Why is shopping locally vital to your health?

Email from my friend Chris, Tuesday, February 20, 2024:

“Good morning, Karen,

 Absolutely no more red meat for me. I had a cheeseburger last night from Smash Burger.  I normally would not have gone there but I was in that area and was hungry.   

Afterward, my stomach hurt soooooo bad I wanted to go to the hospital.  It was horrible.  I should have used that good information I received from you.  Huge mistake eating unknown meat…

Please note.  My teaching to which Chris is referring is NOT that we shouldn’t be eating meat.  You know that I am a big proponent of animal products.

As Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride always says, “Animal products build; plant foods cleanse.”

Rather, that we should know our farmers as much as possible and know how our meat and produce are raised.

In my last blog “From dysautonomia to the Throne of Health…  What’s the secret?, I stated that DIET is one of the four legs of our throne of good health. 

“That’s going to be the traditional, pre-colonial diet for each region, which is different in each region.  Eating locally and according to the season.  REAL food the way God made it, in the form it’s supposed to be eaten.”

“It’s about the way the food is produced.  We can be healthy on lots of different diets as long as they’re ancestral, seasonal, and local to where we live now.”[1]

So many of my friends keep saying, “Pray for me.  I need to focus more on my health and what I am eating.”

And one friend recently said, “We just took a trip to Florida to visit my brother.  He took us out to eat every night.  I know I gained a few pounds, not I have to lose them.”

Can you relate to these challenges?

Changing one’s diet may not be everything to getting to the weight you one to be at or having the energy, vibrancy, and stamina you want to have.

BUT it’s a huge factor.

And focusing on eating locally is a valuable place to start.

“How so?”  You ask.

Let me tell you.

In this article, I am going to touch on three reasons WHY you want to eat locally and how it will benefit you and your family and help you reach those health goals:

  1. Food Safety, Quality, and Nutrition.
  2. Food Security.
  3. Knowing and appreciating your farmer.

  1. Food Safety, Quality, and Nutrition.

Knowing what’s in your food is of huge importance these days, with more and more conglomerates controlling what’s grown and raised, how it’s grown and raised, and what gets injected into it.

Do you give much thought to what’s in the hamburger you’re eating?  How the animal was raised.  What it ate.

Did it come from a feed lot looking like this, where the cows are crammed together, eating antibiotics with every bite of food?

Or did it come from a cow that looks like this?

Do you even know?

“Why are the feedlot cows being fed antibiotics?”  You may wonder.

Because they’re being fed grains to fatten them up.  Cows are ruminants.  They’re not supposed to be eating grains.  It lowers the pH in their stomachs and makes them sick.

When the pH drops below 5.2, acute acidosis occurs.  The higher acidic level irritates the bowels, causes abscesses in the liver, and lowers the average daily weight gain by around 5%.

To control the abscesses, they feed the cattle antibiotics.  The cattle get antibiotics in every bite of food.

After 200 days the mortality in the feedlot skyrockets.  So, they must fatten them for slaughter in 200 days.[2]

In other words, the way they’re fattening them by feeding them grains (most certainly genetically modified grains) is killing them.  So, they resort to giving them antibiotics to keep them alive.

It’s quite ludicrous.

Obviously, you can’t trust the labeling that that says, “no antibiotics.”  That’s deceptive.

BTW, did I mention that the feedlot cows are also fed candy bars and other junk food?  Yes, it’s ground into their feed, wrappers and all.[3]

No wonder my friend Chris got sick.  It wasn’t about eating red meat.  It was about the source.

Unless you or someone you know has vetted your farmer for their practices and has seen their operation, you don’t know what you are getting.

[There’s a guide at the end of this article to help you vet your farmers.]

Now you are going to tell me that you don’t eat beef.  But the same principle goes for eggs, poultry, and pork, and to some extent lamb and goat.

At least the cows you saw were outside, even though they were crammed together, unable to move and were being fed grains, antibiotics, and junk food.

Chickens and pigs in confinement are kept exclusively inside.

Now, you tell me how in the world that meat is going to be of any nutritional value.

All life gets energy from the sun.[4]

Without light we can’t survive.  We depend on natural light for our very existence.

So, how can animals raised indoors with no sunlight be healthy enough for us to consume?

Think about it.  How would you feel if you never saw the sun, not even from a window?

How could that pig or chicken or egg have anything to offer us besides calories and unknown toxins?

There is no comparison in the quality between confinement animals and those raised outside eating and playing and living the way God designed them to.

Why am I telling you all of this?

Because I know you care about your health and your family’s health.  And I know you care about how you spend and invest your money.

So, when you’re comparing the price of farm fresh products to the supermarket:

  • a pound of 100% grassfed meat vs. factory farm meat (note certified organic does not tell you that the animal was 100% grassfed, only that it’s been certified organic)
  • a pastured egg vs. a store bought egg
  • a gallon of REAL milk to a gallon of ultra pasteurized milk

Remember to account for the nutritional value.

