Tuesday, January 21, 2014

And A Child Shall Feed Them

Ken O’Brien

Sometimes, in their innocence, young children can be our best teachers. Their naturally curious minds can also cast a bright light on issues that we, as adults, frequently fail to acknowledge as important.

I was reminded of this the other day when a friend sent me a link to the following video.

Beyond its genuinely charming nature, it highlights a very serious issue. The young scientist undertook an experiment that I’m sure many of us saw many times at local science fairs. She put a sweet potato in water and waited for it to sprout.

What she learned went beyond the usual and there lies the tale.

The increasing presence of chemical additives to “fresh” produce as well as the growing prevalence of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) have made it ever more difficult to know what we are eating. We have taken it for granted that processed foods are little more than a chemical stew. Meat and poultry are hybrids of a species and a variety of antibiotics and hormones.

But many of us have looked to fruit and vegetables as the last refuge of unadulterated nutrition.

The message is beginning to get through. Local activists like Gus Steeves have worked to make us aware of the benefits of local farming and sustainability.

Local markets have increased the offerings of “organic” produce. However, the premium prices on these items have made their purchase a stretch for many on limited or fixed incomes. Simultaneously, those are the same people who are least likely to be aware of the health differences at issue.

With those issues brought to the fore, I turn to the video that started me on this line of thought.

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