May 6, 2011
Mother’s Day moms can get naked in the garden, grocery
Stumped for something useful and unique to give Mom on Mother’s Day on Sunday?
Why not give her some tips on how to get naked in the grocery store or garden – the organic garden, of course! – and get healthier while she’s at it.
There’s actually a new book scheduled for release in June: Eat Naked: Unprocessed, Unpolluted & Undressed Eating for a Healthier, Sexier You by Margaret Floyd (New Harbinger, Oakland, Calif., $16.95).
Of course, the title doesn’t refer to actually getting nude, but rather the dos and don’ts of processed foods, and regarding organic and sustainable farming practices and how they relate to the foods we eat.
In it are all manner of facts that tend to get glossed over; for example, most folks know that soy is a great protein source. But what Floyd points out is that soy also has in it enzyme inhibitors that make it less than ideal as a food source. Preparation can make soy more useful to the body, such as through fermentation, she notes.
Floyd outlines other issues that affect nutrition, such as gluten intolerance, “good” and “bad” fats, best ways to eat nuts and seeds, along with meat and fish facts (it’s not strictly vegan or vegetarian).
She even has a checklist not only for shopping, but “How Naked is My Dinner?” including: “Is it made from fresh ingredients? Are they organic? Are the veggies local? Is the meat from pastured animals or industrial? …”
It’s a fun title for a sound book on food and nutrition. Since it won’t be out until until next month, you can clip out this article and hand it to her on Sunday along with a gift card for your local bookstore and a note: “Run free, Ma!”
If Mom already has a handle on how she grows, eats, and shops, how about how she views food, farming and gardening and the ethical responsibility of consumers in shaping food choices?
For an interesting read, see: Organic Manifesto: How Organic Farming Can Heal Our Planet, Feed the World, and Keep Us Safe, by Maria Rodale, Rodale Books, 2010, $23.99).
Folks my age will remember her father, Bob Rodale, who died in a car accident in 1990, and her grandfather, J.I. Rodale, who died in 1971, and were among the founders of the modern organic movement.
Maria Rodale is following in their footsteps, although, some might say that, despite the rather aggressive title of her book, she’s a bit “soft” on industrial farming and latitude given Big Ag in adopting the “organic” label.
The fact is, as she notes, her father and grandfather would be astounded that organic was now “mainstream.”
Nonetheless, the book is “must read” in the current state of the evolution of organics and offers great insights into how modern farming is being transformed – and areas in which greater transformation is needed.
As she notes, the consumer is dictating the future of agriculture through food choices, requiring sustainability, accountability, transparency and safety. The challenge is to keep organic standards rigorous and reliable.
Finally, if you’ve wondered how young moms or moms-to-be may be faring in agriculture, there’s a wonderful book about a couple of 25-year-olds starting their own organic farm.
The Wisdom of the Radish: And Other Lessons Learned on a Small Farm by Lynda Hopkins (Sasquatch Books, Seattle, 2011, $23.95) is a sweet, sometimes humorous and sometimes bittersweet tale of a young woman learning the joys and heartaches of growing food for others.
I found myself sadly shaking my head in agreement and wishing some things were different; such as the harsh realities of the marketplace, the hard work involved for little pay. But it remarkably outlines the optimism of young people going into farming, a trend called The Greenhorn Movement, and speaks with love and tenderness toward the magnificent calling that is being stewards of the earth.
A great book. I won’t tell how it ends, but it does surprise!
Jim PathFinder Ewing is a journalist, author, writer, editor, organic farmer and blogger. His latest book titled Conscious Food: Sustainable Growing, Spiritual Eating (Findhorn Press) is in bookstores now. Find Jim on Facebook: http://bit.ly/cuxUdc or follow him @edibleprayers or @organicwriter or visit blueskywaters.com.