Category Archives: Notes from the farm

Greens are good for your gut

Why eating greens is good for your gut: Nutrients in veg help good bacteria flourish –  reducing the risk of food poisoning

  • Scientists claim to have found why sprouts and broccoli are so good for us
  • Sugar molecule found in greens provides energy for good bacteria 
  • Good bacteria in the stomach leaves no room for bad ones to grow
  • Discovery could pave the way for new antibiotics to be made in future 

Eat your greens and you will grow up to be big and strong, parents are fond of telling their children.

Scientists believe they have found an extra reason why sprouts and broccoli are so good for us.

A sugar molecule found in cabbage, spinach and other leafy greens has been discovered that helps the good bacteria in our stomachs flourish.

And when good bacteria are plentiful in our stomach, it leaves little room for ‘bad’ bacteria to grow.

Bad bacteria – the horrible bugs that give us stomach aches and worse – can’t get a foothold in the stomach if all the good spaces are taken.

The finding adds to all the reasons greens are great for us – including vitamins, minerals and roughage.

The sugar, called sulfoquinovose, SQ for short, is abundant in nature and is unusual because it is the only sugar that contains sulphur.

But until now it was not known how bacteria could make use of it – the latest discovery has found that bacteria create an enzyme that can break it down.

The research, published in the journal Nature Chemical Biology, was led by researchers from Australia and the University of York.

Did you know?

Nearly 1/2 of all foodborne illness is due to contaminated produce.

Do you know how your produce is grown?  What it is treated with?

According to an article by Dr. Mercola, “While the industrialization of agriculture has lowered production costs, and to some extent made processed foods less expensive, the system has completely failed to secure food for all, which was and continues to be its stated mission.”  “…the system is harmful to the environment, to animals (both wild and captive), to farmers, the soil, and ultimately, it’s harmful to consumers.”

The best solution is to practice sustainable agriculture.  “Sustainable agriculture balances the need to produce food to be economically viable and efficient with a need to take care of the land, and support rural communities and society as a whole. Most importantly, it supports good health.”

At Seabreeze Organic Farm, we use sustainable growing practices, responsible and loving animal care and the only thing you’ll find on our produce is good clean water.

When you join today, mention this post, and we’ll give you a $10 Green Store credit to be applied against your first online order.

Click here to learn more about us…

In Case Anyone Doesn’t Know…

For the first time, the federal government’s dietary guidelines recommend limiting added sugar to 10 percent or less of calories.  They also recommend that people eat more fruit, vegetables and whole wheat and point out most Americans do not eat a healthy diet, are overweight and risk getting heart disease and other illnesses as a result.

With a Seabreeze Organic Farm subscription, you can start making improvements today.

Click on the picture to learn more:

Choose Your Foods Wisely

Take Control of Your Health—Choose Your Foods Wisely

In a recent interview with to Dr. Stephanie Seneff, a number of frightening revelations concerning GE foods came out during the Beijing conference. Besides the potential hazards associated with GE foods—which includes heightened allergenicity—the issue of glyphosate contamination is a very important one. It appears to play an instrumental role not only in celiac disease, but also in autism, Alzheimer’s, and cancer. In fact, Dr. Seneff’s work suggests it may play a role in most chronic diseases.

Release Farmers From Dependence on Chemicals

Better Living Through Biology

One of the more insidious aspects to the industrial food system is that, as soil becomes sicker and less able to perform its functions, farmers become increasingly dependent on the chemical technology industry—they become trapped. The use of glyphosate begins a downward spiral, making it necessary for farmers to use more and more herbicides, pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, and GE seeds. Weeds become resistant to glyphosate, so farmers have to use more weed killers. Crops become nutrient-deprived, so they have to increase synthetic fertilizers. Weeds and bugs become superweeds and superbugs… and on and on in a vicious cycle.

The best way to avoid this trap is to refrain from using agrichemicals in the first place. Any organic farmer will tell you that they are growing SOIL, not food—a properly cared for soil will take care of growing your food. As was expressed in the film, all you need to do is “feed your soil compost and seeds.” This is actually a KEY factor I would encourage you to look for when purchasing food. Certainly get non-GMO foods but also seek to only purchase produce from local farmers who are using soil regenerative techniques, such as no till, cocktail cover crops, and livestock integration. The key is to use regenerative soil techniques not factory farming degenerative approaches.

The answer to world hunger is not genetically engineered foods or fuels, but rather reverting to ecologically rational and sustainable agricultural practices, with an emphasis on supporting small local farmers. In a comprehensive global report entitled “Agriculture at a Crossroads,” IAAST (International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development) gave high-tech farming a dismal two thumbs-down.12, 13 Resistance to revamping the food system can be expected from a few mega-corporations whose pockets are lined by the chemical technology and pesticide industries, but as a consumer, you have a great deal of power as you vote every day with your wallet.

Providing Nitrogen Organically is Best

Nitrogen is extremely important for plants, but 70 percent of it is in the air, in an unusable form. Soil bacteria transform this atmospheric nitrogen into a form plants can use. Typically, this is done through nitrogen fixing bacteria like the types that are present on many legumes. However, if soil bacteria are absent, plants require some other source of nitrogen. In conventional commercial agriculture, synthetic fertilizer is typically used—in massive quantities.

Synthetic fertilizers increase plant biomass, so farmers enjoy higher crop yields in the short run. However, a large amount of this nitrogen ends up going to the wrong places. Plants can only use a limited amount of nitrogen, so the excess gets released into the air as a potent greenhouse gas, and into waterways and ultimately oceans, resulting in dead zones.

On average, only half of the added fertilizer is taken up by the plants—the other half is lost immediately to runoff and evaporation. This is even worse with vegetable crops, which can lose up to 80 percent of added nitrogen. However, in spite of all this excess nitrogen, the soil itself becomes depleted in nitrogen, since most of the nitrogen-fixing bacteria have been killed off.

