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Food House Project™

The Food Growing, Cooking, Preserving & Healing Self-Sufficiency Adventure

Welcome to the Food House Project

The idea for the Food House Project™ grew out of our efforts to become increasing self-sufficient in our food growing and food independence. Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook is an international bestselling and twenty-time published book author and blogger for DrMichelleCook.com as well as the highly popular health and environmental site Care2.com and Curtis Cook is a long-time business consultant who increasingly became involved in food security and local food movements. We both share a passion for great food and healthy living.

We’ve watched the food supply become increasingly degraded through pesticides, additives, genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), poor agricultural practices, and industrial processing. We decided to take action by growing more and more of our own food. Starting with indoor sprouts over two decades ago, to more recently when we dug up most of our suburban lawn to turn it into fruits and vegetables, to now: buying an old farmhouse on an acreage and breathing new life into the home and land. We have big plans, a tight budget, and a steep learning curve, but we want to share the whole adventure with you. Welcome to the Food House Project™!

 

Let the Adventure Begin

Eating Organic Food Can Dramatically Reduce Your Cancer Risk

Eating Organically Can Transform Your Health

At the Food House Project, we’re all about preserving the integrity of the food we eat. We’re not interested in putting residues of chemical pesticides known to disrupt hormones, cause brain diseases, and other health issues, into our bodies.

There are many great reasons to eat more organic food, including: reducing intake of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), ingesting fewer toxic pesticides, and organic foods just taste so much better. But, there’s another reason to eat organic, according to research. A new study found that simply by switching to organic foods you can slash your cancer risk.

Published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine, scientists reviewed the effects of eating organic foods and found some impressive results. Simply by switching to organic foods, you can cut your overall risk of developing cancer by 25% and a whopping 73% for lymphomas—cancer of the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a network of nodes, tubes, and glands that remove waste products from the tissues throughout the body.

The study, led by Julia Baudry, an epidemiologist at Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale, in France, assessed organic foods and their effects on the health of 68,946 people, the bulk of which were women in their forties. They followed up with them, on average, at the four-and-a-half-year mark. In addition to the reduced overall rate of developing cancer, and the dramatic reduced risk for developing lymphoma, the researchers also found that there was a 21% reduction in breast cancer.

Dr. Baudry concluded in an interview that “if the findings are confirmed, promoting organic food consumption in the general population could be a promising preventive strategy against cancer.” And, considering the lack of side-effects of eating more organic foods, other than the beneficial prospect of eating better tasting food that is also higher in nutritional value, this is an approach to reducing cancer risk that is worth immediately implementing, even before additional studies confirm the test results.

Previous research conducted as part of a meta-analysis and published in the British Journal of Nutrition assessed 343 studies to determine the nutritional value of organic to conventional produce. The authors of the study found statistically significant differences between organic and non-organic crops, particularly in antioxidant values.  Antioxidants are nutrients that destroy cell-damaging free radicals linked with aging and disease.  In addition to higher levels of vitamins and minerals, certain other nutrients such as phenolic acids, flavanones, flavonols, and anthocyanins were 19%, 69%, 50%, and 51% higher in organic produce, respectively. These compounds are linked with a significantly reduced risk of suffering from many chronic diseases, including heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases and some forms of cancer.

And, if that wasn’t enough reason to make the switch to organic food, animal research at the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, found that chronic ingestion of cadmium causes increased blood pressure, reduced blood flow to the limbs, and especially kidney disease. Cadmium is an ingredient in many pesticides and residues of the heavy metal remain on or within the food, making it potentially dangerous to health.

Many people cite higher costs for organic foods as a rationale for not buying them but the reality is that this is usually an excuse. Our health is worth more than the cost of satellite or cable television, those clothes or shoes we may have our eye on, or that costly vehicle. We need to get out of the mindset that organic produce isn’t worth the extra expense. And, frankly, with a little creativity and effort, it is possible to save money on organic food too. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  1. Prioritize your organic choices, if absolutely necessary. So, meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy should take precedence, as should the “dirtiest” fruits and vegetables.
  2. Buy directly from organic growers, as much as possible. They often pass down the transportation and retailer savings to consumers.
  3. Grow more of your own food. Even in an apartment you can grow sprouts, microgreens, herbs, and even tomatoes in a planter on a balcony. Stay tuned for lots of blogs showing you how.

