To the Editor:
The saying, “you get what you pay for,” is particularly true when it comes to food.
The standard American diet is rich in unnatural hormones, antibiotics and grain-fed dairy, meat and eggs, highly processed foods replacing nutrition with salt and sugar, and highly refined cereal products missing everything but calories. Even our healthy whole fruits and vegetables are missing more than half the nutrients and micronutrients they contained 50 years ago. It’s why they taste so blah.
Industrial farms are now effectively hydroponic. The necessary 30-plus nutrients and micronutrients we should be eating aren’t available from the soil anymore. Industrial farming practices have destroyed the soil microbes that once provided them. Instead, industrial farmers pour on a yearly soup of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, herbicide and insecticide, but not much else. It grows big, juicy produce that looks good and lasts a long time on the truck (the bugs won’t eat it) but has little nutrition.
We are paying the piper for having the cheapest food in the world by supporting the most expensive health care system in the world fighting an epidemic of chronic degenerative disease – cancer, obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, auto-immune diseases. Still, we’re dying younger than most other rich countries. This is no coincidence.
Paying the local all-grass organic farmer rather than the medical insurer makes more sense. Not only is it a better bargain in the long run, it tastes better, you’ll feel better and you should even live a longer and healthier life.
Donovan C. Wilkin