Why Food Is Killing Us

The more we read, the scarier it gets. And yet the yummy, enticing commercials and food packaging makes it so easy to pick up something ready made, convenient and easy to fix. It saves time, effort and, in some cases, money. But why aren’t they telling us the damage it can do to our bodies? The only basic answer I have is profit. As long as the populace is ignorant of the facts, they can be duped into anything, right? I would like to say the answer to that question is: Wrong! But, I really can’t at this point. The Economic Collapse Blog has an article out titled Big Corporations Have An OVERWHELMING Amount Of Power Over Our Food Supply that is a real eye opener. It’s a good one to start with here.

It appears to me that there are groups of people that are waking up to many things in our day and time. Food production practices and restrictions, the rape of our economy by the PTB (powers that be), the dwindling freedoms we once took for granted, and the labeling of those that don’t march lock step to the beat of the government drum as terrorist, such as Veterans (with a capital V), Christians, conservatives and good old independent ‘we don’t need anything from the government’ folks.

So, in light of that short rant, I want to share some more articles with you that continue to highlight the poison we are expected to consume as part of our daily bread. I can’t say I hope you enjoy the read, but I do hope it provides you with information that you can use to make wise decisions for you and the ones you love.

I’ll start off with an article from NaturalSociety titled: Why You Should Stop Counting Calories and Start Counting Chemicals. There is a piece of this article I have included. It is just amazing. The following is a quoted excerpt.

  • But here’s the kicker. Even if you eat an organic salad once in a blue moon, and don’t regularly and actively detox your body from all these environmental poisons, your body can’t absorb the nutrients from good foods. The scientific proof of this fact is overwhelming:

  • High fructose corn syrup consumption leads to an impairment of digestion and absorption of nutrients, leading to obesity.

  • Malabsorption of nutrients and important trace minerals happens when our guts are wracked with gluten, GMOs, glyphosate, pesticides, and other chemicals. Additionally, nutrients are likely not being absorbed in your stomach or GI tract due to flora imbalance.”

A good friend sent me this article. She and I compare notes and talk about ways to improve our health and the food we prepare for our families. It is great to have others you can turn to who are trying to live the same healthy life style. It’s always nice to know you aren’t the only one when most people find you to be a bit strange. This article is from Natural News and once again highlights the detrimental effects of the preservatives found in so many foods that we purchase from the store

We have written about fluoride before, and here is another article warning of this destructive poison.


This next article actually surprised me. I have long known that breakfast cereals, among many other things, are fortified with vitamins and minerals. I figured this was necessary since most food is grown in dead soil and solely supported by chemical nutrients. I had no idea that we were being overdosed with the types of synthetic additives used for this ‘fortification’ of our diets. The most scary thing here is the population that consumes the vast majority of breakfast cereal: children.

And speaking of children, here is another article outlining the importance of knowing what is in the food you feed them, especially babies.

The next article includes some of the previously mentioned chemicals, but provides information about the effects they have on our brains. Just one more piece of evidence showing the destructive properties of some of these additives to our food.

Some of the good news is the fight against the forced usage of GMO crops. There are some folks that do not want to grow food that makes people sick. The bad news is how hard Monsanto is willing to fight to keep people under their thumb and in their pocketbook. 

And here’s the kicker. Cloned meat. I don’t know about you, but the thought of eating cloned meat makes me sick just thinking about it. In my humble opinion, God created the beasts of the field, as well as mankind, to reproduce in a certain fashion, not in a petri dish. It is very scary to think that man considers his skills and knowledge anywhere near what creation wrought for us in the first place, that he could somehow improve upon what is already here. I know, I know. Seeds have been manipulated and reconstructed for years and years. Well, look where that has gotten us. The food is killing us. I can’t see where cloning will come anywhere close to improving the predicament we are already in.

Read. Learn. Study. Ponder. Discuss. Ponder. And learn some more. It is the only way we will be able to make intelligent, informed decisions about our health and well-being. It takes effort and hard work to produce those things we need to live. It takes time and dedication. It takes commitment. It takes love. It takes sacrifice. And it is worth it.

