Plants are the only food factories
By Penelope A. Domogo, MD
yes, plants are the only food factories in the world. And yes, everything else is a food processor – from the animals to the machines in the factory to the cook.
Yes, plants are the only ones which can process their own food. Animals can’t do that, nor do people. Cows, just like us and even the birds and the bees, have to live on plants. You say, “But I only eat meat, so I live on meat, not plants.” Ok, try growing cows without grass. You can’t. In the final analysis, you are eating grass. But it’s processed grass. So is it ok to just eat meat? We’ll see later.
Let us see first how plants manufacture food. Actually I only know that plants manufacture food through “photosynthesis” but I only know the term, not the detailed process. Want to review with me? Here it is. The roots of the plants soak up water from the ground along with minerals and other chemicals in the soil and their leaves absorb carbon dioxide from the air. Using sunlight as their fuel, the leaves then cook these basic ingredients and presto! food is produced! You are right- sugar, starch, protein (the good kind), fat (the good kind), pigments, enzymes, vitamins and other necessary compounds for their growth and development…. and healing. I didn’t mention the minerals because they are already present in these carbohydrates, protein, fat, etc- remember, minerals are basic ingredients. See, plants are complete food! So whoever whines “But I need protein” when presented with a vegetable should google the contents of plants. If you prefer meat, just say so or “Sida a.”
Plants are designed to be food for animals and people so they produce extra food and store them in their roots like in camote, gabi, cassava, potato, and other roots vegetables. How generous of nature eh? They are also designed to have fruits and seeds which we can also enjoy in season. They are also designed to be of varied shapes, sizes, colors and smell. God certainly loves variety because he knows we will all be bored with just cabbages. No, he is not into monocropping. He is into a wild array of “weeds” (whether on the ground or at sea), herbs, shrubs and trees- all the ingredients that make our environment so lovely and colorful and healthy.
In the process of making food, plants emit oxygen. Where did they get the oxygen molecule? From the water- H2O. It uses the hydrogen molecules to synthesize carbohydrates and exhales oxygen as waste. Wow! See how dependent we are on plants. So it’s a blessing that covid appeared so that we were forced to plant, plant, plant. So next time you think of cutting a tree, think first of the tons of oxygen it emits.
What happens when animals eat plants? Through the process of digestion inside the animal, these plants are converted into energy for survival, growth, development and reproduction. As a byproduct of digestion, carbon dioxide is exhaled and liquid and solid wastes are expelled. The carbon dioxide is, in turn, absorbed by the plants and liquid and solid wastes return to the ground to become soil for the plants. It’s a symbiotic relationship of people, animals and plants- one cannot exist without the other, take note.
So then chick becomes a chicken and the calf becomes a cow. They develop the muscles that you call “lean meat”. So they process the plants to produce meat, eggs and milk. Moreover, in the process of growth and development, the animal synthesizes compounds it needs like cholesterol. Animals need cholesterol for their growth and development so the Creator designed that we produce it ourselves. Plants do not need cholesterol so they don’t have cholesterol. Yes, even avocado does not have cholesterol. This is a major the concern about eating excessive meat and other animal products like milk and eggs lie. It is not the only concern but it is the one we will tackle now.
Our bodies manufatures its own cholesterol- in the amount exactly as it needs at that moment. Do you know how much cholesterol your body needs? How would you? I don’t think we can even guess. But why do we need to guess anyway? Can we not trust our Creator to know and can we not just believe that he has designed nature in such a way as to fix our diet? If we look further away from the lechon before our eyes, we will note that animals don’t grow as fast as plants. Meaning, nature is so designed that even if we want to eat meat and eggs and drink cow’s milk, they are not readily available, unlike plants. I am an avid plantita (since quarantine) and I harvest pechay every 6 weeks. And I can plant in batches so that I have pechay everyday but then that would be boring so I plant beans, camote, alugbati, etc. If I raised chickens, I would have to wait for at least six months to eat one and my pechay would all be eaten up by them. So what will I eat while waiting for the chicken? Nah, nah. See the natural order of things? What the profit-driven industry does is to puff up these pigs and chickens with chemicals so you can have drumstick in 29 days and lechon in 3 months. Think of all the hormones, antibiotics and other chemicals that are present in your drumstick and adobo. Think of all the cholesterol, too. Scary, isn’t it!
What about those chips? They are potatoes. They are corn. Well, sometimes that’s true, but that’s not all. A lot of artificial chemicals have been added- flavorings (salt, sugar, MSG, etc), colorings, preservatives, etc. Corn is yummy but are you willing to eat the toxins also? You can’t be sure what else is in your colorfully-packaged chips. Don’t trust somebody whose profit is more important than your health.
Our Creator gave us plants to manufacture food for us and our mobile friends. He sends them in season to keep our body in harmony with the seasons, meaning healthy and happy. He sends them even if we don’t plant them and sends them right in our own yards! Amti, kalunay, native arugula, etc. just grow in my container garden. May angal ba tayo?***
“Look at the birds in the air, they do not sow or reap or store in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not more valuable than they?” Matthew 6:26