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This blog is all about all the things that make me up. I am a Mother, I am a Pagan Witch, I am a Wife, I am a homemaker, I am a student, I am Spiritual, I am a Teacher, I am Liberal Hippie, I am a Voter, and I am extremely opinionated! Plan to see it all! If you don't like what you see, feel free to leave! However, chances are, if you stick around, you'll find more to love than hate!

Blessings!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Can we fix the world?

It seems sometimes like there is so much wrong with this world that it can't possibly all be fixed.  I asked the following question on my One Witch's Wonderland Facebook page once and was so overwhelmed with the diversity of answers, I was unsure how to approach them all.  What was that question?  It was simply:  "If you could fix just ONE issue in the world, what would it be?"  Answers ranged from the obvious - Hunger & Child Abuse - to those I didn't expect - The Medical System & Spine Damage.  And I think it's all to easy to think of a thousand different "issues" with the world. The medical system, the food system, the banking system, the water system, the education system, the transportation system, the energy systems... ALL BROKEN!  ALL of them!

How sad! We have become a world filled with so much excess, yet we're all drowning in debt, not just financial debt, we're poor in just about every face of our lives.  We have MILLIONS of extra calories sold on store shelves, yet, the majority of us are teetering on the edge of malnutrition.  We then bolster our "health" by taking innumerable amounts of "Supplements," Vitamins, Steroids and Medications, most of which not only aren't doing the good we want them too, but they're damaging us by filling our systems with yet MORE harmful chemicals.  They aren't helping us, they're killing us!  Even the the vitamins meant to help keep our children healthy are full of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives which are all mixed with TONS of sugar!

One of the most popular Children's Vitamins contains such ingredients as sorbitol (a sweetener), gelatin (binding agent), pregelatinized starch (thickener), stearic acid (saturated fat), carrageenan (stabalizer made from seaweed), hydrogenated vegetable oil (soybean & castor), FD&C Red #40 Lake, Yellow #6 Lake and Blue #2 Lake (All Dyes), aspartame (sweetener), xylitol (sugar alcohol), sucrose (table sugar), and of course numerous forms of chemically and naturally derived vitamins and minerals.  SO, in the process of giving our children vitamins to help their growth and immune system we're feeding them some incredibly nasty ingredients, some of which have rather well known health risks - especially for children.

If all that wasn't enough, we poison our air, water & soil simply in the way we grow and farm food, produce products & chemicals (including those used for "healthcare), transport everything from one place to another, and how we power it all.  Add to that the damage our financial system causes by producing a world with the "Bigger, Better, Faster, MORE..." attitude is in charge - starving the little guy and allowing big business & banks to control everything we see, hear and trust.  Even the organizations which are meant to keep us safe - the EPA, CDC, FDA, etc. - are bought and sold by financial interest groups or corporations out to make more money rather than build a solid healthy society.

So the question is, can it be fixed?  And if so, how? People all over the world understand the flaws in the systems we have now, but most feel powerless to change things. The idea is that the little guy can't make big changes. And many people fall prey to the idea that the systems we have can't be changed because to do so would collapse the world as it stands today.

Fortunately, however, the facts clearly show that we CAN make the changes needed. Moreover, we MUST make these changes, otherwise we are dooming our children and grandchildren to live in a world where they are not only unhealthy, but where they are starving! Starving for food, starving for energy, starving for health!  We are dooming them to a society where there are essentially two classes, the very rich, and the very poor. Those who make the rules and those who are forced to follow, or starve. In fact, it's a society the world has seen before, and one that we have fought hard to leave behind. But one that we are now creating again.

So if things can be fixed, how? And how can we go from talking about making change, to actually making change?  Well, first, we need to accept that change is NEVER made quickly.  Yes, we went from being earth bound to having the gift of flight in a single take-off, but it took YEARS to create the first workable flying machine!  In fact, Leonardo DeVinci designed numerous flying and gliding machines circa 1050 A.D.  but the first successful flight did not happen until the Write Brother's took off in 1903. So we didn't really go from earth bound to flight in a single day, the fact is it took 900 years (maybe more) for the idea of machine based flight became a reality and changed our world.  Now, just 100 years later, we see flight, not as a marvel, but as a an every day thing, as normal and natural as drinking water or eating bread.

You're probably thinking at this point, why is this woman yammering on about DeVinci and Airplanes? We're supposed to be talking about changing the world.  Well, I'm not yammering, I'm attempting to make a point.  Change, although it may appear to happen quickly, in fact takes generations to take hold.  And the changes we want - no, NEED - to make aren't going to be any different!  So the first step is to accept that. CHANGE TAKES TIME!

Once we accept that change isn't going to happen over night, we can really get down to working on HOW to make those changes.  Once we understand that those changes are going to take YEARS of work - as individuals and as a society - to truly take hold, we can finally come together and do that work!

