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Podcast 403: Chili Peppers and Benefits of Capsaicin

Podcast 403: Chili Peppers and Benefits of Capsaicin

Podcast 403: Chili Peppers and Benefits of Capsaicin

Podcasts - EdCurry300.jpgEd Curry is a 4th generation farmer, growing over 70 different varieties of chili peppers. He knows everything about chili, organic farming, and the health benefits of capsaicin. Ed is also a Life Enthusiast customer and friend for many years now. Listen to his story!

MARTIN: Hello everyone! This is Martin Pytela for Life Enthusiast Podcast! Today I have the pleasure and honor to be talking with one of our long time clients, Ed Curry, and I’m going to be asking a lot of questions. Ed is a wonderful example of what can happen when somebody meets Life Enthusiast. I also am really enthused about meeting Ed Curry, because he is an example of a wonderful human. So, Ed, welcome to my world, and welcome to our show!

ED: Thank you for all the kind words, Martin! You have helped me so much, so yeah, I am a product of Life Enthusiast and your help, absolutely!

MARTIN: Great! We should also mention what you do because that will be a big part of our conversation today. Ed is an organic chili farmer. Ed, I think you are probably the last or the only farmer who grows jalapeno for seed, right? I think that your farm produces most of the seeds for the Southwest, for the growers the United States and Mexico, right?

ED: Okay. Let me tell you what I do. I am a Mendelian type breeder. I learned genetics from Phil Villa, one of the best pepper geneticists that ever lived. We lost Phil in 2013, November 13th, to be exact, I was with him when he passed away. Phil, next to my father, had more influence on my life than  any individual. Well, I should include my mother in there, too, and my wife, I guess. But Phil was very influential in teaching me. I don’t have a doctorate, I have a high school degree, but I love to learn. And when you came into my life, I learned you are very similar, and on a quest to learn. So that is how I learned genetics, I followed Phil around from the time I was in eighth grade, around 1970, he would come back and forth to the farm several times a year. I started working with him as a young grower in 1979, and he decided to teach me and help me understand genetics.

ED: Phil hated being in the box. He always told me: I chose you, because you had an open spirit to learn, and you had not been tainted by any books. He said: I’m going to take you and shape you the way I want you. And he did! And I was willing to learn, I can’t tell you how many hours I talked to him on the phone, Martin. Hours! From way back when we first got those old bag phones, you remember those? I bought one of the first bag phones that came to this side of Arizona, to talk to Phil. And I would carry that thing in my vehicle, and I usually had enough charge that I could walk in the chili field a little bit, describe to him what I was doing, what I was seeing, and then he would describe back to me, literally, we would talk for two hours at a time, and that was my classroom! I love to tell this part: I have extreme ADHD. For the parents out there that have ADHD kids: don’t ever think they can’t learn, they just may not learn the way the average person does, by sitting at  a desk. I can’t sit still, it is hard for me to sit still right now and talk to you, but Phil could teach me via phone!

ED: The field was my classroom, the chili field. And once we had a cell phone, holy cow! I could look at the crop, I could explain to him, then he would start explaining to me what I was seeing, what I was finding. Did we pull out some genetic books from time to time? Absolutely. But this all started because of passion. If you’ve got a passion, man, you can do anything.

MARTIN: You mentioned a word “Mendelian.” I wanted to punch out the word because I doubt that many people remember from their chemistry or biology books who Gregor Mendel was. He was actually my fellow countryman, he was a Moravian, just like myself. He figured out and taught how genetics work. He was the founder of the modern science of genetics. And it was the opposite of what we call ‘genetic modification.’ This was all about natural selection as directed by nature, not by human inventiveness.

ED: Very much so. It is a very simple method of taking two parents, crossing them, watching the progeny, selecting from the progeny. There is no gene manipulation at all, it is strictly what God gives us in that cross. And it is fun to watch, holy cow, Martin! That is the fun part! I’ll give you an example. Right now we have a chili that has more nutritional value than spinach! And we found it by accident! What we became famous for, Phil and I, in the chili world, was breeding the heat out of pepper. We have some that are super hot, and for many people, it is not a fun experience. So we bred the heat to a lower level. We have what is called a Scoville scale for measuring the heat of the chili peppers.

