Tag Archives: real milk

A GREAT article on raw milk

Check this one out, by Ted Beals, MD “Those Pathogens, What You Should Know“.

I personally love bacteria, especially lactic-acid producing bacteria…the ones I teach folks to grow in the process of lacto-fermentation..and culturing!

For more great info about real raw milk, see www.realmilk.com and the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund. And if you care about your right to choose what food you eat and where you purchase it, JOIN the FTCLDF!



Filed under Food, raw milk

“Real Food 101″, aka,”Real Food for Dummies” or Top 5 Things You Can Do for Your Health

I have been meeting many people along the way on our trip across the country from Maryland to Wyoming and Colorado and back again. We have passed through Maryland, PA, WV, OH,  IN, IL, IO, NE, WY, CO, SD, MN, WI, and now we are on our way to IN and MI. In addition to everyone I met and had the privilege of teaching at my Cooking for Well-Being conference in Colorado, I am having wonderful conversations with folks about real food and good health. All sorts of people are being introduced to Nourishing Traditions and the Weston A. Price Foundation, realmilk.com, the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund and the Nourishing Our Children Campaign. Makes me so happy to be spreading the good word about all this good food!

My husband Franklin Taggart calls me an “inspirer”: someone who calls people to realize what they are capable of…and shows them that they “have the goods to do what they need to do”. I must say I love to inspire people to good health, good food, and help to provide them with the tools, techniques and resources to “take their power back”: their power to eat well and be well…to decide where they purchase their food and from whom (from the Food Industrial Complex with all of its implications for the health of the people and the Earth or from farmers, farmers markets, CSAs, etc etc) …(Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm has been reminding us that we “vote with our pocketbooks” when we choose our food. Who are you/we voting for today?!)

So along the way I have had questions from friends, family and acquaintances which are really  the same question: “what can I do that would be easy *and* high impact?” So I have come up with the top 5 things anyone can do that are simply a “switcheroo”, involve no training or classes, or menu changes. Just swap what you are using now with the following, and the nutrient density of your food will go up. In my private practice with clients of all ages and in my own life, I have seen hunger decrease,  thought become less foggy, children become more focused, weight drop off, and cholesterol levels beautify. (For information on the cholesterol myth, see Uffe Ravnskov, The Cholesterol Myth as well as Dr. Mercola’s Huffington Post article on the same.)

And so, the top five:

1. Use real salt. Throw out that Morton’s salt and purchase some salt that is high in trace minerals. Celtic Sea Salt from the Grain and Salt Society is highest in trace minerals, so I use that. Just check out the label…all “sea salt” is not the same. If they can tell you about the trace mineral content on the label, you’ve got a good one.

2. Use pastured eggs. Swap out supermarket eggs, free range eggs, organic eggs, or eggs fed “vegetarian feed” for eggs from hens *on pasture*. Buy them from a farmer or the farmer’s market, or from your CSA. Chickens are omnivores; the most nutritious eggs will be those from hens that eat a good amount of bugs! (Just check the color of the yolks…eggs from chickens that eat bugs are bright, deep orange…if your yolks are light yellow or the whites runny, they *are not* nutrient dense eggs!)

3. Use pastured butter, aka, butter from cows that eat grass. Don’t rest on your laurels and think the term “organic butter” is enough. “Organic” says nothing about whether the cows ate grass. Look for “pasture butter” from Organic Valley, or Trickling Springs Farm in the DC metro area. Look for butter at the farmers market , or get some *real cream* and make your own. (Butter has the perfect fatty acid profile. Stop slurping that fish oil and pile on the good old fashioned grass-fed butter!)

4. (If you eat bread at all) Eat sprouted bread or a true sourdough bread. There are several brands on the market that make sprouted bread, sprouted bagels, sprouted English muffins. Find a baker that makes real sourdough, or make it yourself! (Be sure you slather on the pastured butter, as it will help to neutralize the rest of the phytic acid that has not been neutralized by sprouting. For more on phytic acid, see  Living with Phytic Acid)

5.Eat grass-fed meat and poultry. The nutrient profile is very different for meat and poultry that is raised on pasture. Far more nutritious for you, better for the animal and for the planet. (All meat is not the same–comparing meat from animals raised in the Food Industrial Complex with meat from animals raised on pasture is like comparing apples and oranges–)

Okay, that’s the beginning. We’ll call it  “real food for dummies” or, “real food 101”. I am not going to go into fresh, raw milk at this time, as so many people in our country do not have access to it. (To find out about the state of raw milk in your state, check out the map on the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund’s website or check out www.realmilk.com) I am not going to go into fermentation or soaking your beans and grains, or making your own stock. That’s for level 2. Take it easy. Go slowly. One step at a time.


