You heard me. g-NOWF-glinz. It stands for God’s Natural Organic Food Grown Locally In Season and is my new favorite blog. I’m already in love with Wardeh (Wardee), the mom, and I only just discovered her Saturday! She and her family started out five years ago homesteading, growing their own natural organic food. They follow the Weston A. Price guidelines. Us, too, as much as possible!
Like Wardeh, we have changed everything about how we eat. (Except that Hal still does all the cooking.) “Changing everything about how we eat” is like a snowball rolling down a hill. S-L-O-W-L-Y at first, then a little faster, then speeding along. The #1 thing making the start so slow is denial. Denial about how poorly we were eating, nutritionally speaking. Hey, we followed the pyramid! Turns out it was complete b.s. Denial about the crap the FDA and USDA have allowed into processed food, into the animals we eat, into the milk we drink… denial about having to change the way we eat to actually care for the temple. Nobody likes change.
If you think you eat well* now and you don’t want to change anything, don’t ever read a label. This was the beginning of the end for me, a rabbit hole wide and deep. It looked like a tiny harmless hole when I dug in a toe and read my first label. Sure enough, I saw an ingredient I needed to scroogle.org. “Eeeeeyyyyooouuu. We’ve been eating that crap? No wonder we’re fat and sick. That box goes in the trash!” Ok, at first, we finished that box of crap, knowing it will be our last box of that crap and not wanting to waste the money. Besides, it was crap that tasted good. Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha.
But then I looked down and saw that toe-sized hole. “Heck,” I thought, “we are out of work and Alex Jones isn’t on yet, maybe I can get my whole foot in there…” Before I know it, I’m falling, falling, falling, dragging my family kicking and screaming down with me. You’ve heard the expression “One thing leads to another”? Unless you stick your head back in the sand toot-sweet, it does.
Why? Because that first tiny bit of knowledge made me suspect that the food filling our cupboards was quite possibly making our bodies and the planet sick. That nags at ya. Then, when you verify your first fact (as best you can, anyway, because the information is unpleasant and difficult to come by. Plus, you find out the alphabet agencies who are supposed to be protecting you from the very things you are ingesting, play fast and loose with the facts. Hey, the current head of the FDA left his cushy job at Monsanto to tell us which foods and supplements are safe. I wish I thought that was funny.)
Once you’ve verified your first fact, seen your first movie on the topic, like Food, Inc. or Monsanto: Controlling Our Food or Supermarket Secrets or Aspartame… one day, you find yourself emptying your cupboards, throwing away boxes and jars and cans of what you now know to be poison. I do not exaggerate.
Your husband is standing there, calculator in hand, completely pissed, your kids are in tears because you are throwing away perfectly good boxes of _______. Nobody likes you, but you know you are on to something and they are going to have to get used to it or move. Ok, maybe not move, but they knew not to mess with me.
Besides, they hadn’t seen the movies, read the indictments. They have now. They may not like it, but they do appreciate it.
The funny thing is, we’d always been vitamin takers, thought we were pretty healthy eaters. Looking back, I’m aghast. My children were raised on sugar and chemical filled GMO-soy** formula, diapered with toxin-laden landfilling disposable diapers, filled to the brim with nutrition-free Goldfish crackers. Mea culpa. How did they survive it? Must have been the preservatives and pesticides.
Back then, I thought people who ate only organic, who eschewed meat and avoided processed food were hippies, probably stoned all the time and not living in the real world. I had no political attitude or even knowledge about vaccines. I just didn’t like the idea and couldn’t see the point in vaccinating the boys against either diseases they were unlikely to get or ones I’d had and survived. I allowed the first couple of suggested vaccines because my pediatrician scared me into it, then didn’t do anymore. Other than that, I towed the government line 100%: ate their food, took their medicines, watched their news. In spite of Hal. I knew he wasn’t stoned all the time, but he was awfully suspicious of the party lie. Er, line.
Then we moved to Costa Rica and I had time on my hands (like, all of it). In August of ’08, I decided I should devote some of that to finding out how to get Ryan off his asthma meds. They weren’t curing him, he wasn’t getting any better. Or worse. I figured there had to be a better way. If not, at least I looked.
