Interview with Joel Salatin, Farmer & Author

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rK7sKYAE4sg?rel=0]

 

I had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms – one of the most well-spoken and actionable people in our country taking a stand against the bad uses of government force.  His book “Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal – War Stories from the Local Food Front”, has been a hit with the public, and his bio-dynamic farm in Virginia has been featured in Smithsonian Magazine and National Geographic.  You can listen or download the interview here, or watch the interview on Youtube here!

The Wonderful World of Dirt – Antibiotic Find

Via our Food & Medicine Freedom Friends at That’s Natural!

Sometimes the most amazing things in the world are the ones that get stepped on the most.

I have a growing love affair with soil, as it is the basis and foundation for all plant life – and therefore all life on earth.  An experimental ‘drug’  called teixobactin – isolated from a sample of dirt from New England – is initially showing to act successfully as an antibiotic.  Teixobactin has also proven beneficial in treating antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including streptococcus and MRSA.

We should all be aware of the growing numbers of bacteria that are resistant to treatment from antibiotics.  Some of this may come from the growing amount of antibiotics automatically in our food supply from animals being treated with antibiotics.  The more meat and dairy that we consume, the more potential we have of ingesting what these animals have consumed.  The more antibiotics we take – the more “good” bacteria we kill inside our own systems.  And the more bad bacteria get to know these antibiotics, the stronger they become – becoming antibiotic-resistant.

This discovery of an effective antibiotic right in the “common” dirt of somewhere like someone’s back yard is exciting – and telling.  The “development” of the human being has had people putting their hands in the dirt to live and survive.  I am guessing that at this point in history, in our country, we have the most people who never even have their skin to the ground, touching the earth, and feeling the soil.  Can you imagine having a baby born in a metropolis, living in an apartment, and with limited access to public land and trails?  That child may not have the opportunity to play in the dirt for months, or years.  How does this affect their development?

Dirt is powerful.  It is a living, breathing being that creates our medicines and grows our food.  Honoring this, and becoming closer to the dirt (by making it a point to put your hands and feet in it once awhile) may just be the most therapeutic and beneficial things that we can do.

The USDA Should NOT Have Submachine Guns

USDA Request for Submachine Guns Pic

Why on earth would an agency charged to “regulate” agriculture need machine guns?  Or any guns for that matter?   Isn’t there something horribly wrong with this picture?  Can you imagine farmers and ranchers doing anything on their property that would require this particular government agency to have these high-powered weapons?

Unless a farmer or rancher is physically harming someone else – physically beating or using force against another person for any reason other than self-defense – there is absolutely NO REASON that weapons should ever be used by any government agency against its own citizens. And there are already law enforcement agencies charged to take care of such a situation – like the County Sheriff.

We have people screaming about gun laws for the safety of citizens – what about the applicability of these gun laws that already exist for our own government officials?  Shouldn’t they have to follow the same laws?  Isn’t the government made up of individuals just like you and me?  What makes somebody who works for the government any better, smarter, or capable of managing a weapon used for mass killing?

I hope you take a moment to sign this petition at the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund – and stay involved in this debate.  There is absolutely no reason that ANY government agency or official should have these weapons that could be used against our own citizens.  It is frightening – and we can stop it.

In Peace,

Tisha

Let's Stop the EPA from Taking Your Property

Property rights, the ability to own “things”, and the protection against having groups of people – whether in government or in business – be able to “take your stuff”, is a unique and coveted component of our country.

Americans are feeling the heat – farmers, small-business-owners, and most everyone who lives paycheck-to-paycheck – can feel that something is trying to stop them from being able to work, to make money, to protect their property, and to be able to accomplish “the American Dream”.

There are thousands of laws on the books that are not equally enforceable, and so oftentimes, those trying hardest to “follow the law” are the ones that get punished.  Where is the justice in that?

Another law coming down the pipe that supports and promotes the non-environmentally-protecting EPA yet again threatens farmers and property owners with the un-just and un-constitutional actions of the federal government.  The EPA proposal will “regulate” (AKA: spy on, fine, and take away) property with isolated water accumulations (e.g. ponds and marshes) with no direct flow or connection to navigable waterways (e.g. streams and rivers).

