THE TOMATO THAT CHANGED MY LIFE
By Lea Ament
A few months ago I actually picked a tomato from a vine and popped it in my mouth. What a revelation! Had I really forgotten what a tomato tasted like? Suddenly as I gazed across the lake at those NAFTA greenhouses and plastic covered fields on the other side I got it. It also explained why, despite a fine set of teeth, I can’t seem to chew the spinach.
When I heard they are putting nanotechnology in our food I went “Whoa, wait a minute. Didn’t they just genetically alter the seeds?” Then they feed the plants chemicals and spray them with poisons and if you’re real lucky it all gets irradiated and then it’s on your plate.
To top that off now they are putting nanotechnology in our food? Are we still eating food? What is that we are putting in our mouths? They talk about the life energy in food and I say “Did it survive?” Unfortunately the food industry is sometimes not forthcoming about what they put in our food and there are various things which they are not required to put on the label.
It used to be (in my day) we only fretted about food colors and DDT. Today we are speaking of sophisticated techniques for making foods smoother, creamier, crisper as well as possibly extending shelf life into the next century.
As a general rule the more processed a food is the more junk has been added. However, even our freshest food is not exempt from tampering these days. Road kill has been in some skin care and food items for some years now. That’s a disgrace! And, you are rubbing that on your face?
GMO seeds, nanotechnology, irradiation are now commonly accepted in the food industry but it has been achieved so quietly that often people have no idea. Since this food is so readily available and attractive we assume that the FDA or some other watch dog group has given it a seal of approval.
However, shocking though it is, that is not the case. I would advise anyone who eats these days to check the internet and take a little time to peruse some of the reports of studies of the effects of these processes on living bodies. To get your own perspective on this put the following words in your search engine: Reports of effects of genetically modified foods on mammals. Falsified studies of effects of nanotechnology in food. Cows die from eating GMO corn laced with pesticides
Back to that tomato. I decided if I wanted a tomato that tasted like that again I’d have to grow it. At the time I was writing this article so the tomato was actually the final clincher that drove me into my garden to grow my own food. I manifested a nice selection of heirloom seeds and spent weeks poring over gardening books and You Tube organic gardening videos.
Finally came the moment of truth and the seeds were cast. In the beautiful 78 degree winter weather, soaking up the rays and vitamin D, I exuberantly planted the entire package of tomato seeds. Then, I did the same with the broccoli. What was I thinking? Had I considered beforehand what I might do with 50 four-foot broccoli plants or three thousand tomatoes? Where would I even put all those plants? I can only attribute it to a strange euphoria common to beginning gardeners. At any rate, suddenly I was up to my ankles in small, happy tomato and broccoli plants.
In a desperate move to find my babies homes I discovered other organic gardeners here in Lakeside. We are now forming an organic gardening group where we can exchange information and tips. We are also talking about an organic veggie garden tour and setting up a Seedy Sunday table where we can swap or sell seeds, plants, produce and gardening stuff.