Welcome to Bepa's Garden!
This blog is about organic gardening, healthy eating and healthy living.
Each month I will be posting Garden To-Do Lists, Tips & Techniques, Garden Project Plans, Photos from the Garden, Recipes and Book Reviews.
I hope you enjoy reading and I hope I can inspire others to start a backyard garden!
Happy Gardening!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Farmacology Book Review ...

one of the books on my reading list for this summer.

Farmacology is about the connection we have with the soil our food is grown in and how the nutritional content of what we eat has a direct impact on our health. It's a very interesting book and surprisingly is written by an MD who takes a natural preventative approach to health care.

The author, after reading "The Unsettling of America" by Wendell Berry, and " The Soul of Soil" by Grace Gershuny and Joe Smillie, decided to visit family farms to research the connection between farming, food and our health. She realized that all the vitamins and minerals that are the building blocks of our bodies are derived from the soil. The plants, as they grow, draw these nutrients from the soil and pass them onto us through the food we eat. We, in essence, are not just nourished by the soil, we are the soil.

After visiting several sustainable family farms and talking to scientists and researchers, the author realized that the natural way biodynamic and organic farmers "treat" the soil to make it healthy is the same way she treats her patients to make them healthy. Successful sustainable farmers rely on examples from nature to create a self-supporting eco-cycle using only natural elements. When chemicals or unnatural elements are introduced, the cycle becomes off and issues arise, just like in humans.

Conventional farming practices deplete soil of nutrients and produces nutrient deficient food, which is one of the reasons there are so many health issues today. The food grown today is much different than the food grown 100 years ago in respect to nutritional value. Organic farming methods are better than conventional, but still deplete the soil unless the farmer uses sustainable growing practices. Studies have shown that Biodynamic and sustainable farming builds and replenishes soil and produces more nutritionally dense food.

Farming needs to be more than just a business that grows food, it needs to be self contained ecosystem run by farmers who understand the connection between soil and nutrition. These were the principles of Rudolph Steiner and Biodynamic Farming. While I agree with most of the concepts of biodynamic farming, that everything in nature is connected, and that plants are affected by the cycles of the moon, I don't really understand the spraying of silica or burying  cow horns filled with manure. That's not to say that I don't believe this works, I just don't know enough about it to understand it. I do believe in a natural farming, growing in harmony with nature. As the author writes, a farm is not just a collection of parts but a complete (and sometimes unwieldy) living system. Biodynamic farming has no need for outside additives of inputs like fertilizers and pesticides and is the definition of sustainable. It is a self supporting eco-cycle or self powered organism.

She also discussed the benefits of farming or gardening. Growing your own food connects you with nature, makes you more aware of healthy eating, lowers blood sugar and body mass, increased exercise capacity and lessens depressive symptoms. Studies have shown that people who garden are more likely to eat the recommended amount of vegetables each day over non-gardeners. Gardening is also a way to socialize and build community, something that is important for your mental health.

This book really reaffirms my beliefs that what we put into put into our bodies has a direct impact on our health. To maintain a healthy lifestyle you need to be aware of what you are eating. Consuming more vegetables isn't enough, you need to be aware of how your food was grown and what the nutritional value is. Food grown sustainable has far more nutritional value than food from a factory farm. You may pay more for it, but in reality you are getting more.

So the next time you reach for some "food like" substance when you're hungry remember, you are what you eat. What you up into your body will have a direct impact on your health!

I highly recommend reading this book. It will really open your eyes to the connections between sustainable farming, nutritious food and your health.


1 comment:

  1. This sounds like a great book! A topic I am definitely interested in, so I'll have to check it out. Thanks for the review!