Who the heck are "they," and what do they not want you to know?!
The uncomfortable feeling I get when someone starts talking like this has only been made worse by my recent experiences with the healthcare system.
I have been fighting to have our hospital bills, from the birth of our son, covered by our insurance company for weeks. It has been a ridiculous and exhausting process and it has truly injured the last shred of trust I have for the "healthcare" system. The whole experience of having a child in the hospital wasn't as bad as I expected it to be, although I do think there were a few things that were done without full disclosure or my consent, and I had to fight (while in labor) to have my desires for my own body and my child's body honored.
I'm so grateful I had a supportive husband and a doula, but I honestly would never go back to the hospital unless I absolutely had to.
You see, like hospitals and insurance companies, big companies and institutions are ultimately profit-driven. This theme permeates our health"care" system, our "food" system, and sadly our government agencies- because our government is made up of and influenced by individuals with lots of money who wish to preserve their own wealth and power.
If you want a very visible example of this, do an online search on Bill Gates. He is, currently, the largest private owner of farm-land in the United States. If you want to know where he thinks the future of agriculture lies, just read a few of his claims about the food system in his book How to Avoid A Climate Disaster, and pay attention to where he is investing his resources (he currently owns shares in Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods).
He believes the future of food isn't really food at all. He has invested in farm land for the carbon emissions credits, and like many big land owners in the US, to cash in on Ag Subsidies and Tax Breaks.
If large land owners like Bill Gates truly understood the difference between the resource intensive fake meats and sustainable agriculture, and if he was truly wanting to fuel a sustainable future, he would be investing in sustainable grazing operations rather than corn and soy production... but there aren't huge subsidies set up for truly sustainable agriculture yet.
As for food and the health"care" system, there seems to be a miscommunication, or at least a delay in implementating what is known about human health and what professionals in the health field are putting into practice.
One of the most recent studies being pushed to inform and influence the newest iteration of the US National Health Guidelines, is Food Compass.
You can view the latest publication and press-release on this study HERE.
This chart sums up their recommendations, mostly admonishing saturated fats and sugars and promoting plant-based foods, poultry and fish, and sponsored by companies like Acasti Pharma.
Why would food studies be sponsored by Pharmaceutical companies?
This isn't the first time this has happened, and in the past it has been an agenda of profit.
In 1952 Ancel Keys came up with his lipid hypothesis, linking heart disease to consuming animal fats.
He spent the next 50 years trying to prove this hypothesis right, and was unsuccessful.
By the late 70's, it was becoming apparent that ingesting plant oils like corn oil and soybean oil were associated with inflammation-based health problems.
Instead of admitting the mistake and advising people to begin using animal-based fats, other more-harmful products like Canola Oil were an encouraged substitution.
Needless to say, the lipid hypothesis has since been disproved, but it has remained the basis for government-backed health advice to this day, and statistics describing the demise of health in the US show the effects of this widespread mistake.
According to the CDC, the leading cause of death in America is Heart Disease, followed shortly by Cancer...
You would think, if the lipid hypothesis was correct, after 50+ years of encouraging Americans to avoid animal fats, the number of deaths related to Heart Disease would have decreased by now.
Its trends like these that really start to make me feel like "they" as in big industry food and pharmaceuticals would rather our country be rife with chronic illness, so they can cash in on our dependance on their products...
Government agencies don't make a profit themselves, but their recommendations sway the consumer dollar, and in many cases they designate our tax dollars to major purchases from private companies.
When the owners of huge companies like Monsanto, Tyson, Cargill, DuPont, ADM, Syngenta, Bayer, and JBS aren't seeing the consumer behavior they would like to see, funding towards "science" and lobbying goes a long way.
After all, it would be a lot harder to sell health"care" products and value-added food products to folks who were already healthy, and folks who were already sourcing or raising their own food.
Alongside Ancel Keys' debacle, our country saw another major shift in consumer behavior starting in the sixties.
Chicken used to be one of the hardest meat products to acquire and prepare, but poultry production became more efficient and therefore chicken also became the cheapest and most-accessible meat in the US, due to the work of one particularly industrious individual named, John W. Tyson. Determined to capitalize on one of the only meats not rationed during WWII, Tyson expanded his family's business by vertically integrating poultry production as a supplier, and placing the most risky and costly elements of production on farmers.
If you want to learn more about the ris
e of poultry as the nation's most consumed meat this article sums it up pretty nicely.
I also finished reading the book Big Chicken recently, (I would highly recommend reading this book!) It not only opened my eyes to this massive shift in our food system, but also to the role of antibiotics in meat production all over the world.