So I surfed the net, discovered who the ABC agencies are protecting, found out how much doctors really know (after med school, they only know what pharmaceutical companies tell them), found the autism websites, read about mercury poisoning and chelation, vitamins and, oh yeah, read a label… Time on the topic has not been wasted: emptying our cupboards, getting off all medications and processed foods, tossing back a boatload of vitamins everyday mixed with freshly-juiced juice and goat’s milk kefir, has been dramatic. Ryan is no longer on meds and his asthma is gone.
Still miles to go: sugar is not gone from the diet, but it sure needs to go. Sugar is killing us. I’m looking forward to stopping supplements and getting our nutrition from food. Reading Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food. Getting a VitaMix next time I’m in the states so we can soak and mill our own wheat berries, and make smoothies with fruit and raw food to keep the fiber. Fiber is critical (of all the videos linked to here, the Sugar one in this paragraph is the one to start with. Loved it!)
Our garden needs some work… animals are way easier to grow then plants! We grow chickens for eggs and tilapia not to save money but to know where our food comes from. I want to know what I’m eating ate. Costa Rican eggs come from Costa Rican factory farms, run just like U.S. factory farms. Local tilapia is fed antibiotics. Much of the tilapia sold here is from China. I don’t understand that but I’m not eating Chinese tilapia.
So we are working towards healthy eating: local, natural, simple. We buy almost nothing but olive oil from the center aisles in the grocery store. On Saturdays, we eat whatever we want, but even that’s changed. I can’t eat at McDonald’s anymore. Not even a fry. I know too much.
If there’s a piece missing from my well-being protocol, it’s inner peace. I’m horrified (absolutely horrified) by what is happening politically in the U.S. I find it so disturbing, yet can’t stay away from it. I need to balance my political read-rage with down to earth inspiration. Like what I find at GNOWFGLINS. Because, you know, it’s later than I think.
*Well as in healthy well, not well as in stocked-cupboards well.
**From here: “Four companies now process 80 percent of the beef consumed in the United States; Monsanto has unprecedented control of the corn and soybean market. Their Roundup Ready corn is now planted on nearly 80 percent of the farmland acreage in the U.S., and Monsanto’s soybeans, with their Roundup Ready gene, is in 93 percent of U.S. soybean seeds.”
Boy, I sure know what you mean about sticking your toe in and starting to read labels. Starting to really read in fact, about food in general (also read Nina Planck’s Real Food to go along with Pollan’s books) is so eye-opening that it’s impossible to “go back.” I used to be so excited to go to PriceSmart for all the “gringo” packaged food available, or thrilled when our local stores started carrying one more familiar package, but now they all just seem like poison and I can’t buy them. Took a lot of the fun out of PriceSmart, for sure! 😉 We get raw milk, local eggs, and organic produce, but still looking for reliable source for pastured non-industrial meats, chicken, pork — anyone know if buffalo is available here?!?
Reading about this particular journey of yours is one of the things that keeps me following the blog! Your path on this mirrors ours and it’s fun (and often helpful) to read your latest. Keep it coming!
Thanks, Arden! Will order Real Food, too. I have a friend in the country who is growing cows for beef and I’m going to buy a piece of that “pie”… In the states, city folks are buying a share in a cow/pig etc as a way to buy healthy meat. You can eat an animal you own, right?
Don Fernando’s beef is hormone-free, grass-fed so we buy that. It’s more expensive but not too bad and the other stuff is scary!
Nice to know another neighbor on this journey! Costa Rica did this to me… yahoo!
I have grass fed, organic Brahman cows for sale, on the hoof in Turrialba. Come and get em. ginnee at gmail.com
I’m on my way. Literally.
Hello! Thanks for recommending my blog!
I enjoyed reading about your family’s transformation to being real food lovers. I’ve been right there, both in the denial state and in the chucking all the food out of the house state (though now I wouldn’t call that stuff food).
I can’t wait to learn more from you about Costa Rica. It seems like you have a great life there.
We would all be better off if we raised our own food or obtained it from someone we know and trust. Then we wouldn’t need to take all these food supplements that cost so much and are not as nutritious as real food. I don’t trust the food supplement industry any more than I trust the commercial food industry or big pharma.
I still do… just barely. God knows, I’m supporting them!
But then again, who wants to live forever? No bread for the hungry, let ’em eat cake.
Hey I’m all for the organically grown Brahma cows. Maybe we can get some people willing to buy a quarter.