These days, there is endless talk about what people do and don’t eat. This person doesn’t eat wheat or gluten, the next doesn’t eat dairy products, while the other one doesn’t eat anything from an animal, and the final one doesn’t eat anything from plants.
They all have their passionate advocates, the “scientific” tomes proving each is the only way for all humans to eat. They generally all think that by following their way of eating, they will usher in the coming era of a disease-free humanity. None of these trends (and many more) seem to be stemming the astronomical rise of the percentage of Americans now diagnosed with a chronic disease. To take just one example, in 1986, the number of American children with a diagnosis of a chronic disease was 11 percent. In 2018, that same number is 54 percent. Factors other than food are probably relevant here, but food is foundational to health.
With some hesitation, I would like to submit what I don’t eat. I don’t eat poorly grown food, period. As I often tell my patients, no one healed from any disease by eating sick chickens. A sick chicken is any chicken that is not allowed to forage on pasture for a good percentage of their food. If the package on the chicken or eggs says, “fed only vegetarian feed,” I won’t eat it. Chickens hate being vegetarians. Likewise, I won’t eat carrots grown in a field soaked with glyphosate/Roundup; fresh vegetable or not, it’s still poison. Otherwise, if it’s grown or raised well, I’ll eat it.
There can be legitimate disagreements as to whether a particular growing style fits the definition of “good-quality” food. Personally, I trust farmers I know, biodynamic and permaculture practitioners, and farmers who feed their animals according to the inherent nature and needs of the animal, not the needs of a business model.
We at Dr. Cowan’s Garden are committed first and foremost to the quality of our produce, and the foundation of that quality is how the vegetables are grown. In the next few weeks, we are going to introduce you to the farmers who supply the bulk of our produce, as well as to the people who process for us the vegetables they grow. We are a food-quality-based company because, ultimately, that is what determines the health and nutritive value of food.
With warmest regards,
Tom Cowan, M.D.
Happy Spring, everyone! As I type this on an early Sunday morning, we are having a beautiful early spring here in the Northeast. Our new garden fence is up, the garden beds are slowly being made, the greenhouse is nearly finished, and seedlings are in the greenhouse planter boxes. For me, spring represents many things, but on a completely practical level it means the transition from “exercise” to doing actual work with my body. Shoveling, pushing a wheel barrow through mud, pitch forking hay — these are my favorite ways to work up a sweat and start the day.