Monday, November 20, 2006

Can we save the 21st century?

The 60's and 70's were hopeful times. Important issues came together for me in a book called "Diet for a Small Planet" (Frances Moore Lappe). My very worn copy has 3 companions in my kitchen, other editions, all with the same message: The way we eat can make the world a better place. Low-on-the-foodchain eating, whole foods, and a link to the way our land and water resources are used -- these highlight a cookbook with a philosophy that sadly is needed even more today than it was in 1971 when it first came out.

Now, 31 years later, the future is challenged by agribusiness taking over organic farming; practices that poison good food with e. coli and more; world commerce in food, breaking down our sensitivity to eating in season from local growers; genetic modification that sends plant breeding into warp speeds; and most bizarre, cloned animals which may soon be on your table. Along with all that, abuses of water, agricultural chemicals, heavy metals in the air from industry...all factors that are changing (and limiting) the possibility of bringing pure wholesome food to your kitchen.

Ah, a new book to open the mind and challenge us: GRUB! Subtitled "ideas for an urban organic kitchen," but with a much greater task -- Anna Lappe (daughter of DSP author) and coauthor Bryant Terry load this book up with good recipes, dished up with a large helping of the information we need to do what we can to support the future -- again -- by the way we eat. I recommend it!

Research Tidbit: Diabetics who don't get enough sleep are less able to control their blood sugar levels. Thoughts: All of us can learn from this, or relearn, that sleep is crucial to our health. Some sources even pinpoint the hours between 10 PM and 2 AM as the time when immune work is done. I know that I now can't stay up until 4 AM just because I don't want to put the book down -- because I wake up with a stubborn cold. (This research appears in a free monthly publication, "Healthy Habits" that you can pick up in VitaSource.)

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