Until next time – Fern

The Nutrition of Purple Hull Peas

Purple Hull Peas are easy to grow and packed with nutrition for both man and beast. It, along with crowder and black eyed peas, are commonly called cowpeas. I have found that the chickens will eat the seeds, and the goats will eagerly eat the pods alone, or the pods with the peas intact. When we shell the peas, I always keep the pods for the goats. They’re funny, especially One Stripe. When she sees me coming with a garden bucket (metal instead of the black rubber ones we use to feed the goats), she runs over to see what I have in store for her. She will generally eat whatever I offer, whether it is beet greens, carrot tops or comfrey. But she really gobbles down the pea pods. Because of this, and the common usage of cowpeas for animal feed, this nutritional post will include the types of nutrients the animals receive from this versatile vegetable, as well. 

Cowpeas are a legume and will grow well in hot, dry climates. They are utilized all over the world as a valuable food source. Another benefit to the home gardener is the ability of cowpeas to fix nitrogen in the soil. If you have a new patch of ground you are gardening, plant cowpeas or another legume the first year to build up the nutrients in the soil. It will benefit other crops the following year.

The nutrition data listed for 1 cup of cowpeas (blackeye, crowder, southern), boiled with salt is:

  • protein 13.2g
  • carbohydrates 33.5g
  • dietary fiber 11.1g

  • sugars 5.6g
  • Vitamins A, K
  • folate
  • choline
  • calcium
  • magnesium
  • phosphorus
  • potassium
  • sodium
  • zinc
  • selenium
  • flouride
  • omega 3 & 6 fatty acids
  • calories 198

Overall, cowpeas are a very nutritious addition to the diet. They store well when dried or canned, it is easy to harvest seeds for subsequent planting seasons which remain viable for several years (I planted four year old seeds this year), and they are prolific producers in our area.

The differences between cooked peas and raw mature seeds is quite dramatic. Here are a few of the differences.

  • protein 39.3g (26g more)

  • carbohydrates 100g (66.5 more)
  • dietary fiber 17.7g (6.6 more)
  • calories 561 (a whopping 363 more)

Eating the peas raw, or feeding them to livestock raw will provide a much greater nutritional benefit. This is just another example of why we need to consume the water, broth or juice from the vegetables we cook. There are a tremendous amount of nutrients cooked out into the liquid.

I have been happy to discover that the chickens will peck at the dried pods to get the seeds out of them. That is a plus, since we won’t have to shell them for chicken feed. The goats will eat the dried pods whole, seeds and all. They are like kids in a candy store when it comes to cowpeas, and I am very glad. It’s an easy to grow crop that produces for about four months here. This will allow us to grow a very nutritional vegetable for both man and beast. 

Other benefits of growing cowpeas include the ability to grow a lot of plants in a small space. When my friend Grace saw my pea patch she asked, “How are you going to pick those? They have all run together.” Good question. I just walk where I know the rows once were. I like to utilize all of the ground in the garden, and this worked out well. If you prefer a garden with nice neat rows you can walk down and tend to your vegetables, my garden will drive you crazy. I plant everything very close with the goal of covering all of the available dirt in vegetables. If they kind of invade each other’s space and overlap, that’s okay with me. It gives me a few more meals instead of trying to deal with the grass and weeds that always take over empty spaces. And I have enough grass and weeds now, even with my overcrowding.

If your climate allows, I would recommend some type of cowpea for your garden. It is a great producer loaded with nutrition and it will help build up your soil. And even Frank the carnivore likes them. I think I will grow an even bigger patch next year.

Until next time – Fern

Food For Thought From Ol’ Remus

Hi Everybody. As a general rule, we don’t normally post on a Tuesday. But we found the Ol’ Remus article this week to be very direct and to the point. I normally have to read his articles twice. He writes in a style, even though I thoroughly enjoy it, that I find difficult to truly comprehend. And there are times when I am not sure I truly do comprehend. So, if you have the time and inclination, read his main commentary. It’s a little bit scary. Hope you enjoy it.

