Jack and I will soon be back in our mountain home engaged in interesting, albeit, frustrating dialogue about all things Italian. I wanted to title this “You Can’t Argue With Jack,” but that might have sounded smarmy. Get my implication???
A little back story – My grandmother and Aunt Cat were the queen and princess of subsistence farmers. They used the skills they brought with them from Pontelandolfo and our small Flagtown, NJ farm was chock full of good eating. No one used pesticides – who could afford them and if they killed bugs they would probably kill you. Fertilizer? Mary the horse gave you that. No disgusting crap was sprayed on the lawns to kill the dandelions. We learned to pick the young dandelions and thank mother nature for the free salad. They were not evil weeds. Today, my nonna would think people spending money to make their lawns fake green and without weeds – free salad – pazzo. My families connection to the earth is a part of me. No I’m not a funky granola aging hippie but I am a “if it ain’t natural I won’t eat it” fanatic.
One day while driving to Milano I saw something that made me think of my grandmother. Along the autostrada in the region of Emiglia Romagna there were acres and acres of herbs growing and drying. It was quite beautiful until I remembered that people ingested them. Poured the herbs into their stew. Mixed the herbs with hot water and drank them. Eucccch!! Acres of herbs and other crops get a 24 hour dosing of global warming causing carbon monoxide emissions. Double euuccccchhh!
I tell Jack how disgusting that is and mention I need to really read where dried spices and herbal teas come from. If they are made in Emilia Romagna, I will refuse to buy them. Why, he said, they’re fine.
Determined to let him know that the spices were not “fine,” I googled the effect of carbon monoxide on plants and found lots of great stuff written by super smart folks – here is one study from the National Institute of Health –
Carbon monoxide (CO), a by-product released during the degradation of heme by heme oxygenases (HOS EC 188.8.131.52) in animals, plays a major role as neurotransmitter, regulator of sinusoidal tone, inhibitor of platelet aggregation and suppressor of acute hypertensive response, and most of above effects are similar to or mediated by nitric oxide (NO), another signal molecule in both the animal and plant kingdoms. Previous result demonstrated that NO could act as a promoter of plant cell elongation, acting similarly to IAA, inducing morphogenetic responses leading to expansion in plant tissues. Recent observations revealed that CO is an inducer of cell expansion in wheat root segments, acting similarly to IAA and NO. Evidence also indicated that IAA could result in either the potent induction of HO-1 transcript or endogenous CO releasing in wheat root segments. Additionally, our results suggested that above CO signaling might be related to NO/cGMP, Ca2+ and even ROS-dependent pathways. In this addendum, combined with other previous results, we further proposed a possible hypothesis for CO signaling role in regulation of plant root development induced by auxin.
What the @#%#? Who writes this stuff and since it was from a USA government website, who was supposed to read it? Not me – since I haven’t a clue what any of the above means. Coming back into the room and the discussion, I remind Jack that Zia Vittoria would not let me pick the wild fennel along the sides of he roads – because of the cars. My grandmother wouldn’t let us pick wild asparagus or strawberries close to the road either. Those farmers and inherently natural foodies knew the yuck from passing cars was poison. POISON!!!! Who wants to eat food covered in exhaust stuff.
Jack shook his head and reminded me, those are the same women who said you can’t go outside – even in the summer- with wet hair.
Errrrrrrrgggggg. I have nothing left to say.
See logic wins!