Archives for the month of: July, 2011

I am so excited to let you all know that I will be going to the Weston A. Price’s 12th Annual Wise Traditions Conference in Dallas, TX this November!

It will be my 25th birthday weekend and I am so excited to spend it with good people, good food, and my milk smuggling mom! Hope to see you there!!

 Hegemonic Masculinity “A term first introduced by R. W. Connell, hegemonic masculinity refers to the dominant form of masculinity within the gender hierarchy. Although hegemonic masculinity subordinates other masculinities and femininities, it can be challenged by them. In most Western societies today, hegemonic masculinity is associated with whiteness, heterosexuality, marriage, authority and physical toughness.”

Farmers have existed for thousands of years. They are the backbone of society. Without farmers, we would all be hungry. Why is it that such a heroic occupation has gone by the wayside? Throughout Hollywood storylines of young Americans fleeing the farm for the big city run rampant. The modern image of power is the “working woman” and “business man” living in the word of the stock market and the suit. Why has our society diminished the farmer in our culture’s power hierarchy?

Aside from the farmer being devalued, the organic farmer takes an even bigger step down. Joel Salatin even goes so far to say that in order to be an organic, conscientious farmer, one has to be a “sissy farmer.” Organic has been given a feminine quality. In an occupation traditionally dominated by men there is a sense of pride and competition. A culture in which farmers strive to achieve the biggest crop yields and make the most profit, organic may seem counterintuitive for many in the agricultural business. Organic takes more than just buying, spraying, and corralling. It takes TLC. Is it because mothers are so nurturing, that to care for a plant or animal without causing harm or pain, one must be nurturing and therefore must be feminine?

The truth of the matter is that organic, sustainable farming can be very masculine and it can be very feminine, but ultimately it has nothing to do with gender roles. Farmers using new innovative, eco-friendly practices need to be smart, and men and women are both smart. They need to understand ecology, biology, botany, and most importantly, they must be business savvy in order to survive in this capitalistic word. Farmers today need to be informed and aggressive. Combined with compassion and a sense of responsibility to the global community, organic, sustainable farmers are the complete package. There is nothing sissy about that.

P.S. I love Joel!

This month the Trust for America’s Health issued it’s 2011 report on the status of America’s Health. The title? “F as in FAT: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future

Some facts reported in the report:

  • Since 2008, 16 states saw an increase in their obesity rates, while no states decreased.
  • Twelve states now have obesity rates above 30% (Four years ago, only one state was over 30%).
  • More than 1/3 children ages 10-17 are obese or overweight.
  • Nationwide, less than 1/3 of all children ages 6-17 engage in vigorous activity, defined as at least 20 minutes of physical activity which causes the child to sweat and breathe hard.
Apparently we failed the test, but how can you pass when the curriculum itself is failing?

Elsie the Cow, Borden's celebrity spokescow in Lakeland, Fla. (PRNewsFoto/Borden Dairy Company)

The Surprisingly Colorful History of Milk

Check out this great “On Point” show from NPR with guests:

Deborah Valenze, professor of History at Barnard College, and author of “Milk: A Local And Global History.”

Heather Paxson, professor of anthropology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She’s currently researching American artisanal cheesemakers. Her work explores how people grapple with changing socioeconomic conditions and new bioscientific knowledge.

Karl Klessig, farmer and owner of Saxon Homestead Farm and Creamery in Cleveland, Wisconsin.

For the past two weeks I’ve been feeling guilty about not writing, so that’s what I’m going to write about.

Americans (and people in general) do too much stuff, thanks to culture and technology. People are stressed all the time, working constantly, eating out because they don’t have enough time to cook, always on their cell phones (even when they should be spending quality time with loved ones) and trying to stuff a healthy life style in every free minute (because we’re “supposed” to) and we wonder why we’re stressed an constantly suffering from some sort of ailment, be it physical or mental. Myself, I have been guilty of all of these things (except the active lifestyle) for the past two weeks.

One area that often gets forgotten amidst the culturally induced stress, is caring about where our food comes from. I’ve found that most people that who are the most knowledgeable and vigilant in their practice of eating and living well are those individuals that are so blessed to be working in the field (pun partially intended). I believe that this is the reason why so many of us live in ignorance, not knowing what we’re putting in and on our bodies. It’s not that people don’t care, it’s that they don’t have time for it.

Think about fast food for a minute. It’s the ultimate American delicacy. Not because of how good it tastes or what it’s made of, but because it’s cheap, fast, and easy. It fits into the “always on the run” lifestyle that so many of us have deemed “normal.”

Just remember, if we lived in Europe, long lunches, full fat food and vacations would be considered “normal,” too. It’s all culturally dictated.

While less regulation of our small farmers might take some of the stress off the consumer making local, fresh, healthy food more easily accessible, consumers need to start talking with their wallets. I always hear people say, “If it was cheaper I’d buy it.” Well start buying it, people, and it will get cheaper! (I say that will all the love and compassion in the world, of course.) The more people who buy it the more “normal” it becomes. We, the people, need to somehow figure out a way to may living healthy and eating fresh, local, real food a part of our every day requirement; like brushing our teeth. It’s okay to floss every once in a while, but if you let it slide too much, you’ll end up getting drilled.

Tomorrow, I will wake up early, go to yoga, eat a healthy meal, soak up my vitamin D sunshine, and enjoy life. Then I will go grocery shopping and plan my meals for the week with the utmost intention of eating delicious, wholesome meats and veggies. If I continue to make the effort, I will be making a conscious effort to benefit myself and my community. If I forget or get lazy, I will be hurting myself and my community.

“It is not our abilities that show what we truly are. It is our choices.” –Dumbledore