Tag Archives: Sally Fallon Morell

Beans at High Altitudes!

beans-in-colander

A long time ago…more than six years now, I published a chart that summarized how to soak beans…which “neutralizers” for which beans, how long to soak them, at what temperature water, and how to cook them. I gleaned the information from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. When I asked Sally to review my chart for accuracy, she said that I had missed the baking soda. “Baking soda”?! There was no mention of baking soda in her chapters on beans! Yikes! Sally provided me with a report to read through on how to make beans more easily digested  that had been published in Wise Traditions, the journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation. In order to make my soaking chart accurate, I needed to include baking soda as one of the neutralizers for specific types of beans. So I updated the chart, got her “thumbs up”, and had it printed. My chart is called “Preparing Whole Grains and Legumes for Ease of Digestion and  Nutrient Availability“. It has been available on my website since 2010. It is hand-illustrated and hand-lettered, and it has well served many people around the world since then.

As some of you know, I moved to Colorado in 2011. I now live at almost 5,000 feet, after living at sea level for all of my life until then. Living at high altitude demands some changes in the kitchen. One of those changes has been in cooking beans. Now, while we are not big bean eaters in my house, I do soak beans for chili, and lentils for soup, etc. I have found the easiest way to make the perfect beans at high altitude. I shared that information in my latest post on Selene River Press, in “Perfect Beans at 5,000 Feet“. You can find that article here. I hope you enjoy it!

 

Order your own Bean and Grain Chart!

Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon Morell

 

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Making pate’ for 200 at Fourfold Healing

So I received a call last Monday that I needed to make pate’ for about 200 people on Thursday for the Fourfold Path to Healing conference in Baltimore. I thought, “Fun! Fun! Fun!” and so it was.

After a flurry of calculations and number crunching, I extended the recipes I had. (Most people don’t know that chefs need to be mathematicians too!) Ordered 20 pounds of beef liver and 17 pounds of pork liver and everything needed, and I was off to Baltimore.

Here are some of the photos from growing those recipes. And yes, it was so much fun. AND delicious!! (“Delightful” one woman said, “best pate’ I have ever had” said another…and from Sally Fallon Morell, “really good”. Thanks, all! ) and special thanks to dear friend and “right arm”, Susan Lucas, who was with me through it all!)

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FDA’s ARMED RAID on my FARMER

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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a 99 cent sausage is not a sausage

It is quite interesting these days, folks, food is not food. I continue to be amazed at how easily we are allowing ourselves to have the proverbial wool pulled over our eyes multiple times a day…almost everywhere we look.

Today we drove by a 7 Eleven, which boasted “sausage biscuit 99 cents” on a very large sign. Oy. Looks like a great deal, a sausage biscuit for less than a dollar. What do you think is in that sausage? Hmmmmmm. And what do you think is in that biscuit? Used to be that a sausage biscuit could be a health-full breakfast option. 7 Eleven is banking on your remembering it fondly. I can almost smell the sage sausage cooking and see the flaky biscuit it sits on. (You can bet this bargain biscuit was not made with good for you lard, like your grandma used to make!)

“Sausage healthy?!” you ask. “She surely is mistaken.” But alas, I am not. A sausage is not a sausage, and a 99 cent sausage from 7 Eleven is surely not healthy. First of all, as cheap as it is, I would bet the sausage is made of pork parts you would rather not be eating, if you knew which part of the pig from which they came. Next, this 99 cent sausage has to be from a pig that was raised in a CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operation)–otherwise known as CAGES where pigs are concerned. (I know I cannot feel good about eating any animal that has been raised in a cage, a crate, on concrete, or in any other way that is contrary to their specific “animal-ness”. For more information about an animal expressing their animal-ness, see Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm who talks about it all the time.) Don’t want to even guess what was in that pig’s fed. And hmmm, I would also bet that a good bit of that thing they are calling “sausage” is made up of soy protein…GMO soy protein, to boot. How about the preservatives and nitrates and nitrites? So there are quite a few problems with that “sausage”. I would venture to say it is not a sausage at all. A FAR CRY from sausage that is a) all pork, and b) raised on on pasture (or woods, really. Pigs like that best.) A 99 cent sausage is not sausage. Neither is al lot of other sausage out there. Know your sources, folks. You get my point.

And let’s talk a bit about that FAT issue that is going through your mind–I can see it now. Fat from pigs raised sustainably is good fat. It is health-full fat, and it is good for you. The “diet dictocrats” as Sally Fallon Morell would call them want you to think that saturated fat and eggs are bad for your health. It couldn’t be further from the truth! Your brain and your heart are saturated fat dependent organs, (according to Tom Cowan, M.D. at the Fourfold Path to Healing Conference, 2011) and every cell in your body is made up of saturated fat. It is necessary for all sorts of functions in the body, from cell membranes to lung surfectant, to kidneys and  your brain. Saturated fat makes up the largest percentage of breast milk, our first food. “Human physiology does not change as our bodies grow”, according to Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. And our nutrient needs do not change as we grow older. So eat that nitrate-free, sustainably raised sausage. And bacon, too. Liberally. And with relish, so to speak. 🙂

Let’s look into a few more foods which are not what they seem to be.