We’ll talk more later. Frank

Uh-Oh…Did the Kefir Die?

The performance of the kefir has been causing some concern since we came home from the hospital. Up until yesterday, I didn’t think the prognosis was good. This is what happened.

While Frank was in the hospital, the plan was for me to come home everyday and do the chores – feed the animals, milk the goats, etc. One of those chores was to strain and feed the kefir. On more than one occasion, I did not come home for at least 36 hours, and once for 48 hours. This impacted the animals as well as the kefir. The two does I am milking were thrown off their routine as well as their feeding schedule. They did not get milked regularly, but they did not get fed either, so they produced less milk. Was this ideal? No. But, there are times we have to prioritize and choose what we will do with our time. Frank easily won, hands down. It was fairly easy to get the goats back on track, even though they are not producing quite as much milk as before. I expected that.

My standard practice is to strain and feed the kefir every 24 hours. During the 48 hour period I was away, the kefir had fed on all available nutrients in the milk and the jar was half whey and half fairly solid curd, kind of like cottage cheese. I strained it and gave it a full quart of milk to ‘eat’ and headed back to the hospital. Two days later, it sat for around 36 hours. It was kind of thick again, but not near as much as I expected. I could tell it wasn’t happy. A few days later, we were home and I started feeding it regularly again. The first milk I had to feed it after we got home was getting a little older, and I don’t think it liked that either. You could say Frank’s stay in the hospital made the kefir sick.

It still thickened the milk somewhat the first day or two we were home, then appeared to quit. When I strained the milk after 24 hours it was still very thin, like milk, and had a semi soured smell. The chickens got this milk. After a second day of staying very thin, I briefly rinsed the grains with tap water when I strained them, before feeding them again. I had read or been told that somewhere and had tried it before when the kefir interacted with the sourdough starter I had out on the counter for a number of days. I thought I had killed the kefir then, too. For the most part, it seems to be a very healthy, sturdy culture. Then you find out that there are some things it just doesn’t tolerate well.

After I rinsed the grains, I waited two more days to see if they would perk back up and they did not. I didn’t take any pictures, but the grains were not round and plump looking like they usually are, they were smaller and more grainy looking. Finally, on about day eight when I was convinced they were dead, about half way through the 24 hour period, I scooped the grains out of the milk and squeezed them with my fingers, just kind of smashing them flat. They still had the sticky, tacky consistency that is supposed to be there, so I that gave me a little hope. Then, surprise, surprise, at the end of the day when it was time to strain them, the milk had thickened some. Not quite as much as normal, but I could tell they were on their way back to health, and that’s good.

We were looking forward to drinking the kefir when we got home, especially Frank. Well, I can’t say that. He never looks forward to drinking it because the taste just isn’t quite in his top ten list. But he is looking forward to drinking it because of it’s health benefits, especially now that we are working on healing his body.

This is just one more example of don’t give up. Try everything you can think of and then some. Does it always work? No. But you never know. You might just be pleasantly surprised. We were.

Until next time – Fern

A Healing Soup

Since Frank has been home from the hospital, I have been trying to fix some meals that will be easy on his stomach, healthy and healing. After a few days, he was up for some soup, so I went through the garden to see what I could find that would make a good healing soup. This is what I came up with.

I started off with a few tablespoons of olive oil. To that I added a pound of ground pork. While the meat browned, I cut up a few things from the garden.

I picked a pepper, a few stems of immature celery with the leaves, a few carrots, onions and a squash, along with a few purple hull peas that I shelled right into the pot. After the meat was browned I poured in the broth from last year, then started adding the vegetables.