MARTIN: Okay, let’s stop on this a little bit. The Scoville scale is from zero to 10,000 or so?

ED: No, not even close! We have some habanero peppers that go as high as 300,000 on a scale! But not all peppers are created equal. It is all about how the carbon links are connected, it makes a lot of difference. About 40% of the capsaicin oil is water-soluble, so when a pepper goes through a processing facility, and the water runs over it, that means about 40% of the capsaicin is going to disappear out the drain in that water. You are still going to get the remaining 60%. But we can change the numbers by breeding, change how much will be water-soluble, and create chilis that are hotter or less hot.

ED: When you eat certain kinds of chilies, it burns you on the front of the mouth. Then you eat other kinds of chilies that burn you at the back of the throat. You eat all different kinds of chilis, jalapenos, habaneros, and every one of them is going to have a different way in which they bite you. Here in the Southwest and Northern Mexico, there is a native pepper called chiltepin. Chiltepin is one of my favorites, but it is about as big as the end of my little finger here. They are all harvested by hand, there is a little mechanization going on, and they are really wild! That flavor is unbelievable, but the heat is very refreshing. Some people would think it is extremely overpowering, but once you get acclimated to the heat, it is very mild. It is hot, but it is very gentle in its approach. Others are not, of course, we have a set of genes here in one particular chili we’ve been breeding for 25 years, and that one bites you aggressively and will hold on for 45 minutes to an hour! Nobody wants that!

MARTIN: So you sweat and sweat, and run around, and rub your tongue on the carpet?

ED: Well said! You are sucking on a stick of butter or whatever you can find to cool off, and it doesn’t cool off very well! Capsaicin is a wonderful product. There are some studies going on now for local anesthesia, it speeds up your metabolism, it adds flavor, the list goes on and on. Now, habanero can be 300,000 on the Scoville. But that doesn’t mean that it is the hottest! I have some stuff that will probably land on 8,000 on the scale, and that would probably burn most people way worse than the 300,000 habaneros. It is all about how the carbon links are connected in the oil.

MARTIN: I remember one of the conversations you and I had, you were speaking to some researcher from Texas who was feeling a little cocky and you said: “don’t toy with this, this is gonna whack you.” Do you remember the story?

ED: Yeah, I’ll share the story! I won’t say his name, but he is a great guy, he is a Ph.D. here in Texas, and he was out at the farm and I said: “you want to be careful, this particular line is very different.” But he ate it, and then he drove to El Paso, which is a little over three hours from here, and he called me from El Paso, saying: “it just really stopped burning and I got comfortable only a minute ago.” And that was at least two and a half hours after he ate it! So how capsaicin works is very complicated. Back in the seventies, Dr. Ben Villalon, who used to be called Dr. Pepper, developed this no-heat jalapeno. Everybody said he was crazy, I think they even gave him some crazy booby award for it, because it was dumb. It turned out he changed the world! Because once he had a sweet jalapeno, then Mr. Pace himself, a man who made the Pace Picante sauce, could actually add captured capsaicin, and all of a sudden we got a new numerical system for salsa! So today, you can go to the store, grab a bottle of Picante sauce, you can look on there and it’ll say medium, mild, hot or extra hot. The reason you can buy that, and that it is consistent in heat, is Dr. Ben and his work! And yet for three or four years, everybody was making fun of him: “well, you wasted your time.” No, he actually changed the world!

ED: That takes me into the vitamin content of chili peppers. Jalapeno peppers for example are super high in vitamin C, A, D, the list goes on and on, not to mention the value of the capsaicin. After Dr. Ben’s discovery, ketchup was no longer the number one condiment on the shelves! Salsa became number one! I like to talk about several things about peppers. But pepper = pepper = pepper is just not true. And not all capsaicin items are created equal, you know, and I like to put this out there, so people can understand the health value of it.

MARTIN: Yes, we have discovered that sort of thing when we are manufacturing our superfoods. You yourself have some familiarity with our Exsula products. It is a whole lot like that jalapeno story. A label doesn’t tell the story, the ingredient does. The plant does. A label is just a label. For example, you can say that almond = almond = almond. Well, it is not true. If you steam them or flash freeze them, or whatever you do, you kill them, and they will never grow into a tree again. They may look the same on the label, but they’re not the same in the effect that they’ll have on the human body.

