The Older Brother Goes Shopping and Replaces the Entire Government

Well, The Younger Brother is a smart guy and all of that, but still hasn’t figured out that I’ve got the keys to the kingdom while he’s busy moving and has disconnected his computers. It’s like when the neighbors go on vacation and forget to lock the gate to their pool. And leave the bar refrigerator unlocked. Well, not unlocked maybe, but the key is under a rock next to the slide.

Where was I? Oh, yeah, speaking of people being off-line, you may have heard that with the impending debt and borrowing fiasco, the politicians are saying entire agencies may shut down if they can’t come to an agreement to keep spending money we’ll never be able to repay. The FAA, the FCC, the EPA, etc., etc. The whole alphabet soup would just stand down. Including the USDA.

Sorry — having a moment enjoying the thought. Of course, we’re being told how scary it would be with no USDA. Since factory farming and food processing and packaging operations wouldn’t have any government inspectors, it wouldn’t be possible for us to get any food. That’s because without government workers on the scene, the food industry would be able to carry out its evil plot to poison all of us.

Maybe that wouldn’t really happen, but how else would Americans be able to get obscenely bad nutritional advice? Who is going to pass out subsidy checks to our friends in the grain industry? Who’s going to artificially prop prices up, then pass out food stamps and WIC cards because food costs so much? How is it possible to find food without the government on the job?

I don’t know the answer for the first three, but found an answer to the last one Monday.

You’ve probably heard the old adage that “grandchildren are your reward for not throttling your kids when they’re teenagers.” Well, I got invited to go with my daughter and son-in-law and my two little “rewards” to a Kid’s Day tour of Veenstra Vegetables, an organic vegetable farm a few miles outside of town. It’s a chance to show little kids how and where real food comes from.

Veenstra Vegetables is on 16 acres that Garrick Veenstra and his family live and work on. Andy Heck is Garrick’s business partner on the operation and has a plot of his own where they grow most of their tomatoes.

Here’s Garrick’s “office”…

We got started by piling onto a hay wagon so Andy could take us on the “morning commute.” Amazingly, we all managed to get on and made the ride out to the tuber patch without mishap, even though there were no seat belts or air bags. Maybe it would be okay for the National Highway traffic Safety Administration to take a few days off.

 

Here’s a mound of Mother Nature’s fertilizer. Notice there’s no meth heads trying to steal it, so the DEA can stay home.

Also, it doesn’t kill all of the earthworms and micro-organisms that make real food real. As a matter of fact, they actually live in the stuff. And we didn’t have to have special training and wear hazmat suits around it, so the EPA can take a breather.

Here’s what some of that real food looks like, by the way. Sure, there’s some weeds in there, but real food is about balance. You’re not trying to annihilate everything besides your crop, just maybe put enough of a scare in them so they don’t takeover the neighborhood (the wall of corn in the background is where the neighbor’s farm starts).


Andy took us out to where some of their yellow potatoes where ready for harvest, and the kids got to do the two things they do best – explore with inquisitive joy, and get dirty!

Fortunately for everyone involved, no one from the Labor Department was around to witness this flagrant exploitation and violation of child labor laws.

While the kids were busy expressing their kidness, the worms were busy expressing their wormness as high efficiency aeration, fertilization, and soil enhancement specialists. Somehow they managed to develop these skills without a Department of Agriculture grant.

Then we all headed back into Garrick’s office, where he proceeded to teach the youngsters about seeds and planting. Here’s his high-tech, state-of-the-art organic planter. It already exceeds all recommended fuel efficiency standards.

They all got to see and feel different seeds, and Garrick seemed to have effectively imparted this knowledge – actually, the kids were captivated — without any credentials from the Education Department. I checked to make sure as we moved on to the next area of the tour and sure enough, there was No Child Left Behind. Hmmm.

The next stop was under a tent set up next to the chicken pen (we’re still in hot and humid mode), where Garrick’s daughter gave the kids a lesson on chickens and eggs (with an able assist from a nice woman from the Extension Service, so it wasn’t a total government-free morning).

Then all of the kids got to give some feed to the chickens and do a little “free-ranging” along with them.

The fence is portable so the chickens and coops can be moved frequently. They leave behind a piece of ground that has been scratched, aerated, fertilized, and cleared of bugs; and the chickens regularly get the fresh forage and tasty bugs that make free-range eggs so much better than the ones from the mega-mart.

It also reduces the amount of feed that has to be purchased, and prevents chicken-specific pathogens from getting a foothold. As the chickens are moved off a parcel, Mother Nature’s sterilization protocol – time, lack of a host, and sunshine – goes to work.

