Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wild Health... As Nature Intended!

So I have been reading this book Wild Health: Lessons in Natural Wellness from the Animal Kingdom by Cindy Engel, and I have to say this is a must read for all those that follow a more natural path to health and wellness. It is a very informative book packed with many examples of how wild animals not only stay healthy but rid themselves of sickness naturally, if and when it occurs. With the countless natural remedies out there for the taking and the animals instinctiveness to seek them out when in need is nothing short of amazing to me. Even with many of these herbs being toxic if consumed in excess or at the wrong time or alone (instead of in combination with another herb), it seems wild animals have mastered natures medicine cabinet.

One of the things she talks about is the contradicting views regarding the health of wild animals based on observations recorded of domesticated (or wild captive) animals. Whether it be lab rats or industrial (large scale) farm animals, when the animal is not given access to its natural habitat an accurate conclusion on the state of their ability to avoid and combat sickness and disease cannot be drawn. It was thought for many years (and still is today) that contact with wild animals is to blame for sickness and disease of farm animals, but in reality it's the poor immune systems of domesticated (or captive) animals that are to blame.

Cindy makes the point that in nature wild animals carry many pathogens, but it's their immune systems ability to keep the balance between the good and bad bacteria within the body at a safe HEALTHY level, that truly makes for a healthy animal.

Friday, October 14, 2011

What Came First the Chicken or the Soybean?

At first glance you may think the question seems, well ridiculous; I mean what does a chicken have to do with a soybean anyway... more than you think actually! And if you suffer from a soy allergy and or are one of those that haven't been brain washed by those who tout the soybean as a "super-food", you may want to choose your poultry and egg source wisely.

To answer the question though, you're right it really doesn't matter which came first. It does however warrant mentioning the connection between the two. Although examining the content of soy protein present in poultry and eggs is not a hot topic for researchers, one such study was performed by Professor M. Monica Giust and the results concluded the following

"The transfer of Isoflavones, a potent phytoestrogens found in soybeans, can indeed be manipulated by altering the soy content in commercial chicken feed."

Unfortunately soybean meal is the main ingredient of poultry feed (for both non-organic and organic varieties) used to alter the protein content in the feed itself. Having a handful of free-ranging chickens myself, I came across this unpleasant discovery the hard way and I found it very difficult to find an organic feed sold locally that did not contain soy. This of course, along with what I know and in turn despise about processed foods, led me to mix my own chicken feed made from organic whole oats, whole wheat berries, and whole corn... leaving the protein part of the equation to all of the insects (flies, worms, grubs, etc.) that my free-range birds find on my property.

So what can you do to insure the chicken and eggs that you eat are not packed with these potent phytoestrogens (soy)? How about make sure all of the meats, eggs, and dairy products you consume come from local organic free-range/grass fed sustainable farms.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Homemade Horseradish

Fresh Horseradish Root
Rice Vinegar

Cut up the horseradish root into small chunks, keeping track of your total amount. Pour the horseradish chunks into a blender of some sort (I use the bullet) and add the vinegar, about 3/4 of the total amount of horseradish you ended up with. Now blend the mixture until it takes on the horseradish consistency you are familiar with. If it's too thick add more vinegar.

But Be Careful!

This may be the most potent horseradish you have ever had!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Food Allergy or an Allergy to our Food Industry?

Being a sufferer of food allergies (soy and dairy) and learning what I have since my diagnosis about diet, health, and our food system as a whole, I have come to believe the root of the allergy may have more to do with the "human element" and less to do with the food itself...

For instance take dairy allergies; there is a belief out there by some that grass fed unpasteurized milk is the only form of milk we should be drinking. So the question becomes, is it milk (or dairy products) people are allergic to or the pasteurization of corn fed antibiotic/hormone induced milk for which industrial farming produces that is wreaking havoc on the digestive systems of millions of people?

How about wheat or gluten allergies? There is a growing belief that GMO (genetically modified) grains as well as all of the chemistry that goes into the prepackaged overly processed garbage (for lack of a better word) that lines the shelves at the grocery store claiming to be "healthy sources of whole wheat" have more to do with this growing allergy than the wheat itself.

Does it make more sense that this every growing food allergy epidemic effecting millions of Americans is caused by the countless varieties of organic non-GMO foods provided by nature that the hundreds of thousands of years of evolution have allowed modern man to become adapted to?

Or would it be more logical to believe that food allergies have more (if not all) to do with the influence man has had, let's say since the 20th century, on our food industry in the form of industrialized farming, processing, and genetically modifying nature's bounty into whatever shape, color, taste, consistency, or DNA structure all together for the sole purpose of aiding the food manufacturer as it profits from this countries broken food system?

To me the answer seems obvious.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Why Knowing Is So Important

When I read headlines like the one I read today; "Flood of food imported to U.S., but only 2% inspected", it makes me really appreciate the local organic sustainable farmers that my wife and I so passionately support. If a headline like that doesn't scare you then how about...

"In 2010, FDA inspectors physically examined 2.06 percent of all food-related imports. The FDA expects only 1.59 percent of all food imports to be examined this year and even less — only 1.47 percent — next year, according to its Office of Regulatory Affairs."

Knowing where your food comes from is more important than ever, especially in today's world where our nation's food industry creates such an enormous disconnect between what the Average American eats and where its journey began. And it's this "overly processed food" world we live in where large multinational corporations and industrial farming have taken the place of small local farms, that have given rise to such occupations as "food scientist" while nearly eliminating the need for the local farmer.

I am not saying that everyone should hunt and gather their own food, although what a culture shock that would be, but rather simply making an effort to know who is growing the crops and raising the animals that eventually make their way to your plate will go a long way in reshaping our broken food industry. Demanding healthy food grown and raised in a healthy sustainable manor from a local farm whose better interests lie with their community and the land they live off of, rather than just turning a blind eye to a damaging unhealthy problem that is only getting worse is the best thing we can do to make a difference.

Support your local organic sustainable farms!

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