Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Food and Farm

It is a shame that many of us, even farmers, never make the connection between what we are doing out here on the farm, and the health of our neighbors.  All good health starts on some farm somewhere.  We as farmers are not producing commodities, we are producing food for good health.  This is a big obligation some farmers ignore altogether.

Many folks are making the direct connection between their health and what they put into their mouths each day.  Some may find it hard to believe that there are several populations across the world who consistently live healthy active lives way up into their nineties and some even older.  What is very clear is that these groups of people do not eat the traditional American diet.

No matter how good the medical professionals are that are treating our ills or how good we are at taking our prescribed medicines, if we don't fuel our bodies with good nutrition it could eventually lead to a disastrous ending.  I do not believe that most of the long list of modern so called diseases are somehow just by coincidence happening to a large percentage of our population during a time in our history when most of us live on drive thru junkfood, and pesticide laced, boxed, pasteurized, irradiated, highly processed frankenfoods.  

Statistics reveal now that over 40% of Americans will contract cancer.  And of the more common and serious immune deficiency diseases like diabetes, chrones disease, MS, heart disease, autism; these are taking a bigger share of us as well each year.  It should also be quite clear that medicine alone does not stop these and other serious diseases.  The key words here are immune deficiency.  Some people never put the facts together that a great deal of our immunity, if not almost all, begins in our gut.  The way that we grow, process, package, and cook food products has a very large determinate on our bodies abilities to create a quantifiable amount of immunity.  It is in our gut, through the consumption of natural foods, that our antibodies begin their magic.  When we continue to dump trash where nutrients are required, the system begins a shut down or failure we tend to call disease.  It appears to me that many of todays so called cures are simply treating the symptoms of what these immune deficiency diseases display. 

Once we begin to learn about this necessity for good health we soon realize how difficult eating well really is.  Our family puts a lot of effort into eating well.  We try and avoid most processed foods.  We want as many fresh vegetable, not canned, as we can  each day.  Even though we sell the highest quality grass fed meats in the world, we don't recommend that we eat but 4 to 6 ounces per day.  This is very hard for us to do.  We want some kind of raw fruit each day as well.  I would prefer that we never eat anything that comes in a box, has more than three listed ingredients on the label, and none that I can't pronounce.  No gluten, white rice or flour, nothing pasteurized, hydrogenated, or containing High Fructose Corn Syrup, MSG, or vegetable oil.  I feel like I have the energy I had when I was 25 years old after eating good quality liver from grass fed animals.  We now know that animal fats are indeed the healthy fats instead of the highly processed vegetable fats.  I also like to have my daily fix of raw milk and fermented foods as often as I can.  We are the first to admit that this is all very hard to do in our society even when we are trying.  You can only imagine what one's diet would be if he has not taken his nutrition seriously. 

I have heard many people say they can not afford to eat quality food.  This is so, so wrong,  The nutrients in processed, boxed foods always arrive in the most expensive form available even when you do not factor in the negative health and ecological costs.  What these people are really saying is that they do not want to take the time to cook.  It is much easier to stop for fast food or simply nuke something in the microwave, but it is also the most expensive food available.  I venture to say that eating real food is less than half the cost of processed junk.  A bag of brown beans, wild rice, or a bag of non GMO potatoes could feed Napoleon's army for pennies.  Throw in some soup bones with marrow and you've got efficiency and high nutrition.  It cost less to put together a meat loaf or a beef stew for an entire family than what it cost to feed one person at Micky Ds'.  Shopping at the big box stores down the center isles, even using their coupons, will cost everyone more in food costs and poor health.

I urge you to begin, if not already, to start learning about the importance of maintaining our good health through good nutrition.  I am convinced it is impossible to have good health without this awareness.  And the Holmes family needs as much encouragement as anyone else in this area.  How our children see us act around our dining tables in our home is probably going to be how they feed your grandchildren later on.  I do not want my grand babies to be in that 40% of Americans mentioned above.  The medical report that told us our babies born today have a shorter life expectancy than their parents should have stopped the earth from spinning.  Instead many of us just order one more extra large order of fake french fries to go on the way home.    

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Modern System of Food Production

The modern system of food production, product development and approval, and the act of getting a packaged widget on the shelf for the consumer no longer requires humane standards of ethics, honor, or the reality of actually having sensible value.  In order to advance a product of most any category, in today’s system, requires that it must pass two very non human and objective standards.  One of the standards is at the scientific level and the other is at the legal, or regulatory levels set by the court system.  Irregardless whether the product actually has value, or can do anything whatsoever, if it can muster what it takes to get through these two gate keepers the customer may find this new item on the shelf.

We have been lead to believe that both the scientific approval and legal approval process yields a non subjective point of view.  But simply because decisions and choices are made prior, during, and subsequent to the drafting of the documents that guide the product through each of these individual processes yields an outcome that resembles nothing of being objective.  And because industry has determined and witnessed the fast track available to corporate powers when these two separate processes are combined, each has learned to depend on the other for support and existence.

This can be exemplified in a quite grotesque manner.  Let’s say a very powerful and financially capable institution deemed it appropriate to collect and market animal feces as a human food product.  One of the first steps might be to higher a scientific laboratory, or better yet build a company lab with company paid technicians, to provide evidence that this product does indeed contain nutrition.  Now since feces is organic it will have some kind of nutrient base.  Now that it passed test number one they go forward.  So the scientist may decide since pasteurization of products in the past have deemed even the nastiest tissues known to mankind as having value, this is the road they take.  The product is then taken to high temperatures to reduce the pathogen levels below the predetermined levels and allowable levels previously set by other scientists and approved in the legal system mentioned above. 