What baffled me was just how hard US companies and even Government Agencies fought to keep Antibiotics from being outlawed in animal feeds. Evidence for antibiotic resistance was evident (for three decades, the CDC recorded increasing outbreaks of antibiotic-resistant bacterias) up until antibiotic use in animal feeds was finally banned in the US in 2017.
What was most disappointing to me, was that antibiotics in animal feeds were outlawed in the EU in 2006, because outside of the US, the possibility of this risk was enough to halt this practice until proof could be solidified.
Unfortunately, with something like antibiotic-resistant bacteria, it is a global affair and responsibility.
Our country not only failed its own citizens in the name of profit, but it also failed humanity all over the world.
Because of this, we now have zero antibiotics without resistant strains of bacteria. This could have been prevented if profit weren't the underlying force of our country's massive systems...
Tell me if I'm off-base here... but this kind of stuff makes me feel overwhelmed!
Who do we trust with our health and our food?
Who do we trust with the health of our families and our children?
Who do we trust our future and our legacies to?
Well first, we know we can trust ourselves.
We can trust our own instincts, and our ability to distinguish right from wrong.
We can trust our ability to dig deeper and to not just accept what is handed to us as the ultimate end-all-be-all truth.
We can also trust people we know and have had the chance to meet and talk to in-person.
People we can shake the hands of, ask our questions, and have plain discussions over things like our food, how it's raised, and how it's processed.
People who know what it's like to not have access to the real, pure, food and health we want.
People like local farmers and ranchers, who started producing food, not because they wanted to make insane profits to fuel their greed and power, but because they couldn't find what they were looking for at the store and because they love what they do and they want to share it with their community.
This is why I started Taste of the Wind.
I was sick of feeling physically sick, and sick of feeling scared of the only food I had access to.
I wanted to know that the food I was eating was actually nourishing my body and was not perpetuating our seriously messed up food system!
I didn't want my hard-earned dollars going towards an industry that didn't have my family's best-interests in mind.
I also realized nobody was coming to save me, it was up to me to create the food I was looking for, for myself and the people I care about.
So in 2013 I began working for farms and ranches all over the state, gaining as many skills and experiences as I could in raising food ethically and sustainably.
I eventually started Taste of the Wind in 2019.
Not only did I start growing the food I wanted, but I connected with other amazing families who were doing the same thing.
Next week I will introduce you to some of these amazing folks, and I'll talk about some upcoming opportunities to meet them and to support their mission to provide nutrient-dense, clean, honest, real-food products.
If you are interested in getting your hands on a constant supply of clean, nutrient-dense food that you just can't find in the grocery store, check out the products we have available on our online store.
The most popular of these are our:
Monthly CSA Share Box: a box of Locally-Raised Nutrient-Dense Products, Recipes and Mealplans
Available Soon: Bulk Beef, Pork, and Lamb Deposits- Stay tuned for the Bulk Meat Launch in March!
Speaking of ranches I have worked on in the past...
I whipped up a nostalgic recipe last night BJ, and I wanted to share it with you.
One of my past-bosses, Karen Hertel- one of the ranch managers at the The Ishawooa Mesa Ranch, a place I was lucky enough to work for a couple summers in Cody, WY- makes THE BEST granola ever!
We would eat it for breakfast or for an afternoon snack with fresh yogurt or raw milk from one of the ranch's dairy cows.
I have been longing to taste that granola again for several weeks now, so I decided to try my hand at making some!
It actually turned out pretty good, so I thought I would share my rendition with you.
I have had a lot of this stuff in my cupboard for way too long, so this was a great way to use up quite a few stale items too!
Immitation-Ishawooa Ranch Granola
4 cups rolled oats
1 cup nuts (walnuts, pecans, sliced almonds, etc)
3 tsp chia seeds or hemp hearts
1/4 c milled flax
1/8 cup sunflower seeds or pepitas
1 cup dried fruit (cherries, cranberries, chopped dates, raisins, crystalized ginger, apples, apricots, etc)
1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
1 cup coconut or olive oil
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
. . .
Preheat your oven to 350 *F.
Melt the oil and honey in the oven as it preheats, in a large metal bowl.
Remove the bowl from the oven and add the extracts.
Add all other contents to the bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until the contents are evenly-coated.
Empty the bowl onto two rimmed cookie sheets with rims.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
Remove and let cool.
Store in a sealed container to prevent your granola from becoming ultra-crunchy.
I hope this granola helps kick-start your day alongside some eggs and bacon, or you can eat it as a refreshing afternoon snack with some raw milk.
-BJ and the Taste of the Wind Crew
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