Last stop was a gentleman (I’m sorry I forgot to get his name) who works with Mother Nature’s little sugar factories.

As low-carbers, we shy away from sugar in all of its forms, but if you want something sweet, this is pretty darned paleo. It was also pretty darned good. Besides little samples of fresh honey, he also let us sample chunks of honeycomb from a colony he’d been called to remove from a grain bin the day before. Amazing. As Tom posits in Fat Head, maybe Mother Nature does know what she’s doing.

For my “learned something today I had no idea about” category, this apiarist said that bee colony collapse disorder hasn’t reached Illinois. In fact, most of the reported cases are among huge commercial beekeeping operations operated as pollination services. He also said these operations feed the bees – get this, fellow Fat Heads – HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP. Holy crud. They also usually destroy all of the bees at the end of pollination season, because it’s more profitable to sell off all of the honey and start with new bees next year. Yep, bees are factory farmed!

Well, anyway, that ended our day at the farm. It turns out we can get all of the food we need without the EPA, DEA, NHSTA, or even the amazingly bad USDA.  I was going to suggest to Garrick that maybe he could wash the entire farm down every day with industrial strength bleach like the factory food processors do, but thought I might want to get invited back some time.

I did buy a carton of Garrick’s eggs before leaving. He can sell them on the farm, but not at the Farmer’s Market (too many regs and paperwork). In case you don’t get out much, here’s what real eggs look like.

I just read that farm fresh (never refrigerated eggs) will actually keep longer out of the refrigerator if you don’t wash them  — just turn them every day or two to keep an air bubble from letting the shell get porous (just rotate the whole carton upside-down or rightside-up on alternate days).

Today, I went down to the Veenstra’s Vegetables stand at the local Farmer’s Market and picked up ingredients for tonight’s dinner (“Sara’s Awesome BLT’s”).

As you can see, it looks like you can get real food without the feds inserting themselves into every single transaction everywhere.

If the feds do shut down, however, it might not be so easy at the local mega-mart, where most of what they sell has to pass through all of those agencies. In that case, it would be good if you already knew some of these folks. There’s probably a local market somewhere near you. I’d suggest you check it out, if you haven’t already. Today would be good.

And here’s what it looks like when you buy fresh and local. That’s lamb sticks for snacking in the package (like Slim Jims – very good).

The lettuce, heirloom tomatoes, and red onion are for the BLT’s. Yes, red onion. There’s even more. I’ll fill you in later if Tom hasn’t found out I’ve been playing in his sandbox again.

See you in the comments!

Cheers,

The Older Brother

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104 thoughts on “The Older Brother Goes Shopping and Replaces the Entire Government

  1. Maimerie23

    I bet your butt was extremely smelly after a long, hot day on the farm. Yuck.

    Funny creepy.

    Maybe the USDA or NIH or someone could do a study on what it is about the vegan diet that causes FTO (fecal tract obsession).

    Reply
  2. Erik

    I loved reading this post because this is the way I live, day in and day out, interning on a small organic-produce CSA this summer. No bees or chickens this year due to a couple unfortunate circumstances, but plenty of delicious veggies and no-nonsense living.

    An interesting note on the weeds: two of our most prolific weeds are amaranth and purslane, which both happen to be significantly more nutritious than most of our actual “food” crops.

    Amaranth leaves makes one of the most nutrient-dense leafy greens out there (up there with kale and swiss chard), grows big red roots that can be used like beets, and when they go to seed each plant produces thousands of high-protein (better than quinoa), toxinless seeds that make a superior replacement for traditional grains. A little carby for many readers, perhaps, but for a physically demanding lifestyle I find carbs have their place.

    Purslane is a juicy, tasty plant that has a very high omega-3 fatty acid content. Granted, it’s ALA and thus less useful to the body than the DHA and EPA from fish and grass-fed meats, but it’s still more nutritious than most of the food crops.

    This brings up the topic of cultural perceptions of “food.” Both of these plants were utilized as food crops in the past (and still are in some parts of the world), but have fallen out of use here mostly due to their lower compatibility with industrial food processes. Since marketing has been functionally replacing “culture” in our society since at least the 50s, most americans have no awareness of either plant being an excellent food source. Against the industrialized might of wheat and corn, Amaranth seed certainly didn’t stand a chance.

