We’ve all seen and read information about limiting the chances of exposure to the flu and colds. We hear about food borne bacterial contamination, like salmonella, but very little or nothing about the same source of viral contamination. One of the ways to lessen the chances of coming in contact with the source of a current virus or bacteria, whatever that may be at that time, is to be suspect about where our food comes from and how it was harvested and processed.
Food is shipped around the world, just take a look at the labels in your supermarket. A large amount of our food comes from the same sources as foods in Mexico City. If a food service person, from the field to the table, is infected with a virus, coughs on or in the direction of the item, the virus can be transported long distances and then transmitted to the consumer. If the food service person handles a food item after coughing into their hand, or otherwise being in contact with possible viral or bacterial sources and then handles the item before washing their hands, the virus can live on the food item for long periods of time and during shipment.
Organically grown items are no assurance that the item is free from viral or bacterial contamination, although the chances are probably drastically lowered. Irradiating foods kills the good and the bad, lowering or completely eliminating all the nutritional value. Eating foods that contain very low or no nutritional value contribute to a lowered immune response and the higher likelihood of becoming ill. Buying locally or through local farmer’s market are two ways of lowering our vulnerability to food borne virus and bacteria and obtaining foods that are fresher and have retained higher amounts of their nutrients. Buying direct from a trusted source who we know, and believe to be healthy, is another. Preparing the food ourselves eliminates the possibility of contamination by an infected preparer.
Growing our own is probably the best way to limit vulnerability to items that have been exposed to others who may not be as cautious or careful as we are. If we live in the inner city, a condominium, a duplex or an apartment, we may not have direct access to areas where we can grow our own food. But, if we use our ingenuity and resourcefulness, we can find a way.
Many communities and housing complexes offer space for community gardens. Churches and civic organizations often have information that can be useful in locating others of a like mind. Vacant lots, buildings and roof tops are other good possibilities. We’ve found that many organic farmers are willing to share what they produce with people who are willing to help them grow their crops. Older people who can’t work in a garden any more often have space available and are willing to share crop. Not only does working with others provide us with a source of better, higher quality foods, it also gives us an emotional and spiritual boost. There are lots of aspects to better health and an improved immune response, and there are times when all of them need to be considered.
Don’t bother pursuing any of the above possibilities if you’re looking for a handout or want someone else to do the work for you. No one will benefit and future possibilities for everyone will be lowered or nonexistent.