Monthly Archives: February 2015

Everyone Who Eats Food Dies

I’m going to tell you something that has caused 100% of the people who ate it to die.  Every. single. person.  Want to know what it is?

It’s food.

Everyone who eats food dies; what you really need to know about healthy food.  {}

Organic, GMO, all natural, gluten-free, Mediterranean, vegan, Paleo, the all protien diet, the no carb diet, foods high in cholesterol, foods low in saturated fats, just all food.

The diets of the past, the diets of other cultures, the diets of today– and still we all die.  Actually today we have a longer life expectancy than any generation before us.  Which makes me wonder.

I’m not a nutritionist.  I’m not a doctor.  I’m not even an expert.  I’m just a mom who has paid attention.  I’m a farm wife looking at this big old mess with a little bit of common sense.

You can blame any food, any diet, because 100% of the people who eat it will die.

It doesn’t mean food is always to blame.

Everyone who eats food dies, what you need to know about healthy choices

In the last two months we’ve talked about gluten-free, organics, food labels, antibiotics, and GMOs.  Not one of these topics alone can account for the rise in allergies, the obesity epidemic, ADHD, or heart disease.

What if we stopped getting worked up about every little thing and started looking at the whole picture?

What I’m really saying is food is a complex issue.  Health is still something we don’t fully understand and illness is even more murky.  I don’t think it’s possible to say if we just ate organic food all our troubles would be gone. No one can say antibiotics in our meat are the culprit for all our health issues.  And despite popular opinion, gluten-free won’t bring about world peace.


Being healthy is combination of choosing good food, eating a balanced diet, being active, avoiding harmful addictions, a lot of genetics and a little bit of random luck.

What I’m really saying is let’s calm down.  Let’s look at the facts.  Let’s make wise choices for our families, our kids with our heads, not screaming at the top of our lungs.

And let’s bring knowledge to the table.

Categories: Food | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Why Are GMOs Used?

Want simple, straight-forward information about your food?  Me too.  So here it is.  No homework necessary, just one, easy fact about GMOs and why a farmer might choose to use them.

One simple fact about GMOs and why a farmer might choose to use them. {}

Today’s post has been brought to you by the letters G, M, and O, and by the number 8.

It has also been brought to you by, Common Ground.  Check them out for more straight talking answers.

Categories: Food, Quick Fact, Technology | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

There Should be Something Wrong with my Cat

My goats are fine.  My chickens are healthy.  There isn’t even anything wrong with my cats.  But there should be.

Why GMOs won't kill you

If you know anything about GMOs you probably know about the study done in Europe where the mice that ate GMO corn all grew horrible, appalling tumors.  For a thousand reasons that don’t matter for this post, this study was bad science and worse journaling.  But from the sound of that article you’d expect anything that ate Genetically Modified Organisms to be dropping dead of cancer constantly.

So it might interest you to know, they are not.  Dropping dead I mean.

Happy, healthy chickens eating GMO feed  {}

Why should they be sick or dying?

Well, thanks to the Agricultural Leaders of Tomorrow program (ALOT) I am now part of, I recently heard that in 2014 nearly 90% of the corn, soybeans, and cotton produced in the US is genetically engineered.  A vast majority of that corn and soybeans don’t go directly to people for eating, but to animals as feed.

Animals have been eating genetically modified feed for 20 years.

Happy, healthy chickens eating GMO feed  {}

And none of mine have tumors.

In fact, Forbes recently reported that farm animals have eaten over a trillion GMO meals.  And there are no farmers reporting an increase in tumors.  The article’s title even states that the debate about GMOs is over.  If they were harmful we would be seeing it.  And we’re not.

My guess is the debate is nowhere near finished.  The fact that the journal which originally published the previously mentioned mouse article retracted the study won’t get press.  I’m guessing you didn’t have any idea it was poor science, much less that it was torn apart until they actually had to say “never mind.”

Meanwhile, perfectly healthy animals all over the country are eating a safe, affordable food.

They’re probably even glad to have it.

Categories: Animals, Food | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

Married to Prince Farming

So really and truly I mean this, I don’t usually watch The Bachelor.  But this season people are crazy for the tall, blonde, and handsome Chris.  Why?  Because he’s a farm boy.  Prince Farming if you will.  And girls from LA to Chicago are lined up to marry a tractor-driving, Carhartt-wearing, corn-planting farmer.

Being married to a real Prince Farming

And why not?  He’s Traditional, Classic, All-American.  Or at least that’s what the tag-line says.

Believe me, I get the appeal because I am, in fact, married to my own tractor-driving, Carhartt-wearing, corn-planting farmer.  He is traditional, classic, and most definitely All-American.

What it's really like to be married to Prince Farming

But he has never worn a suit and tie to the shed.

And I see these girls on the show, lined up in cocktail dresses and hoping for their turn to ride in the hot air balloon over the Santa Fe countryside or attend a Cinderella ball in real diamonds and I wonder if they really get what they’re signing up for?

I haven’t worn a cocktail dress since 2007.

being married to a real Prince Farming

Granted, I’ve come along way in being a good farm wife since then.  I’ve learned a lot and I can tell those girls, forget about milking a goat, this is what you’ll need to know.

A Prince Farming will take care of you.  He’s the strong, masculine man who can rescue his fair lady on a white horse.

A Princess Farming has to take care of herself too.  Need something done during spring planting or fall harvest?  Better learn to DIY, Princess.

A Prince Farming will show you he loves you everyday by working hard to take care of your family.

A Princess Farming must come to terms with what “work day” means.  He doesn’t do 9-5.  Or 8-5.  Or even 7-7 sometimes.

A Prince Farming will know how to fix your washing machine.

