Friday, March 21, 2014

Our artifical world

Maybe it's because I'm getting old and I remember the "good old days," but lately I've really been worried about the artificial world we live in. Not much is left to nature these days, and yet I firmly believe that grand old lady knows what she's doing. This isn't a new thought for me, but it hit home when I saw where someone--probably a nutrition authority--said we do not eat food any more. We eat "food-like products." I am truly alarmed by GMOs but even more so by pre-packed, pre-prepared foods which must have a jillion preservatives in them. "Just add water, heat and serve." No thank you. Most of it tastes like cardboard. But there are some foolers. I love ranch dressing, especially the powdered kind you mix with buttermilk and mayonnaise for salad dressing or mayonnaise and sour cream for a dip. These days I make my own ranch flavoring out of fresh herbs or relatively fresh dry ones. I also make my own taco seasoning. I don't buy chicken nuggets for my grandson any more--they aren't chicken but "by-products" and when I buy him hot dogs (which he loves) I get Oscar Meyer Select which the label says is pure chicken or turkey or beef. Hope I'm not being gullible on that one. Sometimes I can't escape using Velveeta because of its melting qualities, but it's a rare day. I'm thinking of making my own mayonnaise though right now I'm using Duke's, which my gluten- and dairy-free friend recommended. I don't buy margarine but stick with real butter and try to be cautious about the amount (though I do love it). I don't buy low-fat dairy products since someone pointed out to me if they take the fat out they have to put something else in to compensate. And I wish I could afford all organic vegetables and fruit--but I try for locally grown, and I think there are some products that you really should buy organic--berries, for instance. And apples.
Cleaning products pollute our world terribly, and some include ingredients that can do all kinds of damage--bug sprays for instance. I have an infestation of moths right now, which really upsets Jacob. He wants me to hire an exterminator, and I explained that I wasn't going to spray my house with poison for a few moths. When I do need an exterminator, I call a company that uses only organic products. Except with rats--I had a rat problem last summer, and when I asked how they get rid of rats organically, the representative said flatly, "We don't. There's no way." The internet though has tons of recipes for home-made, effective, organic cleaning products--many with good old white vinegar.
I have long had my own superstition about all the concrete with which we are covering Mother Earth. I think the earth needs room to breathe, and yet we building multi-story structures and parking lots and slowly but surely getting rid of all open space--and all the plants and trees that destroy carbon dioxide and help create fresh oxygen for us to breathe. Whenever I fly over the American West and see the vast open land, I'm a bit reassured. But I think sometime we will be called to account for what we do to the land and the environment. And don't ask me about strip mining in the Alaskan wilderness or the Keystone Pipeline.
Finally, in my litany of worries, I think so many of us are overmedicated. My doctor found a certain medication threw off my electrolytes, so when I took another medicine to correct that, I developed digestive problems. I really like my doctor, but I want to say to him, "Don't you think my body is trying to tell us something." Don't get me wrong--I appreciate modern medicine for the most part--if I didn't take the hypertensive, anti-cholesterol pills and others, I would not be as healthy as I am for my age. But yoga also contributes a great deal--and is a natural remedy..
The whole point of all this rambling is "Quit messing with Mother Nature." When I hear Senator John Cornyn urge Texans to keep the EPA out of Texas I see red. I hope next fall we can get a Congress who will pay attention to pollution, climate change, and the damage we are doing to ourselves and our world--and forget kowtowing to coal mining, the gas industry and fracking, the oil industry, and others.

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