Farm Fresh Education

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The subject of getting your food from local farmers and growers is a subject near and dear to my heart.  I kind of figured that it would be one of the first posts on this new blog, but for some reason, I just kept putting it off.  Earlier this evening, I was reading one of my new favorite blogs, and Stephanie had written a fabulous article on this subject of knowing where our food is coming from.  I agree with everything she wrote, so there’s no need for me to write it out again.  So, you should visit her site.

There are a couple of things that I would like to add from my own personal story.  I am pretty new to the idea of advocating farm fresh foods.  Eating healthy has been a journey for me.  A year and a half or so ago, I found out that I had some ovarian problems that could be managed by eating low glycemic/sugar free foods.  So, I started to focus on complex carbohydrates and less sugar.  That led me into the realm of minimally processed foods and whole grains.  Then, about a year ago, I found out that I have Celiac disease, which means that I cannot have any wheat or cereal grains.  So, I had to throw all the “whole grains” out the window.  I really struggled with finding convenience foods that fit all of my dietary restrictions.  And then I discovered the wonderful book, Nourishing Traditions.  This book is probably the most used book in our house, second to the Bible.  Sally Fallon, the author, points out the value of eating fresh, whole foods, meats that are fresh, and drinking raw milk.  That book really prompted a lot of deep thinking about the food my family puts in our mouths.  And it prompted a lot more research that ultimately changed our family’s food philosophy from “convenience” to “natural.”

Now, every week, I drive out to a fairly local farm, and get raw Guernsey milk.  Besides drinking it, from that raw milk, I have made my own raw butter, cream cheese, yogurt, etc.  Raw milk is highly controversial, but a few things have made me a believer.  First, my husband is lactose intolerant, but because of the live enzymes in raw milk, he is able to enjoy milk again without getting sick.  Second, while raw milk does sour after a week or so, it doesn’t go bad.  Yet why does the milk from the grocery store go bad so quickly?  It just makes you wonder….

Also, I’ve been buying eggs at the farm, when they’re available.  This past week, they had duck eggs, and I bought those instead of the chicken eggs.  Farm fresh eggs taste great.  And I love that they are not all the exact same color and size.  Some are big and some are smaller.  Some are white, some are speckled and some are dark brown.  And I love that these chickens aren’t standing in their own waste in some tiny pen.  Nope, they are free to wander the farm.  Actually, the last time I went out to the farm, they were waddling around my car.

It’s been quite a journey for me.  I’ve gone from being the queen of convenience foods to making everything from scratch and “grocery shopping” at a farm.  But this road has been a gradual one–one paved by education.  Regardless of where you stand on these issues–whether you agree that farm fresh food is valuable, or whether you think that everything needs to be pasteurized and inspected by the FDA–it is important to make those decisions based on education.  Read those books, watch those videos, and check out both sides of the story.  Don’t draw your conclusions based on what you’ve always done or how your family was raised. There’s a ton of misinformation out there.  I’ve always wanted to be a good steward of my health, body, and resources, but it wasn’t until I educated myself (and didn’t let the media educate me) that I was able to develop my convictions.

If you’ve been on a journey to eat more natural foods, I’d love to hear about it.  Or maybe you’re skeptical about all this, and you want to know what resources are good to educate yourself about natural foods.  Nourishing Traditions and the Weston A. Price Foundation is definitely a great place to start reading.  If any of you readers out there have other resources that you use, please leave a comment and share with us!!

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2 Responses to “Farm Fresh Education”

  1. A Says:

    Great article! Back in England my Dad kept chickens so we always had the eggs… and living in the countryside meant that there was all kinds of produce available locally… and home grown veggies of course.
    Nowadays I shop at whole foods (don’t have a garden or much time) but do my best to be sugar free and chemical additive free. I just don’t trust that stuff!

  2. Amanda Says:

    hey, do you know about the Oklahoma Food Cooperative? http://www.oklahomafood.coop It does have a one time joining fee but you can order local produced and made products from fresh veggies to homemade soap and everything in between. Of course more pricey than the big blue store, but supports local farmers, additive free and i’m sure tastes better. Orders are once a month and they deliver to norman so you can pick up lots of local stuff in one stop. we are trying to find room in our budget to join, but salivate regularly over the choices available. check it out!

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