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FDA, Keep Your Hans off My Teats We went to Capitol Hill yesterday, yes, we did…my raw milk buying club…and lots of other folks…400 or so of them, from as far away as California (thank you, Mark McAfee of Organic Pastures)…to protest the FDA ARMED RAID on our FARMER, Dan Allgyer. Our Amish farmer. What did Dan do? He was milking our cow who lives in Pennsylvania and delivering the milk to me and my club members who live in Maryland.

Let me be clear, folks. This was not a raid conducted in the name of “food borne illness”. No one has ever been sick from Dan’s milk.

FDA officials insist milk needs to be inspected and pasteurized to guarantee its safety.  Raw milk proponents flatly deny the claim, saying raw milk is much safer than the pasteurized version and want the government to back down.

“There’s no record in the CDC of any raw milk killing anyone,” said Mark McAfee of Organic Pastures Dairy. “But you see pasteurized milk sickening 422,000 people and 20 deaths — and 80 people if you look at miscarriages.” (See full article HERE)

Mrs. Moo on the HillIt was a raid because the FDA considers our club’s milk “contraband”, crossing over the state line from a state where producing, selling, and consuming raw milk is LEGAL, that is, Pennsylvania, to a state where it is illegal, that is, Maryland. However, the FDA doesn’t have a case, because that is not contraband, it is OUR MILK from our cows.

So, we went to Washington yesterday. Capitol Hill. Upper Senate Park, with the Capitol in the background. Beautiful day. And Mrs. Moo (a beautiful cow) came to Washington, too. And she was milked on the Hill, in the District of Columbia, where producing and selling raw milk is also illegal.  We consumed some raw milk, too. (Drank it “at our own risk” , according to the signs.) I got to pour gallons of that liquid gold and hand it out to eagerly waiting hands. Children and parents, reporters and lawyers, cameramen and women, speakers and organizers…and they ALL LOVED it.Monica pouring raw milk on the Hill

I say “liquid gold” because it is so. The color of the milk reflects the spring grass the cows have been eating. I also say “liquid gold” because it represents a strong challenge to the Dairy Industrial Complex in this country. The Dairy Industrial Complex (DIC for short) doesn’t like raw milk and it doesn’t like people like me to purchase it directly from my farmer. More and more people are doing so every year, according to Sally Fallon Morell yesterday. The number of people drinking pasteurized milk are decreasing steadily, as the numbers drinking raw milk rise. If this keeps up, the DIC will cease to exist. It will go out of business. And that is EXACTLY what they are afraid of.

So they intimidate people and play on their fears of getting sick from E. coli and other harmful bacteria and they (the DIC) and the FDA and the CDC perpetuate the false information and the misinformation about the health benefits of raw milk. The truth is, folks, that we are comparing apples and oranges. When the FDA and the CDC scare you out of drinking raw milk by telling stories of illness, they are not giving you accurate information. Raw milk is not even in the top 10 foods that cause food-borne illness in this country. What is? Chicken! (see FTCLDF)

Yes, pasteurization was developed in response to people getting sick and dying from drinking raw milk. But that  milk was contaminated milk, from sick cows. Why were the cows sick? Because they were raised in what I daresay was one of the original CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations) …in cement buildings in cities, with no fresh air, no sunlight, NO GRASS, no room to move, and NO SANITATION. Not to mention that they were fed things cows should not eat. NO WONDER the milk was bad and caused illness and death. But one CANNOT COMPARE that milk to milk from COWS RAISED ON GRASS. In the sunlight. On the pasture. THE WAY COWS ARE SUPPOSED TO LIVE. Not to mention the fact that RAW MILK IS LEGAL in many states in these United States. Legal and certified. Facilities inspected for cleanliness and cows inspected for health. Clean, pure, health-full, enzyme rich, lactase containing, delicious raw milk. And people in those states aren’t dying off in droves. Hmmmmmmmm. Very interesting. In fact, it is only illegal in 10 or so states.  (See Raw Milk Nation: State by State Review of Raw Milk Laws from FTCLDF)

