Meatless Monday Thoughts: The Stinky Circle of Life

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.

More links:


Meatless   One day a week, cut out meat

Check out my new apron from my sister in spirit (and rabble-rousing) Donna

*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!

0 thoughts on “Meatless Monday Thoughts: The Stinky Circle of Life”

  1. Should that be “stink to high heaven” in the final sentence, Christine…

    I have just been watching new BBC TV series called Secrets of our Living Planet… I know it is verging on heretical but, the presenter just suggested that the ability of plants to combine CO2 and water using sunlight to produce sugar is the biological equivalent of Jesus turning water into wine… I think I can feel a blog post in the making…

    • Thanks for the editing help, Martin.
      BBC makes such good TV – as a Canadian, I’m envious of you Brits(although CBC does pretty well, considering every govt since Mulroney keeps cutting its funding).

    • Yes, it’s an amazingly incestuous relationship between govt and Big Ag. One wonders how they’ve gotten away with it so long. After reading that article, I went back to one I listened to earlier today, Malcolm Gladwell discussing his new book, David and Goliath, where he looks at why the underdog does surprisingly well often. The Monsantos of the world are going to get exposed for all to see soon, like Rupert Murdoch et al.


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