Knowing that peppers have trace minerals that are not found anywhere else, I also added some of the peppers we dehydrated last summer. The cabbage I used was the only vegetable that came from the store. Then I looked over at the tub of potatoes we dug and picked out the small, bite sized ones and added them in whole. I seasoned it all with salt, pepper, a large handful of parsley and about two tablespoons of minced garlic. I cooked it all in my cast iron dutch oven to absorb that trace amount of iron into the soup.

Knowing that most of these ingredients came from our ground, grown with love and no chemicals whatsoever, I felt very good about the nourishment I could provide Frank to promote the healing of his body. God has certainly blessed us with His bounty, may He bless you also.

Until next time – Fern

What’s Wrong With The Food?

We have a question for everyone. What is wrong with the food? We did a post a few days ago about what eating out does to us, and we were surprised at the responses we have had. I guess we just didn’t think that there would be many people with the same problem. So, we would like to get a conversation going. The more information we all have, the more informed our decisions can be.

Let me share a little background. When we moved here from Alaska, one of the first things we got set up were our appliances which included two freezers. We located a local butcher and made arrangements to get a beef. The local ag teacher provided a hog. In the meantime, until the meat was processed, we stocked up on some chicken, pork chops, ground beef and round steak from Wal-Mart. While in Alaska, we had purchased a side of beef and ate moose, caribou and salmon from the local wildlife menu. The meat we bought at Wal-Mart surprised us. This was in 2008. The texture of the meat, especially the pork chops didn’t really resemble what we would consider meat. It was almost like it was processed in some way and stuck back on the bone. It was almost scary to eat it.

When we first arrived here, if we ate out, we would go to a Western Sizzlin’ (similar to a Golden Corral or other buffet restaurant) because there was a buffet with salad and other vegetables. But before long we realized that every time we ate there, we felt bad. It didn’t seem to matter if we varied the content of our meals, we just felt bad, so we quit going there as well.

With Frank’s recent stay in the hospital, we have had more than our fair share of food prepared by others. Now that we are home we are trying to detoxify our systems of all of the chemicals we have ingested, as well as all of the medications and anesthesia that Frank has been exposed to. We are eating many fresh things from the garden, as well as our own meat, milk and eggs. The kefir is not perking along as usual since it didn’t get regular daily

attention while we were gone, but it will be back up to speed in a few days. We are having dandelion root tea daily to help cleanse the liver and keep the digestive tracts in good working condition. We hope to have our systems back to ‘normal’ in a few more days. One day while in the hospital, we had a very interesting conversation with Frank’s surgeon. He indicated that most doctors and nutritionists

really know nothing about food and nutrition. This doctor was aware of the benefit of goat’s milk over cows milk, the negative side effects of pasteurization, and he even knew the difference between A1 and A2 milk. It was a very interesting conversation.

We have written before about GMO food, MSG additives in foods and trying to avoid chemicals. Our sense of ‘illness’ after eating out, or eating processed foods has brought this to our attention more than ever. What is wrong with the food? Is there some kind of intentional scheme going on to affect the health of the population? Is this an intentional act our government is forcing upon food producers? Or is it just simply a matter of profit at any cost? If the food producers have any kind of business relationship with the medical industry, they have the perfect racket going. Produce food that makes people sick, send them to the medical folks for more treatment, and it is a financial win in both directions. Why is it the government appears to be attacking family farms when people are just trying to raise their own food? Are they going to regulate nutritional dependence upon the government? It appears to be one of their goals. A few years back Frank came to the conclusion that our government is going to release some type of toxin into the environment. This toxin itself will not be harmful to the individual, but when it interacts with other chemicals, then there will be a reaction which could cause an instant depopulation process. All the while, it would just look like a simple virus. Most medical people that I know do not get flu shots, but our government gives them away free. You can even get them at a drive through and not have to get out of your vehicle.

Our question for you is: What are your experiences? What is it about the food supply that is making people feel bad or sick? What has happened or is happening that is increasing health problems in the general population? When people that eat processed foods 24/7, and go to someone’s house and eat fresh grown food, does it make them feel sick? Is it a matter of what you’re used to? What are we missing here? We are trying to wrap our heads around this one, and haven’t come to a viable answer yet. Just food for thought. Let us know what you think.