There is much at stake here, folks. Our FREEDOM OF CHOICE…Freedom to choose what food we eat and where we purchase it… and from whom we purchase it.  DIRECT FARM TO CONSUMER SALES. Our rights.  Our HEALTH. Someone said at the Rally for Food and Farm Freedom yesterday, “if it were up to the FDA, we (those who want to eat real food) would either starve or die of chemical poisoning.” Which is of course, what much of America is doing. Dying of the chemical soup the FDA allows in our food. Dyes, food additives, food “fractions”, “food products”. Is it a wonder that so many American children are obese? Are diabetic? Hmmmmmmmm.  The kids at that rally were not obese. Not diabetic. Don’t suffer from ADD and ADHD. Are not on the autistic spectrum. Their moms are feeding them REAL FOOD. REAL milk. RAW milk. “Children who start out on raw milk are very healthy children, as all of you know. They don’t have asthma, they don’t have allergies, they don’t miss days at school, they don’t get sick, they don’t have digestive problems,” said Sally Fallon Morell at the rally, to applause and cheers.

Just a few parting thoughts…thanks to the organizers, Liz Reitzig and Karine. Thanks to all the speakers for their wisdom. Thanks to my Honey for designing the T shirts you see in all the photos “FDA LEAVE MY FARMER AND MY RAW MILK ALONE” as a fundraiser for our farmer. (If you would like to purchase a T shirt and support Dan, click HERE.) Thanks to the FARM TO CONSUMER LEGAL DEFENSE Fund. Thanks to the WESTON A. PRICE FOUNDATION. Thanks to Sally Fallon Morell. And thanks to Dan Allgyer of Rainbow Acres, our brave and honest farmer, a good man, for all his hard work in raising our cows. We support you and are with you.

And one more thought…if we wait for someone else to do what we know needs to be done, it will never get done. Take part in this RAW MILK REVOLUTION folks. As Sally said yesterday, “There’s no force on earth greater than the educated, committed consumer, and passionate moms.” (Which, as you all know, I am one.)

…stay tuned…more photos to come.


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the jig is up! Happy Meals not so happy for any of us


I started out with the intention of writing about “food fractions” today…and it appears that McDonald’s–yes, the Golden Arches–has given a perfect intro.

I’ve been talking about this for years…a while back, my Honey told me of a blog he came across where a woman carried around a regular McDonald’s hamburger in her purse for 12 YEARS and it never decomposed. No mold. No deterioration at all. Can you believe it?! But that didn’t get as much press as this one…

If you have ever wondered why you should cook and serve REAL food to your families, especially your CHILDREN, here’s one good reason. It’s finally out… Happy Meals don’t decompose! Do we want to feed this to our children? Do we think this could be at all nutritious and promote thriving and good health? Do we even have to wonder why our children are plagued with allergies, eczema, or over-tired/always wired? How about the inability to focus? ADD? AD/HD? We cannot expect our children to function optimally if they are not given the resources to do so. And INSTEAD of FEEDING THEM REAL FOOD and giving their bodies/minds/spirits a chance to COME TO BALANCE, our medical culture is promoting drugs instead. Let’s not even BEGIN to talk about CHILDHOOD DIABETES and OBESITY. Do ya wonder? Can ya wonder? McDonald’s is not serving FOOD. The problem is, hardly anyone else out there is, either.

Okay, maybe I am being too hard. McDonald’s does serve lettuce and tomatoes, albeit conventionally grown and therefore most probably laden with chemical pesticides, fungicides, and fertilizers. (Chemical soup for the diet! One more thing contributing to the toxic load the body has to deal with!) And McDonald’s ISN’T THE ONLY ONE serving what I call “food fractions“. Even those gourmet restaurants use buckets of food fractions with long lists of ingredients! Food fractions are components of food that are isolated in a lab or processing plant, and then mixed together and served up as “food”. (Can you see the cauldron or mad scientist…hear the pipe organ behind the scene? No, really, I am sure the current Food Industrial Complex meant well, in the interest of speed, production, and money…it’s just that OUR HEALTH has suffered!) An easy food fraction to identify is called an “isolate” (e.g., soy protein isolate). You can recognize food fractions because they are usually more than 3 syllables and are very hard to pronounce. Another red flag is when there are more than 5  ingredients on the label. Having a label at all should set off warning bells to take a look at the ingredient list!

