Real Food, Real Health, Real Birth
My Desire for America: Stop Eating SAD and Embrace SOLE Food
I was waxing reflective today as I prepared patties for our family meal of grilled burgers and veggies. I thought of all the American families celebrating Independence Day, which brought to my mind images of the ubiquitous July 4th meal: hamburgers and hot dogs. And I wondered how many of those revelers would be conscious of what they were ingesting. How much pink slime, ammonia, steroids, antibiotics, trash bits, GMOs, malevolent pathogens, feces, and chemical stew would appear on picnic plates today?
And I began to cogitate on the significance of this day in history. Freedom. That most essential and honorable state of existence we claim to hold dear...Freedom! Bit by bit, year over year, so many of our fundamental freedoms have been slipping away. Such a reality is an abomination to cravers of freedom. As a 21st century citizen of the "most free country in the world," I wonder which battles are worth fighting? Is victory possible? I would like to believe that if everyone were educated on "the issues," everyone would care and most of us would be willing to act. What that looks like, I don't know. Individually, I can't fight every battle, nor can I give each one equal prominence. But I believe in the strength of a united people. So the more people who can and will join the Food Fight, the better. And the first step to winning our freedom is freedom. "Free your mind and the rest will follow..."
|Keely, one of our free-range, browsing milk goats|
A freed mind is a knowledgeable mind. And knowledge is power. (Wow, first I quote 1990s pop band En Vogue, now I'm quoting lines from cheesy 90s after-school cartoons...) It really is...that's why the powerful and elite throughout history feared the education of the masses. It's why fear-mongering is a favorite tool of regulators and industry spin doctors (promoting panic and emotion, subverting critical thinking and research). And it's why the government, influenced by Big Ag, doesn't want consumers to have access to the truth about how food is produced in this country. The more you know, the more likely you are to vote with your fork and abandon Big Ag.
|Our free-range, pastured laying flock|
And that's one thing I desire for Americans...that our culture would drop its SAD (Standard American Diet) food and embrace SOLE (Sustainable, Organic, Local, Ethical) food! CAFO-raised, sludge-fed, drug-filled meat is a cornerstone of the Standard American Diet. Just look at the beef industry. Oh, wait...maybe we can't. If the industry has its way, it will be illegal for anyone to take a photo or make a video of a CAFO or industrial farm. And honestly, this makes complete sense when considered from the perspective of Big Ag. Because we all know that a picture is worth 1,000 words. When we peel back the veil and observe the horrid situation that becomes the meat on American tables, we arm the public with a tool in the fight against an industry that desires continued ignorance about food quality and safety. Showing consumers the disgusting reality of cows standing knee-deep in feces, eating unnatural substances (including recycled grease from restaurants) and being forklifted into a slaughterhouse should mobilize the public to enter the fray, fight this food fight and financially cripple the CAFO industrial model. Oh, how I wish we would send the American food industry into the annals of history!
|Wilbur, our happily rooting Gloucestershire Old Spot|
|Would you rather eat him..... (c. OrganicNation)|
My family no longer eats industrial food. But there was a day when hubby and I did, because we lacked knowledge and understanding. Now, when I drive through the midwest (as we did during our spring travels) or through central California (as we did many times when we lived in CA), when I see and smell the reality of the CAFO model, I cannot fathom eating industrial meat. When I watch videos showing the lives and slaughterhouse deaths of CAFO animals, when I consider the unethical and unnatural treatment and feeding of those animals and the resulting ravages on our ecosystem...the toxic effects on our air, soil and water, I cannot fathom eating industrial meat. The modern industrial agricultural model is unnatural, unhealthy, and unnecessary. Thankfully, documentaries like Food, Inc. and Fresh, and scores of books, articles and blogs are filling the void and slowly enlightening engaged consumers.
|.....or him? (c. herbalistmama)|
Small-scale, organic, local farming...community clean food...is not an impossible dream. It was life as we knew it before the Industrial Age, and it could be life again. Industrialization brought convenience, speed, "efficiencies," division of labor...but it didn't bring health and wellness, sanity and sustainability, humane husbandry. Pundits of the glorious industrial model have long heralded its ability to provide MORE...more food, more goods spread about to more people. Yet, we are seeing a decline in food crop and animal breed diversity. We have fewer kinds of food plants and animals than ever in history, with the genetic erosion occurring at alarming rates. Our cornucopia is shrinking, not growing.
The more conscious consumers have become, the more furiously the food fight has raged. Consumer demand for Real Food threatens the industrial model. That's why the dirty dairy industry puts so much pressure on regulators to vilify and outlaw raw milk, or why the confinement pork industry wants pastured producers put out of business. This is NOT about food safety...never has been and never will be. Food safety is the straw man offered up by an industry afraid of profit losses. It doesn't take a Mensa member to see that the real culprit behind food-borne illness is the unsustainable, unhealthy, unnatural massive scale industrial food model (the model whose architects must cheat and lie, employing collusion and cronyism, to maintain their reign). Look at the data from any multi-state outbreak, such as a seven-state outbreak of salmonella in late 2011, and note the commercial corporate sources. Clean food farmers cannot even supply on that scale. Regulators would like the public to believe that Real Food can be and is just as dangerous (or more so) than its industrial counterpart. But examination of the facts and statistics reveal the ruse...weigh the data in the balance and the industrial food tips the scale every time.
It is time that these musings come to a close. I neglected to fully cover the SAD topic, but that stone has been unturned numerous times in numerous forums. I certainly would not be the first to point out the fact that Americans are sadly malnourished, while being the fattest and most-fed people on the planet. Just because it's edible, doesn't make it food. But rather than discoursing comprehensively about U.S. diet deficiencies, I had meat on my mind. So before I go, I'd like to share my current formula for grain-free burgers (cannot fill with oats while on GAPS).
Tonight's burgers consisted of organic grass-fed beef, pastured ground pork, ground elk, a pastured egg, some Celtic grey sea salt, minced garlic and onion, and turmeric. [Turmeric is a healing herb and superfood with potent anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.] The burgers were grilled medium-rare, wrapped in fresh mustard greens and served with grilled onions, red bell peppers and zucchini. Delicious!
I hope you enjoyed your Independence Day, and I leave you with my wish that all Americans would desire to become independent from the system of fake food, declining health and regulatory tyranny. Hey, a girl can dream!