ED: Once you start changing the enzyme… The enzymatic action is huge in our tummies, and you’ve taught me that, Martin. When you change something by processing it, some challenges might appear. Not always, almonds are pretty safe when they are raw, right? As you can see, I get really wired about, and I’m passionate about chili and what nutritional value it has. We have thousands of different cultivars every year that we selected, stuff we’ve created by making crosses through the years. And it is not through gene shooting, only by natural breeding. In breeding, a lot of things have happened through the years that are really interesting, and I just wanted to touch on that. One year we had 36 different single plant selections of a chili/cayenne, and we were trying to find the hot ones. And my farm manager came by and said: “Boss, did you see that deer? It really ate all the cayenne over there.” And after a closer look, we found that the deer ate all the mild ones, but left the hot ones! And the hot ones were the ones that we were looking for! It saved us hours! It was very interesting.

MARTIN: That is a great story! By the way, I have encountered hotness mainly in Sichuan or Chinese foods, are they similar or different to what you might be doing?

ED: The Asian peppers are really, really, really hot as a whole. They tend to be more of the chinense family rather than the annuum family, I deal specifically with capsicum annuum. Those really hot ones are typically different families, but they still hold the same nutritional value, and there is a lot of good to them. Mutations are always fun to talk about, let me jump into mutations for just a minute. The average listener out here eats a mutation that they don’t even realize is a mutation, and that is the Navel orange. I think it was in 1904 when this mutation was captured, I could be wrong, but it was early 1900s. The point is, a mutation can be really good, or it can be really bad. The Navel orange carried extra sugar, and it was easier to peel. So those are gene packages. If I say ‘blue eyes,’ you probably think ‘blonde hair.’ If I say ‘brown eyes,’ we think ‘brown or black hair.’ Those are also gene packages. It is easy to explain. Well, fruits and vegetables have gene packages too! And it is my job, and what makes my job so fun! Martin, thank you for giving me this opportunity to share it, because it is really fun to do and to talk about! Genetics is an amazing field. You, Martin, are a great example of a gene combination package as well! And now have a little grandson that is very cute, and he is another gene package!

ED: Some of my best material through the years is stuff we found by accident. I love that! I call it a ‘God thing.’ It is a power bigger than us! If you travel to Mexico, which I have when studying pepper, you get into the state of Zacatecas, the largest pepper growing state in the world, some 250,000 acres, all different kinds of peppers. And every little village has pride in their own selection. It is a matter of generation after generation of honing a set of gene packages. Does that make sense?

MARTIN: Yes. And you know, what I’m thinking? The interaction between the plant and the person eating it has a sort of generational impact.

ED: Absolutely.

MARTIN: I see that especially with our work with hemp, talking about the CBD and the endocannabinoids, and how the human body uses the cannabidiol, the molecule is identical to what that plant grows. And we use it for calming our overstimulated nerves, and the plant gives it to us. So there probably is something to do with the molecules in your work. Each one of them, each one of those complex compounds has a specific function, and as they change, they will have an effect on us and on our progeny, because after all, if I eat something for my lifetime, my children will experience that through my changed being. The sperm that I hand over is affected by everything I’ve done up to that moment.

ED: You know, there is an interesting study on that, Martin. That is an interesting subject. We are what we eat, right? My holistic doctor had a client that lived to be 114. And he was asked: “what do you credit it to?” And he said: “Exercise and no sugar.” I mean, there were many things, but that ware the two main things he said, no sugar and exercise. I have taken my farm organic, and you know that…

MARTIN: Now this is an important point. There is a trajectory in your life, and I would like to capture that because when you first got working on the farm, it was not an organic farm. And some of the health problems that you and I talked about when we first met, were probably strongly related to the fact that you were not an organic farmer.