It’s easier than you think to go organic, and the health benefits are worth every bit of the effort.

 

Michelle

Launching the Food House Project

We’re about to launch our exciting project to turn our home from the 1800s and the acreage on which it sits into our dream home, complete with food self-sufficiency. I am an international bestselling and twenty-time published book author and blogger (for my own site DrMichelleCook.com as well as the highly popular health and environmental site Care2.com) and my husband Curtis is a long-time business consultant. We share a passion for great food and healthy living.

We’ve watched the food supply become increasingly degraded through pesticides, additives, genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), and more so we started growing an ever-increasing amount of our own food. We made the decision in 2017 to jump head-first into food self-sufficiency by purchasing an old farmhouse and acreage and committing to growing more of our own food. But, it took us until the end of 2018 to sell our house replete with manicured gardens and to find a suitable (and affordable) location and farmhouse. Before I jump into the exciting upcoming launch of what we’re now calling the “Food House Project” here’s a bit of the back story:

To say that 2018 was a whirlwind would be an understatement. Curtis and I spent weeks inside our house during the summer months as the wildfire conditions in the region had left white-out conditions from the intense smoke. Even indoors, we suffered from the horrible effects of smoke inhalation. We made a decision to leave the wildfire region after progressively worse smoke had affected the area over three of the nearly four years we had been there.

After working tirelessly to sell our house, we received an offer to purchase the property and within nine days we began our drive across the country to our new home 2700 miles/4300 kilometres away. After driving day and night through blizzards, icy roads, and temperatures plummeting to -10 degrees Fahrenheit/-24 degrees Celsius, we finally made it.

When we arrived, we were shocked to find a home and acreage full of junk (the people at 1-800-GOT-JUNK have since hauled 4 of their dump trucks of garbage away) and a filthy home more befitting of a haunted movie scene than a place to call home. Walls had been destroyed and the attempts at repairs were nothing short of atrocious.  It appeared that the seller of the property, Eco Tec, and the company’s proprietor, Doug Clark, was fine to take the money we paid without fulfilling his moral and contractual obligations to leave the property clean and vacant, and which has cost us over $4000 to date.

We spent the first day in our home scrubbing the filth that permeated every surface, from walls to cabinets to floors, and everywhere between, trying to eek out some sleep in the few hours we dared rest upon these same surfaces. We called for backup from professional cleaners, drywallers, electricians (to fix a broken electric heater), and general contractors.

The final days of 2018 have involved more cleaning than I ever imagined possible, general household repairs, and being the project managers to the contractors who came and went, each time leaving noticeable improvements in their wake. We’ve hardly made a dent in the renovations we’d like to complete and we still don’t have a full kitchen as the house was used as a business and the kitchen was removed by the previous owner with a small kitchenette left in its place.

And, while all of this sounds awful (and, indeed, some of it was!) we’re getting to the point where the house is clean and repaired enough to live in, the movers have dropped off our belongings, and we’re beginning to call our century-old house our home.

Over the coming months, we’ll be sharing our adventures from the farmhouse as we add a kitchen, complete renovations, and begin growing more and more of our own food. We hope you’ll join us as we share the good, bad, and the ugly as well as our achievements and victories as we take this neglected old farmhouse and find ways to add an orchard, gardens, indoor growing stations, and much more. We have no idea where this journey will take us but we’re thrilled to share our adventures with you. Subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss a thing!

About Us

Curtis and Michelle - The Food House Project People

 

Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook is a best-selling & 20-time book author and popular blogger for DrMichelleCook.com and the world's largest health and environmental site Care2.com. Her books include: Be Your Own Herbalist, The Cultured Cook, and Cancer-Proof.

Curtis Cook is a former international business consultant who now focuses on his passion for local food movements and resilient communities. 

They share a love of great food, gardening, nature, and each other.