So………is this food? The answer is NO. Michael Pollan has talked about it in In Defense of Food and Omnivore’s Dilemma and continues to talk about it.  Nina Planck has talked about it in REAL Food.  The Weston A. Price Foundation has been talking about it non-stop since it was inspired and birthed by Sally Fallon Morell in the late 1990’s…and they will continue the conversation at this year’s Wise Traditions conference in King of Prussia, PA November 12-15. Joel Salatin talks about it in The Sheer Ecstasy of Being a Lunatic FarmerSLOW FOOD began in Italy years ago to counter the Fast Food Movement in the US…How about Fast Food Nation? FRESH: The Movie…There are many more out there pointing the way back to REAL Food. Nourishing, traditional food.

We cannot feed our children (or ourselves) food fractions and expect them to be well. This is ersatz food, FAKE FOOD, stuff that looks like food, smells like food (how about those chemical flavor factories in my home state of NJ? can’t say I’m proud of that!)  and even tastes like food…but IS NOT REAL FOOD. ( I challenge you to stop eating the stuff for a month and see if you can go back to eating it again…your taste buds will be able to taste the difference after only 30 days hiatus!)

What does REAL food look like? To state the obvious, REAL FOOD LOOKS LIKE FOOD! REAL food is minimally processed. It is as close to the source as possible. For example, oats and oatmeal, vs “Honey Bunches of Oats” or “Whole Grain Cheerios”. Read “high in sugar” and “processed”. I cannot even RECOGNIZE an OAT in either of those cereals! Can you? Really? REAL food starts with the highest quality ingredients that are prepared in a way that maximizes nutrition for the body. The ingredients are fresh, local, sustainably raised, organic or biodynamic. Meats are from animals raised on pasture, or “grass-fed”. The fats are traditional fats: lard, tallow, pastured butter, animal fats, coconut oil and olive oil. The dairy is from cows that are raised on pasture, which has not been subjected to heat (i.e., pasteurized) or homogenization. It is certified raw dairy. Or if you are unfortunate enough to live in a state where fresh milk is illegal (can you believe it?? In the land of the free?) it is cultured, pasteurized dairy.  There are no additives, flavorings, colorings, or preservatives. The food has not been subjected to high heat or pressure. (Read most things that are canned.) Therefore, it’s molecular structure is still intact and its enzymes are still alive.

Basically, stay out of what I call “THE DEAD ZONE” in the grocery store. Heck, stay out of the grocery store! (Okay, now I’ve gone off the deep end, right?!) Get your food from coops, CSAs, farmers markets, wholesale clubs…grow some yourself. If you are going to shop in the grocery store, and many of us must…read your labels, and stay on the perimeter as much as possible.

Enough said.

Start feeding your children, your family and yourselves REAL Food. Nourishing, traditional food. Try it for 3 months. Heck, try it for 1 month, I dare ya! You will start feeling better, symptoms and allergies will subside…the ability to focus will follow. If you don’t know how to cook nourishing, traditional food, REAL food, come to a class…or watch for my cookbook, due out by the WAPF conference–mid November.

If you won’t cook for yourself, cook for your children. I teach a series of Cooking for Well-Being Classes called REAL Foods for Thriving Children. I am starting a new series in Oakton, VA on Tuesday mornings 10/19.  I also teach a series called small changes: BIG impact–REAL food to Balance Children on the Autistic Spectrum and with AD/HD. I am teaching this series in Great Falls, VA on Saturday mornings. Check the Schedule of Classes for details. All of these classes are open to everyone. You do not have to have a child to benefit. THE TECHNIQUES ARE UNIVERSAL. And if time is tight and you would like to learn it all in one day, come to the Wise Traditions conference in November and sign up for an all-day class with me on Monday, November 15. All the techniques and all the timing to fit this food into your busy life! Just come!

As always, I look forward to teaching you how to cook nourishing, traditional food! REAL food! 🙂

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