Milk as I Remember it to Be

Growing up in the suburbs of Los Angeles gave my family access to the best of everything.  One item, was fresh whole milk delivered in glass bottles to my front door.  I drank milk like water, and to this day, doctors tell me how strong my bones are.  Healthy milk is difficult to find now.  When I was teaching kindergarten, my students would buy milk for their snacks.  I felt sorry for them.  The milk was once served in nice little cartons, but now is served in plastic milk sacks.  The milk was almost translucent and looked very watery.  Our family pays a lot for milk since it is unpasteurized and from grass fed Jersey cows.  The milk tastes like I remember it as a kid.  Sweet and satisfying.  Milk like this is a rare commodity today as Joel Salatin affirms in his well written article:

ENDANGERED COW MILK

            The dairy industry is imploding.  Cow milk sales are down nearly 40 percent nationwide in just the last three decades.  Can you imagine?  Replaced with rice milk, soy milk and others, traditional cow milk’s position at the table is now no longer.

             I was talking with a grass-based raw milk dairyman recently who is trying to build a base.  When customers quit buying, he does exit polling.  The number one reason is “I just can’t drink half a gallon a week.”

             Our discussion led us to the conclusion that milk is no longer seen as a food; it’s simply a condiment.  It’s used in coffee and on cereal, but to pour a glass of milk and chugalug it, no.  In our family, we always milked (by hand) a couple of Guernsey cows and I grew up drinking milk like water.  Raw milk.  Grass-fed milk.

             We ran it threw a paper filter to strain out any bits of hair and mud, but otherwise it was just the same as it came out of the teat.  Now that we don’t have our own, we drink less, but every morning I still have a glass of milk.  I don’t drink coffee or tea; I still have a glass of raw grass-fed milk and I could drink half a gallon a day, easy.

             Milk moved from food to beverage to condiment in three decades.  How?  I think the primary reason is that fooling around with it through pasteurization, homogenization, manipulation (adding Vitamin D and skimming off the cream), and concentrated animal feeding operations created an item so tasteless and unlike  normalcy that it was no longer appealing.  It tastes like chalk. It looks like water.  And it carries no nutritional punch.

             Many states are passing new labeling laws, sponsored by the dairy lobby, trying to forbid the use of the word “milk” for anything except mammalian secretions.  This is the way the dairy industry is fighting back.

             A much better response would be a national ad campaign saying “mea culpa, we lost your trust, and we’re going to get it back by treating cows like cows and re-instituting the nutrition and taste of creamline authentic milk.”  That would actually garner far more public trust and use, I suspect, than militantly fighting against the alternative milk industry.

             I’ve met people who have healed all sorts of maladies by going on a milk fast.  That’s a fast that’s always appealed to me.  If I were going on a lengthy fast, I think that would be one I could enjoy.  Guzzling half a gallon of ice cold raw grass-fed milk every day, now that’s a way toward healing.  My heart goes out to the suffering dairy farmers around the country who are losing their farms in this cultural shift.

             The challenge for the real milk producers is to message nutrition and the healing, therapeutic affects of authentic dairy.  Repositioning real milk as a viable and positive food item will take a combination of nutritional food analysis differentiating between junk milk and real milk.  It will also require aggressively sharing testimonies of healing and rebuilt immune systems.  These stories need to be front and center in all public relations campaigns.  “We’re not them” needs to be central to this messaging.

             Dairy farmers, like all farmers, are loathe to demonize fellow dairy farmers, but that’s the way to move ahead.  Here at Polyface, we’ve emphasized “we’re not Tyson” for a long time, and it has served us well.  And I’ve been crucified in our local farming community for daring to disparage feedlot beef or CAFO chickens.  No matter; the public knows we aren’t them.  Establishing a differentiated food religion is a good thing.

             I’ve spent the last couple of days chasing down a grass-based dairy nearby that is contemplating putting in a creamline fluid milk VAT pasteurized (so it’s legal to sell, a very low and gentle process) option.  I’m hoping against hope that we can talk him into it–he’s already making cheese and it’s WONDERFUL.

            If you look at the process of real milk versus soy milk, it’s fundamentally different.  In real cow milk, the sun grows grass; the cows eat the grass; the grass turns into milk; the dairy farmer harvests the milk; you drink the milk.  In soy milk, you have to either plow or kill the grass, plant the annual crop, get it germinated and keep weeds out of it, then harvest it, dry it, transport it to a laboratory, extract the protein through a labyrinth of expensive infrastructure, then bottle the fluid.  The ecological differences are extreme, and yet Starbucks refuses to use the solar-driven real milk.  Why doesn’t Starbucks get real milk instead of spurning all milk as if it’s the same thing?  Starbucks could use this as a great teaching moment; instead, it joins the planet haters who want to grow monocrops and chemicalize everything.  Really sad, really sad.

