Great News for Iowa!
Show support for this bill by telling your state representatives that Iowa's environment, and your family's health, is a priority.
Show support for this bill by telling your state representatives that Iowa's environment, and your family's health, is a priority.
Are you a typical American?
Americans spend 43% of their food budgets eating out or getting take-out.
In 1985 it was 41% - BethKobliner
Change what you eat.
What if for one month you got the entire family involved in meal planning, shopping, and food prep.
Give the kids a cookbook and let them choose the menu and write the shopping list.
When my sister and I were kids we enjoyed, Betty Crocker's Boys and Girls Cookbook. We made fun, easy recipes.
Our boys loved Roald Dahl's books. They recreated the recipes from Roald Dahl's Revolting Recipes cookbook.
Your family will share delicious meals and quality time together. Cooking at home is healthier, less expensive, and fun.
Avoid health risks by avoiding chain restaurants
Two burger chains, Shake Shack and BurgerFi, serve beef without the routine use of antibiotics. These are the only two restaurants to earn an “A” on the Chain Reaction scorecard. This is the fourth annual scorecard released by six major consumer and environmental organizations. 22 of the top 25, including McDonalds got an “F” grade because they don't have a policy restricting antibiotic use in their beef.
Public health experts warn that the widespread use of antibiotics in meat production is rendering antibiotics less effective by creating drug-resistant bacteria.
Click here for the report
Better yet, eat organic, grass-fed meat at home!
A diet of grass based meat works as well as Weight Watchers without having to buy packaged meals, attend meetings, or calculate points. Grass fed meat and dairy are leaner than grain fed products, they also have fewer calories. When it comes to loosing weight, Grass Fed Beef -is the dieter's choice
The typical amount of beef eaten in the U.S. annually is 67 pounds. Changing from grain fed to grass fed beef will save you 16,642 calories per year. A six-ounce beef loin from a grass-fed steer may have 92 fewer calories than a six-ounce loin from a grain-fed steer. Source: Pasture Perfect by Jo Robinson
Loosing 4.75 pounds a year doesn't sound like a huge difference but it only requires switching to grass-fed meat. Adding exercise and calorie restriction amplifies your results. There's a bigger benefit to grass-fed meat than weight loss, though.
A new study published in JAMA International Medicine found that eating organic foods can reduce your risk of developing cancer by 25%. Some study participants, the volunteers that ate mostly organic food, were 73% less likely to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma. That's the cancer linked to Monsanto's Round-up (currently there are 8700 plaintiffs suing Monsanto). There is also a significant reduction in postmenopausal breast cancer in consumers of organic foods.
The researchers were surprised by the enormity of protection that organic food provided. The study followed 68,946 volunteers for four and a half years.
Julia Baudry, the study’s lead author and a researcher with the Center of Research in Epidemiology and Statistics Sorbonne Paris Cité of the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research said, "We did expect to find a reduction, but the extent of the reduction is quite important."
She noted the study does not prove an organic diet causes a reduction in cancers, but strongly suggests ,“that an organic-based diet could contribute to reducing cancer risk."
An organic diet may reduce the risk of breast cancer because organic production prohibits pesticide use. Pesticides are endocrine disruptors that mimic estrogen function. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classified two pesticides, malathion and diazinon, along with the herbicide glyphosate (Round-up) as probable human carcinogens. All three are linked to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Grass-fed meat and dairy are higher in Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) which researchers have noted lowers the risk of breast cancer. Finnish researchers found that women who consumed the highest amount of CLA had 60% lower risk of breast cancer than those with the least CLA.
Fat Cattle and Lean hogs is an oxymoron, cattle are naturally lean. Hogs are, by nature, fatter. Confinement operations want leaner hogs so they feed ractopamine (Paylean supplements). Again, confinement livestock producers are working against nature.
As a consumer you need to work with your body to promote healthy living. Give yourself a fighting chance, switch to an organic diet that includes grass-fed meat, dairy and eggs it will be a great boost for your health.
Twenty-six years ago we decided to go organic. Now, two healthy young men later, we're still committed to healthy farming. That's why our farm is certified organic.
Many hours were spent learning about grass-fed meat and the benefits of raising food organically.
Here are the two primary reasons we started organic farming ...
They grew up on organic fruits, veggies, grass-fed raw milk and organic meat.
Both have grown and the farm has too.
The boys live overseas and look forward to beef and dairy when they get home. They don't eat much of either one in Vietnam.
Our son and his new wife will be here soon. He asked if we're milking Blossom, the house cow. She'll calve in the next few days. Ten days after calving we'll separate her calf at night and reunite them after milking each morning. Everyone is looking forward to good milk.
Another reason to go organic, Our first grandson, Max.
Organic, grass-fed meat is better for kids
Studies show that Pesticides lower IQ scores. Evidence suggests that genetically engineered food may contribute to Autism, Attention Deficit Disorder, and allergies in children.
