’s Markets more often, and I’m hoping that I’ll get to the point where I shop almost exclusively at FM’s. This date experience has really encouraged me to work toward this goal. I’m not sure if the bag I bought at the market was a pound or half a pound. I hope it was only half, because I ate the whole thing in 24 hours. I really don’t think I need to be ingesting a pound of ANYTHING in one day.
The funny thing is, almost every time I pick a date up (THE FRUIT), it makes me think of a cockroach. Obviously the resemblance isn’t strong enough to gross me out, but it’s still there. I actually believe that we should start eating bugs again. Yes, again. Do you realize that all primates eat insects? They eat bugs in Asia and South America. Our repulsion to eating insects is purely cultural. Insects are all protein, no fat. Insects are the most numerous life forms on the planet (aside from bacteria). They’re also cleaner than the other animals we eat – they don’t get the swine flu, or avian flu, or E. coli. You can’t get food poisoning from bugs. And I just did a little research on diseases – the only insects that transmit diseases are the ones that feed off of humans and human waste. Isn’t that kinda funny? It’s like we’re the impure ones that make ourselves sick. So yeah, the only disease-spreaders are mosquitoes, ticks, cockroaches and house flies. Obviously, these aren’t the kinds of insects I’m talking about. We’d be eating crickets, meal worms, cicadas, ants, larvae, worms. Insects are cleaner and cheaper and more eco-friendly than any other edible animal out there. If you had to do it, would you rather slaughter a cow, or “slaughter” a cricket? Animal rights activists don’t care about ants. And lobsters are arthropods, same as insects. Why is it ok to eat a lobster in the United States, and not a cricket? Why? Think about it. I mean, seriously think about it. Get past your conditioning and squeamishness and look at it logically and objectively.
I’ve actually given this a lot of thought over the past few years. My dad was a hobbyist entomologist. And today, I saw this brief article in Scientific American: http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode.cfm?id=entomophagist-calls-for-cricket-cas-10-05-19
Maybe we’re moving in the right direction. I get the feeling that I’ve gotta step up my game though. I’m sure I’ve eaten an insect as a novelty, but if I really believe this (which I do), I’ve gotta walk the walk. Lead by example, right?
All right. I found one. A restaurant in Santa Monica that serves insects.
This article give a good overview, and pictures!
Scorpion pizza, yum! Who’s going with me???????