    Perversely, you can now find Amaranth products (usually labeled “ancient grain” or something fruity like that in ignorance of the fact that wheat, barley, and corn were domesticated thousands of years earlier) sold at high prices in health stores. Where I live in upstate new york the roadside ditches are full of tall, robust amaranth plants and if you make a garden you’re likely to grow as much amaranth as whatever it is you plant. Most, though, will pull it and toss it aside as a weed. Amazing how backwards we can get once we let people with other vested interests generate our culture for us…

    Interesting insights. Gallagher said in one of his comic bits that “if you try to kill it and it lives anyway, it’s a weed; if you try to keep it alive and it dies, it’s a plant.” Sounds like we can amend that to add “if it doesn’t require chemicals and mono-cropping, it’s a weed.”

    Thanks for chiming in…

    — The Older Brother

    Reply
  3. Stingray

    I saw the mayo posts and thought you all might like this. I haven’t had the chance to try it yet, but it sounds amazing.

    http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/08/25/introducing-a-recipe-contest-with-prizes/

    And here are a couple of tips from someone who has tried to make it. Sounds like it might be slightly difficult but well worth it!

    http://cavemanfood.blogspot.com/2009/04/bacon-mayonnaise.html

    Thanks for the great post!

    Thank you. After all of the mayo ideas, it’s definitely going on my “to do” list. Especially after a quick look at the label in my fridge. Ingredient #1 — soybean oil. Gak!

    Cheers!

    Reply
  4. Sabine

    Great post!
    And you can try a bacon weave in place of bread for BLTs!

    Great idea. I’ve got a couple other options (including outright cheating!) and pictures for my next intrusion.

    Cheers!

    Reply
  5. JoAnn

    Looks like you had a great day. I work hard to make sure as much of my food as possible comes from sources like this.

    That said, I have to question the theory that we’d be better off without the government’s efforts. Do you really think we’d be safer if Big Ag and Big Food had no constraints whatsoever? I don’t defend USDA or the ridiculous conflict of interests that comprises its mission. I do feel strongly that the answer is to FIX that, not throw up our hands and walk away. We’d be totally screwed if that happened.

    Market constraints and the rule of law do not equal “no constraints whatsoever.” In fact, they’re the only ones that work for for the general good vs. giving some agency power to interfere in free-will transaction between free people. That’s true whether I’m getting my food at Garrick’s or at McDonald’s.

    I’ve got economics, sociology, human nature, 54 years of experience, and history on my side. What is the basis for your impression that government agencies actually do more good than evil on balance?

    Did you see the post from Phyllis talking about the new farming regs that will put even more small farmers out of business, while Big Ag and Big Food — who you seem to have the impression these apparatchiks are “protecting” us from — will just pass the paperwork onto their accounting departments while they increase their market share replacing all of those little guys? Who do you think writes these rules and regs? Always. If it’s not the USDA’s mission to put small farmers out of business in favor of Big Ag and Big Food, why do you think it always turns out that way?

    How do you think we got $14.5 trillion dollars of debt (really, it’s over $60 trillion if you understand accounting for liabilities)? How can you reconcile the trillions and trillions of dollars we’ve spent to “help the poor” without the poverty rate budging? Not that it hasn’t had an impact. Poverty is now a self-perpetuating industry instead of a temporary state of low financial means. Over half of the deliveries of babies born in Illinois are “paid” for through Medicaid. We deposit them directly onto the welfare plantation, then since their mothers can’t afford them, we give them free lunches (and now free breakfasts) bought from Big Ag and Big Food (with money borrowed from the Chinese). Do you think that’s just some cosmic coincidence?

    How is it that you feel safer with the USDA keeping a bureaucrat on site at factory farms where the chickens never get sunlight, see grass, or eat bugs, and couldn’t if they found one because their beaks are cut off to prevent them from pecking each other to death because they’re crammed ten to a cage; but threatened if someone whose name I know and lives within an hour drive wants to sell me a dozen eggs?

    Why do you believe the same people that tell you grain is good for you and you have to have carbs and that saturated fat and cholesterol will kill you if you don’t take statins, when they say that they’ll protect you from the businesses that control them — Big Ag, Big Food, Big Pharma, Big Banks, Big Oil, and on and on?

    Why aren’t you starting to see a pattern here?

    It can’t be “fixed” and it’s not waste or fraud or corruption or the wrong people or that we’re just not trying hard enough or we’re just not spending enough or we should let the Democrats run things or we should let the Republicans run things or we just need a few more laws or government departments. We’ve got what we’ve got because that is the exact nature and number of the beast.

    Big Ag and Big Food and all of the other Big Bad Guys understand this. The average American doesn’t. Which is why we are in fact totally screwed.

