What’s in your soil is what’s in your food. As I became older and more aware of how I’m treating my body and what I’m putting into it, I consequently became more wary of the foods I eat, where they come from and how they get onto my plate.
It’s why I love buying my produce from local farmers if I can’t grow it myself; I know the land it was grown on, the hands that cultivated it and I am the one who drove it from the farm to my kitchen to my dinner plate.
It’s also why I’m mortified for the residents of East Palestine, Ohio after the train derailment contaminated the surrounding soil with 1.8 million gallons of liquid waste. Already the death toll climbed from the initial 3,500 aquatic animals to now, a month and a few days after the travesty, 45,000 aquatic animals reported dead by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
Additionally, Ohio has around 75,000 farms and is the first leading producer of Swiss cheese, second in egg production and third in tomatoes and pumpkins (within the United States). I’m startled, confused and scared to think of how many people rely on their food sources from these Ohio farms.
Your tomatoes, carrots or zucchinis are only going to be as rich and healthy as the soil they grow in. When chemicals and wastes pollute the soil, the plants growing in that soil absorb the toxins thus making the produce unsafe for consumption.
Biodiversity in agriculture is vital for providing the soil with the nutrients needed, specifically phosphorus and nitrogen. The long story short of the roles these chemicals play in plant health is that phosphorus allows the plants to grow tissues and nitrogen is the main fuel for plant growth. If the soil is composed of toxins, your food is consequently filled with toxins.
I’m not trying to write an anxiety-inducing article. But I do think anxiety is a natural response to the idea of millions of people eating contaminated food.
For me, my health and well-being consist of how I’m moving my body, how I spend my free time and what foods I choose to eat. To feel and perform my best, I read and write when I can, soak up as much sunshine as possible and fuel my body with nutritious foods. Consequently, this means supporting local farms where I can talk to the farmers, see if they’re using regenerative agriculture practices, or perhaps other forms of sustainable agriculture. I see the ground where my tomatoes are coming from, the hands that pulled them from off the vine. This is where it all matters. This is where it all lies for me. I want to support my local farmers and community, encourage sustainable practices, all while taking care of my mind and body.