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Tyranny = Raw Milk Producers Being Arrested

11 Sep

Tyranny is all around us – including our food supply and our choice to use natural foods and medicines in our bodies.

Rawsome Foods – a private members-only (co-op) market in Venice, California, is home to place where local community members can purchase raw milk, cheese, yogurt, and kefir.  Apparently the federal government does not have enough to be worried about with the upcoming collapse of the economic system, they have to “protect” consumers from purchasing raw food products that humans have consumed for thousands of years.

The owner, James Stewart, along with two others (Sharon Palmer (of Healthy Family Farms), and Victoria Bloch (local L.A. co-chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation)), were taken away in handcuffs. “The raid was carried out by gun carrying officers of the LA County Sheriff’s Office, the FDA, the Dept. of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control“.

The charge?  Conspiracy to sell unpasteurized milk products.  

THINK ABOUT THIS FOR A SECOND.

First of all, it cannot be a conspiracy if it is a private group of knowing citizens deciding for themselves to purchase and consume these products.  Secondly, I cannot believe that our tax-payer money goes towards arresting innocent people who are actually doing good things for their local communities and economies.

I have consumed raw milk (both cow and goat) for over 4 years, and know for a fact that it is actually healthier and more beneficial to our bodies than pasteurized milk.  It really doesn’t matter what I think though, because each of us should have the right to CHOOSE FOR OURSELVES – that is what liberty is – and that is why the government should get its nose out of our choice to consume raw milk.

RESOURCES:

http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/omkara/2011/aug/6/rawsome-foods-raided-sad-day-america/

http://www.foodrenegade.com/rawsome-foods-raided-again-by-swat/


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/03/rawsome-raid-_n_917540.html

Why You Should Know Your Farmer/Rancher – Example TURKEY

4 Aug

Today, Cargill recalled 36 MILLION pounds of turkey believed to contain salmonella.

This is disturbing because number one, we would think that a huge multi-national corporation would have better control over its operations, and number two, the whole reason they have to recall so much is because of the inhumane food-supply-chain that cannot track millions of animals that are raised and slaughtered.

I eat meat – I don’t think there is anything inherently wrong with eating meat.  HOWEVER, I do my best to know where it came from – when I do that, I am creating my own security and guarantee against sickness.  If I know and trust who is raising and humanely slaughtering an animal, then I can put my trust into that person, and feel like they have both of our best interests in mind.

When we bring FOOD closer to home, we protect our health and economies.  It is a simple concept, but can have profound reverberations in our own communities and ultimately this country.

Make a stand to know where some of your food is coming from – it could be the difference between life and death.

If We Are Eating this $#**, then Can We At Least Have it Labeled?

12 Jun

Trans-fats, artificial chemical sugars, and genetically modified foods are three of my least favorite components of our food supply.  The reason is that, in my opinion, they are not real food and are therefore subject to special labeling requirements so as to warn consumers that they are a part of what one is consuming.  By special, I mean that there should be indication that they are actually there.

As I have talked about before, trans-fats are now required to be labeled, but they allow “.5 grams or less” per serving to be equivalent to “zero grams per serving”.  This is incredibly deceptive – and should not be allowed.  If there are “.5 grams” or “.47 grams”, then, tell people that.  Is that asking too much?

Artificial chemical sugars are continually touted as “safe” by various lobbying groups and governmental agencies.  I believe that other evidence begs to differ, and it seems like slowly but surely more people, scientists, and medical professionals are starting to see an unfortunate correlation between diet sodas and severe health problems.  Thankfully, at least we can see these sugars on most labels.  Sans various bubblegum brands (WHICH OUR KIDS EAT), that now have “Phenylketonurics” in them – but you would never think that.  Take a look – this substance is labeled as being in there, but would you ever think to look in the first place?  Again, this is incredibly deceptive to the consumer.