Okay, we know it's going to take work and time... But what do we do? HOW do we do it?  Well, first and foremost, we have to fix the food!  If we fix the food, all else will follow.  Sounds to simple? Sounds like a way to easy answer?  Well, in some ways, it is.  Fixing the food systems will NOT completely fix the world. BUT, fixing our food systems will create positive changes - HUGE CHANGES - in our overall health, which then makes positive changes in our medical system, and it will help clean up our air, water & soils, it will create LESS poverty, and encourage societies which live together rather than simply having individuals living near one another.  Of course when societies live together rather than as nearby individuals, crime rates drop.  This isn't fantasy, it's basic statistics.  People raised in, or living in, societies where the community is close, are more likely to seek education and work towards the betterment of all and are less likely to fall prey to lifestyles involving crime and addiction.  Moreover, fixing our food system LOWERS our dependence on fossil fuels by cutting the amount of chemicals used, cutting the fuel costs for delivery systems and cutting the "processing" that happens to the food itself - ALL of which requires fossil fuels in one way or another.

So let's see...  Fix Food = Fix Healthcare = Fix Fossil Fuels = Fix Crime?!?!?  That can't be right.   How can simply changing how we eat really make all those changes?  Believe it or not, it's not difficult to see.

Look here -
If we stop eating food that's soaked in chemicals by leaning towards Organic and Processed foods, we cut out the need for those chemicals, the fuel and waste associated with creating, delivering and using those chemicals and the damage done to the water, air and soils by those chemicals.  Additionally, we create a food system that actually feeds our bodies and our minds the way they need to be fed rather than simply gorging ourselves on empty calories and poisoning ourselves.  This also cuts out the need for all those added supplements, vitamins, steroids and a great deal of the medications that we take now to keep us "healthy." Thus cutting the production and use of artificial flavors, colors, preservatives and artificial vitamins & minerals.  And by supporting locally grown and organic foods we are not just supporting big corporations, but whole communities - in most cases, our own.  Stronger communities have less poverty, less crime and are over all, better places to live, encouraging people to work together to maintain healthy lives. Plus, healthy bodies are needed to support healthy minds. So the better a child's (or adult's) health, the higher that child's grades, attention and self esteem, making it more likely that they will excel in their education and careers - and of course making their future brighter.

So you see how our food system touches everything around us.  When food is produced by farms that spray them with toxins, trucked to packing plants that wrap them in plastic and add preservatives and then trucked again to sit on store shelves for weeks until they're bought, the amount amount of waste damages every part of our world.  In fact, if we ONLY looked at the amount of Pesticides used, forgetting other chemicals and fuels used in Agra-Businesses today, I believe most people would be shocked to see the numbers.

Unfortunately I do NOT have the numbers for our most recent years.  But according to the EPA, in the 2006-2007 growing seasons the US (alone) used 1.1 Billion (with a B) pounds of pesticides!  That works out to about 5 pounds per every man, woman and child in the country!  That's 5 pounds of pesticides - which remember are meant to kill - that you, your loved ones and your children are eating, breathing and drinking each year.  Can you imagine?

Okay, I get the fact that there is more to the worlds problems than food.  But Food is at the front of most of them. And food can fix many more. It's the biggest issue we have.  And once fixed, we have the ability to move on to other issues. It may seem to easy. "Food can't fix slavery," you say. "Food can't fix war" you counter...  And in some ways, you are right.  BUT, In a world where good food is the standard, a world where people are healthy - mind and body - and a world where communities are strong and connected, people have the power to come together and solve these other issues. So no, fixing food isn't going to fix everything. But it's a HUGE first step! And it's a must do! It's not something we really have the option to continue to ignore, because the longer things go the way they are now, the sicker we get and the shorter our children's lives will be. And most of all, the more power and strength Big Agra-business, Big Pharma and Big Fuel companies continue to gain, controlling everything we do.

So yes, I'm big on food. And I'm big on health. But aren't we all? Who doesn't want to be healthy and well fed? Who doesn't want their children to be healthy and well fed? And yes, I completely believe the food system is the FIRST focus we need to come together on if we are really going to change the world.  Once our food system is fixed, we will have the tools and ability to come together and fix all our other issues. I have no doubt.

Alright, I'm yammering, but I hope the point I'm trying to make is clear. Our FIRST priority needs to be food. We ALL need to be working hard to not just change the way we shop, but change the way we eat.  Organic, Whole Foods should be our goal. And although it may take longer than we want to get to that point, so long as we are still moving forward, we're doing it right.

So here's the goals we should be working towards - 1. NO processed or artificial foods!   2. NO GMO Foods.  3. Cook Your OWN Foods. 4. Grow & Preserve Your Own Food (as much as possible)  5. Build local Organic Whole Food Networks & Relationships.  6. Teach Children the importance of healthy food.  7. Use only Organic & Whole Foods.  8. Strengthen Local Farming Network and Build Organic Farmers Markets  9. Create laws - local and national - that protect local Farms and individual Gardens rather than destroy them. 10. Create laws that REQUIRE transparency from Agra-Business Companies as well as "supplement" and vitamin companies.

Is it a big job? Yes! Is it going to happen over night? Nope!  But can we achieve it? YES! Can we make it a world wide goal and still succeed? YES!  But first, you have to quit reading and get moving!!

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