One of the problems in our industrialized, heavily urbanized North American society is the huge disconnect between our food system, and the cycle of life and death that nearly every other generation of humans in the history of our planet has known intimately. As I sit here at my computer this morning I’m reminded quite vividly (and pungently) about how close I am to (some) of my food, as well as the circle of life. First thing this morning I watered my hugel kultur raised beds with the liquid fish compost that my husband Mark has been cooking up for a few weeks in a plastic garbage bucket in the garage. Phew – what a stench! I can’t seem to quite get the smell off my hands, despite scrubbing hard with soap and orange hand scrubber. I had to change, too, because the hem of my pants got a little damp while I was watering and the smell was overwhelming. I’m having flashbacks to my childhood on a prairie farm every time I get a whiff. Here in our corner of northern Ontario we have more access to decomposing fish parts than to livestock manure, so it makes sense to augment the fertility of our garden with a local source of rich organic material. We’ll have to see what our neighbours say, though – be thankful you are reading this in the comfort of your own fish-fertilizer-free home.
And speaking of food (and it is Meat Free Monday) here’s Michael Pollan on why a bunch of carrots costs more than a package of Twinkies:
According to a new report by two genetic engineers, genetically engineered foods are not safe, have not been properly tested and pose a serious threat to human health and the environment.
In GMO Myths and Truths, the scientists refute the claims made by companies that produce genetically modified crops and organisms (GMOs):
“GM crops are promoted on the basis of ambitious claims – that they are safe to eat, environmentally beneficial, increase yields, reduce reliance on pesticides and can help solve world hunger,” said co-author Dr. Michael Antoniou of the King’s College School of Medicine in London, U.K.
Click here to read full article in the Toronto Sun, or read Marion Nestle’s review of GMO Myths and Truths on Alternet.
Meatless Monday.com: One day a week, cut out meat
*Update: At lunch, my husband suggested I remove the hat I wore in the garden this morning. Which seemed a little random, as it hadn’t been anywhere near the watering can. But I did take it off, and realized it was quite pungent. Apparently anything within 5 feet of an open fish fertilizer bucket will stink to high heaven for quite a while after exposure!