Conventional Farming and Pollinators

image While many people know organic produce is better for their health, some don’t realize just how beneficial it is to the environment. Sustainability is another great reason to choose organic over conventional.

I was surprised to learn that while there are over 4,000 different types of native bees and other pollinators in North America, honeybees are not actually native to the U.S. They were brought here by the first European settlers. Native pollinators depend on “weeds” for pollen when the primary crops are not in bloom. With the widespread use of pesticides and herbicides, weeds have been eliminated and woodlands that serve as a nesting place for native pollinators have also been reduced. Large commercial farms have actually become dependent on honeybees to ensure pollination. This has put great strain on the honeybee population because they are shipped from place to place to pollinate various crops and are forced to work when they normally would be dormant.

Source: “Busy Bees” by Tom Christopher - Martha Stewart Living Magazine, June 2008

Buying Seafood

Seafood, if not polluted by mercury and if harvested in an eco-friendly way, makes an excellent addition to a healthy diet. According to Ideal Bite there will no more seafood left in our oceans by 2048 if we continue to harvest seafood the way we do. Current methods of harvesting are unsustainable and need to be changed. We can do our part by buying only fish harvested using sustainable fishing practices.

Environmental Defense offers a pocket guide to selecting seafood (Pocket Seafood Selector) that I’ve found quite helpful. It’s nice and small so it’s easy to keep in your purse or wallet for reference when you’re at the grocery store or a restaurant.

Fresh Raw Milk

image Mmm, it’s that time again! After a three month break (as is best for the cows) we’re now receiving fresh milk again from our cow share! I have to admit, I’m a total milk-a-holic! As a child I drank lots of powdered milk and for a few years as an adult I drank pasteurized homogenized milk. Neither of those can compare to the luscious smooth taste of unadulterated fresh milk!

Raw milk is not only fabulously delicious but it’s incredibly healthy! It’s full of beneficial bacteria that we rarely find in the modern diet. In contrast to pasteurized homogenized milk, ALL of the enzymes, protein, vitamins and minerals in milk are available for our body to use.
Milk from cows that are free-range is much safer to drink than the milk you buy in the store from feed-lot cows. The government tries to scare people into thinking raw milk is dangerous and yet they hide the fact that you’re more likely to get sick drinking pasteurized milk!

Here’s a few raw milk facts (as quoted in “Raw Milk, Nature’s Nutrient-Rich Food"):
“With raw milk, teeth are less likely to decay.
Raw Milk promotes growth and calcium absorption.
Raw cream prevents joint stiffness.
Raw milk prevents scurvy and protects against its secondary infections of flu, diphtheria and pneumonia.
Children fed raw milk have more resistance to tuberculosis and other infections than children fed pasteurized milk.
Pathological organisms do not grow in raw milk but proliferate in pasteurized milk.
After three generations on pasteurized milk, cats developed numerous health problems and pathologies of behavior. At four generations, all reproduction ceased.
Pasteurization destroys vitamin A, B complex, vitamin C, enzymes and whey proteins.”

ABC News: Raw Milk - ABC News did a segment on raw milk. This is the transcript of it along with excluded facts concerning raw milk. - Story after story of how raw milk has helped improve people’s health.

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