ED: Absolutely! I had some tests done, and I couldn’t eat anything. My doctor helped me figure out that when you mess with your esophagus, you can lose some of your digestive tract, even if it is not taken out, it is impaired surgically, and your immune system is forever changed. Over a three year period, I couldn’t eat anything. I was eating low carb, and by the way, I still believe strongly that simple carbs are bad. I am not saying to not eat vegetables, of course…

MARTIN: It is about the glycemic index. Vegetables, like lettuce, green onion, chili, are way down on the index. The medium-range are broccoli, for example. And then carrot, parsley, things that are really high in starch, like rice, potato, sweet potato, and wheat, those are on the top of the list.

ED: I like how you just laid that out! So I was eating low carb, but I was still sick. I felt terrible for months when I found my doctor, and he started doing tests on me. We did food allergy tests first. It showed that I was allergic to eggs. I was doing low carb, but I was eating tons of eggs, of course, a great source of protein. I also learned that I’m allergic to chicken, chicken meat. There were many things I was allergic to. So I was set on a new path of life and I started slowly finding what I could eat. When I cut out the things that were bothering me, I started doing better, but I still wasn’t doing good enough. Now, this is going to come back to organic farming. So my doctor said: “let’s do some chemical tests, let’s do some heavy metal tests.” Holy cow, we found stuff that was outlawed, when I was in my early twenties, that we had used on the farm. I was carrying it in my fat cells, Martin! For many years! I was always high energy, go go go guy. At 60 years old, I was in terrible shape, serious enough that I wondered how long I would make it.

ED: I’m kind of glad it happened. I mean, I wish it hadn’t happened, but I’m glad because I wouldn’t be talking to you today about this! So I started taking the farm to organic. If we put the minerals and compounds we need right in the food, in the soil, it comes back to our bodies, you see what I’m saying? It is a cycle. And if our soil is all fried from not being healthy, then the product grown from that soil is not healthy either. I’m not saying that everything that is not organic is bad, I’m not saying that. There are  some good products out there, but in general, if you’ve got unhealthy soil, you’re not going to have healthy fruit from that plant. And you’re not going to be healthy yourself from eating that. Is that clear?

MARTIN: Oh yeah, it is very clear! And now, of course, glyphosate, RoundUp, is a very popular thing with many farmers, and it is certified as an antibiotic! It kills the microbes in the soil, so it doesn’t let the plant extract as much mineralization out of the soil as it would have, and it also kills the microbes in the human gut, which means that the human cannot extract the nutrients from  the plant that he eats. So we, humans of the Western technological industrial revolution are running an experiment that is not going very well. We’re becoming weaker and sicker.

ED: Martin, if I can touch on that, and I’m always very cautious about this. I’m in this industry, I live in this industry. Right now we’re growing organic Pima cotton. Pima cotton is what you make your finer sheets with. We had a contract with a big spinner in Italy and we lost it because of this COVID thing. We’re still growing the crop, we’ll see what happens, I’m pretty sure they’ll start spending again and they’ll buy it from us at some point, but people ask, well, what is the advantage of organic cotton? Well, I can’t exactly tell you, but I can tell you we don’t have any RoundUp on it. Herbicides, fungicides, they are nasty stuff. I have a good friend at the university, he is a doctor, and he kept warning me: “Be careful with your fungicides. They will make you worse than anything you’re dealing with. Because they are killing certain bacteria, and if they don’t kill them, they only stopped the movement of them.” Our gut flora, and I don’t have to tell you, Martin, is full of friendly bacteria!

ED: I promise you, there is a whole set of doctors out there who would be laughing at you and I right now, scoffing at what we’re saying, but there is a whole sector of people that realize it and realize that our industrial revolution with some of these chemicals has taken us to a wrong place. Now, has it helped us produce and feed the starving world? Absolutely. That is why I’m cautious about being too hard. We don’t want to be so hard and arrogant, that we leave the third world country starving.

MARTIN: I would like to say that there is so much more to agricultural production and wisdom of getting a good yield from a field than herbicide, pesticide, and fertilizer. There are methods in organic farming that allow you to raise the yield to a very good level, without the use of the so-called industrial revolution stuff. You know, it is the intellectual revolution, the wisdom that you’re sharing here, that could feed the third world that you’re concerned about.

ED: I’m trying to make sure that I cover each thing as we’re going. You opened a very good door, Martin. The question is: can we produce high yields organically? The truth is if you look at the organic yields on a statistical level, yes, they’re smaller, that is why organic products cost more. This is where John Kemp comes in with advancing agriculture, listen to his podcasts, they are all about how to build healthy soil. If you got healthy soil, you got healthy plants!