             When is the last time you guzzled a glass of raw grass-based real milk?

Thank you Kate Simon Lifestyle Photography for the image of Ballerino Creamery!

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Granny’s Decline into Alzheimer’s

Twenty-five years ago, I met my future grand-mother-in-law at a KOA camp ground.  Having been raised on a dairy farm in upstate New York, during the Great Depression, she matured into a strong and healthy adult.  She was a survivor, and was determined have things her way.  Not long into my relationship with “Granny”, did we become concerned for her overall welfare. My husband and I enjoy eating whole foods that are organic, bio-dynamic, sustainable, and pastured.  She enjoyed conventionally farmed foods and the standard American diet.  Shortly after our marriage, it became apparent that our Granny was declining mentally.  It was subtle at first and she hid it well.  She stated that she had a difficult time adding up basic numbers.  Then she began to talk incessantly when attempting to have a two-way conversation.  She began to say things that normally would have been concealed in one’s thoughts.  We tried several times to help her to eat more nutritious foods.  She did enjoy sugary processed snack foods.  One day we received a call that Granny was in trouble.  We were prepared for this call, and had a room set up for her in our house.  She lived with us for three years.  She liked to wander and wanted to “go home” for the first year in our home.  She became very angry for a while, which was very difficult on our family.  She eventually became very sweet and stopped walking.  As much as we tried to avoid the nursing home, we had to put her in one.  It was a nice facility, where she did receive outstanding care in every way.  We believe this situation might have been avoided if she would have listened to our advice to eat healthier and get more outside time walking.  I liked this article recently posted at https://www.thelunaticfarmer.com/blog

Joel has a great sense of humor, but is passionate about healing the earth one farm at a time.

ALZHEIMER’S IS NOT GENETIC

“Perhaps the most interesting speaker at the Dr. Al Sears’ Confidential Cures summit in Florida last weekend was Nora Gedgaudas. Her emotional opening, showing pictures of her mother with alzheimer’s, added impact to her emphatic statement: “alzheimer’s is preventable and almost reversible . . . and it is NOT a genetic disease.” Wow. How’s that for an opener?

She said 2/3rds of alzheimers’ patients are women. About 1.5 million have it now and within a few years, 14 million will. Right now 1 in 4 seniors die with it. She shared a study publicized by the National Institute on Aging: ” . .. . Emerging findings suggest that dietary factors play major roles in determining whether the brain ages successfully or experiences a neurodegenerative disease.”

Her basic premise was that while we are all different, we are far more alike than unalike. “We have different fingerprints, but we all have fingers,” she said. The brain is 73 percent water, but structurally, it’s 67 percent fat. Of that, 20 percent is DHA which is exclusively animal sourced. “No vegan diet can supply this, either directly or indirectly–EVER. Vegan diets have NO DHA. Most damaged brains I’ve worked with are vegans,” she said.

She completely opposes eating grains, of any kind. She said the human brain has shrunk as more grains are consumed, versus its size when consuming far more animal fats. Breast milk offers infants all of these essential fats and our brains deteriorate if the fats and ketones (dietary fats in the absence of glucose) don’t stay high.

Vitamin K, that elusve and most recently discovered of all the essential vitamins, is found exclusively in animal foods IF the animals are on pasture. What’s the best brain food? Pastured pork fat. After that, fatty fish, then coconut oil, then avocado oil and real olive oil. A diet high in carbohydrates equals an 87 percent higher likelihood for dementia; a high animal fat diet equals a 46 percent lower likelihood for dementia. We should eat ZERO canola oil and soybean oil, she said.

Her book Primal Body, Primal Mind goes into far more detail; these are just some highlights of her presentation, but what a blockbuster. Her website is http://www.Primalgenic.com. She says half of us are intolerant to dairy.

So folks, what does this mean? It means that Impossible Burger and Beyond Meat destroy our brains. It means as the holidays approach we need to rethink our consumption of crackers and party mix. It means we’re smart to eat hot dogs without a bun and of course it means we need to displace carbohydrates with pastured meats. Wow.