Lastly, and this is the real kicker – genetically modified substances have been and will continue to be a part of our food supply.  Oh, wait, you didn’t want that?  Well, too late – the people “watching out for us” have already allowed copious amounts of these products into the food supply and into agricultural lands.  I am confidant that the majority of people would not want to consume food where its genetic structure has been altered or spliced with genetic components of other foods, animals, even bacteria.   But, how about we put this to the test – how about we allow people TO CHOOSE for themselves?  How about we label products that have genetically-modified components?  Then if people wanted to eat them they could, and if they didn’t want to, they could CHOOSE NOT TO.

I don’t want to stop these industries and lobbying organizations from doing business and continuing to create products that harm or potentially harm the nation’s food supply – let them try.  What I do want is for people to have the ability to choose for themselves what they are putting into their bodies – and that means labeling and truth in labeling.  Isn’t that a win-win?  Let the big businesses continue to create these awful things, and let people choose whether they want it or not – that is the whole theory of a free market – where the consumer has information to decide for himself or herself what they put into their body, can make their purchase, and can show the market what they like or don’t like.  Or perhaps better yet, show which companies they like or don’t like.

It’s the American way – all I am asking for is a little bit of that thing called “the truth”.

JOIN AN ORGANIZATION FIGHTING BACK FOR REAL FOOD!

Transparency, Accountability, Responsibility

8 Apr

With the various problems persisting at the federal government, and watching the impact of the economy upon producers and small business owners, I believe that it is time that we acknowledge that we must take steps towards transparency, accountability, and responsibility.

The budget battle which is far from over, has to do with choices that men and women in Congress and the Senate made.  Our representatives, whether they were Republican, Democrat, or Independent – made choices that affected how we got here today.   They were and are in the People’s House – and should be doing our business for us.  That business is to protect the Constitution of the United States and our natural and individual rights.  We are far from that now, but we can certainly get back.

Being an advocate for sustainable farming and a prosperous/healthy food supply, the current issue of genetic modification of seeds (that becomes the products that we consume) has me concerned.  The static nature of the federal agencies that are supposedly “protecting” us, has already allowed these substances into our food supply, without our consent, and without our knowledge.  Since there is no way to really know or test the products because of the amount of time it would take, WE are in fact the guinea pigs.  This is unnerving and enraging.  Transparency – we should know what we are eating.  Accountability: The federal agencies that are set up to put a check on what enters our food supply and environment should be doing their job or out of business.  Responsibility: Our representatives that represent us in a constitutional republic (not a democracy), should be doing the people’s business.

Being an advocate for a sustainable fiscal and monetary policy as well as a sound currency, the existence of the Federal Reserve’s power and actions is of grave concern.  Conspicuously in existence for 98 years, their “control” of the money supply is arguably the reason that we are in the economic conundrum that we are in.  Their names for creating inflationary situations (QE2), not to mention complete lack of over-sight, creates confusion and false actions in the marketplace.  No one really knows what to expect because no one really knows what is going on.  Or maybe we do, and if we do, it is scary how much of a bad situation that we are in.  Transparency – we should know what the Federal Reserve is doing – if it is conducting actions that affect the American people as ordered by Congress and the federal government.  Accountability: We should not have an entity that causes inflation supposedly fixing inflation.  Responsibility: Our representatives that represent our interests as the American people should be making sure that upon the renewal of this entity’s charter, that the people’s business is taken care of and that the interests of the people’s currency is protected against internal and external threats.

We must do each of these things ourselves, and to find actionable solutions, we must face up to the positions that each of us are in.  Sometimes that is difficult and painful, however, each of us must take a stand and use our own personal responsibility to create an environment where we can once again have prosperity, liberty, and peace.

Farmers Fighting Back – Family Farms Vs. Monsanto

1 Apr

On March 30th, a lawsuit was filed by the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT), representing 60 family farmers, seed businesses and organic agricultural organizations.  This was to challenge Monsanto’s patent on genetically-modified (GM)seed.

 

In an effort to protect themselves, farmers are suing Monsanto over the patents on GM seed because historically Monsanto has actually sued farmers in the United States and Canada when the patented genetically-modified (GM) materially inadvertently contaminates the farmers’ crops.  Yes, read that one more time – Monsanto sues the farmers whose crops get contaminated from Monsanto’s GM seed.