ED: We have a problem in our field, a disease called Phytophthora capsici. It just consumes a pepper field. During monsoon, we get a lot of rain. People think of Arizona as the desert. What they don’t realize is that in 30 minutes we can have three inches of rain and water running six inches deep, all over a field! It happens every year. When that happened, with unhealthy soil and killing all bacteria with herbicides, we took all the good bacteria away, not all of them, but too many of them, and there were no soldiers to fight the disease. We had a perfect culture for a terrible disease, and we lost the crop. In 2010 and 2011, I lost half of my chili crop to this disease. It represented over a million bucks at the time. When we started going organic and working with John Kemp, we started going the other way. All these herbicides are just bandaids. What is not a bandaid is healthy soil. I say that with total passion! We are having less disease problem now that we’ve gone organic than we ever had with all the fungicides.

MARTIN: So let me ask it this way. As a farmer, are you more profitable as organic from the lesser input costs, or not?

ED: Well, farming is a nonprofit organization. We have processing plants, we have a dehydration facility, we also brine, we sell a brined product, both organic and regular, and then we freeze, so we do a few different food preservation things right here on the farm. In fact, a lot of universities come here to see us, because they can see, they can teach the young college students many different things at once, and I love it that way. We’re not huge, but we do a little bit of everything. But to your point – is it profitable? When I went organic, it started opening doors. Did it make us rich? No, but did it open some doors for better markets in some areas? Absolutely.

ED: But the point is, not everywhere. With some of the bigger companies, if their products are organic, it is organic because they send people there and they make sure it is organic. Many of your vegetables, just in a grocery aisle, it might say organic on it. But my broker tells me that with other companies, all they gotta do is pick up the phone and say: “Hey, can you make us organic?” It is a matter of a change in paperwork. I have heard this from other places in America, for whatever plants, whatever crop. Do you need to be organic? Oh sure, I can make it organic. I know a guy that went to jail for fraud in organics.

ED: In Missouri, a guy committed suicide last year or the year before, because they caught up with him. His corn was certified organic, but it was not, he and five neighbors were working together in this, they were scamming the world. They claimed that his corn tainted 25% of all organic corn in the United States, that is how big he had gotten. He was going to prison. He killed himself the night before going to prison. That is tragic, but there are more tragic points to this. We want to see people healthy. You, Martin, spend your life trying to help people. Me too! Our goal is to help people.

ED: Be careful buying organic dry beans. That thing is frauded from one end to the other. You know, what is legal, on dry beans? It is actually legal to desiccate them with RoundUp. That makes no sense to me! My neighbor and I have a bean processing plant, and we won’t eat the beans that we know have RoundUp on them.

MARTIN: The same thing happened to wheat, right? They are now spraying RoundUp on wheat two weeks before harvest, because wheat, as it is dying, just pushes all its energy into the grain, so they get higher yield and uniformly dry grain. This is why we have so many issues with wheat, maybe we are less gluten sensitive, but we are glyphosate intolerant because glyphosate causes massive damage to the gut.

ED: It is all about health. Martin, I can’t thank you enough for letting me have this opportunity to talk to you and your listeners, I enjoy these kinds of things, I love to talk about it. Let’s go back to my father, to 1952, back then, there was no organic label. So when herbicides came up, holy cow, we could be profitable, we could get rid of some weeds. Nobody knew it was unsafe, we were told it was safe. I remember sitting in church with my buddy, as a little boy, with herbicides all over our hands. We were told it was okay. And now at 64 years old, I’m still carrying the dang stuff in my body! You’ve helped me detox and understand detox, I thought detox was a joke, to be honest, Martin, I thought it was a joke until I almost died. So health means everything to me. So as I started deteriorating, thank goodness I found you and Dr. Rob. Through this process, I started understanding myself. That is why I’ve had in-depth talks with you. And then meeting John Kemp, everything started to make sense. What is healthy for the soil is healthy for Ed! So if it is healthy, it is healthy all the way through. I’m not saying every product sold out there by Beyer or Monsanto or whoever is bad. I’m not saying it is…

MARTIN: Yeah, but you can’t tell me they’re good. So just leave it alone.