The organic Trade Association released a new and expanded survey on organic attitudes of U.S. Families.
Twenty-five percent of the millennials in America are parents. In the next 10 to 15 years, 80% of millennials will be moms and dads.
This generation is a huge supporter of organics. The survey shows that becoming a parent deepens the desire for consuming organic products.
If you're not a dad yet, here's an important suggestion;
The age-old solution of switching from briefs to boxers is outdated. To father a child change the fruit you eat, not your underwear.
Researchers at Harvard University surveyed 155 men who sought fertility treatments. They found subjects who ate more soft skinned produce, like potatoes, grapes and apples, which contain higher levels of pesticide residue, had half as many sperm and fewer normally formed sperm than men who ate more thick-skinned produce like avocados and pineapple. Study author Jorge Chavarro tells The Washington Post, "It was actually very surprising that we were able to identify such a strong association, I think this raises a lot more questions."
Researchers from Indiana University and University of California San Francisco have linked glyphosate exposure in pregnancy to shortened gestational length.
93 percent of a study group of pregnant women in Indiana had detectable levels of the glyphosate in their urine. Those with higher levels delivered earlier compared to those with less or none.
Overall, glyphosate exposure during pregnancy is associated with shorter pregnancies, which correlate with lifelong adverse health consequences for children.
Herbicides, pesticides, and the misuse of antibiotics in livestock feed is death by a thousand cuts.
It's incremental exposure over time that creates the tipping point in our health.
Your children are counting on you to limit their exposure before it's too late.. .
How do avoid the overload in the human body and environment?
Additionally, spend your money on items that YOU believe in. Products that are safe. Food that is nutritious, clean and organic.
Spend your money on items that Do No Harm.
Here are a Couple of Links to Check-out
We'd love to serve you as a customer. However, if you're not in our area find a farmer that's committed to your health and sells pasture raised meat. EatWild.com has listings by state.
We haven't seen a Red Tailed hawk on this farm in three years. Where have they gone? The barn swallow numbers are declining, too. As a matter of fact there are fewer birds in the area. Their numbers have declined in the last few years. The peripheral area surrounding the timber, where the brambles and wild flowers are abundant, is prime nesting ground. The wild turkeys and pheasants are thriving but the local and migratory bird numbers are dwindling. Bird and Flying Insect Populations are on the Decline
Is Your Windshield Clean?
David Kline, editor of farming magazine has noticed a scarcity of flying insects. He doesn't drive a car but asked drivers if they've noticed a difference. We've noticed. When we take a drive through the countryside the windshield stays clean, not bug splattered. We use to buy special washer fluid to get rid of the bug goo, not anymore.
Here in north east Iowa the helicopters and small planes (the aerial applicators) are unleashing insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides over the crop fields. Our farm is on the Sensitive Crop Registry to protect the bees we raise and our organic status. The sprayers don't fly over our farm which is a contentious issue for some in the area.
The next time you take a drive notice the windshield. If it's clean think about the possible causes and consequences. Why are the insects and birds disappearing? New studies show the negative effects agricultural chemicals have on developing brains, children's health, behavior and immunity. PLoS ONE links agricultural chemicals to the Decline of flying Insects
In the early spring, when the apple, peach and cherry trees are blossoming I keep the bees interested in pollinating the fruit trees by cutting the grass very short. This keeps the dandelions down until after the trees have finished blooming. It’s my trick to get bigger fruit crops.
Later in the spring there are still plenty of dandelions to keep the bees happy . And there's a variety of clovers and flowers planted for the bees, too. It’s a pollinator paradise.
On a trip to Seed Savers Exchange I bought Blue Boy Bachelor’s Button, Lambs Ear, and Heritage Farm Poppy seeds. The bees love these.
On our farm the pollinators are safe from pesticides and herbicides. We’re an organic farm, it’s all about health and quality of life.
This lemonade is a great energy booster. Not only does it taste great it helps the honey bees and your local beekeeper.
Plant bee friendly gardens and keep them pesticide free. These recipes protect your fruit trees and kill weeds without using glyphosate.
Working on time management skills? You might just learn a thing or two from a cow. In the 1940's Cornell University studied cattle to see how they spent their time each day. Andre' Voisin's book, Grass Productivity has the detailed study on the efficiency of grazing cattle.
The university studied cow-calf pairs on pasture. Observers learned that cattle graze for a little less than eight hours per day. No over-time for bovine. They never exceed eight hours of grazing time.
The cattle spent about seven hour per day ruminating (chewing their cud). The time differed slightly depending on the fiber content of the forage. Some ruminating is done lying down and part standing up.
Cattle lie down for slightly less than twelve hours per day. Cows divided these 12 hours into nine rest periods of varying length.
