Thinking - Nutrition

The problem with reality is that you could probably grow a pig to market size on nothing but white rice.

So it would really be made of white rice and every bit of all the goodness within.

I'm guessing the same applies to chickens, cows, fruit, vegetables, air and everything else.

You really need to trust that your food supply isn't governed by anyone with a motive other than providing you with the most nutritious, and healthy food possible.

Now, I'm pretty sure you can trust your local branch of a multinational food retailer to have your best interests at heart rather than, say, some kind of profit motive, but when you grow stuff at home, you actually know that it's not only been raised ethically, and organically, but it's perhaps most importantly, had a decent diet.

I think this applies to all your bodily inputs.

Air, water, fruit, vegetables, meat, fungi, and whatever else you like to stick in your body.

I was recently reading about chicken being a good source of omega three fatty acids, but you have to like reading antique books to get any hint of this. So chicken like your great grandmother used to grow, not chicken you buy now, even when it's branded "organic".

In Australia at least, I think we can trust the organic label, but organic doesn't mean ethical, and organic definitely doesn't mean nutritious. Ethical doesn't mean nutritious either.  At least, not by any standard applied here, but perhaps it should.

Organic just means it's not particularly poisonous.

Ethical doesn't relate to the food in any way, but rather speaks to the conditions of the people involved in the production. Worthy indeed, but not anything to do with nutrition.

Every time I crack a store bought (organic, free range) egg I wonder what it is that they replaced the yoke with. Our home grown eggs looked like a sunset, compared to the midday sun of the best eggs I can buy. Bright and sunny, but lacking flavour.  Even lacking the second white.

Every egg I cracked when we had chickens had a yoke, a white, and a second, different white.

I've never seen the second white on a store bought egg no matter how much I paid.

I don't know if that second egg white is worth anything. For all I know its some sign of it being toxic. But I suspect its something more to do with the chicken having a decent diet. Our chickens had the daytime run of thirty acres but only really used less than one. They had unlimited access to water, grain and chicken pellets, but much preferred everything else they could find by scratching around, or simply following the pig on his daily digs.

I understand the need for intensive farming in a modern world, but I cant help thinking that the world needs a new movement that is ethical, organic, and also nutritious. We really don't have a "nutritious" standard.

I suspect "nutritious" might even be more important than "organic" or even "ethical", as far as long term health benefits go.

But I also suspect everyone who isn't me is crazy.


I guess it's your call.

But I'm pretty sure I could raise a chicken "organically" and "ethically" to market weight, feeding it nothing but white rice, and I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be very good for you, and it wouldn't be very good for the chicken.  I even think the farmer (me in this case) wouldn't feel as good as they could either.

I think we need to protect the word "food", and decide what it means, before a packaging or petroleum company does.

120 Things in 20 years thinks that thinking about nutrition in modern food can make you a little sad,   but also thinks that might just be a nutritional deficit causing that feeling.

* There's no reference in the text that might make you look here but I thought it was high time I added a footnote, because it's been a while. 


  1. You bring up a very valid point. The nutritional value of food is dropping. Trying to site a 'real' source -

    I signed up for an organic CSA because they grew using biodynamics. From what I've read of biodynamics, they are off their rocker for some of the ritualistic practices. BUT - they feed the soil, which I think is very important to having nutritious food.

    My aquaponics stuff is currently pretty weak, bland & poor color. I am working on improving that via nutrition for the plants. A positive side effect for me is nutrition for me!

  2. Aquaponics really brings your input's and outputs to the fore doesn't it.

    It's going to be funny when an apple a day doesn't keep the doctor away, because it's really made of corn and petrochemical products, and the real thing that keeps the doctor away is the fibre enhanced, vitamin enriched, eco-toffee apple.

    And by funny I of course mean completely tragic.


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