ED: (laughing) I like to take this avenue because I don’t like to be so radical that I just rule everything out. But what I do rule in is health. My dad, and he is still alive now, look at where his farm is gone. He was basically farming organic back then, he just didn’t know it, it was just called farming. Then in came the fertilizers, everything that was being made synthetically, herbicides, fertilizers, all that, it made farming  more profitable, and we thought we were doing good because we were feeding the hungry world. Then all of a sudden people are getting sick! 

And I want to say this, I don’t want to forget this: a lot of our problems with our hormones go back to some fungicide or herbicide. Products that we were told are safe. Legally, we don’t know enough to prove it and shut them down. We can’t do it. They’re having trouble shutting down the RoundUp, they can’t quite prove it, but it is the carrier of the problem. If you look at the trends, you can see what is happening! We are hormonally messed up, and we’re getting more cancers, we’re getting all these problems because things are out of balance! Healthy soil equals a healthy life. Do you know how they used to say: happy wife, happy life? We can change it to healthy soil, happy life, happy wife, too!

MARTIN: I make a living when people start coming to me for the advice that we offer and for the products we offer. And I would like to lean on you on your credibility to sort of say: “Hey, here is how I found you to be different from the rest of what I’ve run into.”

ED: Well, Martin, that is easy. What you offer is a voice behind the product. You offer an explanation. So many times you go to buy a product, you read a little review on the internet or on the back of the bottle or whatever, and you make a very uneducated decision. Listen, guys, Martin spends hours and hours and hours studying his products. I’ve tried several new things you brought, I don’t even know how many, but I always say: “Martin, what’d you got new!” And Martin always says: “I’m studying this, or studying that.” Martin offers consultation, wisdom, understanding the product, understanding a person’s whole needs, what are they struggling with. That, to me, is the value that Life Enthusiast offers to us. I didn’t get on here to just be an advertisement, but Martin, I’m glad you asked that because you have helped me immensely. It is so great being able to just pick up the phone and call you.

MARTIN: We are a small business with real customer service and customer support. And we stand behind our products. It is the same thing as buying organic. There is a little extra cost, but it comes with health benefits. Oftentimes people come to me and say: “Oh, I can buy such and such for $30 over there, why is yours 60?” And my point is that the $30 item is going to be $30 wasted.

ED: That is well said. I’m in a small town, there are just a couple thousand people in a 15-mile radius here, Tucson is an hour and 20 minutes away, and we watched our small towns die because of Walmart. Originally Walmart was pro-USA, but after Sam Walton died, it became pro-China. That is a whole different subject, but the bottom line is you can go buy cheap, or you can try to take care of your local businesses! I want to support the guy that is putting energy into helping me understand what my problem is, whether it is a car mechanic or you for my body. As you can tell, Martin, I am pretty passionate about this whole subject. We’ve jumped around a lot, and I hope I gave you enough thread to pull through the idea of what we discussed.

MARTIN: My summary of this whole thing would be for people to understand that there is antecedence. What happens before something else has a consequence. The inputs will affect the outputs. So when you treat your soil right, you will have good products or good produce coming off of it. When you put good things into the body, you will probably get better outcomes, health-wise.

ED: You and I make our living with our minds, thinking. I’ve got to understand genetics really well to keep improving. Now, if we don’t eat right, we can’t think right! And we’ve got to be able to think right! I’ve never done pot, I’ve never drunk, I’ve never done any of that because I struggle with my mind being sharp as it is, and I want it sharp! I just recently had two hip surgeries. I want my surgeon to be thinking clear when he is doing the surgery. I want the anesthesiologist to think right. There is an old saying “I got a gut feeling.” One thing I’ve learned through this, and you’ve taught me this, is that our gut affects our thinking. And the average person doesn’t see that. I can tell you when I was at my worst and my gut was a mess, I was healing after this surgery, holy cow, I struggled to think! It wasn’t clear. I want my thinking to be clear. I believe our souls are our minds. Our spirit is our mind. If we feed our bodies well, we take care of our spirit and soul. That is a whole different subject, but I think it is all tied together!