Nitrogen pollution reduces oxygen levels in seawater, which causes plankton and other organisms to die off. The Gulf of Mexico dead zone covers 7,000 square miles—an area the size of New Jersey—largely the result of nitrogen leakage down the Mississippi River from massive corn growing operations.

But it’s a completely different story with organic farming. There is minimum leakage of nitrogen because it’s released slowly and taken up again by living organisms, and there is much less water runoff. Small amounts of nitrogen are continuously brought into the system by nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Also, cover crops such as vetches, oats, peas, and other legumes and manure continuously release nitrogen into the soil.

Synthetic nitrogen fertilizers are extremely costly in terms of energy. Fertilizers account for 50 percent of the energy use in conventional agriculture. Studies show that using cover crops (crop rotation) when growing corn or soy can reduce nitrogen leaching by 70 percent, as well as beginning to rebuild the soil in just two to three years.

Dangers of Chemical Farming

Chemical Farming Pollutes the Planet, Kills Bees, and Injures Babies

Only a few hundred of the 80,000 chemicals in use in the United States have been tested for safety. The majority ends up in our soil and waterways, destroying soil’s beneficial organisms while allowing pathogens to flourish. Not only are these chemicals decimating our soils, but they’re also killing off bees, butterflies, and other flora and fauna. According to this documentary, 60 percent of the world’s ecological systems are nearing collapse, yet industry continues to turn a blind eye to the destruction.

Not only are agrichemicals making our soils sick, but their long-term effects on humans have yet to be determined. Residues of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup, are found in most commonly consumed foods in the Western diet, courtesy of genetically engineered (GE) sugar, corn, soy, and conventionally grown wheat that has been desiccated. Atrazine and nitrates form a deadly combination, as nitrates shut off your body’s defenses against these chemicals.

Research suggests glyphosate may “enhance the damaging effects of other food-borne chemical residues and toxins in the environment to disrupt normal body functions (including gut bacteria) and promote disease.” Glyphosate also appears to stimulate hormone-dependent cancers even at extremely low concentrations.

Studies show that even tiny exposures to common lawn chemicals can induce abortions and resorbtion of fetuses. In fact, the greatest effects appear to be from the lowest doses. Very small exposures can alter developmental trajectories, resulting in birth defects, irregularities in genitalia, and learning impairments. Babies conceived during the months of highest lawn chemical use are known to have greater risks for these birth defects and developmental abnormalities.

The Life Cycle of Soil

Soil Has Its Own Life Cycle

The full life cycle of soil, in all of its stages, can be seen across the Hawaiian Islands in soils that are several hundred to several million years old, with lava as their substrate. On the new island like the Big Island of Hawaii, you will find soils as young as 300 years to extraordinarily rich 20,000-year-old soils in which just about anything can grow, to 350,000-year-old soils whose nutrients have been washed out by eons of rainfall.

Extremely old Hawaiian soils, like Kauai, reaching four million years, are almost completely devoid of nutrients. These ancient soils are highly compressed and essentially just clay.

Unfortunately, agriculture the way it’s typically done today greatly accelerates this soil aging process. Soils that would have remained viable for millions of years in nature are rendered dead and lifeless by monoculture in a few short years. Tragically, these soils will take hundreds to thousands of years to recover fully in nature—and not until all agricultural assaults are ceased.

Chemical farming results in waterlogged soil that’s easily compacted by heavy machinery, rendered impermeable and susceptible to erosion. One-third of the world’s arable land has already been lost to soil erosion.

What’s In That Soil?

One Tablespoon of Healthy Soil Contains 50 Billion Busy Microbes

Most of the planet consists of solid rock, upon which most plants can’t grow. Approximately 75 percent of soils are transported soils (such as from windblown sediment, or loess), with only 25 percent forming in place. Soils are incredibly diverse, and different plant communities adapt to different soils.

Soil starts with a mineral source—weathered rock, glacial silt, river sediments, lava flows, sand, etc.—but it isn’t soil until organic matter is added. Organic sources can be living or non-living. Old leaves, dead animals, and tiny living things all enrich the soil with its necessary carbon.

Healthy soil is about 50 percent solids and 50 percent air and water, simply teeming with life—mites, nematodes, protozoa, and a whole menagerie of other organisms, most of them smaller than the head of a pin.

Soil microorganisms are so abundant that 70 to 80 percent have yet to be identified. It’s estimated one tablespoon of soil contains about 50 billion microbes.5 More than 90 percent of land plants are nourished by mycorrhizae, a symbiotic form of fungi that help move nutrients from the soil into the plants’ roots.

But there are also thousands of other microbes playing their parts in this microbial symphony in the soil. According to North Carolina University Cooperative Extension:6

“As soil life forms move through the soil, they create channels that improve aeration and drainage. Nematodes and protozoa swim in the film of water around soil particles and feed on bacteria. Mites eat fungi; fungi decompose soil organic matter.

The microorganisms’ primary role is to break down organic matter to obtain energy. They help release essential nutrients and carbon dioxide, perform key roles in nitrogen fixation, the nitrogen and phosphorus cycles, denitrification, immobilization and mineralization.

Microbes must have a constant supply of organic matter or their numbers will decline. Conditions that favor soil life also promote plant growth.”

Living Soil is Necessary For Healthy Food Production

By Dr. Mercola

“If we have declared a war against the soil itself, then we are literally committing a species level suicide.” — Dr. Vandana Shiva

One of Earth’s greatest treasures is soil, without which we could not survive. Soil is the mother of nearly all plant life, and ultimately, all animal life on this planet. It’s the interface between biology and geology—the living skin of the earth.