Monday, June 18, 2007

Our first tomatoes

Monday, June 11, 2007

Making Food Healthy

Over the last few days I've been reading about the question "what makes food healthy", and there are a huge range of definitions, decisions and frames of knowledge out there. I am busy deciding what to grow, and how to grow vegetables and herbs. More broadly, I'm interested in knowing how to think about healthy food.

Here, I decided to just emphasize one distinction I fell upon. Food may be:

1) Healthy for the planet
2) Healthy for the individual

There are two excellent examples of food practices that are unhealthy for both the planet and the individual:

Some foods are unhealthy for both the planet and for the individual because something has been added (pesticides, particularly organophosphates), other things are unhealthy because they've travelled so far. Food has the most nutritional value when it is harvested ripe and eaten there and then. So if food is picked before being ripe, or eaten many days after harvesting, its nutritional value has decreased. As is so often the case, the environmental and individual interests are the same.

There's a lot more to be said and explored. My next post will involve me thinking about what is special about what "natural" means, and whether there's a value to that ambiguous term.

I'm exciting to be beginning my concrete gardening journey on the top of a hospital. I'm starting square foot gardening, hopefully with a group of interested women. I'll keep you updated...

Saturday, June 9, 2007

What makes food healthy?

This next week I'm going to be pondering this question. I think it's a good starting point when I'm deciding how to live and why-- beginning with the premise that God has given us physical bodies that we have to figure out how to take care of-- not always an easy task.

It's easy to get caught up in the fad without knowing exactly what's good and what's not, right? This week I'm going to work on understanding my objectives clearly. I mean, can you always taste the difference between organic and non-organic food? I can't. Should that matter? Should we immediately discount the role of processed food in our lives?

There's a lot of different emphases you might have, so these are the smaller questions I want to answer before Wednesday:

1) Is the food healthy for the planet?

2) What is healthy food?

3) Why is processed food less healthy than unprocessed food, if indeed it is?

4) How would growing food help attain the goals you set for yourself?

If you would like to give me your insights or other questions, they are more than welcome.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


I'm a South African living in Boston, USA. When I first started to buy food here (after college), I discovered that the less that had been done to the food, the more expensive it seemed to be. So healthy food comes at a high premium, perhaps because it has travelled so far.

Health shouldn't be the privilege of the most wealthy, so this blog is about learning to grow healthy food with limited space, sun and resources, and finding other ways to be healthy without going to Whole Foods.

So, I'm not super-organic but I think there should be small things that we can do-- be it growing food on our balconies, freezing meals, getting a community garden plot, or trying out food we're scared of (admit it, some food is just scary).

In this blog I'm beginning to learn about how to do this. Ideas for what you would like to learn about are also welcome.