August 11, 2011 at 3:30 pm (farming, food policy, sustainability)
Tags: food policy, food politics, food rights, Food Safety Modernization Act, FSMA, regulatory capture, S510 bill
It’s standardly Orwellian in name, as legislation often is, but a really alarming number of food policy activists totally believe it is harmless to small producers. But it is designed and tailored for selective enforcement and pushing out the little guy or the medium guy in favor of outfits more Monsanto-friendly or Archer Daniels Midland-approved.
Whole foods of the sort I eat and advocate everyone eat (meat and veg from healthy animals and plants, preferably local and produced with an eye towards being able to get meat and veg from the soil for decades to come) are already semi-underground and in some cases completely illegal in this country. Raw milk should not be harder to get than Schedule II drugs. Meat from a healthy cow or goat or pig or chicken or duck, etc. should not require a speakeasy setup to purchase. We are already in that place, and people seem to think the millions of instances of food-borne illness are from raw milk or a small producer’s grassfed cow, when it’s just not the case. Anyway I struggle to articulate my discontent, but the basic point is that the new food safety law is very bad for food, safety and regular people, even if you think CAFO-style food production is awesome.
It is a pity that the food policy/food rights folks are too divided and diverse to come together and build a consistent plan of action.
August 3, 2011 at 3:58 pm (farming, food policy, real food, research, sustainability)
Tags: dirt, industrial food production, NPK, scalability, soil erosion, soil fertility, sustainability, sustainable agriculture
That is not the only link I could cobble together for it, but it’s what I have time to post. Soil erosion is major, massive, just a chronic heart of our food issue, and it gets so little play. But NPK agriculture gets you to this place. Those ‘high yields’ come at a steady, corrosive cost and leave you with no ability to get more food from the ground without a lot of alternative effort.
Scalability in sustainable farming is a real topic worthy of debate, but given how everyone just ignores the soil erosion elephant in the room, I am not sure how to deal with NPK fanboys who are convinced that sustainable farmers want to kill billions with ‘dirty food’ that ‘isn’t enough’. I am also not sure how to deal with sustainable farmers who use methods that bring their own erosion issues, but handwave the matter because, like, it’s organic, dude.
Soil erosion. Start talking about it and find out how little people really understand about it as a problem, and how futile some of the solutions are that get proposed. And how interesting and old some of the effective solutions are, while others are nouveau tech.
May 10, 2011 at 8:00 am (real food, recipes)
Tags: palm oil, pork, recipe tuesdays, recipes, yummy
Get two small-farm pork loin chops (bone-in) and a cast-iron skillet. Heat the skillet to medium heat and drop in 1 tablespoon of red palm oil. Toss in the pork chops and season or not as you please. Cook until palm oil is reddish but before it gets clear (about 5 mins one side, 2 mins the other side).
My husband used a lid and added a few spoonfuls of water to get the 7 minutes cooking time.
YUMMY YUMMY YUMMY.
Saturated fat is your friend!
May 9, 2011 at 8:00 am (farming, food policy, livestock, nutrition, sustainability)
Tags: Big Agra, CAFO, cattle, cows, farming, feedlots
This truth-seeker explains.
The source for the data in that post.
As noted in that pdf, they also apparently get stale pasta and nuts and bread ends (all physically painful for the cow to eat, btw).
Plus the poor CAFO cattle are fed blood and bone meal as well.
Oh, and they’re still getting fed the products of distilleries as they were when the stupid feedlot system started decades ago.
It’s all just a list of horror after horror being fed to cattle and then labelled ‘farm-raised american goodness’ at the grocery store.
All this is done to reduce costs and save money. The ultimate cheapness to the end consumer is only made possible by agricultural subsidy and tax breaks specifically for large mega-farms. Yet even with the government right there funnelling money to make it all look efficient and a function of ‘economy of scale’, they still scramble to cut costs everywhere possible because despite the scale, it’s no true economy to do this to cows (or chickens or pigs for that matter).
May 7, 2011 at 8:00 am (exercise, fitness, research, weight, women)
Tags: chronic cardio, exercise, exercise myths, hunger, NEAT, women's health
It is a common myth among many that exercise leads to hunger which leads to eating a bunch of calories which leads to exercise being ‘pointless’ or ‘just for health’s sake’.
This article explores that myth.
Short version: you don’t get ravenous when you exercise, but you may get a little hungry. Also, women are more susceptible to hunger feelings than men, but can easily resolve the matter with a small amount of protein. The psychological feeling that you are incredibly hungry is privileged by many who dismiss exercise’s role in burning calories. There’s also a stubborn insistence that NO ONE EVAR fails to get hungry after exercise. But loss of appetite from exercise is not unusual among, say, chronic cardio types. This is part of how long-distance runners and chronic joggers can often stay skinny. It’s also not unusual among those doing aggressive strength training, which is healthier, but also exhausting enough to leave the old appetite killed for a time.
The exercise-hunger treadmill is just a rationalization a lot of people rely on to justify not reducing intake/increasing activity. It is a myth that needs to die in a fat-burning fire.