Bare Bones Biology 250 – Healthy Eating

There are of course many ways to eat healthy. Mine considers the equipment I have and the fact that, except for a few weeks in late summer when we have a local Farmers’ Market, it’s about a hundred miles to a city to get organically grown. Which does seem odd.

In the local stores there are canned beans, milk substitute, and some frozen foods that are mostly packaging and taste more of spices than of food. I can get eggs from the neighbors, and I really don’t need meat. Certainly not meat (or milk or ice cream) that someone prepped with hormones or antibiotics. Personally, my body makes its own hormones, especially designed and balanced for me, and for the community, too much antibiotics is an even bigger danger. It can lead to epidemics of antibiotic resistant diseases.

150227-snowstorm-ASC_4900*sI go down the mountain to buy staples such as flour, dried beans, rice, in bulk from the farmer’s market or a health food store where I know they are non-GMO and organically grown, and as soon as possible I take them out of their plastic wrapping and then keep them in glass jars.

And now it is Spring, so now we start to think about eating the real thing – food from the garden. As I told you a while ago, I have bought my seeds, and in the meantime I have been saving organic food scraps – organically grown egg shells, organic coffee grounds in their brown filters, the ends of vegetables that I bought at Brazos Natural Foods or La Montanita Coop.

So that my organically grown foods will be mulched and fertilized by organically grown foods. As soon as I can get that compost heap working and the seeds in the ground.

You remember the list of seeds I bought by mail (Bare Bones Biology 246, Well, after I bought all that, I talked with my neighbor up top (elevation about 7,800 feet, in four feet of snow a couple weeks ago) who says the sure food crop is peas – snap peas, snow peas, any kind of peas. Talk to your neighbors; I didn’t get peas; will do on the way home.

JoAnn-IMG_20150315_183509018_HDRsIn sultry Bryan, TX (elevation about 100 and getting lower year by year with the progression of climate change), Sheila got Okra, summer squash and beets. I noticed the organic seeds cost only a dollar or two more per package than the Burpee seeds, so if I plant five crops I should be able to eat the food from organically grown seeds for an extra five to ten dollars for the whole summer — and then save my own seeds that I know are neither genetically modified nor chemically adulterated and eat them again next year, and there is no way big business can stop me doing that, hard as they are trying.

But of course, that’s only if I can get the plants to grow and produce. The first year, my entire crop was one ear of corn that never did firm up properly. Probably I can do better this year.

Maybe it was the way I planted in containers with purchased “organic” soil. That might not be the best method of sustainable farming when your back yard is the Rocky Mountain range. And I wonder how much fuel it takes to ship that carefully formulated “organic” soil up the mountain from wherever it came from – in tidy plastic containers?

It’s not necessary to do the math because we don’t care what the “footprint” is. We can do it in our heads. If the imported soil costs more than our compost — and involves things that come out of oil wells (plastics, diesal, gasoline) or things that burn (diesel, gasoline, wood) — it’s probably not sustainable. Not with our current human population overgrazing the oil wells and burning up the trees. Still, a crop of one ear of corn won’t sustain me overwinter. Maybe my compost needs fertilizer. There’s a lot of elk traffic on the trail behind my cabin near the water trough. I bet those elk are organically grown. Let’s add some elk turds to our compost.

Not the dogs’. They get heartworm medicine. I don’t need that in my diet.

Photos by Lynn and Jo Ann

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of and KEOS FM, 89.1, in Bryan, Texas.

A copy of the podcast can be downloaded at:

Bare Bones Biology 246,
Bare Bones Biology 250,

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