The scientist then feed this new product to a few unsuspecting lab rats in which only a modest percentage actually die over the test period.  And even only a smaller number become infected with dangerous diseases.  These tests conclude that the number of deaths and illnesses are acceptable according to their legal council and certainly not a threat to their economical benefits when averages of future sales profits are compared to possible court room litigation.  A new test run on nutrient averages is accomplished so that a pre-approved label can be affixed to the container and soon we have a new food product on the shelf. 

Most all of this being accomplished simultaneously by the in house legal council of the corporation based on strict legal precedent set by governmental regulatory oversight and a highly esteemed court system.  And of course the documentation traveling back and forth between these entities, that are the scientists and the lawyers, is primarily written at a professional level that is designed to complicate issues and delay any obstruction that might prevent or slow down the success of the financial enterprise paying for all this flimflam artistry.  After all they have an altruistic and godly destination to feed the world because the world supposedly can’t feed itself.

So the feces is pasteurized, packaged and labeled with its organic nutrient content, stamped with a USDA approval button, shipped in a legally approved manner and placed on the shelf of the biggest grocers across the country.  Mothers and housewives push their grocery carts up and down the isle, stop and pick up this new highly advertised nutrient dense, colorfully packaged, Organic labeled, wonder food to take home for their family’s evening meal.  Throughout all this process all regulations and laws were adhered to.  This product passed all the scientific procedures and met all legal requirement set by law.  When in reality the best place for this product would be the compost pile.  This because no human ethical, moral, or honorable standards were used in bringing this product to market no one was allowed to ask if it should be done.  And no matter what tests have been run or what legal stamp is placed on that package it will never be more than a big pile of sh-t. 

If you think this is totally absurd and impossible please take the time today to do a little research on what contaminants, heavy metals, pesticides, rodent parts and feces, etc. are legally allowed in today’ modern food products.          

Monday, January 17, 2011

What Deficit?

Many States, if not most, and the Feds are spinning in their plush offices spouting off about the need to raise taxes because their is a deficit between what is being brought in and what they are spending.  I have been dealing with this kind of deficit in my own household for over 35  years.  And when I kept spending the spread just got worse.  When I made more money, I generally just spent more.  Balance only comes when I control my spending and don't over extend.  These government officials are not dealing with a deficit, they are simply over spending.  A great deal of this over spending can be attributed to our own wants and desires, just like in our households, that we voted for and keep demanding.  Let me explain.

If my household chose to take on the financial responsibility of all the other households on my road, I too would have a serious deficit.  Each one of these neighbors must be personally responsible for maintaining their own.  This doesn't mean we can't help our neighbors when we can, and or share the responsibility of building new or repair the fences that join our properties.  This also doesn't mean we need to employ a State or Federal agency to control every activity or take our combined earned dollars and then dole it back out to these neighbors in a way the officials think is best.  And this is exactly what we have now put our State and Federal agencies in charge of doing. 

It is quite clear that the original designers of our political structure intended on government being a very small part of our lives.  There are two groups of people that this is in contradiction to.  The first is a combined self serving, arrogant, money hungry, narrow minded, group made up of the officials that are primarily in office for extravagant earnings, and the population that shares the spoils by helping keep these officials in their position.  The second group of people are the ones who have little to no desire to take the responsibility required of them and actually work, do what they say they will do, and stop searching for the free tickets the first group promised them.  These two subsets of the population actually make up a very small part of our country.  Most of us leave for work each day, pay all the taxes, put out a great deal of effort at being a responsible citizen, and are also the ones that keep voting this system along the way each year making it harder and harder for us and easier and easier for them. 

Did you every stop to consider that maybe the political system, all governments, have been given to much money already?  If you are in the habit of providing your child with an allowance of maybe just a few dollars a week for doing chores around the house, you might see some success.  But if you gave that child one half of your annual salary for keeping his room clean, he would eventually ask for the other half just to take out the garbage.  And he probably wouldn't do a good job of either one after he was paid.  That is until he had spent all the allowance you gave him on frivolous stuff.  Sound familiar?

The Illinois Governor just signed a 66% increase in State income tax.  There are more people paying more taxes to that State, and all other States as well, than anytime in history.  Our taxes should be going down not up.  This State and all others are simply spending more.  Under this system there is no top tax rate.  It will always keep going up, until the whole country goes down.  The Governor of Minnesota recommends a tax on the wealthy for its over spending deli ma.  This makes a lot of sense, tax those more who 'do' work and have learned how to budget.  Good way to promote progress Governor.

Our local court system in Greene County spent untold amounts on prosecuting a family farm for selling raw milk.  It appeared the Prosecuting Attorney had a personal vendetta and was using the government's tax dollars unwisely even some of the cost paying for a trial by jury.  Of course the judge eventually through it out, but only after one and half years later and who knows how many tax dollars were wasted.  I contend this type of system has already collected more allowance than it deserved.  Instead of spending wisely on real crimes like burglary, theft, illegal drugs, murders, rape, and the list can go on and on, this system had so much money laying around in its piggy bank it chose a farm family to attack.  What a system.

This type of frivolous spending goes on everyday in every State of the Union and surely every hour in our Federal buildings.  They have no deficit.  They simply have so much money they have gotten heavy handed on the check book and no longer feel responsible to the very people contributing to their system.  And as citizens we must begin correcting our mistakes by first becoming responsible for our actions, and our votes for these candidates.  Government should be almost invisible in our daily lives instead of controlling it.  To expect a law or ordinance to control and protect every move we make is a childish perspective.  I believe the best thing to happen in our system is for the report to come back to us that the piggy bank ran out and they can no longer pay for all this fluff we have allowed in the past.  Maybe only then can we realize all we ever needed that system for was to simply take out the trash and keep their rooms clean.  If we leave it up to them, they will eventually own the entire house and we will be sleeping in the alley.  Don't think this isn't already happening.