On the right, a Polyface egg...

Eat pastured eggs! You can tell by the dark orange yolk that the egg on the right is nutrient-dense! It's from POLYFACE Farm.

An egg is not an egg. Whether teaching my Cooking for Well-Being cooking classes or giving a talk at a school PTA meeting on foods for healthy children, I find myself needing to illuminate again the understanding that “an egg is not an egg”. Eggs have been demonized throughout American culture for decades now, and I must say that I am disappointed that we continue to lump all eggs into one basket, so to speak. They are just not the same. One cannot compare the nutrient value of an egg produced by a hen expressing her “chicken-ness” as Joel Salatin would say, to those in an egg from a chicken who is prohibited to do so. Eggs from chickens living in battery cages stacked on top of one another and eating fortified grain (and grain filled with GMO soy and a host of other unsavory, not good for you things, I might add) , and prohibited from eating bugs, produce a very different nutrient profile. What goes IN determines what comes OUT .  The nutrient profile and nutrient density of eggs produced in these two dramatically different environs simply cannot be the same. An egg IS NOT an egg. But those who tell you not to eat eggs do not mention this and don’t want you to think about it. They would prefer that you not see, not look, not compare…so you may continue to be “hoodwinked” and believe that “all eggs are not good for you”. Couldn’t be farther from the truth, folks.

Let’s look together at milk. All milk IS NOT created equal. This comes up a lot when people come to me to talk about children with food allergies and seasonal allergies, and lots of colds and sinus infections. They have had their children tested and their children are “allergic to dairy”. And for years I have been asking them-“which dairy”? Cow dairy? Goat dairy? or sheep dairy? and most cannot tell me, because their doctor or allergist did not tell them. They don’t even know which dairy their children were tested for. But then “the kicker”–they are lumping pasteurized milk in with raw milk. Milk is not milk, folks. What  is currently being sold as milk is not milk at all. Different nutrient profile. Different nutrient density. No lactase to digest the lactose. Denatured protein. From cows fed GRAIN (unless you check for grass-fed) and let’s not even talk about the hormones! So simply said, organic or not, grass-fed or not, pasteurized milk is not the same as raw milk. It is not the same as milk the way nature intended it to be. It is not the same as it was designed to be as it is produced by cows.  But the dairy industry and the FDA want you to believe it is. Because if you knew, if you REALLY knew what is in that pasteurized milk, and what has happened to the proteins in the milk as a result of pasteurization, you would not drink that milk. And you certainly would not serve it to your children.

Certified raw milk is full of live enzymes, lactase to break down lactose (which is why “lactose-intolerant” folks can often drink raw milk with ease of digestion) and healthy bacteria, which is REQUIRED for good health. Heck, raw milk will even heal wounds. When raw milk goes sour, you can continue to use it, continue to drink it, as it has healthfully soured. (Contrast with soured pasteurized milk which can make you very sick. Pasteurization not only kills enzymes and denatures proteins in milk, it also kills both good and bad bacteria. And the “bad bacteria” is left in the milk for you to drink. Dead bad bacteria in every gulp. Yuck.)

While we are at it, let’s take a look at salt. Yep, you guessed it. Salt is not salt. All salt is not created equal. Everyone tells you, cut down on salt. Especially those with high blood pressure. Well…yes. Cut down on sodium chloride, good ole NaCl. The salt with the girl with the umbrella on the container. Kosher salt. Heck, any salt that is not full of trace minerals IS suspect. We NEED THOSE TRACE MINERALS. So be sure to use a sea salt, ancient sea bed salt, or celtic salt that is chock full of minerals. Every cell needs them. Every day. So don’t be fooled again…use that celtic salt. AND be sure to use it when cooking for your children. They need minerals too!

MC eating butter

Ahhh, just enough pastured butter. Delish!

Let’s not forget BUTTER. Mmmm mmm yum. Everyone I remind about the health benefits of pastured butter thanks me profusely. People LOVE butter. And for good reason: grass-fed butter is just plain good for you. And I am not talking about L___ O’ Lakes. I am not even talking organic butter. Because one more time with feeling… all butter IS NOT alike. Butter from pastured cows has a perfect fatty acid profile. That means if you eat enough of it, you may be able to stop popping those fish oil capsules. Can you believe it? And good butter, grass-fed butter, is a wonderful fat to cook with, add to those SOAKED grains you serve, and slather on sourdough bread. It even helps to neutralize the phytates left in the bread after a good soak or ferment. So serve that butter! and enjoy!