    Sorry to climb up on my ten foot tall soap box, but I just don’t get that people just don’t get that our 50 year experiment in trading our freedom for a massive government on the promise of life without consequences is about to end; and it’s going to end badly.

    — The Older Brother

    Reply
  6. Maimerie23

    I bet your butt was extremely smelly after a long, hot day on the farm. Yuck.

    Funny creepy.

    Maybe the USDA or NIH or someone could do a study on what it is about the vegan diet that causes FTO (fecal tract obsession).

    Reply
  7. Elizabeth

    Awesome post! Glad you snuck into the sandbox!

    Thanks — it’s pretty fun.

    — The Older Brother

    Reply
  8. Stingray

    I saw the mayo posts and thought you all might like this. I haven’t had the chance to try it yet, but it sounds amazing.

    http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/08/25/introducing-a-recipe-contest-with-prizes/

    And here are a couple of tips from someone who has tried to make it. Sounds like it might be slightly difficult but well worth it!

    http://cavemanfood.blogspot.com/2009/04/bacon-mayonnaise.html

    Thanks for the great post!

    Thank you. After all of the mayo ideas, it’s definitely going on my “to do” list. Especially after a quick look at the label in my fridge. Ingredient #1 — soybean oil. Gak!

    Cheers!

    Reply
  9. Underground

    I had thought about using the bacon fat, but I thought it would turn out too firm when refrigerated. Olive oil can have a very distinctive flavor when emulsified, which is why I started searching on the coconut oil. I’ll have to give it a try.

    Now, which branch of government is responsible for removing all these silly laws? Perhaps we need an anti-congress, split them in half and let them have at each other.

    You’re probably right, but if you think about it, if the bacon fat version turned out too firm it would still be awesome! Check out Stingray’s comment above — both of the links are for mayo made with bacon fat.

    Also, did you see Ruth’s avocado and duck fat suggestions? Those sounded good.

    I wouldn’t mind splitting them in half but I’m afraid each one might turn into two politicians like those worms in biology class. Or didn’t you mean splitting them that way? 🙂

    — The Older Brother

    Reply
  10. JoAnn

    Looks like you had a great day. I work hard to make sure as much of my food as possible comes from sources like this.

    That said, I have to question the theory that we’d be better off without the government’s efforts. Do you really think we’d be safer if Big Ag and Big Food had no constraints whatsoever? I don’t defend USDA or the ridiculous conflict of interests that comprises its mission. I do feel strongly that the answer is to FIX that, not throw up our hands and walk away. We’d be totally screwed if that happened.

    Market constraints and the rule of law do not equal “no constraints whatsoever.” In fact, they’re the only ones that work for for the general good vs. giving some agency power to interfere in free-will transaction between free people. That’s true whether I’m getting my food at Garrick’s or at McDonald’s.

    I’ve got economics, sociology, human nature, 54 years of experience, and history on my side. What is the basis for your impression that government agencies actually do more good than evil on balance?

    Did you see the post from Phyllis talking about the new farming regs that will put even more small farmers out of business, while Big Ag and Big Food — who you seem to have the impression these apparatchiks are “protecting” us from — will just pass the paperwork onto their accounting departments while they increase their market share replacing all of those little guys? Who do you think writes these rules and regs? Always. If it’s not the USDA’s mission to put small farmers out of business in favor of Big Ag and Big Food, why do you think it always turns out that way?

    How do you think we got $14.5 trillion dollars of debt (really, it’s over $60 trillion if you understand accounting for liabilities)? How can you reconcile the trillions and trillions of dollars we’ve spent to “help the poor” without the poverty rate budging? Not that it hasn’t had an impact. Poverty is now a self-perpetuating industry instead of a temporary state of low financial means. Over half of the deliveries of babies born in Illinois are “paid” for through Medicaid. We deposit them directly onto the welfare plantation, then since their mothers can’t afford them, we give them free lunches (and now free breakfasts) bought from Big Ag and Big Food (with money borrowed from the Chinese). Do you think that’s just some cosmic coincidence?

    How is it that you feel safer with the USDA keeping a bureaucrat on site at factory farms where the chickens never get sunlight, see grass, or eat bugs, and couldn’t if they found one because their beaks are cut off to prevent them from pecking each other to death because they’re crammed ten to a cage; but threatened if someone whose name I know and lives within an hour drive wants to sell me a dozen eggs?

    Why do you believe the same people that tell you grain is good for you and you have to have carbs and that saturated fat and cholesterol will kill you if you don’t take statins, when they say that they’ll protect you from the businesses that control them — Big Ag, Big Food, Big Pharma, Big Banks, Big Oil, and on and on?

