We’ve all seen the commercials, read the articles, and have heard the news reports about how we are going to die early, if we eat this or talk like a harmonica, if we smoke that. Not to mention the news reports about too much red meat, too much sugar, or being overweight. If you take a little time to really digest all of this information, or at least a portion of it, the data is overwhelming. Before we go any further with this thought process, as a disclaimer, I’d like to state that I am in no way a lefty, hippie, or granola crunching type of guy. In fact, quite the opposite, I’m a knuckle dragging, conservative, Jesus loving, and a capitalist pig. However, many in our society are starting to conclude that the corporate machine that feeds us could care less about your philosophy or whether or not you are healthy. They care about the money and nothing else. That should frighten you.
I do get a chuckle out of the pharmaceutical companies hawking their drugs. It seems that in order to breathe easier, it is accompanied by anal leakage and nausea. These drugs are powerful and most likely do the trick, but at what cost? The sad fact is that more than half of America is on some sort of a prescription drug. And in many cases, these drugs are trying to fix some sort of imbalance that may cause depression or drastic mood swings. Granted, Western medicine is one of the most incredible sciences the world has ever known, but when it comes to the drugs we are prescribed, in my opinion, it is like putting a Band-Aid on a gushing wound. Our society demands it. We are too busy with our technology, too busy with our TV shows, pop culture, and just too damn busy with our busyness to consider the idea that “we” are collectively distressing our bodies. Think about it, we are so busy trying to survive, that we are killing ourselves doing it.
We all know that our diet sucks in this country. From Jared to Michelle Obama, we’ve been told and the secret is out. We are eating very unhealthy on too regular of a basis. Fast food, processed food, and now many of us are starting to learn about GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) that are laden in our food products. Once you start down this rabbit hole, it never ends. You’ll end up with a lot more than a stoned caterpillar and a card deck full of hearts. Try reading the ingredients list on just about anything we buy in a can, bag, or container – food coloring, preservatives, sodium, chemicals, chemicals, and chemicals. Is it any wonder that we end up at the doctor’s office with so many pharmaceutical seeking ailments? Most who know me have always considered me a moron and with good reason. But even a guy like me is starting to look around at the many cancers, the multitude of children with autism, the depression, the high blood pressure, the diabetes, and so many other medical problems that one can’t list them all…and wonder…”Why”? The more I start to realize that the old adage, “You are what you eat,” is one of the most profound truisms in history. I have realized, even more, that “we” can do something about the diet debacle in this country. I realize that some people simply get sick. By the same token, I understand that some people could care less about what they feed their bodies, but many of us were simply never told. Many of us love the idea of treating ourselves well. We want nutritious fruits and vegetables. We want tasty natural vitamins. We want to eat things that will help to prevent heart disease. It is so easy. Mankind was never meant to eat chemicals the way we eat them in our food. And then we try to fix our bodies by eating more chemicals in the way of a pill. You can choose to eat healthier. You can choose to grow your own herbs and veggies. Even if it is just a small garden, you can choose to do it. You can choose to shop locally for your food. Every small town to large city has local farmers. Take the time to find out for yourself. You owe it to your body. “We” owe it to the next generation. Our society has to choose a new “normal.” Right now, it is completely normal for our children to walk into a convenience store and desire cans of food, bags of marshmallows, and liters of soda. They think like that, because we’ve taught them.
About a year ago, I and a few friends started to grow our own food. We built an aquaponics system. For those of you not familiar with aquaponics, it is completely worth learning more. In short, it is the combination of aquaculture and hydroponics. Find out more about aquaponics at EasyPonix. The point is this, once we started growing our own vegetables it became an addiction. Now, I’m planting fruit trees and vegetables in the ground. I’m going to build another aquaponics garden that is 3 times the size of the current garden. Me and my buddies have actually developed an entire grow bed system and kit that is unique to aquaponics. Within a few years, between the multitude of fruit trees and all the gardening going on, I’ll be able to walk outside and eat fresh, nutritious, and most importantly – healthy food all day long. Throw in a gaggle of chickens and we have a mini supermarket in motion.
I’ve done a lot of things in life. Traveled the world to some very exotic places, created films and images to a profitable conclusion, boated up and down gorgeous rivers and springs, swam with dolphins and manatees, cooked some of the greatest meals in the history of the world, with the best friends possible, have run several businesses, with all kinds of struggles and rewards, massive fundraising and so much more. But the thing that I’m most proud of, apart from my incredible daughter, is this garden and this way of thinking. It has started me down a path that was meant to be. The culmination of all my life is summed up in the excellence of being self-sufficient and creating a local sustainable way of life for me and my family. Being a conservative, I see this as personal responsibility, and it is a great lesson that I can pass on to my daughter and step-son. They will have a head start and they will understand that going to the convenience store to get a candy bar can’t even compare to walking out of the door and sinking their teeth into a freshly picked grape, guava, apple, sweet pepper, or, in my case, a habanero!