I am asking you folks to pull the wool off your eyes and start using that discriminating brain you’ve got when it comes to food. Don’t be hoodwinked! Don’t be fooled! Use that brain to discriminate between “REAL Food” and the “food products” out there that are masquerading as food. I’ve unmasked some of the key impostors here for you, and hopefully given you more than “food for thought”. The rest is up to you. Be well. Eat well. Eat REAL food. 🙂

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I’m in the desert. The “food desert*”.

I am currently in the desert, or one of them. Stranded in Phoenix, AZ on the way to San Francisco. (Okay, “stranded” is a bit severe, but you get my point.) On my way to the 2011 Fourfold Healing Conference that starts today. One of the planes I was to be on had some mechanical issues, so there was a new plane, and yes, delays. And I landed here. In Phoenix, on the way to San Francisco. I have no problem with Phoenix, or with deserts, per se. I do have a problem with what I have been experiencing, however. A food desert. I’ll tell you more.

I woke up today in my airline voucher room feeling stranded. Stranded between two islands…or oases. I became aware of my thought that I was between two points…two places or “oases” (yes, get the visual here)…and I am. I am between my home and my destination point. I am between my home and a conference. But it is more than that. I am lost in a desert, a food desert, between my home, where I create, serve, and eat nourishing, REAL food, and a conference where they will serve and I will eat nourishing food. (Yes, locally sourced, organic, nutrient-dense, prepared traditionally so the nutrients are available to the body. At a conference!) In between, there is not much REAL food to eat! Oh, a banana or an apple or two at the airport…I even found an organic yogurt (albeit the second ingredient was organically milled cane sugar). But that was it folks. It is a FOOD DESERT OUT HERE between these two points. And I’m in it. (Temporarily, thank God.) The scary thing is, this is “what is” for the average American, and certainly the average American traveler. Heck, even those in business class are out here with me. No REAL food to be found. Or very little. NONE on the plane and the food from the restaurant at the airport in DC gave me a racing heart, dry mouth, deep thirst,  and smelly flatulence! BTW, flatulence means that your body is having difficulty digesting the food you have eaten. The smell reflects the amount of toxins your body is having to process. So if you’re smelly often, you may want to review what you are eating and how your body is digesting or failing to digest your food. :))

As I said previously, I have no problem with the city I’m in. (In fact, if I had a longer layover, I’d get to see a dear cousin who lives here.) The hotel is nice, and they will do their best to serve a lovely, typical American breakfast…continental or “full”. The folks with whom I am traveling, all seventeen of us sharing this unplanned stopover–will probably say it is wonderful, bountiful and delicious. But I am blessed and cursed with “eyes that see”…or just with “knowing” what REAL food is, and what our bodies need to thrive. I am HOPING for REAL BUTTER…but I have a feeling that even if I find it, all that I will be able to spread it on will be refined wheat products…no sourdough, no sprouted grains, no soaked oatmeal.  I am HOPING for REAL CREAM…but that is hard to find in these days of full fat fear…if I am able to find even “half and half”, bet your bottom dollar it won’t be organic, it won’t be from grass-fed cows, and it will be UHT (ultra-high temperature pasteurized). I KNOW I won’t find any ferments…I may be able to find some plain yogurt. But again, it will be from cows raised on grain, not organic, certainly low-fat or no-fat…Perhaps I’ll find some bacon or sausage–but locally sourced and nitrate free? Think again. So…what to do? Not eat? Not an option today, folks. I am living on 4 plus hours of sleep after a very choppy day of travel, with a full day and weekend ahead of me. So I have to eat something. At this point it’s just “fuel for the body” to get to my final destination point…where I KNOW the food will be nourishing, whole, REAL, and truly satisfying. Until then, I’ll do my best to pick and choose the best of what I am presented with. Until I am out of the desert.

The bigger question of course remains…how to populate the food desert between the two points with REAL food. With the ability to discern what is nourishing and nurturing food that will help the body thrive. And that, as you know my dear readers, is the point of all I do. On to the conference and back into my life to “teach, teach, teach!” and do my best to make the desert fertile with REAL food. For all of us.

*Note:  I am borrowing a term that is usually used these days to describe urban areas where there is no fresh food to be found for sometimes miles. Yes, miles. Those “food deserts” must also be addressed, and some of the efforts of “urban agriculture” are doing so. For examples, see the city of Baltimore and San Francisco. Future Harvest offered good information about urban ag at their conference this past January.

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reflections on Wise Traditions 2010…

Sally Fallon Morell and Monica

Here I am with Sally Fallon Morell in front of my table at WT 2010!

