When I go to the market I am continually bothered by something that seems misplaced. No, not the mustard in the baking aisle, but the word conventional. There is the organic produce, and there is conventional.
The word conventional means “based on or in accordance with what is generally done or believed.”
Wait. What’s wrong here? Have we come so far from how our great-grandparents cooked and ate that we now consider processed food conventional and normal?
It seems to me, in this case, conventional would be how our fore-bearers farmed. They put the seeds they’d saved in the ground, fed the hogs slop from the table, grew the hay in the back forty for the cows and sent vegetable scraps out to the chickens. It was generally done this way, accepted as how we fed ourselves from our own land, and was considered conventional.
But today that kind of simple, unadulterated farming is a far cry from how the produce and meats in supermarkets and big box stores is created. A better word is industrial. That word implies all that is being done on the big mono-farmed, GMO-sourced, corporate operations where much of supermarket and fast food is produced. Before industrial agriculture and CAFOs, before processed foods, and fast food people consumed homegrown and made real food.
While organic is a label that we often seek out now, a better, fairer way is that real food be considered conventional and traditional (and not in need of a label) and the industrial food be properly labeled as such.
GMO foods, it should go without saying, should ALWAYS be labeled. We have a right to know what is in our foods.
Knowing this, how can we ever think of processed, genetically-modified or additive-laden foods as anything but INDUSTRIAL?
Industrial foods are processed in food plants. Unlike real food, these have been treated or amended in some way after being harvested or butchered. Almost all of these processed foods contain additives that change the food in some way before it is sold to consumers:
Antibiotics are used to prevent illness in animals but that is passed on to the consumer. This is now creating what is known as the super bug.
Pesticides control agricultural pests that can damage crops and livestock and reduce farm productivity. Today, over 1 billion tons of pesticides are used in the United States every year. The most common is glysofate, or RoundUp Ready, a pesticide that is created to blow up the stomach of the pest that consumes it. Now imagine eating that produce yourself. Glysofate has been linked to cancers of all kinds, leaky gut syndrome,
Genetic engineered organisms (GMOs) are created by transferring specific traits, or genes, from one organism into a different plant or animal. At least 70 percent of processed foods in U.S. supermarkets now contain genetically modified ingredients.
Hormones such as recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH, and rBST) are injected into dairy cows despite opposition from scientists, farmers and consumers. This Monsanto genetically-engineered hormone forces cows to artificially increase milk production. It also shortens their life considerably. As well pasteurization sterilizes raw milk, thus killing its good bacteria and enzymes. Raw milk in and of itself is never unhealthy – quite the opposite. It’s unsafe conditions that can make any food unhealthy. More people have been sickened by E.coli found in industrial raised meats, eggs, spinach and melons than raw milk in the modern era.
In a 2007 Center for Disease Control survey, the rate of illness from raw milk was calculated at .00046 percent. At the same time there were about 48,000,000 confirmed cases of foodborne infections per year in the U.S. The CDC stated “It is clear from the data that there is no basis for singling out raw milk as inherently dangerous.”
By buying and drinking raw milk from your local farm, you will not only protect, but increase your health, and those of the farm animals, the workers and the environment.
Consider how the Weston A. Price Foundation spells it out: Traditional diets maximize nutrients while modern diets minimize nutrients.
TRADITIONAL DIETS MODERN DIETS
Foods from fertile soil Foods from depleted soil
Organ meats over muscle meats Muscle meats, few organ meats
Animal fats Vegetable oils
Animals on pasture Animals in confinement
Dairy products raw and/or fermented Dairy products pasteurized
Grains/legumes soaked/fermented Grains refined and/or extruded
Bone broths MSG, artificial flavorings
Unrefined sweeteners (honey, maple syrup) Refined sweeteners
Lacto-fermented vegetables Canned vegetables
Lacto-fermented beverages Modern soft drinks
Unrefined salt Refined salt
Natural vitamins in foods Synthetic vitamins added
Traditional cooking Microwave, irradiation
Traditional seeds/open pollination Hybrid seeds, GMO seeds
Knowledge is power, and food matters.
For another POV: Sustainable Table.