It means that one of the problems in dealing with vegans is that their brains are literally not functioning. They’re starving their brains. It means that as cultures leave pastured animal foods as a basis of their diet, people actually lose cognitive ability–en masse! So can a nation heading toward plant foods govern itself? Can it make wise decisions?

Perhaps the new litmus test for governance should be how much pasture-based animal proteins are in the diet. Can you imagine a presidential debate where the first question is about a brain-feeding diet? And all of this helps us understand why vegans are angry, vicious, violent and unreasonable. When John Mackey, founder of Whole Foods, in our debate this summer said my eating a chicken was the same as eating his pet cat, that’s just asinine. And when he said big strong animals like cows and gorillas and elephants are herbivores so if I want to be big and strong I should be an herbivore, that’s so nonsensical scientifically it’s hard to know a response. How do you communicate with someone this nonsensical? The mounting research, however, gives an explanation: his brain is malnourished.

This puts a different twist on veganism. It’s not just an alternative view. It’s a vicious attack on cognitive function. Those of us whose brains are still being nurtured correctly need to step up our game and call veganism what it is: an insulting and direct attack on cognitive health. It’s the new anti-brain choice.

Have you tangled with a militant vegan lately? In the words of Dr. Phil, how did that work out for ya’?

Remember: if you’re enjoying these posts, please send them on to friends and acquaintances. Let the truth network grow. Thank you.”  The Lunatic Farmer:  Joel Salatin

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Our Fun and Educational Visit to Knott’s Berry Farm

 

Last month we visited Knott’s Berry Farm for fun and education.  We picked a day during the week and not a weekend which allowed us to see the entire park in about 6 hours with hardly any wait times on rides.  Our day started with a rooster loudly cockadoodling on a fence post near the shops and on our way to the main gate.  There were candy stores and all kinds of neat souvenirs to buy when we returned on our way out.  Once through the main gate we visited Camp Snoopy and took a train ride throughout that section of the park.  Overhead the Silver Bullet roller coaster whizzed by as we admired a wonderful display of boysenberries growing in a small patch on neatly manicured vines.  We ventured onto the Silver Bullet next with a 5 minute wait time.  Our next adventure was on the Calico Gold Mine train ride.  This is a wonderful re-creation of what miners experienced while laboring hard to find gold.  We rode this twice in the front of the train and in the back.  Two very different experiences.   We visited a real one room school house that was shipped out from Kansas from the 19th century.  Nearby, a Wells Fargo Stage Coach was on display  with a plaque that told of story of the legendary Black Bart and how eventually he was paid by the bank to not rob them anymore.  We rode the X-celerator for an adrenaline rush, then the Coast Rider which overlooked one of the original parking lots complete with dirt and chickens, and Surfside Gliders on the “pier” while baby ducklings paddled by with their mama.  Next, we thumped on the bumper cars,  rode the Pony Express Roller Coaster, went to old town to watch wood carving, a Native American dancer, and a blacksmith with a sense of humor in an original black smith shop.  We moseyed into a western shootout skit on the other side of the screaming Silver Bullet riders.  At about 2:00 P.M., we enjoyed a delicious Mrs. Knott’s chicken dinner lunch with boysenberry lemonade drinks and chocolate truffle dessert from the candy shop nearby.  Back in the park, we panned for gold on our way onto the Ghost Rider.  We learned that panning for gold is more work than it looks, but enjoyed the idyllic location and a vial with some yellow stuff at the bottom.  The Ghost Rider was a thrill and, in our opinion, the best roller coast ride.  We rode this twice since there was only a 5 minute wait time.  Our next stop was the Timber Mountain Log Ride.  This ride was great wet fun and a good reminder about how difficult/dangerous the logging industry can be.  We revisited the bumper cars, rode the log ride again, played laser tag on Voyage to the Iron Reef,  re-visited the pier and the ducks for another glider ride, and visited an amazing Geode Shop with a million dollar exhibit of actual dinosaur eggs, a T-Rex fossil, and many other fossils from the deluge.  We were “blown away” by the many wonderful finds in that store.  In fact, our student exclaimed that, “I want to buy the whole store!”  Our day ended with a thrill ride on Hang Time.  There was a great fire pit outside the exit near the shops and restaurants.  We made sure we left the park with a bag full of boysenberry goodies:  syrup and jam.  Our day at Knott’s was both educational and fun!

