March Newsletter

KEEPING YOUR BODY HEALTHY:
Health, Nutrition and Random Stuff
Mental Appetizers from Four Points Catering

March, 2020

HOW TO KNOW ORGANIC FROM NON-ORGANIC—Food labeled “organic” is in almost
every grocery section of stores now. You might have a vague idea that it refers to the way
farmers grow and process agricultural products. True, and the U. S. Department of Agriculture
has specific conditions that must be met to justify the organic label. Organic livestock meat,
poultry, eggs and dairy products are required to have come from animals that are not given
antibiotics or growth hormones. They must have been raised in living conditions
accommodating their natural behaviors and have consumed only organic feed. Organic produce
must be grown without using most conventional pesticides, synthetic fertilizers or sewage
sludge. These prohibited substances could not have been applied to the soil for three years prior
to harvest. A label of “100% Organic” means all of these conditions have been met. An
“Organic” label means at least 95% have been met, and “Made With Organic” means at least
70% have been met. If the label only says “Organic Ingredients”, it must specify which ones
qualify. Organic production is more labor intensive and losses can be higher, which drives up
costs. Evidence shows potential health benefits of eating organic food, but is it worth the price?
That’s where your own research and preferences will help you decide.
HIS FORAGING MADE HIM FAMOUS—Euell Gibbons (1911-1975) was a writer,
outdoorsman and forager that has been called “the father of healthy eating.” As a young boy in
north-western New Mexico, he went with his mother on wild food foraging treks and she taught
him and his three siblings which plants were edible. In 1922 the family settled on a small
homestead. A severe drought occurred soon after. Gibbons’ father left in search of a job,
leaving his wife and four kids to fend for themselves. On the verge of starvation after his mother
became ill, Gibbons went into the surrounding hills and found enough edible wild plants and
animals to feed the family for over a month until his father returned. Leaving home at the age of
15, he worked odd jobs and became a bit of a hobo. After settling down, he decided to become a
writer. His first book, Stalking the Wild Asparagus, described wild berries, fruits, nuts and fungi
that could be eaten. It was sprinkled with folk wisdom and personal stories. It was published in
1962 and became a huge seller. He followed that with other books having a similar theme. They
did well, but none were as popular as the first one. Gibbons’ books, magazine columns and
eventual fame on TV made him one of the earliest advocates of healthy eating and foraging.
4 Points Catering is a locally-owned company. Thanks to all our supporters who helped elect us as Columbia’s Best
Caterer. In addition to preparing meals for MU students, we also cater weddings and other special events. See
4pointscatering.com or our Facebook page. Contact Travis, Joe or Amaya. Your comments are always
welcome—just put them in our suggestion box.