Taking Root #38

In Defense of Food showing at Munch Night

“Eat Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants.”

Those are wise words spoken by journalist Michael Pollan’s prescription for reversing the damage being done to our health by the industrially-driven Western diet. His book, In Defense of Food exposes the untruths of the never-ending and conflicting claims about nutrition.

In Pollen’s informative and eye-opening documentary, which will be shown at the Calapooia Food Alliance’s Munch Night on Friday, Feb. 19, Pollen explores supermarket aisles around the world to learn what people are eating, and then takes a look at the health statistics to illustrate the principles of what he has learned. Pollan offers answers to our lifelong question, “What should I eat to be healthy?”

Pollan is the author of five New York Times Best Sellers. In 2010 he was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine. In Defense of Food was aired on PBS in December.

In today’s modern world, the plethora of food choices is certainly overwhelming, to say the least, and with the food industry all claiming that their products contain what is needed for optimum health, and the FDA constantly changing what they think we need to be healthy, it’s no wonder we are confused.

Pollen advocates that you don’t have to be a scientist to know how to eat. He argues that much of our confusion stems from thinking about the nutrients in foods – a tendency fueled by the food industry’s practice of making health claims on their products based on which nutrients they’ve added or taken away. In spite of all those claims, science shows that a wide variety of diets can be healthy, provided they consist of the kind of whole foods our species has evolved to eat.

The film examines everything from the latest science about Omega 3s and 6s to what we’re learning about the roots of our craving for sugar, and how too much can overwhelm our ability to process it. It also takes a look at why nutritional guidelines that advised reducing fat in our diet had the unintended consequence of increasing obesity. It talks about what the latest studies show about the benefits of a plant-based diet and the role of the trillions of bacteria in our gut – an emerging new field of nutrition science that is changing the way scientists think about food and health.

All are invited to join the Calapooia Food Alliance on Friday, Feb. 19 at 6pm at The Maze on Spaulding Avenue to view Pollan’s intriguing, informative and eye-opening documentary along with a homemade fresh and healthy meal of “Yummy Bowls” prepared especially for you by the CFA board for a donation of $10 per person. Bring your own place settings and beverage of choice.

Munch Night is a fundraiser for the CFA and offers the community not only information about food, how it’s grown and why it is important to buy locally, but presents a venue for like-minded people to share information. For more information about the CFA and its mission, visit cfa.org.

Seed Swap

It’s heartbreaking to waste precious, valuable leftover garden seeds. Seeds are becoming a valuable commodity, not only in their ability to produce healthful, chemical-free foods, but in terms of how expensive good quality, open pollinated seeds have become.

If you are interested in sharing your own over abundance of saved or purchased good quality seeds, and receiving seeds you may need for your 2016 garden, contact Gini Bramlett at rongini98@gmail.com or visit me on Facebook. I will be cementing a date for late February/early March for a short informal Seed Swap in Brownsville. No money will change hands. If possible, contact me if you plan to attend, as to allow me to provide an adequate venue.

To take part, package your seeds in smaller, individual packets using recycled materials from around (used envelopes, small plastic bags, paper envelopes made with recycled paper/magazine pages etc. . . .). No need to buy anything. Label the packets clearly with seed name, type, year harvested or purchased, or any other pertinent information you think might be helpful. Date, time and location will be announced in on Feb. 24 issue of The Times.

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