Feed the soil, feed your soul

ON THE GARDEN PATH by Carolyn Herriot

Real food has disease-fighting properties

All animals get their food from plants, either directly or indirectly and all plants get their food from the soil. When we consider that the same chemical elements in the soil make up our bodies, we can understand how mineral-deficient soil is one of the greatest sources of human disease in the world. The root of many of the health problems facing society today – obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc. – is the state of the world’s degraded agricultural soils. This has led to compromised immune systems, which open the door to disease.

The answer to the current health crisis does not lie in mass produced food, which is dependent 

on chemicals that undermine soil health. Nor is the answer hydroponic greenhouse production where food isn’t grown in soil at all. Real food grows organically, in topsoil that contains essential minerals. And it ripens under the sun, which enables plants to manufacture essential phytonutrients, shown to fight disease in the body.


“Society stands on the precipice of forever being bound to transgenic agriculture and transgenic food. Coexistence between transgenic seed and organic seed is impossible because transgenic seed contaminates and eventually overcomes organic seed. History has already shown this, as soon after transgenic seed for canola was introduced, organic canola became virtually extinct as a result of transgenic seed contamination. Organic corn, soybean, cotton, sugar beet and alfalfa now face the same fate, as transgenic seed has been released for each of those crops, too. And transgenic seed is being developed for many other crops, thus putting the future of all food, and indeed all agriculture, at stake.” (Organic Seed Growers v. Monsanto, filed in federal court June 1, 2011. See www.organicconsumers.org)

The most efficient and affordable way to produce real food is to grow a food garden, but there’s not much point in having such a garden if you don’t know what to do with all the fresh fruits and vegetables. Because many people today don’t know how to cook, they are forced to eat in restaurants or buy processed convenience foods of questionable nutritional value.

To address these issues, this year I’m ‘cooking’ a book, full of delicious ideas for consuming fresh food in season from the garden: The Zero-Mile Diet Cookbook is a book that connects the dots between what we eat and our level of well-being. Using simple preparation techniques, I will share inspiring ways of enjoying the bounty of the garden harvest throughout the seasons. Cooking does not have to be complicated or labour intensive. Once you master the A to Z of culinary techniques and ingredients, you can become a cook who whips up fantastic nutritious meals in no time at all. Real food fast!

Feed the soil, feed your soul and bypass Monsanto’s agenda of feeding us transgenic food, grown in depleted soils blitzed with chemical fertilizers and pesticides to make this ‘food’ grow. To me the choice is obvious and it really can be this simple.

Carolyn Herriot is author of A Year on the Garden Path, a 52-Week Organic Gardening Guide and The Zero Mile Diet: A Year-round Guide to Growing Organic Food (Harbour Publishing). She grows ‘Seeds of Victory’ at the Garden Path Centre in Victoria, BC. www.earthfuture.com/gardenpath/ The Garden Path Centre is open to visitors every Friday, 10AM-6PM until September 25, 2011.

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