To eat grains or not to eat grains? that was the question recently directed towards me. In the last few days I have given it much thought and in my opinion the answer is most definitely yes, but…
See, our food systems have become so convoluted that often times it is not for sure that you even know where the food you are eating even came from – still with me?? Without knowing the grower, you take it for granted that the food you are consuming is both healthy and good for you, based on labeling systems of course.
When a large farmer harvests his 5,498.39 acres of conventional wheat, it is harvested (obviously, by a large machine) when the time is approximately right. The grains, some more dry and some less, are taken to a storage to be air dried, for an eventual milling…turning into the beloved white flour that we all know and eat in ravenous amounts in breads and pastries.
There are already some problems with this scenario. First of all the farmer probably never walked the field to identify if there were any fungus problems – the grains were most likely preemptively sprayed (whether necessary or not). Secondly, harvesting in mass, albeit a “technological advance” for an ever growing society, does not allow for harvesting crops at their optimal time. Lastly, white flour is full of gluten, that dozens and dozens of people seem to be more concerned about every day, especially related to allergies. All the while a huge monoculture is going on in the background.
Just an example, there are more than 4,000 potato varieties, but how many can you find locally, or at your favorite grocery store? There are more than 40,000 varieties of rice worldwide, just as there are many varieties of wheat, corn and tomatoes that you will never find at the supermarket…
But back to the grains, should we eat them? In short, yes. They are here, they have adapted to the agricultural conditions that we have given them, our bodies accept them and digest them.
However, if we want to truly be healthy and to make an impact in organic agriculture then we must change our gluttonous gluten habit. To eat diversely is key. Opt for locally grown grains wherever you are and as organically as you can afford.
Instead of wheat, try incorporating other grains and nuts into your
diet food consumption platter:
We shall be healthy as long as we eat diversely!
If you have 48 minutes to spare, this documentary Farm For The Future may just change your life, or at least the way you relate to growing food.
Small farms are the future. Toss in hundred and thousands of forest gardens and this land will be a healthier, and more beautiful, place to live.
If you dream about creating your own forest garden we would love to hear about it in the comments below!