 

The question is whether Monsanto has the right to sue farmers for “patent-infringement” when the non-genetically-modified crops get contaminated with Monsanto’s GM seed.  In a world with common sense, we would certainly hope that the courts find that Monsanto has no such right.

 

What angers me, is that there has not been significant testing of the impacts of GM seeds or product on either the environment or consumers.  In addition to this, people have the right to know what they are putting into their bodies, so at the very least, GM-products should be labeled so consumers can make an educated choice.

The stringent guidelines for producing organic crops are hampered and devastated by the very existence of GM seeds.  Since GM seeds and crops are already increasingly prevalent in our country, now our only hope is to protect the farmers who are growing naturally/organically – NOT with genetically-modified substances.

God Bless the family farm and let’s hope that we can spread enough awareness to consumers so that we can protect the farmland that provides us (and provides the world) with a clean and bountiful food supply.

Tisha T. Casida

 

Farm-Grown Vegetables?

11 Mar

I just heard that Campbell’s soup uses farm-grown ingredients.

*****

This was a huge relief since I had thought that the vegetables were grown using some other method. Of course, with the advent of genetically-modified foods, I suppose that my fear is warranted and may well be on its way anyway.

*****

However, please note, that “fresh and farm-grown ingredients” are and have been a part of nutrition for thousands of years. And are not a new phenomena. If fresh and farm-ground is what you really want – don’t watch a commercial – go and find your farmer. And look into growing your own food – it is possible, less expensive, a true stance of freedom, and healthier.

Red, White, and Blueberries

8 Feb

This title came from the Veterans Farm, which “is building handicap accessible farms for our disabled combat veterans to provide a ‘Prescription without Medication’ through horticulture therapy”.  Support their wonderful mission and love your farmers and your troops.

Something caught my attention in a recent article from the New York Times.  Weldon Sleight, dean of the University of Nebraska’s College of Technical Agriculture, was quoted as saying “A lot of these rural vets have this wonderful knowledge base about agriculture,” “But we’ve told them for years there’s no future in it” (Brown, 2011).  It made me think – I have heard the same thing, that there is “no future in agriculture”.

This, of course, could not be further from the truth.  The United States has unlimited opportunity to support sustainable agriculture, which in turn in very good business.  What is sustainable agriculture?  It has to do with farming and horticulture techniques that do not put negative inputs into the soil, water, or air and instead rely on natural techniques to grow food and raise animals.  Avoiding or minimizing negative inputs creates healthier soil, which in turn, produces healthier food.  There are many places where you can learn more about sustainable agriculture, one of my favorite organizations and sites is SARE.org.

Besides good economics, farming can be a service to our veterans of war.  Several programs exist to give returning soldiers an opportunity to “decompress” and use skills that they have learned in other parts of the world. There is the Combat Boots to Cowboy Boots is out of the University of Nebraska, the Farmer-Veteran Coalition, and a syllabus being used at a farm called Archi’s Acres (which has been approved by the transition program at Camp Pendleton).  There are plenty of ways to get involved.

In the article, Helping Soldiers Trade Their Swords for Plows, one can about these efforts.

Reference:

Brown, P.L. (February 2011). Helping Soldiers Trade Their Swords for Plows. The New York Times. Retrieved on February 6, 2011 from http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/06/us/06vets.html?_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=tha3&pagewanted=all

Dirt – It’s What’s for Dinner

1 Feb

To dig in one’s own earth, with one’s own spade,
does life hold anything better?
– Beverly Nichols

 

 

I am just a couple of pages into a book loaned to me by Eric Cefus of the Catamount Institute and Pikes Peak Sustainable Business Network in El Paso County, Colorado.  The book’s title is Out of the Earth – by Daniel Hillel.  I can already tell that this will be an eye-opener concerning the history and the future of our civilization based on our care for the soil, water, and air that gives us life.

