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Quality Counts

Posted in Food for Thought

One of the most common complaints about organic and local pasture raised food is that it costs more. There are several reasons for this. The number one reason is quality. Food from local farms are more nutrient dense pound for pound than food from the supermarket. Industrial agriculture’s main focus is how to grow more and more food cheaper. You cannot have quality when your primary concern is how to make a product cheaper.

When someone buys a Mercedes, they aren’t looking at the price first. They’re looking at the interior, the high-end leather, the real wood veneer. They’re looking at reliability. They want to know that this car will not break down on the side of the road, even years from now. They are willing to pay more for this piece of mind.

When you grow crops in soil that is deficient in nutrients, those crops are going to be deficient in nutrients. Chemical fertilizer contains Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium. There may be a few other minerals thrown in depending on the brand you buy. What they don’t contain is the hundreds or thousands of trace minerals and nutrients present in living healthy soil.

Eating nutrient deficient food is like building a house using rotted wood. Sure you may have gotten a good deal on it. But it’ll cost you later. If you’ve ever built a house, you’ve probably found that certain contractors are always busy. They’re booked up months in advance. These contractors are not the cheapest. In fact, they are usually among the most expensive. That’s because they offer quality. Quality costs money.

Every time your child eats, their body uses that food as building material. Is that building material quality? Or is it the cheap rotted wood that cost half as much? Look at the pizza rolls in your freezer or the sugary cereal in your pantry. Do you seriously believe that this food is healthy? Are you confident that it is providing quality building materials for you child’s growing body?

The difference in nutrient density can be seen most prominently in pasture-raised meat and eggs. Grass-finished beef has up to six times the Omega 3 fatty acids as feedlot beef. This is the one modern diets are lacking. Grass finished beef also has over four times the Vitamin E as feedlot beef. This difference in nutrient density is similar across all the nutrients.

Local pasture raised food may be more expensive, but you get more for your money. I’m sure you’ve seen the commercial for Total cereal. You’d have to eat six bowls of one cereal or ten bowls of another cereal to get the same amount of vitamins as one bowl of Total. The same goes for pasture raised meats and compost-grown vegetables. Much of the food you buy at local farms is two or three times as nutrient dense as their supermarket counterparts.

This problem of nutrient deficiency in supermarket food comes from the industrial mindset. Industrial agriculture focuses on grown more and more of less types of food. There are more than 7,500 known varieties of apples. Yet at any given supermarket you’ll find maybe 10 different varieties.

Over the course of human history, we’ve eaten over 80,000 different plants. More than 3,000 of those we eat consistently. However, our industrial agriculture system now grows only 8 crops to make 75% of the world’s food. Why is that? Because it’s cheaper to grow these 8 plants in giant monocultures using cheap fossil fuels. Economies of scale favor only having to process 8 different foods. These 8 foods are turned into hundreds of different food additives used to make all of the processed crap you find in a supermarket.

My dad used to joke that mexican food is just the same 6 or 7 ingredients rearranged to make each dish. Well, most of what you find in the supermarket is simply different arrangements of the same 8 basic foods.

The US has the highest rates of obesity and obesity-related conditions than any other country. Why? Because we eat more processed food than any other country. If food companies made processed food with nutritionally dense and sustainably grown grains and produce, it would cost twice as much. Ezekial bread costs $4.00 a loaf, not because they’re selling to elites, but because that’s what it costs to source quality ingredients.

The main reason corn syrup is cheaper than sugar is because corn is grown, transported, and processed using cheap fossil fuels. You cannot have quality when your primary concern is how to make a product cheaper.

I’ve seen this quality issue in the essential oil business. Health food stores have been selling cheap essential oils for years. I’ve heard many people say they’ve tried essential oils, and they didn’t work. I then have to explain to them that there’s a big difference between cheap oils and quality oils. There are several reasons for this. Cheap oils are frequently extracted using high heat and solvents to get as much oil as possible. This adulterates the oil, making it less effective and sometimes dangerous.

Some oils are synthesized in a laboratory. Wintergreen oil is a good example. Cheap wintergreen oil comes from a lab, not from the tree. Because of this, cheap wintergreen oil is poisonous. If you ingest it, you will likely die. We’ve been using essential oils from Young Living for over 15 years. These oils cost more because their quality is second to none. Young Living’s wintergreen is genuine oil from the wintergreen tree. It is not poisonous. I know, because I have ingested full capsules of Young Living’s wintergreen and not even gotten sick.

Lavender is another good example. There are several types of lavender plants. Genuine Lavandula Angustifolia can soothe burns and help them heal. Cheap lavender oil from the health food store is frequently made from Lavandin, a lavender hybrid. Lavandin is high in canfor which will make burns worse. A higher standard of excellence makes a difference. Remember, quality counts.

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