My friend Susan has been diagnosed with cancer. It’s a hefty dose of reality coming out of the death of my father who was taken from colon cancer a few months ago. Cancer sucks-can I just say that, please? Thankfully, my friend Susan is super awesome and ready to fight this thing. She’s also surrounded by a great medical team and an amazing network of friends.
Susan recently sent me a list of recommended foods for her upcoming Low-Iodone diet to prepare ahead for treatment:
Beef, Pork, Chicken, Egg Whites (all unsalted-hard to find in the supermarket)
Eggplant, Peppers, Tomatoes, Potatoes, Winter Squash, Zucchini, Onion, Carrots, Lettuce
Maybe you’ve tried one of those diets in the past and maybe you are just briefly familiar with them. Almost all of the recommended foods can be grown here in Kentucky. Great news, right? Unfortunately, the USDA just released a report that farmers in the US are only growing about half of the required fresh fruits and vegetables recommended. Makes sense considering most of the crops grown in Kentucky are Corn, Wheat, and Soy. Shop the center of any grocery store and you’ll notice that all of the processed foods that are available contains some sort of combination of those ingredients. The amount of diverse fruits and vegetables per capita grown in Kentucky is even lower than 50%. It concerns me for the immediate health of those with weakened immune systems and other health issues. It concerns me for the long term health of our children and grand children.
So what can we do?
First and foremost-you can start eating a healthier variety of fresh food from local farmers or even better-join a CSA. Second, you can support networks of farmers like Community Farmers Market who are building a better food supply. Third, you can ensure that those farmers continue to grow in numbers and that everyone in our community has better food access.
This is just the beginning of a series of posts that I’ll be sharing on how farm food can heal the body and nurture communities.
On Monday I’ll join a few other women who will love on and nourish our good friend Susan. In the kitchen we will cook up fresh farm food in order to prepare low-iodine foods that will prepare Susan for the treatment options she will pursue along with her medical team. Check back in for photos, recipes and lots of love.