Basically, every property in America would have some accumulation of water, at some point.  And so this piece of legislation, the Clean Water Act, with this proposed rule – could be damaging to not only farmers and ranchers – but even home-owners.

In our elections, in our consumption, and in our voice – it is up to us to step up and protect each other.  We are the servers of justice, and you and I must protect each other’s property – whether it is our homes, our land, our bank-accounts, or our family.  It’s up to us, and we must oppose laws that can take away our property – it is the antithesis of the American Dream.

 

Homeland Security – Where’s Scrutiny Over GMOs?

If you are concerned about the safety of the nation, and are worried about how to protect citizens from bodily harm from terrorists – you should really feel that same way about the injection of genetically modified organisms  (GMO’s) into the entire nation’s food supply by private companies and public partners that have deemed this infusion of un-tested foods onto our dinner tables “safe” and “necessary”.

I mean, changing the genetic make-up of the very food we eat that becomes part of our own DNA, is a pretty big deal – maybe citizens of our “free” country deserve a choice?

So, even though GMO’s have been “approved” by the all-knowing anointed intelligence agencies of American’s government, like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), we have to remember that this agency approves “drugs” that have very damaging side-effects (including death – like what’s vocalized on all those pharmaceutical drug commercials with puppies running through a field of flowers and dancing people pirouetting down the beach).  A real “test” of how genetic modification may have long-term consequences on our agriculture industry as well as health of our citizens has not been completed.

You and I are the guinea pigs, we are the test.

The harbinger of corruption at the federal level of “protecting the people” through the office of the FDA is Michael R. Taylor, who worked for the FDA as the deputy commissioner for policy in the 1990’s, then went to work for Monsanto as Vice President of Public Policy, and then came back, under President Obama, as the Deputy Commissioner for Foods:

“Mr. Taylor is leading FDA efforts to

* develop and carry out a prevention-based strategy for food safety

* plan for new food safety legislation

* ensure that food labels contain clear and accurate information on nutrition”.

Yeah!  Of course he is going to do all of this effectively with absolutely no bias towards genetically modified foods, the flagship of Monsanto – where he worked and probably has some ties not to mention “stock” options.  Sure.

This is called the “revolving door”.  So are we giving the government and corporations the right to control your garden?  We already have.

Now it’s time to take it back.

And of course, the protection of multi-national companies like Monsanto from Constitutional law and from being responsible for human carnage with their practices through judicial review – is a testament to the fact that we absolutely have to take this fight in our own hands at the County and State level of government.

If we talk about “Homeland Security”, then can we talk about the very soil, water, and air that feeds the 307+ million Americans who exist here?

It is obvious that things are out of hand in Washington, D.C., and my guess is that our best bet is to lean local, know your farmer, spend more money on food and less money on policy, and vote with our wallet – the one vote we have left to make an immediate difference.

– Tisha Casida

Raw Milk Delivery – Tales of the Criminal Mind

By: Tisha Casida, That’s Natural!

9:47 AM, sunny day on Hwy 82, getting ready to get onto I-70 to deliver a gallon of raw milk to a friend.  I am going from Pitkin County, to Garfield County, to Eagle County.  About 71 miles, 2 hours total time on the road and completing the pick-up and delivery.

About 5 miles later, east-bound on I-70, there are flashing blue and red lights behind me.  I am terrified.  My stomach immediately sinks, and I begin thinking and wondering if I have all of my documentation to show that I am “legal” to drive and operate vehicle in the State of Colorado.  Drivers License, Proof of Insurance.. are my plates/tags up to date?   My heart is pounding and my hands sweating.  I was going the speed limit… under the speed limit.  Sh**, sh**, sh** – what did I do wrong?

I pull into the right lane and slow down.  The State Trooper buzzes past me.  He wasn’t going after me, this time, thank God.

Why is it that I felt like such a criminal?  Why is it that I felt like I was doing something wrong?  The inside of my car looks quite chaotic, and then my raw milk jars peeking from the cooler in the back-seat – do I really have the makings of a criminal?  Why is it that I get so scared and nervous when there are flashing lights behind me, when I am doing nothing wrong?  Is it conditioning?  Am I supposed to be scared?  Is it all in my mind?

