Letter from America 2/5
To continue the story, after rattlesnake country, we drove along the Columbia river for awhile alongside a train with 130 carriages of coal! These cargo containers look exactly the same as they did when I was a child and are a familiar sight in the west – long heavy trains miraculously pulled by very powerful diesel engines.
The cherry orchards of Wenatchee are ripe and being picked at the moment and for the first time in my adult life, we drove past beautiful red-laden, pointed leaf cherry orchards, dotted with tall orchard ladders and showering sprinklers. Signs for cherry sales are common alongside the roads here now and in every home, there are bowlfuls of dark, rich and juicy Washington Bing cherries. (The fibre, nutrients and bioactive components in cherries support their preventive health benefits; cherry intake is associated with the prevention of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, inflammatory diseases and Alzheimer’s disease. The benefits of cherries come from their high levels of antioxidants that fight free radical damage and protect our cells. Recent research also indicates that cherries help remove excess body fat and increase melatonin, supporting a healthy sleep cycle.)
We saw clouds of smoke coming off the top of a high hill and watched a helicopter dump what seemed like a measly amount of water onto it. Forest and field fires are a real hazard here this time of year and sadly, very frequent.
We continued to drive away from the Columbia river into barren, desolate land for MILES (and hours) until we came into the Snake river basin, and one of the largest fruit bowls of America. If you’ve ever seen industrial scale farming, you’ll know what I mean when I say it is AWESOME.
We drove past mile after mile of young apple orchards, vineyards, organic blueberry fields, dairy herds, wheat fields and poplar tree farms (for making paper) – to name a few. The infrastructure to cultivate, harvest and distribute this food is as impressive as the food itself and Washington’s global food exports comprise a major part of its economy.
There are now many videos available on Netflix and Amazon which are examining the global industrial food industry in detail and we have a good library of them in the detox for our clients to watch. When you book a detox, I send you a list of these films in the information pack because this is important brain-food for supporting “the why” for your healthy lifestyle choices. Take time each week to feed your mind with “the why” and you’ll find it easier to “stay on track” with your health goals!
Some of what we drove past is noble and sustainable, but other places, using questionable farming practice and methods, are sobering.
However, nothing beats driving into my parents place and seeing my Mother’s garden and my Dad’s bees! They’re 74 now and still growing strong – making their daily green juice, taking their cayenne and turmeric supplements, watering their plants morning and night and eating their produce. Please take a look at our TMD Facebook page or Instagram feed so you can see the photos and videos I’m posting. They’ll inspire you!
We picked raspberries (no snakes here!) and goji berries (second photo below) for our pudding the other night and here’s a photo of my Dad who had hip surgery this Spring and is recovering well.
As part of the detox programme, I give workshops on super-fruits, including goji berries, and also discuss sugars, sweeteners and honey: all things I grew up with and have learned to treat with gratitude and respect.