It’s like comparing the price per ounce for a product using the little shelf tags in the grocery store that tell you the price per ounce.

Except in this case, you’re looking at the nutrient value, both positive and negative, which is not going to be quantifiable in the same way the number of ounces is.

Here’s just one example of the value of eggs – farm raised versus conventional.

And let’s not forget produce.  Again, buying locally and knowing your farmers and their practices is the only assurance you’re getting the value you think that you are paying for.

Do you tend to take a lot of supplements?

Shouldn’t we be able to get our nutrients from our food?

In theory, yes.  But it’s hard when our soils are depleted of minerals because of monocropping and chemical pesticides and fertilizers, as are the practices in commercial farming.

Our health starts with soil health.  When you know your local farmers, you can ask about soil conditions.  It is much more probable that their soil is richer than that of commercially grown crops. 

And you can shop around to find the best.  That can be a fun and healthy activity in and of itself.

[Again, I provide you with a document at the end of the article, that will assist you in knowing what to ask.] 

You don’t have to worry about E-coli outbreaks in vegetables such as spinach when you’re buying from a single source and know the source.

Also, the time from harvest to your table matters.

The longer the time from harvest to your table, the more nutrients are lost.

Food imported from far away is older and has traveled on trucks or planes and has sat in warehouses before it gets to you.  Basically, it’s dead.  You’re paying for empty calories.

Along that vein, in the modern agricultural system, plant varieties are chosen for their ability to ripen uniformly, withstand harvesting, survive packing and last a long time on the shelf, so there is limited genetic diversity in large-scale production.

Whereas local food preserves genetic diversity.  Smaller local farms often grow many different varieties of crops to provide a long harvest season, an array of colors, and the best flavors.

Livestock diversity is also higher where there are many small farms rather than a few large farms.

And when you shop and eat locally, you are most likely eating seasonally, the way we were designed.  As just mentioned, local farmers are growing in accordance with the season.

Our bodies go through feeding and cleansing seasons throughout the year.  For example, winter is a time for warmer foods.  We may need more calories to stay warm.  And summer we feel more like eating lighter foods, like salads and fresh veggies and fruits in season.

Eating seasonally helps me feel cleaner and more in tune with my body and its needs.

  1. Food Security.

The global supply chain is not robust.  Did you notice what happened during the pandemic here in the USA?

This is disgraceful.  Don’t you agree?

But I suppose this is what happens when we depend on conglomerates and global supply chains to put “food” (if you can call it food) on the table.

If we supported our local farms, this would not happen.

Our farms are disappearing at an astronomical rate.  Take TN as an example.  In 1919, there were 280,000 farms.

One hundred years later, in 2019, there were 66,000 farms.

That’s a loss of 214,000 farms in 100 years.  Or one farm every 4 hours for 100 years.[5]

Local food is an investment in the future.  By supporting local farmers today, you are helping to ensure that there will be farms and food in your community for years to come.

When farmers get paid properly for their products by marketing locally, they’re less likely to sell farmland for development.

That is of utmost importance for food security, especially in light of economic uncertainties and international conflicts.  The USA needs to be able to feed itself from within its borders.

I believe it’s possible.  But it will require a huge mindset shift in what we eat, how it’s produced and who we choose to support.

When we focus on eating locally produced foods – whether we produce it ourselves and/or support local artisan producers – we don’t need to worry about an uncertain energy future or reliance on fossil fuels to produce, package, distribute and store food.

And we can push back on the government usurping our rights to REAL food. 

Also, local food keeps taxes down.  According to several studies by the American Farmland Trust, farms contribute more in taxes than they require in services, whereas most development contributes less in taxes than the cost of required services.

Cows don’t go to school; tomatoes don’t dial 911.

In addition, when you buy locally grown food, you’re helping to preserve our working landscape.  That landscape is an essential factor to other economic activities in the area, such as tourism and recreation.

We need to support the local guys at all costs if we want good food to be available in the future –food we can trust and that will nourish ourselves and our families.   

Buying local will give us the most value for our dollar – the nutrition we need to stay healthy and reduce doctor visits, medications, supplements and other medical expenses.

We can’t depend upon global supply chains.

But we can depend upon local networks.  If we’re willing to shop locally and support our local farmers and artisan producers.

We’re the ones who will suffer if we don’t.

  1. Know and appreciate your farmers.

This is big for me.  I live in a condo and can only grow my own herbs.  Lack of sun and space prevent me from growing any other food or raising chickens or other animals.

I appreciate my farmers and the food they provide me.  And the love and positive energy that went into raising it, making it all that much healthier.

I am confident that they embrace the concept “food for people, not for profit.”