My heart tells me that we, as a society, are being driven by fear, and make many decisions based off of this idea that we may be punished if we don’t “follow the rules”.  Well, “following the rules” is fine and dandy until the people making the rules make it impossible to survive.  Income taxes, property taxes, licensing of vehicles, licensing of businesses, registration of everything – all with special rules and associated costs.  All in the name of “protecting” others with the heavy hand of force to issue punishments to those who do not follow the rules.  Is it honestly bad for me to drink raw milk, to deliver it?  Is it dangerous?  Does it hurt others when I drink it?  Is it constitutionally illegal for me to deliver raw milk to people who want it, who willingly take responsibility to consume it?  Is it bad for me to want to make a living, to engage in enterprise – to sell my services to others who willingly pay for them?

Today, while driving on I-70, I went through all of the normal reactions a criminal would have – heart palpitating, hands perspiring, body engaging in fight or flight reactions.  There is just one problem – I am not a criminal.  And I should not be afraid of the very law enforcement that is there to protect my property.  It is time we engage our law enforcement and work together, peacefully, to achieve the “appropriate” use of force on our streets.  Check out the Peaceful Streets Project which is doing just that.

Food Freedom, Let's Fight Back!

When it comes to food freedom, and being able to eat whatever we like, as well as grow food for ourselves, our families, and our community, we have to be cognizant of the many (and increasing) regulatory agencies that are causing issues. Most of these regulations are statutory law (not common law or constitutional law), and therefore we can easily work at a local level to nullify (or get rid of) bad laws that make it impossible to eat good, healthy food.

 

Here are some examples of what we have come up against – do you have more to add and share with others?

 

 

An entrepreneur, who has been working on growing her dedicated following of people who want natural prepared meals and healthful alternatives to the central food supply, has encountered multiple hurdles when trying to both start and expand her operations.

 

  1. (LOCAL LICENSING FEES) She purchased a retail food license for a place ($250), but ended up having to move into a new location and was told she was going to have to purchase ANOTHER retail food license ($250) – this was after the Pueblo City County Health Department told her she would have to “get the facility up to code” even though it was a restaurant previously (the previous operators were operating for TWO YEARS not in code and were never fined or questioned).  And then, the license expires at the end of the year!  So she will have to purchase ANOTHER retail food license in January of 2013 ($250)!  That is a total of $750 for a retail food license for a small business that has not even technically started selling to the public through this retail food establishment yet!

 

  1. (FEDERAL REGULATION) She has a source of naturally-raised and USDA-processed chicken that her customers are eager to purchase.  The people who process these chickens are certified by all of the agencies necessary to show that the chickens have been handled and processed up to “code”. HOWEVER, she is not allowed to re-sell these chickens to her customers.  Why?  The Pueblo City-County Health Department has told her that the people raising the chickens themselves would have to be certified by the USDA (the time and cost for this is extensive – likely in the thousands of dollars/and months of delay by the end of it).  We are talking about between 20 and 30 chickens, raised by small-time farmers on their own land, taking them to a USDA-certified processing facility, with this type of regulation, no small farmer could ever afford to raise chickens.

 

  1. (LOCAL and FEDERAL REGULATIONS) She wanted to buy italian sausage from a local market and use it in her tortellini soup. That was NOT POSSIBLE! The local market can sell directly to the consumer, but as soon as they sell to this small-business-owner starting her business they need a wholesale license and to be inspected by the USDA – something that costs more and will take more time than what it is worth to either the small market or to the entrepreneur.

 

  1. (LOCAL and STATE REGULATIONS) Farmers can sell their eggs directly to the consumer on their farm, however, as soon as the farmer goes to take these eggs to a market (e.g. a farmers’ market), then there is a requirement for a license from the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA), which includes the need for a home inspection. Even if it is one dozen eggs – 12 eggs – being taken to market – this licensing requirement exists and takes more time and money than the potential revenue and/or profit from selling the eggs. Our entrepreneur can sell those certified farm eggs in her storefront, but IS NOT ALLOWED TO USE THE EGGS IN HER RECIPES – the State says that all eggs served to the public must be pasteurized – a process that is not part of the regular operations of selling eggs from the farm directly to consumers.

