Disappearing Bees

If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.” – Albert Einstein

There are certain pieces of information that make me want to cover my ears and sing, “LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA”, at the top of my lungs. Bees, “disappearing” in great numbers, is a recent example.

Miss Us When We're Gone?

Of late, I’ve noticed more “anti-America” comments along the lines of “who do you think you are…..” expressed by Australians, Canadians and Europeans on food and nutrition lists to which I belong. The comments are never made to individual Americans on the lists, instead, directed toward our country’s policies abroad.

Today, I ran across an article written by Irwin Stelzer, a columnist for the Sunday Times, a British paper, who says that Americans are getting tired of that type of challenging, ungrateful question. He suggests that the next presidential election might provide an answer, except there’s a good chance that those who ask it now, will only understand it once we’re gone, our doors closed, our money kept at home, and our weapons of defense kept strictly for our own use. Those who don’t have an understanding of the past, of history, and ask that question might very well live to regret not knowing who we are and what we have done.

Cows on Grass

I’ve used the term “grass farmer”, many times over the life of this blog and in “real” conversations. I know what I mean, never occurring to me that others might be a bit confused as to my enthusiasm. In talking with friends, I was saying something along the lines of, “….over the last few years, I’ve learned how to tell a good grass farmer from a bad one.” They were looking at me with a classic deer-caught-in-the-headlights stare.

Pork's Dirty Secret

Romans 8:22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.

Cute, darling daughter with “cute” sniffing piggy at a local fair. If I’d taken darling daughter out to a factory pork farm setting, there wouldn’t be a darling smile. There’d be tears because, bluntly, no animal should have to live the way factory farm animals are forced to live – or die. We can turn a blind eye, or we can get down in the mud with the details, because sooner or later we are going to have to come to terms with what WE have done.

Through turning a blind eye, we have financially backed an industry which produces an unhealthy product (loaded with antibiotics as well as perverted essential fatty acids) polluting our bodies as well as our land and water.

If you consider yourself an environmentalist, liberal or conservative, left, middle or right, it won’t matter how many acres of deforested land has been saved, or how many pristine national parks we have to live in, because in the end, there won’t be any corner of our world to run to that isn’t flowing with toxins and pollutants from corporate factory farming.

This isn’t a call to vegetarianism. I love bacon. I adore ham. I just like knowing I’m eating it from an animal that was treated well, died well, and fed properly without ruining the environment. -Sharon

Bitter or Sweet?

Einstein would have loved this latest research which takes a deeper look into what might seem ordinary – the often taken-for-granted ability of our tongues to distinguish flavor. For decades, people have been protesting that tongue “maps” are a throwback to misinterpreting early 19th century research. And in a way, there is something odd in the fact we have better maps of the moon and Mars than we do our tongue. Nonetheless, researchers finally seem determined to venture where no man has correctly gone – to the last great frontier known as Tastebuds. -Sharon

U.S. Factory Farms - So Bad They're A Tourist Attraction

Bill Moyers is not my favorite reporter. One of these days, I’ll write about why his liberal don’t-confuse-me-with-the-facts tirades, many targeted against Christians irritate me. His basic accusation, that Christians don’t care about the environment or conservation of our resources, is the equivalent of a nice big factory-farm pile of manure. I’d like to challenge Mr. Moyers by asking him to send me a list of foods he enjoys. Perhaps nice grain-fed steaks? Maybe pasteurized, ultra-homogenized dairy? There’s a war raging in this country for our rights, our freedoms to choose food and at the heart of it, literally, is not only our health, but that of the animals and the environment. The Union of Concerned Scientists lists the benefit to naturally-raised meat and dairy products, pasteured (eating grass) the way the good Lord intended to include:

The environmental benefits of carefully managed grass-fed systems that do not confine animals or concentrate large quantities of manure, by contrast, can include:
o reduced emissions of heat-trapping or greenhouse gases;
o increased carbon sequestration;
o decreased energy use;
o reduced water pollution;
o decreased soil erosion;
o reduced sediment in waterways;
o reduced soil nutrient loss;
o decreased fertilizer and herbicide use and runoff;
o decreased air pollution; and
o increased opportunities for wildlife habitat.

More on Moyers later….for now, read more for a fascinating news release on why Europeans are touring American factory farms. (Hint: TO NOT MAKE THE MISTAKES WE HAVE!) -Sharon

Farmed or Wild Seafood?

We only eat wild-caught seafood – fish, shrimp, and scallops, to name a few. Up until last year, I wasn’t even aware that scallops were also farm-raised. We strive to support the local farmer, and in our area, that includes supporting our local fisherman. Without them, it will be increasingly difficult to maintain a healthy diet.

New Farm "Free" Organic Speech

Greg Bowman at NewFarm.org wrote a “free” speech available to anyone who wants to preach the gospel of organic, fresh, in-season, locally produced food. It’s not only a great speech, but a great read. Here it is…

Speaking of Squash

Squash Wrangling Techniques 101

I love kitchen tools and gadgets, collected strolling the aisles of Williams-Sonoma, Crate and Barrel or, my favorite, Restoration Hardware. Since I make all our meals from “scratch” – think pre-1880’s wife not reliant on industrialized food production – having the right tool for the task is a tremendous time-saver…..