"The tragic reality is that very few sustainable systems are designed or applied by those who hold power, and the reason for this is obvious and simple: to let people arrange their own food, energy and shelter is to lose economic and political control over them. We should cease to look to power structures, hierarchical systems, or governments to help us, and devise ways to help ourselves." - Bill Mollison
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Please, I'll Pass On The Carcinogenic Nuts
We have a weakness for nuts - I mean we really crave them. I suppose you could say that we are nut-a-holics. In amongst the fruit trees in our little orchard there are also hazelnuts, black and English walnuts. The only problem is that the hazelnuts will not start producing until this fall and the walnuts are still in their infancy. Mrs. H has decided that we will be adding almonds and more hazelnuts this year, but a big nut harvest is still many years away.
This fall we bartered eggs and some cash for around 50 lbs of unshelled English walnuts that we hoped would get us through until spring, though they are going fast. My wife picked up another 15 or so pounds of black walnuts from a neighbor who did not want them. We are realizing why now as they taste pretty strong and are next to impossible to shell. After removing the outer husk the nuts were set about the fireplace to dry for a few weeks and are now quite edible.... well the English walnuts anyway.
So we caved in and bought a can of peanuts the other day, not organic as those are impossible to find in our area. I got to thinking about the on-going salmonella outbreak in peanut butter and decided to check it out and see just what it is they do to the peanuts before they leave the field as far as pesticides go. We are usually very careful of late about the few (mostly condiment) food items we still purchase and whether they are organic (supposedly chemical free) or not. So I thought that since they are a legume that grows under ground hopefully they are not sprayed all that much. To my dismay, the first article I came across talked about how they are one of the most carcinogenic and pesticide contaminated food items out there and that's just one of the problems with peanuts.
Yeah, well that's just great...here I have been stuffing my face with poison. I am strongly reminded at this point why it is that we grow our own food - the only pesticides on my food are the ones that drift over from 'Chemical Joe's' house. He's our neighbor that likes to saturate his entire field in poison every year in order to kill a few weeds....his weeds seem to actually like it though as they grow a little bigger every year. By the end of summer his entire field is nothing but a dusty toxic wasteland.
I did a little research and found insecticide products commonly used on peanuts include phorate, methomyl, esfenvalerate, cyhalothrin, carbaryl, acephate, azadirachtin, cyfluthrin, diflubenzuron, disulfoton, fenpropathrin, indoxacarb, propargite, pyrethrins , rotenone, spinosad, sulfur, and zeta-cypermethrin. As near as I can tell these are all still in use today, it is hard to keep track of what has been banned, is still in use, and what the new poison of the day is.
Here is some info on the first one in the list, the rest are not much better. Phorate - Approximately 3 million pounds are used in the U.S. annually, 80% of which is applied to corn, potatoes, and cotton. Phorate is a 'restricted use pesticide' due to high dermal, oral, and inhalation toxicity. Toxic to fish, birds, and not so good for humans either.
Weary of the world and its illogical ways my wife and I have chosen a path towards self-reliance in all aspects of our lives. Our main focus is on growing and gathering our own food. We hope to use this blog as an avenue to share with and learn from others with similar interests.
The Good Life (click↓)
"To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves." M. Gandhi
"Deep inside everyone of us is a call to the wild. Much of the impatience, discontent or violence around us is due to a lack of opportunity to reconnect with where we came from. For sanity and generosity of spirit, we should be able to witness nature at its unceasing, rejuvenating work." - Abdul Kareem
On Permaculture, Edible Landscaping and Garden Plants
"As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances there's a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness." - Justice William O. Douglas
First They Came For My Seed..▼
"Let your life be a counter-friction to stop the machine" - Thoreau
Even while I dreamed I prayed that what I saw was only fear and no foretelling, for I saw the last known landscape destroyed for the sake of the objective, the soil bludgeoned, the rock blasted. Those who had wanted to go home would never get there now.
I visited the offices where for the sake of the objective the planners planned at blank desks set in rows. I visited the loud factories where the machines were made that would drive ever forward toward the objective. I saw the forest reduced to stumps and gullies; I saw the poisoned river, the mountain cast into the valley; I came to the city that nobody recognized because it looked like every other city. I saw the passages worn by the unnumbered footfalls of those whose eyes were fixed upon the objective.
Their passing had obliterated the graves and the monuments of those who had died in pursuit of the objective and who had long ago forever been forgotten, according to the inevitable rule that those who have forgotten forget that they have forgotten. Men, women, and children now pursued the objective as if nobody ever had pursued it before.
The races and the sexes now intermingled perfectly in pursuit of the objective. The once-enslaved, the once-oppressed were now free to sell themselves to the highest bidder and to enter the best paying prisonsin pursuit of the objective, which was the destruction of all enemies, which was the destruction of all obstacles, which was the destruction of all objects, which was to clear the way to victory, which was to clear the way to promotion, to salvation, to progress, to the completed sale, to the signature on the contract, which was to clear the way to self-realization, to self-creation, from which nobody who ever wanted to go homewould ever get there now, for every remembered place had been displaced; the signposts had been bent to the ground and covered over.
Every place had been displaced, every love unloved, every vow unsworn, every word unmeant to make way for the passage of the crowd of the individuated, the autonomous, the self-actuated, the homeless with their many eyes opened toward the objective which they did not yet perceive in the far distance, having never known where they were going, having never known where they came from.