Meanwhile, ten months ago we toured the Independence Hall at Knott’s to relive history 242 years ago, when the Declaration of Independence was signed.  This was a worthwhile visit located across the street from the world famous Ghost Rider roller coaster.  Hearing the recreated voices of our founders as they considered the outcome of the event of declaring independence from the most powerful military force in the world, England, was moving.  These men of courage and principle, who valued liberty more than their property, heritage, and life are reminders of how the United States of America was born.  The carriage from that time period in the foyer helps to flash back to this event.  Having a man dressed up like Ben Franklin sets the mood too.  Being in the replicated hall itself is moving.  The re-creation of the actual cracked liberty bell with its inscription:   Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof…”  Leviticus 25:10 sits in the main hall  with a harpsichord from the colonial era adjacent to it.  So while enjoying your American ideals at Knott’s, take time to reflect on the principle foundations of our country’s liberty.

 

 

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Too Many Tomatoes…100 Wonderful Pounds!

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Titanic Tomato in August from Our Garden

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We first started growing tomato plants 18 years ago in large pots on our patio.  The vines would take off for the sky and even then we would say that we had too many tomatoes!  The way the vines grew we would call it our tomato tornado.  Back then, this was our only edible.  Our vines would get attacked by green tomato worms.  After work we would come home and literally hose off our two plants.  It rained green worms!  Our patio would be covered by dozens of crawling ugly green creatures.  After getting our backyard hens and using the Permaculture philosophy, we began to expand our edible garden into the ground.  Our black adobe clay soil was transformed into a worm filled garden delight!  We compost mostly all of our green waste and turn it into gorgeous sweet smelling rich soil.  We have had difficulty with our tomatoes in the past few years with black bottom rot and a limited harvest.  This year we began crunching all of our egg shells and adding it to the base of our tomatoes.  No more bottom rot and an overwhelming harvest.  We have so many edibles now that the birds visit and eat all of our tomato worms…leaving the fruit (botanically tomatoes are classified as berries) for us.  It is a delight just to sit on the patio in the cool of the day and watch the amazing abundance of life in our small garden.

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So Proud of this Cucumber!

Our foot long cucumber!  It was absolutely delicious! boat sale 001

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Last Look at our Summer Garden

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Disneyland: Entertaining and Educational

“I would rather entertain and hope that people learned something than educate people and hope they were entertained.” Walt Disney

I was blessed to be an employee at Disneyland decades ago when the price was right ($13.00 for a passport) while getting the enjoyment of storytelling on a boat in the canal of Storybookland.  Recently, we visited the park and were delighted to learn that there were educational opportunities everywhere while being entertained.  We particularly enjoyed the Agrifuture in Tomorrowland.  Every plant in that land is suppose to be edible.  While riding Autopia, we noticed wild strawberries, citrus trees of varying varieties, and sage growing along the track.  We also noticed rosemary near Tomorrowland Terrace and Swiss Chard across the way.  It would have been nice to be able to visit a farm to table restaurant in the area or some kind of attraction like that.  We do know that Disney in the past has had special events promoting that concept and has given garden tours around the park.  The foliage in all the lands was particularly amazing.  We really enjoyed the bamboo forest in Adventureland, but all of the living trees and plants were an enjoyable feature at the park.  While waiting in line at Autopia, we liked the Honda robot giving us a geography lesson of California using a map and showing us landmarks in the state on a computer screen.  An employee told us that the Honda cars are gasoline powered.  In the future, it would be nice to see cars that are powered with clean energy.  We learned that the Monorail is the fasted ride in the park at 30 m.p.h.  The engines on Disneyland Railroad are authenitic steam engines that run on biodiesel.  One engine is as old as 1895.  The conductor informed us that the engine powering our train was found on a corn field in Iowa in 1927.  While riding the train, our child learned that it snowed at the Grand Canyon.  We all enjoyed seeing the Indian village and lifestyle while chugging along the backside of the river in Adventureland.  He learned about the Caribbean and the pirates that attacked coastal towns.  We had a unique dining experience at Rose Tavern in Fantasyland where we enjoyed French faire, some rest and relaxation, and explained the history of taverns to our child.  We thoroughly enjoyed the beef poutine (slowed cooked beef in gravy over waffle fries covered in pickled red onions and cheese) and a lemon berry mousse dessert shaped into a rose with delicious filling and some type of crust on the bottom.  It was so tasty, we got a second one.  Our child enjoyed seeing stories like Peter Pan and Winnie the Pooh come to life on the rides.   Our day at Disneyland was not only entertaining, but educational.

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