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    Cathartes's Avatar
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    "Breeding the Nutrition out of our Food"

    An article in the NYTimes opinion section last weekend discussed modern food, and how the nutrients have been bred out in favor of taste. (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/26/op...-our-food.html)

    I was excited because it was sort of a stealth Paleo/Primal piece--all the vegetarians and vegans will be nodding their heads, as well as all the Groks and Grokettes. For instance,

    "Were the people who foraged for these wild foods healthier than we are today? They did not live nearly as long as we do, but growing evidence suggests that they were much less likely to die from degenerative diseases, even the minority who lived 70 years and more. The primary cause of death for most adults, according to anthropologists, was injury and infections."

    The infographic is super-cool, too. Now I really want some purple carrots and purple Peruvian potatoes!

    Did anybody else see this? Thoughts?

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    MEversbergII's Avatar
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    Neat article. It appears that, though we've been doing this a while, things really fell apart during the 20th century for a lot of things.

    It would be nice to find a foraging guide for my neck of the woods. I'd like to know what other nutrient dense things just pop up out of the ground, just to be mowed over.

    I've also long wondered what happens if we take our current "garden variety" things and just let them go feral. I used to toss rotting tomatoes over the fence as a kid and wondered if I'd ever find wild tomatoes springing up but I never found any. Guess they're too attractive to predators.

    M.

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    Leida's Avatar
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    Chokeberry looks like "black blushberry" of my childhood. It was considered medicinal back in the old country. But, the flavor was dealt with in one way: Grandma made jam out of it. Grandma made jam out of everything. The thing is, as much as I love going out in the forest foraging for mushrooms and berries, it's kindda scary here with the wildlife actually present unlike Europe, and most accessible places are provincial or national parks. So you can't pick (even if you want to fight the bear over the wild alpine strawberries). So, I chose to grow a lot of stuff in my yard. Sure, University of Saskatchewan haskaps are probably not as nutritious as the wild ones my mom used to pick in Siberia, and our Boyne is not the same as the wild raspberries over the 'burn' and 'ruins' in the forest we used to pick. I have never seen wild blueberries here, and alpine strawberries are not as productive as the ones back home either. Where you can actually pick a basket of 'em. I always pick crab apples off the trees, but do not have in my own yard, as you can't preserve them apart from jams and juices.

    But at least I get them off my yard, pick them myself, and with my kiddo.

    There is a demand nowadays for heritage varieties as well as for the biggest and the sweetest, so we will see. I still gonna love gardening even though my fruit may be inferior to the wild one.
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    Cathartes's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'd be leery of picking my own wild mushrooms, since it's pretty easy to misjudge and end up sick or dead (and negate all that time avoiding gluten and Little Debbie snack cakes) but I'll eat wild raspberries or blackberries that I find on hikes (those that the birds don't get to first!)

    Also, we've always had raspberry bushes in our back yard, which I think may be almost the same as the wild ones. I'm in New England, and they grow and spread like a weed if you put them in full sun. You get two crops a year, in July and September, organic and free (not $5 a pint)

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    Yey, one does not simply "plant some raspberries/blackberries/blackraspberries" around here either. It's more similar to "unleashing an unstoppable explosion of thorny branches upon the countryside". I'm perfectly OK with that.

    M.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cathartes View Post
    Also, we've always had raspberry bushes in our back yard, which I think may be almost the same as the wild ones. I'm in New England, and they grow and spread like a weed if you put them in full sun. You get two crops a year, in July and September, organic and free (not $5 a pint)
    Back home when I was growing up in southern New Hampshire we used to find grapes growing on the side of the road.

    Quote Originally Posted by MEversbergII View Post
    Yey, one does not simply "plant some raspberries/blackberries/blackraspberries" around here either. It's more similar to "unleashing an unstoppable explosion of thorny branches upon the countryside". I'm perfectly OK with that.
    Plant some below your windows for tasty home security.

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    Leida's Avatar
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    Well, you wish. Here it is nurture them through the summer, bend and cover them for the winter and still there is a lot of winterkill. Once we have had an unusually mild winter and marigold seeds remained viable. I have never had this problem in my life, self-seeding marigolds, lol.
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    MEversbergII's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kegas76 View Post
    Back home when I was growing up in southern New Hampshire we used to find grapes growing on the side of the road.
    My family grew concord grapes for a little while, having inherited them from the previous owners of the house. Also I have noticed wild grape vines all throughout the area, though when I do see some with fruit they are very small - pea sized at best.

    M.

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    I don't have purple carrots, but I can produce some red ones out of my garden. I find that an easy way to combat this is to simply grow heirloom crops at home. This can be done with very little space or horticulture expertise. Using raised beds made of cordwood and produced organic topsoil, enough food for a family of four requires space that most people have. The hard part, for me, is finding a good starting seed that is adapted for YOUR environment. Local seed banks or neighbors with successful seed lines are the way to go....otherwise you will spend many seasons letting natural selection kill a good portion of your crop.

    I think it's all part of an entire cultural movement away from the basics of life, of which growing at least a portion of your own food, and the knowledge that goes with it, is rare. I have found that any real movement to "go primal" involves a much bigger return to basics. Growing my own food was a natural part of that.

    Love to get my yellow spinach or red carrots tested for these compounds

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    Didn't see it but I plant heirloom varieties of carrots (all colors, even purple!), tomatoes, lettuce, and such in my garden each year. Beats anything you could find in WF hands down. Don't care if they label it "non-GMO, Organic, Local, and watered with virgin's tears..." Mines better!

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