As he illustrated in the intro – dirt is accompanied with a list of negative-connotations (“dirty”, “soiled”, “muddled”).  I am unsure of the reason this has come to be, but the fact that we are so detached from the very dirt that grows our food and provides forage for our animals is concerning.  Everyone should know a whole lot more about dirt.

Every day I come into contact with more gardeners, farmers, producers, and ranchers, who on a small to large scale are dependent upon soil for their crop.  Sometimes this crop feeds just their family and sometimes this crop feeds thousands of people.  We are all dependent upon healthy soil to produce healthy food.  In addition to that, we are also dependent upon water systems that can nourish our land and our bodies.

So what?  As we will investigate in this book, there have been numerous civilizations to NOT preserve and protect the quality of their soil and thus have toppled.  A sustainable food system that provides nourishment to communities is key to existence much less prosperity.

The United States, being an amazingly diverse and dynamic compilation of land and soil, has a lot to preserve and protect.  The 307 million Americans who live here need healthy food – that means we must all (consumer and producer alike) be cognizant of what is going into and coming out of our soil.

The soil is equivalent to the life-blood of a human body.  It maintains the nutrients, carries the nutrients, and otherwise protects the body from harm.  Just as we, as humans, should create a healthy environment in our bodies, we should create healthy soil for our communities and country.  After all, dirt is what provides us our dinner – I can’t think of anything more important to protect.

RAW MILK – Let ME Decide What Is Dangerous or Not

30 Jan

In Minnesota, several lawmakers are trying to make it easier to purchase raw or unpasteurized milk (yay for representatives making laws to re-create a free market).  Big Dairy (large conglomerates of the food machine that seeks to not allow people to make free choices about what they eat or do not eat) is apparently fighting this.

Believe it or not, modern pasteurization as a process is relatively new in the scheme of human existence (late 1800’s).  That means that for THOUSANDS of years people were consuming raw milk.  Hmmm…

So, if I decide that I like raw milk – I should be able to consume it.  Just like if I would like to consume chocolate, or beer, or lawn clippings for that matter.  I, being an independent and “free” American should be able to make choices about what I do or do not put into my body.  And, I don’t want anyone protecting me from that OR forcing me to be protected.  That is simply wrong.

I believe in the powers of raw milk because I have consumed it for over three years.  I am not afraid of it because I KNOW the people who produce it, that is the best type of check and balance one can have with food – KNOW WHO GREW IT, RAISED IT, OR MADE IT.  Simple.

So, in a perfect world (which I create in my head every morning), people would learn about what they are eating and government would stay out of the process.  Yes, some regulations are absolutely necessary, however, even with all of the protections we already have, there are slip-ups and mistakes and people who get sick and die.  That is a process of life, and we need to understand that – we are human.

And, as a human being exercising a free will to as I like with my body, brain, and soul – I can tell you that raw milk should be able to be bought and sold where we the people demand it.

Access to Local Food

26 Jun

In an AP article, a phenomena and trend which has been taking shape for quite awhile, is highlighted.

That trend is the limited access to food in rural areas (e.g. grocery stores), and the reason has to do with economics.  Smaller operations are generally more costly to run, and larger operations who can utilize the benefits of economies of scale to offer products and services for a lower price – will be able to attract more customers who are looking for cost-savings (especially if facing bad economic conditions).

Government proposals will include spending initiatives, and there are grants and other opportunities for these small grocery stores to try and stay in business.  What is truly sustainable, though, would be for consumers to change their purchasing patterns.  Because if the demand is not there, you cannot subsidize it – it will simply not work in a free market (and we are assuming that we are keeping the free market that we have).

So, if you are reading this and are a consumer and want to make a difference – find local farmers, ranchers, and producers to support, and be willing to spend some extra money to keep them in business.  If we keep our local guys open, and help their businesses to thrive, then eventually we will actually see local food prices decrease, and the wonder and beauty of economics in a free market can once again be realized.

It will take time, it is not easy, and we must all work together.  But it is possible.

– Tisha Casida