 

  1. (LOCAL REGULATION) Another, separate entrepreneur was interested in starting a co-op, or community-supported-agriculture (CSA) operation in town (Pueblo). She went to the Pueblo Regional Building Department to be “approved” to have this. She also went to purchase the required business license to be able to operate. She was told that she could not be approved to do have this type of operation in the City, but to keep trying. She would have been able to grow local food for 10-15 families, but it was determined by the City that she could not grow food in town. She was never able to start her small urban farm.

 

Small, local, micro producers should never be held to the same “laws” as large multi-national companies that lobby Congress to create these atrocious rules and regulations (what they call “law”) that eventually stop small producers from producing.  Follow the money.  You can see that most of our representatives in Congress have got there through the very money that ends up creating “laws” that hurt small farmers, entrepreneurs, and producers of food products.  It is people’s natural and unalienable right to consume products that they want to and exchange those products amongst each other.  There are no laws that can stop people who grow food or raise animals from getting those to willing consumers who are willing to purchase those items.

 

It is our natural right to grow food, consumer food, and exchange food. If anyone EVER tells you differently, remind them that you have the power of the Constitution behind you, and that you are capable of acting locally, even getting your local county sheriff involved, to protect your food freedom.

 

In Food Freedom,

Tisha Casida – That’s Natural!

We Need To Get Kids Fat

Now that I have your attention, let me start with this:

Good, quality, natural fats are absolutely essential to the growth, development, and preservation of the human body and the human brain. And we, as a community, need to embrace local, natural diets that support getting essential and natural fats into the bodies and brains of the generation upcoming (as well as ourselves).

And, one should not consume only fat (personal responsibility always embraces moderation) – it is pertinent to have a diet with high-quality proteins and carbohydrates as well. But I do think that many people, especially kids, are devoid of foods that are dense in nutrients, proteins, and high-quality fats – and that is a cause for disease, and for the problems we see with behavioral issues and depression.

There are: Saturated Fats, Monounsaturated Fats, and Polyunsaturated Fats. All of these are natural, and produced (found) in nature. Saturated fats have long been demonized as the culprit of disease, but this is not the case (quality butter is actually good for you, margarine is not; quality eggs are also very good for you in moderation).

Trans-fats are one of the worst culprits in today’s society, and although many labels claim to have “Zero grams trans fats”, they are actually lying – if there is .5 grams or less, then the label can say zero. The problem is that “.5” is not zero. And these man-made fats are detrimental to the human body – they increase the bad cholesterol in our bodies while also lowering the good cholesterol. Trans-fats are the type fats that should be chastised – many other fats are very, very good for you (for digestion, your organs, your skin, your nervous system, and more).

Thanks to the federal government, we have the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which has come up with a guideline of what we should eat. Now, this guideline could be influenced by political lobbying and studies conducted and made possible by the special interest groups that benefit from such – so we should think for ourselves a bit too, and do research and reading on our own about our health. We can take control of what we eat – and we can work on knowing the people who produce our food (whether they are local or not).

Many parents are having issues feeding their kids the high-quality foods that they would like to, and many lunch-lines in public schools are serving products that are devoid of nutrients. The little experience I have with trying to get local foods to market, shows the even eliminating bureaucracy in the school systems (including having to follow federal guidelines for kids’ lunches) would help get kids better food (e.g. if local farmers are willing to sell products to their local schools, then why can’t we make this happen faster?). It will take time, but we need to work on getting our kids higher-quality food – including high-quality fats that are going to help their bodies and brains develop in a healthy way.

I am working my way through a book called “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon – and it has a great outline of the components of our food, including high-quality fats, proteins, and carbohydrates (produce, legumes and grains). There are studies, antidotes, and recipes, and a great way to start learning about the “politically incorrect” diet. There are more books too that I will continue to reference – look online, go to a bookstore, and start to take back your power as a consumer by changing what you eat.

