Good morning, Radiant Ones!
I hope you are reveling in your growing awareness and deliberate choice making. This journey is about becoming a qualitarian - regardless of which food groups make up your diet. It's about exploring what is behind what we ingest and making decisions that are in line with what we value. As we go along on our journey together, some of what I share with you may shock you. Please let the fear have its moment, but don’t stay there. Because ultimately what I am offering are opportunities to counter the madness of this toxic world; opportunities to explore new ways to heal ourselves and consequently, our planet. I truly believe that the antidote to all of our ills is found in Nature. This is why we must do our best to live in harmony with Her.
Everyday, our choices affect the future of our food supply. What we buy creates a demand. And that consumer demand influences legislation. So although we don't technically vote with our dollars, in essence, we are collectively agreeing to a certain standard of supply if we buy into it. The implications of eating organic foods are not limited to their potential health benefits, but stretch all the way back to the seed. And the people who cultivate that seed. And the quality of the soil that seed is nourished by. The foods we eat are the culmination of interdependent processes we as a species have become so detached from. Processes our not so distant ancestors innately embraced and revered.
This leads me to the topic of pesticides. According to the EPA (Our country’s Environmental Protection Agency), there are more than 1,055 active ingredients registered as pesticides. These individual ingredients are then formulated into thousands of pesticide products available to consumers. The chemical reactions between individual ingredients is something that is not discussed on their website (and what is of additional concern to me…the questionable cocktails). However they do link birth defects, central nervous system and liver damage, cancer and “other effects” as possible consequences of long-term exposure. Pesticides are inherently toxic and designed to kill living organisms that in one way or another play a role in this magical thing called Life. Pesticides interrupt natural rhythms by not only killing the pest they are targeting, but oftentimes that particular pest's predator - thereby creating an even bigger problem.
Unfortunately, pesticides are ubiquitous. They are in the parks we take our children to, in our ground water, in the burger we just ordered and the air we just breathed. And the EPA released a recent finding asserting that 80% of most people's exposure to pesticides occurs indoors, and that measurable levels of up to a dozen pesticides have been found in the air inside homes. Um…yeah…
So what do we do? What we can do is what we have been doing, which is minimizing our toxic intake and opening up all the possible channels for cleansing ourselves of that which is foreign and unnatural within us. The body is always detoxifying us; is always on our side. We just have to get out of our own way and continuously learn more ways of doing so. Choosing to eat organically as often as possible is one powerful way.
I have heard people say that eating exclusively organic is "extreme" or "elitist." I beg to differ. What IS extreme is eating food-like substances so far removed from their authentic counterparts, that our bodies have to struggle to figure out how to properly digest them. What IS extreme is having no relationship with the soil that sustains us. What IS extreme is having no concept of what's in season because the local supermarket has anything we want all year round. We are not an isolated species. And what IS elitist is choosing to buy an apple that is 30 cents cheaper than the organic version because we can. What about the farmer who is being poisoned with unregulated or underregulated chemicals? Isn't she important and worth considering when we make consumer choices? What about the future of our air, our land, our water supply? Isn't it elitist to say that only our personal preferences matter? So you see, eating organic isn't just about respecting our own body temple and treating ourselves well, it's also about respecting the microorganisms in the dirt and the interdependence of the different species that make up a healthy ecosystem. Eating organic is opting out of the status quo and choosing the real food all humans born before World War II consumed.
When it comes to learning more about pesticides, we are fortunate to have so many consumer advocacy groups questioning the EPA's stance and conducting independent research. The Environmental Working Group (ewg.org) is one such group. Every year for the last several years, they test our country’s most frequently consumed crops and determine which crops have the highest pesticide residue (a single grape sample and a sweet bell pepper sample contained fifteen pesticides….I know...yuck), as well as those which have the lowest (like avocados – only 1% of avocado samples had detectable amounts of pesticide residues). Below is the most recent list detailing the “Dirty Dozen” and the “Clean Fifteen.” When choosing what is imperative to buy organic, keep the Dirty Dozen in mind. Because even if you wash and peel conventionally grown crops, two-thirds of food samples still had detectable pesticide residues when tested.
By choosing organic and pesticide free foods, you are not only making your voice heard politically and securing a much healthier future for yourself and your family, but you are also contributing to the healing of the Earth because less fossil fuel will be converted into fertilizers and our soil will inevitably be much healthier. The soil is the womb of nutrition for generations to come, let us partake in its sacred fecundity by increasing our consciousness in how we participate in Life. In tomorrow’s guidance, I will give you more tips on how to reduce pesticide exposure. Sending you all Light and happiness today! Here is that list:
Dirty Dozen Plus™ (choose to only consume the following if they are organic):
Sweet bell peppers
Snap peas - imported
Hot Peppers +
Kale / Collard greens +
Clean Fifteen™ (choose these conventionally if you are on a budget or organic is hard to find):
Sweet peas frozen
©Erika Elizondo, H.H.C