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When Our Food Supply is Unclean

Years ago, I got sick–very sick! In 2014, my body shut down and I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I couldn’t get off the couch for more than an hour a day and it took many doctors, therapists, lots of my own research, and constant prayer to get out of that pit.

Picture of Tenay in April 2014–sick, very sick.
Picture of me in April 2014–sick, very sick.

One functional medicine doctor recommended I eat a Whole30 diet and then come back for more tests. So I began eating only unprocessed foods, but would throw up from time to time immediately after eating some produce or meats. “Is it food sensitivities?” I asked myself. But one day, on a prayer walk, I heard God tell me, “NO, IT’S NOT FOOD SENSITIVITIES. YOUR FOOD SUPPLY IS TOXIC.” “Toxic?” I thought. “I live in the upper middle class of a first world country. How can my food be toxic?”

Google Affirms God’s Words

That’s when I began researching what He meant. When I Googled “toxic food supply”, I discovered that Roundup (which some people know as Miracle-Gro) weed killer is used on almost all of our food in United States’ grocery stores. RoundUp (AKA glyphosate plus surfactants) is “the most widely used herbicide in the United States” despite being linked to cancer by an international agency. It was originally created and sold by Monsanto in combination with RoundUp Ready seeds (genetically modified to not die when used with RoundUp).

Farmers Affirm God’s Words

It seemed so hard to accept until I heard Maryland farmers (the brother and sister of a friend) talking about how their “Roundup-Ready” seeds making farming so much easier!
I almost spit out my food as I heard them say that. Did they not know they were making people sick? Maybe they didn’t?

Courts are Starting to Affirm God’s Words

Bayer–as in the aspirin–bought Monsanto in 2018 and is trying to end all the legal battles over RoundUp because finally, people are realizing that ingesting chemicals that kill plants will also kill you. “In August 2018, a jury for the Superior Court of California ordered Monsanto to pay $289 million to Dewayne Johnson, a former school district groundskeeper, because of RoundUp’s likely role in contributing to his cancer. As a result, the number of glyphosate lawsuits against Monsanto has ballooned to more than 8,700 cases.”

A Bigger Problem

Now, RoundUp is not the only problem–it’s the entire approach to big agriculture in our country, which is filled to the brim with chemicals to make food look good but not be good. (As compared to, say, the European Union, which has much stricter standards about food supply than the United States.)

Don’t believe me? Just walk into a Home Depot or Lowe’s garden center near you and start reading the ingredients of all the stuff people put into their lawns (which seep into our water sources) just to have a dandelion-free patch of grass. If Americans are willing to poison their own lawns in the name of weed-free grass, how much more are they willing to poison our crops in the name of pest-free or weed-free crops?

What Can You Do?

You may not be able to stop everyone from poisoning our land and food but you can start eating as organic as possible in your own life.

Here are a few things a you can do tomorrow to reduce your toxin load:

  1. Start going organic with the EWG’s Dirty Dozen: the produce that has the highest concentration of herbicides and pesticides. Pay extra to get these organic.
  2. Buy organic fatty meats (like bacon, pork, and beef), because animals cannot process these toxins when they eat them (in corn, hay, and grain), they just store them in their fat cells. Remember, you eat what your food eats. If you can’t afford buying these organic, cut off the fat and skin to reduce your toxin intake. If you can’t find or afford organic, look for grass-fed or woodland-fed versions. Remember that the word natural means nothing; it’s just a marketing ploy to make you think you’re buying something that’s almost organic.
  3. Grow your own food. Buy organic gardening soil from a trustworthy brand. Add organic compost or manure if needed. Do NOT just buy any old soil, compost, or manure; it may have toxins in it. (This happened to me last year and my garden got stunted because of toxins in the food-based compost I bought.)
  4. Cut out processed foods. If the food in that box has more than five ingredients and many of them are unpronounceable, don’t eat it! You wouldn’t eat a plant you don’t recognize out in the forest, so why would you eat chemicals you don’t recognize? This is an important rule-of-thumb.
  5. Get rid of toxic personal care products. When you put stuff on your scalp, skin, or mouth to make you look or feel clean or beautiful, you are still ingesting it, just as if you were swallowing it. Use the same rule-of-thumb in step #4.
  6. Throw out toxic house cleaners. When you touch surfaces or inhale fragrances that are synthetically produced and unpronounceable, you are ingesting them! Replace with a mix of vinegar, lemon juice, plain dish soap, and water. Or try these other DIY non-toxic cleaner recipes.
  7. Eat at Outback Steakhouse. (No, I am not an affiliate.) Throughout my sickness, I noticed that if I wanted to eat out, only grilled food from Outback Steakhouse was guaranteed to make my body feel good. (Even four-star fine dining restaurants couldn’t compare.) It ended up being the only place I could eat out. It turns out that a clean supply chain is a very big value of this company, so it makes sense.

Although reducing your toxin load may require a big learning curve and an adjustment in your budget, your future grandkids will thank you for being around long enough to dance at their weddings!

They’re worth the investment, and so are you!

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