Until next time – Fern

Neighbors & Friends

As some of you know, I recently had major back surgery. Even with the best laid plans, there is always a gap, and sometimes a large gap. A couple of examples. 

We never thought about a bedside toilet. We didn’t realize there are some made for smaller people, bigger people, taller and shorter folks. Not trying to sound crude here, but it would be nice if the people that designed these bedside toilets would actually take the time to sit on one of them. Sometimes it is apparent that these are not designed for use by a man. 

Next example. Bedpans. While in the hospital, I was advised to just use a bedpan. Okay. A short review here. I have 16 staples in my lower back, am in unbelievable pain and am told, just put it underneath and let it go. That just doesn’t work. I can see where a metal bedpan would be a tremendous benefit during a hail storm, or if you want to play pirate with your kids, but otherwise, I saw no practical use, with my accompanying condition and the use of a bedpan.

We did some modifications to the couch before my surgery. Instead of spending a lot of time on my back in the bedroom laying down, this gives me another option closer to where most of the living and doing occurs in our house. 

I had a good plan of building ‘legs’ to go on the legs of our couch. And in our opinion, that was one of those great plans, but the couch was just not meant for long-term sleeping right after surgery, as I quickly discovered. But in just a few days, when I could move around a little better, the raised couch became a very good resting place.

We discovered these small sliders on the bottom of the legs.

I got out my forstner bit and fixed that problem.

The real reason for this post is the utilization of your neighbors and friends. I am, by all serious nature, a hermit, recluse, loner, pick any term you like. And I’m also one of those types that seldom ever asks for help. But there are times that we adult males need to get over some of these things. When I arrived home from the hospital, there were more cars parked in front of my house than I have ever seen. One of my male neighbors and friends, was there to help me up my steps, which if you can’t hardly walk, steps are tough to negotiate. It seems that everybody and their cousin has extra medical supplies that were gently used once and are now available for loan.

But, let me back up a little bit. I have a neighbor, who is also a relative, and we share a common fence line. She was nice enough to come over and open up our chicken house every morning, then come back and close it every evening. Since the hospital is an hour and a half away, for Fern to make two trips a day, would be a minimum of six hours driving time, not to mention the time on site doing chores. So, opening and closing the chickens saved us about four hours a day.

The animals need feed and water. Other neighbors from down the road, helped feed and water our animals several times, which was an unbelievable help. This helped Fern cut down her trips to do chores to once a day. That puts us down to three hours drive time and 30 minutes chore time. 

As most of you are aware, if you let yellow squash get too big, the plant will quit producing and gradually die. So, what does that mean to us? We are not going to be using any of these crops right now, but after my back issue settles down some, we would still like to have harvestable crops. Some more neighbors of ours helped us by harvesting the mature crops in the garden. You think, well, that’s free food for them, and that is true. But the bigger issue to me is keeping our garden producing. It’s also good for the neighbors, because some of those crops did not do well for them this year.

Other relatives picked up our mail at the post office for us and drove to our closest pharmacy, 25 miles away, and had our prescriptions filled. It’s nice to be able to call the pharmacy and talk to the folks there on a first name basis. 

Our local preacher and spiritual adviser has called to check on me everyday. He also came to see me in the hospital. We have not always attended his church, but I have known this man for over 30 years and appreciate the time he takes to contact me everyday.

I know I’m going to leave some events out here, but it humbles me to know that there are people, good decent people, that will step up to the plate when someone is in need. Some of these are friends, some are neighbors, some are relatives, and some are combinations of the above. So, when I get over this, I will still be a hermit, but I want to genuinely thank everybody that helped and are still helping. I also want to thank everyone for their prayers, because I do believe in God and the power of prayer.

Well, it’s about nap time. Be appreciative of what you have, and for those around you. Now if I could just get someone to wash my car….

We’ll talk more later. Frank