(Photo Credit:

Food was something up until the 1940s folk just grew out in the back yard … supermarkets were a new invention. Still, many gardeners kept going well into the 1970s, and growing your own food is currently making a huge come back. I recall as a child, unlike in today’s supermarkets, the shop owners went out back and got all the items on your list and put them in a brown cardboard box or paper bags. We also collected raw milk in a billy from the local Dairy and drank it, and believe it or not one of us died from doing that. Neither did I ever hear one report of food poisoning from raw milk. Today our milk is so heated and treated and added to, much of the nutrients have disappeared, and sadly, some countries have banned raw altogether. Check out the health benefits of raw milk:                                                                                         

(Photo Credit: Food Not Lawns)

I recall as a child, every morning around 5 am awakening to the sound of my father chipping away the weeds in his vegetable garden just outside my window, before breakfast and the working day. He grew everything we ate. And he didn’t spray our vegetables with anything either. He also saved the seed from one plant that he left for that purpose and of course there was an abundance for next season and the neighbours. Nature supplies abundantly although Monsanto would have us believe that GE crops can do better.

Cauli, straight from the garden
Cauli, straight from the garden

(They recently tried suing the Guatemalan people for saving their seed, something they’ve done for hundreds of years). Corporations back in the day had not gotten blatantly greedy enough yet to patent seeds. They have now of course and are busy gobbling up all the companies to tighten their hold on humanity. Then there’s the Food Bill that aims to stop all this sharing and caring by passing our veg over the back fence. What a blasphemy to humanity this is. (A note on the Guatemalan fiasco, this is due to a trade agreement a … think TPPA … the signs are on the wall).

Taihape Blogger Vanessa’s Edible Garden

Fortunately we have a revival on the gardening front anyway and folks all over the place are growing their own and saving their seeds again. Including the city folks in their apartments … in pots, on rooftops and all kinds of other public spaces formerly reserved for ornamentals and Roundup spray. How refreshing this is. There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing a bland sterile environment turned into a wonderland of green and colour, with items to consume in there as well. I recently discovered an interesting local blog (Vanessa’s blog, ‘growitt’ from Taihape in the Rangitikei) where front yard vegetable gardens are discussed. The idea is to show people, particularly the youngsters, where food comes from … not necessarily from a supermarket. The thought for the reader is, poverty and hunger can be overcome simply by planting food in some of that space they pay to have mown or mow themselves. The good thing about growing your own is,  it’s cheap, especially if you know folks you can swap seeds and plants with. And no you don’t have to go purchasing expensive fertilizers from the shops. You can recycle all your food scraps into compost, grow comfrey and keep worms for fertilizer (worm tea) … the sky’s the limit.

Which brings us full circle to food again. And more importantly, what’s in

(Photo credit: Natural Society)

it. At least with home grown we know exactly what’s in it and we also know, from the research and from our histories, that organic produce (without sprays or any genetic tampering – just simply what our forbears grew) is by far more nutrient rich and non toxic to our bodies. Unfortunately, frequently what we buy from the supermarket shelves is loaded with a large repertoire of unpronounceable additives. My daughter has a motto, if you can’t pronounce it, don’t buy it. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) website tells us there are an astounding 10,000 additives allowed in food! By way of introduction, the EWG is an excellent resource if you are inspired enough to begin looking beyond the visual appeal and the packaging of food.  If you visit their site

Additives in your food
What additives are in your food? and are they proven safe?

you will find a valuable resource that enables you to check out all the additives you may find on those labels (including a section on good food on a tight budget). You also can check what’s been added or (hopefully) not. EWG have a ‘dirty dozen’ additives featuring for instance the nitrites…..

Ever wonder how cured meats like salami and ham are able to retain their seemingly fresh pink color after weeks on the store shelf? They may be treated with nitrates or nitrites – chemicals commonly used as coloring agents, preservatives and flavoring. Although they can prolong a food’s shelf life and give it an attractive hue, they come with health concerns….(read HERE)

The remainder of EWG’s dirty dozen additives is comprised of Potassium Bromate (in breads, a possible carcinogen), Propyl Paraben (several health concerns including fertility), Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) (a preservative that is possibly carcinogenic), Propyl Gallate (another preservative and possible carcinogen), Theobromine (found in chocolate, similar to caffeine, possible harmful reproductive effects), secret flavour ingredients (typically flavouring ingredients that are artificial or genetically engineered), artificial colours (a raft of chemicals with concerns for health and hyperactivity in kids), Diacetyl (flavouring in popcorn ‘butter’, yoghurt and cheese, associated with an irreversible respiratory condition), Phosphate food additives (found in baked goods & fast foods, associated with heart and kidney disease) and Aluminum additives (accumulates in the body, associated with neurological disorders).

“Ever heard of propyl paraben? This endocrine-disrupting chemical linked to decreased fertility in women moonlights as a preservative in corn tortillas and muffins” (EWG)

It does seem a no brainer to many of us, when it comes down to it, about choosing not to feed our families any ingredients that are harmful. To many sadly, it’s not. I think we have just become complacent and 10906042_10152539697891078_4082137429462254189_ntrusting. We’ve not questioned the trustworthiness of those who’ve been selling to us. The time is past however for blind trust … and the information is there for us to look at. People caring enough have done the research for us. They just need to be listened to and the information acted on. There is a wealth of websites that feature the research on these items, check them out with a google search and do yourself and your family a favour. You will be the healthier for it and you’ll save on professional health expenses. And remember, corporations are about profits, they will line their pockets at the expense of your health. And they will smile at you while they are doing it.

See more on food additives here


Here is another site called ‘ADDITIVE ALERT’ that offers a search facility for food additives. It is closer to home for Kiwis and particularly relevant for promoting our childrens’ health …  (this link’s been hacked at the site so will connect it again when the problem is solved).

There are books, other resources and links to help in your search for truth regarding your health.

To find other articles about food, use ‘categories’ or  the search box

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Watching our environment … our health … and corporations … exposing lies and corruption

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