Thursday, October 14, 2010

Homegrown Revolution: “Start by Changing Yourself”

Above, the makings of breakfast tomorrow. I’ve discovered quite a few people require gluten-free bread these days. When I tasted the bread, a mixture of organic flours (rice, sorghum, tapioca) and eggs, I realized wheat is not necessarily the way to go. Gluten-free bread is easier to digest and tastes delicious.

Food is something to think about as Oysterfest approaches, and Wellfleet celebrates the marvelous shellfish that has been a main local food source for centuries. Lots of oysters will be eaten in our town this weekend. I plan on eating oysters more often over the coming years. They provide protein. They are plentiful. They taste yummy. What’s more, buying oysters supports the local economy. I hope more Wellfleetians will start thinking along these lines, that sustainability will become a key word in everyone's vocabulary.

At breakfast this morning I chatted with a guest from Germany, the mother of two small children. As usual, I was describing my own journey away from processed foods and the synthetic chemicals that lurk in food and water. She rides a bike to the grocery store and told me more than half of the supermarkets in Berlin sell only organic food. We discussed how the EU has refused genetically-modified foods, wisely I believe. When FDA agents, wielding guns, raided a California facility that sells raw milk, as they did last week, it’s time to ask oneself what’s going on. I believe we need to find the impulse for change within ourselves …

Being a green innkeeper has taught me to think outside the box when it comes to food. I have written about Chez Sven’s switch from Tropicana to Purity Organic over the summer. Next year I hope to squeeze juice from organic oranges for guests. We already serve organic milk and granola, as well as fresh fruit salad, organic if possible. Pesticide residue is not something you want in your body, and washing fruit does not remove this residue, as California's Alliance for Food and Farming would have us believe.

Faced with the might of Agribusiness, Big Pharma, and Big Oil, I’ve decided it’s time for change, and we need to start at home, by changing ourselves, one person at a time. “Change begins with you,” says Jules Dervaes, narrator of this inspiring video about growing food at home and sustainability.

I believe bloggers have a role to play in this "homegrown revolution."

Books like Slow Death by Rubber Duck and Our Stolen Future taught me about the chemical mayhem going on inside our bodies, important information that I shared with my community. I reported on the utility company’s plan to spray five herbicides under the power lines here on Cape Cod. I am organizing the screening of movies like A Chemical Reaction, Living Downstream, and Submission: In Defense of the Unborn, at the Wellfleet Public Library. I have also taken a stand against endocrine disruption by synthetic chemicals like BPA, detected in 90% of the pregnant women tested recently in Cincinnati. Today’s post is part of the Healthy Child Blog Carnival, an effort by Healthy Child Healthy World to help inspire a movement to protect children from harmful chemicals. Pregnant women and small children are the most vulnerable but we all need to pay closer attention to what we put into our mouth.

Dramatic change is happening across the country. School lunches are being revisited in Berkeley, California. (I learn all about it at Lettuce Eat Kale, a blog written by my friend Sarah Henry.) Here in Massachusetts, a wise man named Ken Toong is creating change in the way universities approach food. Toong has even borrowed a few chefs from Berkeley, according to a recent guest from Amherst.

Are you aware of the "homegrown revolution" that is underway? Are you a part of it? What have you done to protect your family from synthetic chemicals in food and water?