So I’ve been home 6 days…and this is my first chance to write about my experience at the Weston A. Price Foundation’s Wise Traditions Conference in King of Prussia PA. What a wonderful conference! The FOOD! The FOOD! The FOOD! (did I say “the FOOD”?!) Unbelievable. Don’t know how they did it. (Actually, I do know, having been an event planner, conference manager and catering company owner in the not so distant past. ) It was  QUITE A FEAT, and pulled off quite well by the staff of the WAPF and PTF Associates. Over 1500 people registered before the conference began, and I am guessing another hundred or so on-site. All those people. All those happy people…people IN SEARCH OF something more, something REAL…real information about FOOD, FARMING and the HEALING ARTS. This year’s conference was focused upon THE POLITICS OF FOODand if you don’t think food is political, think again.

One of the most basic things, one of the most primal things, is to eat. All of us do it. Everyone must eat to live. We are challenged, though, in this day and this age to EAT TO THRIVE. The food at this conference, the basis of the teachings of Weston A. Price and the foundation that Sally Fallon Morell began over 12 years ago is about EATING TO THRIVE.

Eating is a political act. What one chooses to eat, where one purchases one’s food is a political act. Every day we are voting with our pocketbooks…do you support family farms or factory farms? “Animals expressing their animal-ness” (as Joel Salatin has said it), or CAFOs? Do you support small enterprises or big business? REAL food or processed food? Surviving or THRIVING for yourself and your family?

Me and The Barefoot Cook

With The Barefoot Cook, Amanda Love at Sunday Brunch. Great Job, Amanda!

Every meal we ate at the conference was REAL food: meat and turkey and eggs and produce and cheese, butter and milk from sustainable farms. REAL milk…raw milk. Delicious, nutritious, FULL of live enzymes and vitamins and good health.   Soaked oatmeal or quinoa every morning for breakfast. Hand-made sausages on soaked flour biscuits. (Only my fermented KETCHUP or mustard would have made them better!) REAL butter. Lots of it. 170 pounds per meal served! The ferments. The FERMENTS! Cortido, chutneys, salsas, red cabbage, garlic flowers…The BREAD! Soaked or sourdough…easy to digest, covered with real BUTTER or coconut ghee if you preferred. NOTHING PROCESSED. NO REFINED SUGAR. NO COFFEE.  Can you believe it?! 1500+ people on no processed food, sugar or coffee for 4 days! And the food was plentiful. Our bodies were in FOOD HEAVEN, and our minds worked well through the packed conference days because of it. No late afternoon blood sugar crashes sending us off for a chocolate or coffee fix; focused minds.  Thanks to all the farmers and organizations that contributed!!

buffet lines!

Serving hundreds nourishing, traditional food!

Eating is a political act. If you care about small farms and your right to continue to purchase from them, as well as your right to nutrient-dense food, GET INVOLVED.  The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund is a great source of information and can keep you up to date on what is happening. Support the Fund and the Foundation so that they can continue to support and protect the farms you want to purchase from…through farmer’s markets, CSAs and on-farm purchases. It matters now more than ever. See FTCLDF’s info on S. 510 HERE.

One week ago today, I taught an all-day session on Pulling It All Together: Fitting Nourishing, Traditional Food into Your Busy Life to a room of over 85 people. A veritable tour de force! Seven of my normally two and a half hour classes in less than 5.5 hours…and hand-outs to boot! Lots of information and lots of fun. What wonderful folks attended. Sandy in the front row…Marie who doesn’t like her beans mushy…the lady who has a thing about plastic! I so enjoyed their questions and our dialog. THANKS to everyone that attended, and especially to the two gals without whom it could not have happened: Susan Lucas and Amy Berger. The session was filmed…thanks, Steve!…and I am GREAT ON CAMERA, if I do say so myself! If you would like to order a copy of the session, you may do so HERE.  (Check back with Fleetwood Onsite for individual session recordings.) I will also have DVDs of the session for purchase in the near future.  More on that later. :))

So, just a few reflections on a wonderful conference.  I am sure I will write more in the days to come. I encourage you to attend next year…for information…resources…and connections. If you love nutrient-dense food, cooked in a way that is delicious AND good for you, come and be with your tribe. I know I will. The FOOD ALONE is worth it.

plate of food at WT 2010

YUM! Sunday Brunch: all farm-fresh sausages, bacon, egg and veg frittata, soaked waffles with fresh whipped cream!

 

 

Notes: The people of Pennsylvania and several other states in the U.S.  are blessed to be able to purchase raw milk in stores in their state. If you want to know more about raw milk and your rights to it, see www.realmilk.com,and support the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund, HERE.

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

aka, Why PROCESSED FOOD ISN’T FOOD…!

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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