 

 

Arsenic in Our Food – Blaming & Changing

Arsenic is a naturally occurring substance, and in the environment, and even naturally occurring in some foods (for instance, in apricot kernels – which are also very high in Vitamin B). But there is evidence of an increasing amount of arsenic in rice, and the occurrence is not natural. As a matter of fact, it may be contributing to various sicknesses – including cancer.

The federal government and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have (in the past) been charged with protecting the American people and their health (along with other agencies like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)). Unbelievably, “they” monitor (attempt to monitor) the levels of arsenic in water – but not in food. This is a minor oversight, but serves as an example, that no large, bureaucratic agency is capable of adapting to the needs of over 307 million Americans.

State and local governments are more apt and able to be in tune to the needs of the people – including keeping an eye on levels of arsenic in the water and the land that we grow our food in. In addition to this – to mimic what Dr. Oz said this morning – consumers can “nudge” companies to change their practices and make sure that we hold companies accountable to us – the consumer. After all, we are buying their product and contributing to their bottom line. That creates instant solutions – by people voting with their dollar and holding companies accountable for the toxins they put into the environment and the food that they produce. That is quick, smart, and a natural way to change this bad situation. It is, in essence, letting the free market work. We, as consumers, hold immense amounts of power. Because, we at any time, can stop buying their products.

This news about arsenic levels is not surprising – the United States’ centralized food supply is dangerous to our economy, our health, and the environment. News like this can encourage us to know our farmers, know our producers, and hold companies accountable for what they are doing. It can also show us that the centralized bureaucracy at the federal level of government does nothing to protect us – our State and local governments are better able to serve our needs when it comes to our health and wellness.

 

 

Food Freedom – We Can Decide What Is Best for Us

A good fight, or a good challenge, is what keeps us achieving our best. As individuals, as a team, as a family, a community, even a country. So our Food Fight is one to be recognized and embraced by people who respect that each of us should have the opportunity and ability to decide for ourselves what we want to eat, what we want to use as medicine, and what we put both in and on our bodies. Consumer choice is the basis for free-market capitalism.  If you let people decide what they want to buy, then this leads to innovation, lower prices, and ultimately competition – which again, is a very good thing.

 

I have been drinking raw milk on and off for several years now – it is so good for me – I notice immediate benefits in how I feel, my complexion, and the health of my teeth (see disclaimer on cover page). I am actually lactose-intolerant, but can drink milk that has not been pasteurized (from a source that I trust) because of the enzymes (enzymes are destroyed when milk (or anything for that matter) is pasteurized). I do not want any governmental entity telling me that I cannot decide for myself if I can drink raw milk. I want to be able to make that choice and vet my farmer – I do not need a health department or any federal agency doing that for me – guidelines are fine, but at the end of the day, I do deserve to make the ultimate decision.

 

I also believe that genetically-modified organisms are a rather recent and untested phenomena in the span of human existence, and that people should have a choice whether or not they consume products that contain such entities. Consumers can hold farmers and ranchers accountable for what they are doing with their land and crops – consumers do this through voting with their dollar – and supporting farmers and ranchers that are engaging in practices that they like and trust.

 

Alternative and naturopathic medicines are another category where the food fight is alive and well – people should always have the opportunity to choose for themselves what medicines they use to treat sickness and disease – no government entity should stop people from choosing what goes in or on their body. We are individuals, and we all have a responsibility to protect and feed our body and mind. Oftentimes, in an effort to “help others” or “protect others”, people use the law (force) to try to make people make decisions that are better for them. These laws can eventually be interpreted to stop people from engaging in freedom of choice. I see that with raw milk, with organic and natural foods, and with alternative medicines (e.g. herbal supplements).

 

Our food freedom is everything – it allows us to embrace agriculture (the basis for all human development), our roots, our being – and choose how we want to take care of the body and mind that we enjoy life with. It is a very good fight, and one… that’s natural!

 

Tisha Casida is running for Congress as a former Independent in Colorado’s District 3. She is an advocate of food freedom, knowing your farmer, and supporting our local economy here in Colorado. 

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