- By Tony Harriman
Electricity is such a readily-available energy to the average Western home, that we really don't think much about it; we get home, flick the lights on, drop the air, fire up the oven, open the fridge. We hardly give a thought to what it takes to get those things working, so there's a real desire to leave well-enough alone; just pay the bill at the end of the month and get on with your life. But what if it were more affordable to install solar? That would change the game, don't you think?
All of the usable energy on the planet comes from our sun. The vegetation of planet earth is so designed that it converts the light from the sun into energy that can be eaten by some form of life or other. The vegetation takes that light and clothes it with material taken from the soil and quite cleverly camouflages it so that it will appeal to a wide variety of plant-eating creatures. When you take a moment to think about how brilliantly this plan has been worked out, the mind spins. It's not that we're actually eating light; we're eating what the light is carrying — energy.
The plants take some of that energy and somehow compress it into the atoms that form the building blocks of matter; but I reckon we'll talk about that some other time.
Vegetation on the planet is a storehouse for light. When we eat the vegetation, we are actually providing ourselves the purest form of energy that we can assimilate. Some of the energy is stored in our bodies for a very short time, but most of it is used pretty quickly. Unlike plants (which more closely resemble what we know as batteries), our bodies are designed to be more like living machines, and have to be energized on a fairly regular basis. And because we are more like machines, we work best when we are kept in motion. kept in motion, that is, until we need maintenance, which appears to be carried out while we sleep.
Let's face it, most of what is advertised (at great cost, we might add) on the TV and billboards is engineered mainly to appeal to the taste buds, not the digestive system as a whole. On an atomic level, a box of crackers contains a lot of energy, but contains no power that the body can break down and use; we aren't designed as nuclear reactors … right now, anyway.
Is it any wonder that we feel run-down all the time when our bodies aren't being energized with anything useful? I suppose a similarity might be gained in concept if we considered the idea of trying to charge your car battery with cables connected to a Double-A.
So what's a person to do? On one side of the food isle we hear voices telling us that animal (flesh) food is the best for us; on the other is a choir singing the praises of the fresh fruits and veggies. And somewhere above the entire procession is the religion that tells us that planet earth is wearing out, that it's not possible to get everything we need from food grown in the ground, so we have to spend a small fortune on multivitamins. Forget the conversation about pesticides, hormone use and GMOs.
Right here I feel I'm sounding like what some people might call a tree-hugging "Greenie." I'm not on a quest to save the planet, but without the planet we won't have a place to call home. What I really feel like is taking another look at what I use to power up my engines. I'd like more affordable choices for what I put on my plate. I don't want to pay $3 for an organic avocado, when a regular one costs less than a dollar. It seems to me the only people who can afford to eat organic-only have no children, no mortgage, and no vehicles to feed — either that or they have no life other than the one which involves the preparation of food for their tables.
Life shouldn't be all about eating, but eating should satisfy more than just a growling belly. As human machines we have needs. This matters, and someone who understands the physiological mechanisms ought to step up to the plate and put the science into a language that can be understood by the single mom who's trying to keep her kids fed and well and happy, all the while she's running two jobs with no time to go back to school and learn about the miracles of physiology. We don't care about your degrees in medicine, public health or nutritional sciences — come down out of the clouds, get your head out of your nose and help us get our lives back.
And that's just my take on it ….