A Princess Farming will find soybean, corn, bolts, and assorted tractor parts in said washing machine, as well as dirt.  So much dirt.  But as The Dakota Farmer’s Wife says, don’t expect to find any money.

A Prince Farming will make the best Daddy.

A Princess Farming will pray for rain so Daddy can come home and wrangle the kiddos for a few hours.

A Prince Farming will make you feel special with that grin he saves just for you.

A Princess Farming will go on dates to the parts supply store and enjoy the romantic atmosphere of the monitor’s glow in the combine.

A Prince Farming will support you in who you are and who you choose to become.

A Princess Farming should learn to become a staunch supporter of the farm, because the farm is almost as much a part of her husband as his family is.

Marrying a farmer is a great idea.  They’re a breed apart.  But so is their world.  When you love him, you’ll love it.

Categories: Family | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

What They Mean, 12 Food Labels Revealed

Learn the secrets behind common food labels  {}

It’s bad enough that serving sizes are distorted (who drinks a third of a bottled beverage?!) and vitamin B has one hundred names, but then you must contend with things like “hormone free” chicken.  Sounds like chicken I want to buy, but did you know?  All chickens are hormone free.

That advertising was nothing but a gimmick.

So what can you believe?

Here a few common label mysteries revealed.

Fresh: Since 1998 the definition of fresh poultry means the meat has never been kept below 26*.  Since freezing is 32*, this means the meat can be frozen, but it won’t be rock-solid at that temperature.

Natural: This indicates nothing has been added, like coloring or preservatives.  It also means the product hasn’t been changed significantly, so it is much as it was when it was harvested.  A label saying “natural” should also tell you why it is natural; i.e. “no preservatives added.”  This label only applies to meat or eggs.

No Hormones: As I’ve already mentioned, the USDA prohibits the use of hormones in pork, poultry, and goats so this label isn’t allowed unless it says “federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones.”  This label can be used on beef if the farmer can provide documentation to the USDA that it is true.  The same is true of No Antibiotics for all meat.

Organic: This label is made standard by the USDA.  There are products farmers are allowed to put on foods that are labeled organic, so don’t assume it means no fertilizers or pest control at all.

Free Range: This indicates that the animals lived in a building with constant access to food, water, and the outside.

Cage Free: Similar to Free Range, but without the constant access to outside.

No Chemicals: You should actually never see this label because it isn’t allowed.  Everything is made of chemicals.  Remember water– H2O?

Grass Fed: For this label cattle must get most of their diet from grass, but can be supplemented with grain.  It doesn’t have to be organic, so that would be a separate label.

Pasture Raised: This label means very little since there are no standards or certifications for it.

Humane: Again, a label that is not standard or regulated, therefore is up to the interpretation of the packaging company.

Locally Grown: Yet another non-standard label.  Look for more information, like the town, farm, or milage to verify this one.

Not all labels are equal.  While labels are monitored by the USDA, they allow for other programs with their own standards.  So if you wanted to make your own certifications for “natural” you could put that label onto food, but it would need to have your program’s name on it, like “Certified Smith Natural” or whatever.  Small farmers can also be exempt.  A neighbor with two steers can call his beef “organic grass-fed” as much as he wants to.

So be aware and Happy Shopping!

Categories: Food | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

6 Things to Know About Wheat and Gluten

If you haven’t gone gluten-free yet, you’re simply not with it.  In fact, for every person diagnosed with Celiac disease, 20 others are choosing a gluten-free diet!  But aside from being the hottest trend, what is the real story about wheat?  If you’re working on a healthier new you for the new year (or if you left those goals back in January!!) here are six things you need to know about wheat.

What are organics? Resolve to learn about your food in the new year!

1.) Wheat contains vital nutrients.  If you truly have Celiac disease then skipping gluten 100% of the time is crucial.  However, avoiding this food source is going to leave you missing nutrients, like B vitamins, calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, and fiber.  You’ll need to plan carefully to add these elements back into your diet in other ways.  Going gluten-free needs to be carefully considered, not jumped into lightly.

2.) Gluten-intolerance is not caused by GMO wheat.  How do I know this?  There is no GMO wheat.  Wait for it.  Someone is going to tell me Monsanto just doesn’t want me to know about it (Is it you? You know you want to!) but if wheat farmers who buy, plant, and harvest the wheat don’t have access to GMO wheat then where would you be getting it?!

growing wheat

I love growing wheat in the fields around our house. It’s so pretty!


3.) The post that went viral about farmers spraying their wheat with Round-Up before harvest is over-reaching.  To say the least.  The post says farmers spray wheat before harvest to increase yields, but this account of a fellow farm wife tells her story of wheat harvest in the north.  What you need to know is there are farms that benefit from this practice, but it’s done according to regulations.  More importantly, only about 5% of the wheat in the US is harvested this way.

4.) Scientific studies don’t support a gluten-free diet.  A double-blind study in Australia showed people felt better when they thought they weren’t eating gluten, but their bodies had no measurable difference.  Their bodies did have differences when their diets cut out FODMAPs, which are confusing substances found in all sorts of foods, from apples to beans to, yes, wheat.  The moral of that very difficult article was to be tested if you think you are intolerant of foods.

Where Does Your Pizza Come From? {}

5.) If a test reveals that you are gluten-intolerant it’s also important to know that a gluten-free diet is only effective if it is completely gluten-free.  So avoiding wheat “most of the time” is a pointless effort.

Generally, eating healthier is the way to feel better.  If cutting wheat means skipping the white bread in favor of some carrot sticks, well, that may be part of the success of gluten-free food.

6.) But don’t be fooled. Read the labels on gluten-free alternatives.  Some of the additives they use to recreate the natural texture or taste of wheat are high in cholesterol or low in nutrition.

So what’s your take?  Is bread on the menu tonight?

Categories: Food | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

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