The Gift of Garbage

Not one but two of our neighbors have recently brought us their garbage as a gift. What the heck kind of neighborhood do we live in?” you ask. The kind where fruit and vegetable waste are considered hostess gifts. We live in a land where compostable cast-offs are appreciated and revered.

Our soil is important to us, as healthy soil bespeaks a future of healthy produce. We do not Miracle Grow any of our veggies either. The site of those gorgeous tomatoes on the bag is enough to weaken the strength of a saint but the truth is that fertilizers of this bend actually decrease the nutrients of your soil in the long run. So we compost and we dig  goat poop into our gardens. We do everything short of a voodoo dance of fertility.

In the past I have heartily looked forward to buying those gorgeous HUGE tasteless strawberries that hit the warehouse stores with regularity. Why, if they’re so tasteless? It’s hard to remember what a real strawberry tastes like anymore. Plus they are about 20 times the size of real berries (the Brits call this Americanism Frankenfood.) The reason the berries are so large is that they are crossed with fish cells in order to help them sustain colder temperatures. They are genetically modified. I’m pretty sure this has an effect on the taste (or lack thereof) as well. Not until you’ve gone back to earth and grown your own delicious sweet fruit, tiny though it may be, do you realize what has passed for food in the last decade.

A recent study by the Russian National Academy of Sciences has shown that more than half the babies of mother rats fed genetically modified soy died within three weeks. The babies of the genetically modified group were also smaller and could not reproduce. Are you kidding me? Don’t think I didn’t start to wonder if my four miscarriages didn’t have something to do with all of the genetically modified food that is EVERYWHERE! Damn those strawberries! Add to this the fact that my husband was diagnosed with stage four tonsil cancer this summer and he is not a smoker, drinker,  tobacco chewer (yuck) or anything considered high risk. There has been such a rash of men in his demographic, with no high risk behavior, being hit with various throat cancers that scientists have begun to take note and are currently trying to figure out what’s going on. Hint: Look to the genetically modified food we eat without even knowing it.

On a bright note, Jimmy is currently cancer-free. We began a slew of herbal and natural remedies before surgery (more on that soon); all the while praying like we were in a fox hole. But believe you me, we are happier than ever that we are growing so much of our own food. If we can keep our children from experiencing some of our dramas, we will consider it worth ever bit of garbage and poop that we have shoveled back into the earth.

And if our neighbors bring us garbage instead of wine? We will treat it with as much enthusiasm as we would a bottle of Chateau Margaux.

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