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The Worst Drought in 50 Years and How to Ease the Stress from It

Posted Jul 20 2012 2:24am

“Houses were shut tight, and cloth wedged around doors and windows, but the dust came in so thinly that it could not be seen in the air, and it settled like pollen on the chairs and tables, on the dishes.” ~ John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

While the midwest has not become the dust bowl of Steinbeck fame, it lies parched, choking and sorely yearning for rain. The worst drought in 50 years brings a storm of high-priced grain affecting growers, mostly livestock farmers. However, the worst drought in 50 years may not affect you as severely if you eat a raw foods diet. Here’s why now might be the time to give up processed foods and ease the stress caused by the drought.

dust bowl

Student Project, Vintage Collection: Dust Bowl, 1936.

Those affected most by the drought are farmers growing corn, soybean and wheat. Corn and soybean are what feed the livestock on industrial farms. While grass-feeding farmers are not immune to drought conditions, those suffering the greatest loss are those who sell cattle and pork and who support those farmers. The outcome will present as high-priced beef and pork products. Those who forgo meat will not have to worry about the rising cost of hamburger and bacon.

Remember in Food, Inc. when we learned about the fillers in many of the most popular items. Instead of tomatoes, ketchup is made up mostly of corn syrup. If you think vegetarian fare will help you out, think again. Most vegetarian fare is full of soy protein and similar soy products. Soy is easy to flavor and shape into familiar meat counterparts, but just because it’s not meat doesn’t make it healthy. Instead of purchasing filler and preservative filled veggie burgers, make your own or substitute with  Portobellos . Corn is another filler found in some vegetarian meals. While ready-made vegan and vegetarian meals are quick and easy, you are better off learning to simply enjoy your veggies just as they are. Look for ethnic vegetable dishes for new flavors and ways to spice up dinner.

Yup, it relates. Smoothies are quite possibly the most popular health food drink. However, most on the market are full of soy products. While it’s easy to grab a plastic smoothie-filled bottle and go, it’s far healthier to make your own. Becky over at Glue and Glitter has offered a staggering amount of delicious smoothie recipes. Don’t think you need to make your smoothie fresh every morning. I have made a batch of a few smoothies and froze them in ice-cube tray than placed the frozen smoothie cubes in a freezer-safe storage container. In the morning I throw a handful of the smoothie cubes in the blender with some almond or coconut milk and I’m good to go.

The less packaging, the less processed the food is. The easiest way to make this change is shopping at your local farmer’s market. Take your reusable shopping bags and enjoy buying package-free groceries from local farmers, baked goods from neighborhood artisans and don’t forget to indulge in some honey or jams. The best advice is to choose food as naked as possible. If it comes in a box or carton than it’s bound to have preservatives and possibly some fillers. Don’t forget to ask your farmers for oatmeal, granola and grains. Many now grow and sell these items so you can make your own trail mix and cereal. Try making your own fruit leather instead of buying rolled fruit for the kids.

Let’s try to take this drought as a nudge from Mother Nature for her inhabitants to review how we eat.

{Dust Bowl photo via  erjkprunczyk  Flickr}

{Source: Christian Science Monitor }


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