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.    

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