MARTIN: Right on! So Ed, can people buy your organic chili?

ED: Right now, we don’t really per se sell organic, fresh products. We do sell some products to companies, like Santa Cruz Chili here in Arizona. Their products are not necessarily certified organic, but we are working to get a certified organic hot sauce. I got a bottle here to show you, the base product is grown in our field. Santa Cruz Chili, you can google their website and buy from there. That is not my company, that is my friend’s company. We don’t have our own label, but these are good people, they do a good job, I promise you. It is not certified organic, but it comes right out of our field. e don’t have our own label, but we are working on it. That is one of my goals, Martin.

MARTIN: So soon there will be a Chili by Curry. (laughing).

ED: (laughing) Yeah! Lastly, I wanted to mention that in 2018, I was elected chairman of the International Pepper Conference. It is a great honor, there are people way smarter than me, I only have a high school degree and this is a scientific organization. But this year, we had to cancel the conference, it was going to be here at the farm, and then at the University of Marriott in Tucson, Arizona on September 28th-30th. Because of COVID, we moved it to September 27th-29th 2021, there is a fee to it, so it is not free, but if somebody is highly interested in capsicum genetics, you’re going to find a lot of good information, and you can come to the farm and learn. It will be next year, in 2021. It has been a real honor to be elected to that position.

MARTIN: Indeed, it is wonderful that they finally recognize practical wisdom as a real value.

ED: Thank you for this time, Martin, it has been fun! I appreciate it.

MARTIN: I really salute you for the journey, and for the honest inquisitiveness that you bring to everything. Every one of our conversations is always amazing, talking about what things mean, and what is the question behind the question.

ED: Yeah. You used the word while ago that I never heard about, trying to teach people, what was that?

MARTIN: Oh, antecedence, that is a Latin word, ‘ante’ as in ‘before,’ and ‘cedence’ means something that precedes something else.

ED: Yeah. And I liked that because that is what we’re missing. You know, my granny died in 1997, she was 75 days away from being 100 years old. And she lived by herself until 99and a half. She would joke and say: I’m taking food to the old people. And it was comical, nobody was as old as she was! But when you look at what she ate, it didn’t have all this crap we eat today. She grew her food in gardens, she raised turkeys and sold them to people at Christmas time and Thanksgiving, and they were healthy animals, they were fed her homegrown corn and stuff that her husband raised, my grandfather, and they lived to be old, and they lived healthy with good thinking minds. Today, we don’t see that so much.

MARTIN: The wear is faster because we damage our resilience quicker. I actually see that with every succeeding generation, the resilience is lower, because the toxic burden is greater.

ED: Yeah, that toxic burden is real, it is a real deal. I hope I didn’t hurt you by saying that maybe not all the Monsanto products are bad…

MARTIN: No, I don’t really care how you speak of them, it is just that I have no respect left for the companies that introduce products into the market that they know have negative consequences, but hide those negative consequences because it would hurt their bottom line. They have been caught lying. There is a difference between the legal process and justice. What is legal is not necessarily what is moral. And I try to stand on the moral side of life. I am not innocent, you know…

ED: Well, none of us are. But your heart is right. It is the attitude. Several years ago, a whole bunch of people got poisoned by peanut butter. Remember that? There was a big fiasco in the peanut deal, and the CEO of a large peanut butter company, he had a problem. But you know what, you’ve got to stop and realize what is important – money or taking care of people.

MARTIN: Yeah. One part is that we don’t research it because we don’t want to know. The other part is we have researched it, we do know, but we don’t want you to know. Recently when the whole issue with DuPont came to light. For 30 years they have been lying about Teflon, and the mess they’ve left behind. They knew all along.

ED: Yeah, and this is the kind of stuff that affects planet Earth for a long time.

MARTIN: Anyway, so on that cheerful note, I would like to remind everyone that organic is good, and Ed Curry is an organic farmer! If you have questions and comments let us know in the comments! Ed, thank you for your time, it was a pleasure!

ED: Thank you, Martin! I’m honored to be a part of this. It is really fun.

MARTIN: Awesome, thank you! This is Life Enthusiast. We restore vitality to you and to the planet! Thank you for being with us today!

Author: Nina Vachkova
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