I value that they’re doing things right and I am grateful I can support them in doing so and keep them in business.

Where in this marketing strategy for the OBQN Vac-45 Program do you see anything about the interest of the consumer?

It’s not there because the big guys don’t care about you.  They only care about their bottom line.

And if you have kids or grandkids, local farmers give you a wonderful opportunity for an outing.

They can help your kids develop a connection to the earth, their food, the beautiful world that God made for us.

Take them to visit the farm if they have farm days or tours or even just a farmstand or farm store.  Kids today need this type of connection to be healthy.[6]

They need nature and they need to understand what food really is, that it doesn’t come from a box or carton, or from a drive through window.

If you care about what you eat, think about where it comes from and how it’s been raised.

The only way you’ll know that your farmer cares enough about what you’re eating is to meet and talk to him or her, or trust someone else to have vetted him or her.

Food that’s optimal for you and your family.

So, there you have it.  Three strong reasons why you need to shop and source your food locally.

And why it’s vital to your health.

How much do you care about yourself and your family?  Do you care enough to source the cleanest, most nutrient dense food possible now?  So that it will also be available in the future?

“Your health starts with soil health.  Regenerative agriculture[7] gets us there.  If you want to feed the world, it’s small farms.”  Alex Miller, 7th generation farmer, Lick Skillet Farm, New Market, TN 

My challenge to you is to Take the 50% Pledge.

What’s the 50% Pledge?

It’s simple.  You commit to spending at least 50 percent of their food dollar on purchases from local farms and artisans.

Think about all the money you will save if you’re buying just local, simple ingredients, and not eating out as much or going “grocery” shopping and filling your cart with unnecessary packaged items!  😊

How do you find local sources of REAL, high quality food?

  1. Contact your WAPF (Weston A. Price Foundation) Local Chapter Leader. He/she should have a resource list for you.  If you have trouble finding your chapter leader, shoot me an email:  [email protected]
  2. Good Meat Project: goodmeatproject.org
  3. Contact your State Department of Agriculture.
  4. Check out Farmmatch.com and enter your zip code.

As promised here is a DIY Guide for asking your farmers about their farming practices.  I trust my farmer to tell me the truth, not our regulatory agencies.

Last but far from least, I am here to help you move forward, from whatever point you are at right now regarding diet and health. 

Book your free 30-miunte Discovery Call today.   Let me help encourage and exhort you to take the next step in improving your health. 

Your past habits do not define who you are today or who you can become. 

Peace and grace,

Karen

Other fun (or not-so-fun) facts:

  1. In July 2023, USDA said food prices will increase 16%, while farm profits will decline 6%.
  2. Bill Gates owns 270K acres of farmland, more than anyone else. This is not good.  It’s not because he wants to farm and feed us.
  3. 84% of the beef sold in the US are owned by four firms, two of which are non-American (JBS and Marfrig)
  4. Monogastrics (pigs and chicken) need grain. Need more protein.
  5. More than any other animal, pork takes like what that pig eats. No corn or soy.
  6. Cattle feed lots are like locking 100,000 people in a football field and feed them junk food.
  7. Trust me, Big Ag and the Big Food Giants do NOT care about your health. They only care about the bottom line.
  8. How do you know where your “grassfed” beef (meal?) is coming from? You don’t.
    • There’s a loophole in the USDA regulations. To be labeled “Product of the United Sates,” it simply needs to be inspected by USDA.
    • Not produced by USDA. BUT INSPECTED.
    • What?! That doesn’t make sense.
    • I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised.
    • We can get a shipment in from New Zealand or Australia or wherever, open it up. The inspector opens it up, looks at it, says “Yep, still frozen.    Records say it stayed frozen the whole trip.”
    • The inspector closes it back up, stamps USDA. It enters the food supply, not marked any differently.   So, a lot of the grassfed meat sold commercially is NOT local.  Rather it’s coming from Australia and New Zealand.

[1] Ibid.

[2] Alex Miller, personal communication, Oct 21, 2023

[3] https://www.westonaprice.org/podcast/know-your-rancher-and-you-will-always-have-food/#gsc.tab=0

[4] Brian Hoyer, personal communication, May 18, 2023

[5] Alex Miller, personal communication, Oct 21, 2023

[6] https://www.westonaprice.org/podcast/get-your-kids-outside/#gsc.tab=0

[7] Regenerative agriculture is a holistic land-management practice that uses the power of photosynthesis in plants to sequester carbon in the soil while improving soil health, crop yields, water resilience, and nutrient density.  https://www.greenamerica.org/healthy-soil-cool-climate/regenerative-agriculture-101

 

 

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Enjoy these favorite dishes. 
 
Simple, nutrient dense recipes that will leave you feeling well-nourished and deeply satisfied.
 
Plus monthly REAL food tips & inspiration right to your inbox!
 
Simply sign up with your name and email address!