Written by Cindy Puhek From the New Harvest Homestead Newsletter
My family embraced being green four years ago when my mother was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. The disease is genetic so it was not caused by environmental factors, but the disease is complicated by processed, chemical laden food. The doctors gave mom access to some medical websites that are not normally open to laymen. The doctors wanted mom to go online and research how to manage her disease for herself. Mom was shocked by what she found on these websites. Doctors have found convincing evidence linking cancer and other diseases with the chemicals in our food. Mom quickly contacted my Aunt who has non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and my aunt’s oncologist confirmed a chemical/cancer connection with her particular cancer. This was enough evidence for me to begin thinking seriously about the kind of food we were consuming.
The food police would probably still arrest us if our pantry was raided, but we’ve made a lot of changes for the better. Here are a few things that being green has meant to me:
• I learned much of our food supply is controlled by large industries that are more concerned with earning profits than with keeping our nation healthy.
• Finding the least expensive food available is no longer my first priority when shopping. Some small farms survived the industrialization of farming by embracing organic techniques. I’m thrilled to be able to support these small operations by purchasing their products.
• Being green makes strange bedfellows. I look at the bumper stickers in the parking lot of a grocery store where we shop and some of them promote worshipping Jesus while others promote worshipping Mother Earth. I find it humbling and convicting that it was non-Christians and often the open enemies of Jesus who led in this movement to improve our food supply and preserve the earth for future generations.
• We shop at a small, organic grocery store where the employees know our names and inquire after the health of our family. In our fast-paced, impersonal society this has been very refreshing.
• Our diet has become simplified because food is more expensive. I was forced to do more “from scratch” cooking because the cost of prepared organic food was prohibitive.
• Our garden suddenly became very economically viable because growing food organically was cheaper than purchasing it. We make our own compost and don’t use any chemical herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers in the garden.
• We became more concerned with the chemicals in our home and began researching natural alternatives to chemical cleaners.
• We call the eggs we purchase, “happy chicken eggs” because the chickens that produced these eggs did not spend their lives confined to cages in inhumane conditions.
• We try to purchase meat that was raised without hormones or antibiotics. We eat a lot of wild caught fish because it is more economical than other meats.
• We purchase a year supply of turkey at Thanksgiving, not because its $0.39 a pound (it’s $1.39 a pound,) but because this is the only time of year free-range turkeys are available.
• We stay surprisingly healthy. I think part of that is our stay-at-home lifestyle that helps limit our exposure to germs. But I also think our immune systems are stronger as well. Our bodies are not distracted by neutralizing poisons from our food and can concentrate on fighting off viruses instead. Organic food also tends to have more nutrition than conventionally produced food.
We continue to make changes. My husband is currently researching off the grid, green building while he dreams of a self-sufficient homestead. Maybe we’ll even be greener in the not too distant future.
And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you.
1 Thessalonians 4:11