The cattle in the study didn't deviate in their daily routine. When they replicated the study in other countries the cattle showed the same results. In areas with hotter daytime temperatures the cattle spent no more than eight hours grazing, but they did it at night. The slight variances by breed or heredity weren't much different, they didn't change the study's results.
Here's where the efficiency of grazing cattle matters.; If cattle spend eight hours grazing each day quality is everything. If they're grazing poor pastures without nutrient dense forage they're basically spending eight hours eating junk food. Eight hours of quality forage, either pasture or hay, boost the cattle’s health. Feeding quality produces quality results.And how they're grazing matters, too. MIG grazing improves soil quality and prevents erosion.
If you're spending eight hours at something be sure to get the greatest return from those hours. Junk in - junk out. Quality counts. With organic production It's about quality not quantity.
'Know Your Farmer Know Your Food'
'Farm to Table'
Really great slogans. But, what’s really happening on the farm that’s producing food for your table?
Close your eyes. Imaging a farm. Do you see lush pastures. Animals grazing. Pigs sleeping in the warm sunshine surrounded by shade trees and green grass.
I drove past a farm yesterday with a new van parked out front. The signs on the side read, 'Farm to Table’ and ‘Know Your Farmer Know Your Food’. This particular farmer has several confinement hog houses.
Do they qualify for the ‘Farm to Table’ campaign? Of course. They’re farmers. They sell direct from their farm to customer’s tables.
Do they fit the model for the ‘Know Your Farmer Know Your Food’ campaign? Yep, they do.They sell at farmers markets. Customers get to know them.
But, DO YOU, as a customer picture something different when you support a farm?
Are you thinking of pigs in a pasture or hogs crowded inside of a building.
Are you thinking of cattle grazing under a blue sky and sunshine or steers stuffed under a shed roof with just a few square feet to move around.
Across the mid-west farmers markets are re-opening for the season. I suggest that you really get to know your farmer. Ask questions. Things aren’t always as they seem
How familiar are you with these terms:
Free Range vs Cage Free
Pasture raised vs Confinement
Organic vs 'Beyond Organic'
The California Supreme Court ruled that producers who mislabeled products as organic are open to lawsuits as protection from fraud in the organic industry.
I’m not sure whether the farms that label themselves as ‘Beyond Organic’ will have to change their advertising but it 's food for thought.
And remember; If we are what we eat most of us are fast, cheap and easy. Lets change that!
How to Improve Soil Nutrients
Salt the Earth
I spent the last couple of days getting the garden ready. The asparagus bed, pumpkin patch, vegetable garden and orchard trees have been salted to Improve Soil Nutrients.
I read about how to improve soil nutrients and the benefits of sea salt for boosting trace elements in an article from Acres USA, January 2003. This winter I re-read the book Sea Energy Agriculture by Maynard Murray, M.D.
Dr. Murray presents evidence of the declining trace elements of soil. When commercial fertilizers are applied only the basic elements are returned to the soil. The abundance of these; nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and lime initially increase crop yield, however, they block uptake of necessary elements.
The science behind Sea Energy Agriculture is that the chemistry of sea life is naturally disease resistant and nutritionally superior. Sea salts added to soils are properly balanced between trace elements and sodium chloride. The application rate is important, too. The application is reasonable to restore the soil’s missing elements without rendering it useless like Carthage after the Romans salted the earth.
The best defense against disease is good nutrition. That nutrition starts in the soil. Plants take up the minerals which are then distributed to the end consumer whether human, livestock or wildlife. These end crops are nutrient dense and superior in trace elements.
In the past I’ve tried getting the geese to weed the asparagus beds. Instead of pulling out the grass they pulled up all the strawberry plants in the next bed over. This year I’m experimenting by using a high rate of Redmond Salt to kill the grass in the asparagus bed. The heavier application won’t hurt the crop, instead it will restore elemental nutrients while inhibiting the invasive grasses.
Both SEA-90 and Redmond Salt are certified organic (OMRI listed). The difference is where the sea mineral solids are sourced. SEA-90 is from an estuary where sea water is captured and dried. Redmond salt is sourced from deposits in Redmond Utah.
As an experiment both products are being applied separately to the orchard trees and garden. Here on the farm there are two areas with heirloom apple trees, two areas with peach trees and one group of cherry trees of three different varieties. I don’t know whether the difference between the two products will be significant, we’ll find out at the end of the growing season.
Redmond salt is sold by a local supplier, which is convenient. There aren’t any SEA-90 suppliers in our area so I bought enough for half of our vegetable garden and half of the orchard trees through Amazon.
Last fall the pastures were salted with Redmond salt, 50 pounds per acre, to improve the balance of the soil. This spring we’ll repeat the salt application. We’ve seen great promise in pasture growth using sea solids and the livestock prefer grazing the fields where it’s been applied.