    Why aren’t you starting to see a pattern here?

    It can’t be “fixed” and it’s not waste or fraud or corruption or the wrong people or that we’re just not trying hard enough or we’re just not spending enough or we should let the Democrats run things or we should let the Republicans run things or we just need a few more laws or government departments. We’ve got what we’ve got because that is the exact nature and number of the beast.

    Big Ag and Big Food and all of the other Big Bad Guys understand this. The average American doesn’t. Which is why we are in fact totally screwed.

    Sorry to climb up on my ten foot tall soap box, but I just don’t get that people just don’t get that our 50 year experiment in trading our freedom for a massive government on the promise of life without consequences is about to end; and it’s going to end badly.

    — The Older Brother

    Reply
  11. KonaMel

    BRAVO! Loved your response to JoAnne! Thanks Older Bro, you guys are the best.

    Thanks. I’m sure she’s sincere and and don’t want to run anyone off who’s really looking to deepen their worldview. I hope I didn’t come off as a scold — I know sometimes I have a hard time shifting out of snark gear.

    My intention was to provoke serious thinking about the reality and results of government, instead of the stated intentions that government programs always seem to get graded on. i.e., the farm policies are killing off small family farms, but the USDA wants to help them, so they just need a little tweaking or fixing.

    I get especially frustrated with people with Mother Earth News Syndrome, where they talk about how we all have to get back to appreciating the earth and real food and rugged individualism out of one side of their mouth while wanting “the government” to regulate agriculture, the weather, the market, etc., etc. out of the other without ever realizing they’re just feeding the beast.

    Cheers!

    Reply
  12. Elizabeth

    Awesome post! Glad you snuck into the sandbox!

    Thanks — it’s pretty fun.

    — The Older Brother

    Reply
  13. Underground

    I had thought about using the bacon fat, but I thought it would turn out too firm when refrigerated. Olive oil can have a very distinctive flavor when emulsified, which is why I started searching on the coconut oil. I’ll have to give it a try.

    Now, which branch of government is responsible for removing all these silly laws? Perhaps we need an anti-congress, split them in half and let them have at each other.

    You’re probably right, but if you think about it, if the bacon fat version turned out too firm it would still be awesome! Check out Stingray’s comment above — both of the links are for mayo made with bacon fat.

    Also, did you see Ruth’s avocado and duck fat suggestions? Those sounded good.

    I wouldn’t mind splitting them in half but I’m afraid each one might turn into two politicians like those worms in biology class. Or didn’t you mean splitting them that way? 🙂

    — The Older Brother

    Reply
  14. reduceCrapohydrates

    Hi Tom and older brother,i figured out why those vegan zealots are attacking you.2Oz of Spam contains 7g of protein and 15g of fat so by leaving malicious comments they are fufilling their daily protein and fat needs.Poor guys if it wasn’t for your blog they’d be malnourished.

    I’m not sure about their Spam intentions. Based on their apparent fixation, they must be craving “rump roast.”

    — The Older Brother

    Reply
  15. KonaMel

    BRAVO! Loved your response to JoAnne! Thanks Older Bro, you guys are the best.

    Thanks. I’m sure she’s sincere and and don’t want to run anyone off who’s really looking to deepen their worldview. I hope I didn’t come off as a scold — I know sometimes I have a hard time shifting out of snark gear.

    My intention was to provoke serious thinking about the reality and results of government, instead of the stated intentions that government programs always seem to get graded on. i.e., the farm policies are killing off small family farms, but the USDA wants to help them, so they just need a little tweaking or fixing.

    I get especially frustrated with people with Mother Earth News Syndrome, where they talk about how we all have to get back to appreciating the earth and real food and rugged individualism out of one side of their mouth while wanting “the government” to regulate agriculture, the weather, the market, etc., etc. out of the other without ever realizing they’re just feeding the beast.

    Cheers!

    Reply
  16. JC

    Sorry to reply directly to another poster, but on this particular topic…

    Phil C. I grew up on a cattle ranch in Montana. I have been in on the butchering process since I was 7 years old. I still joke how I could see dinner from the back door. I have also seen pigs and chickens butchered. I personally have shot, dressed and eaten elk, moose, deer, rabbit, bear…

    Now, lest you think I am some horrible beast, I am also an animal lover, who goes out of his way to do whatever I can for creatures. One summer, I helped my grandfather (on e of the greatest men I have ever met. He seemed to know more about animals than any “trained” individual I have ever met) nurse back to health a wounded skunk (it had been caught in a trap. Not something we had set)

    The fact is we are descendents of hunters. You seem to think somehow we should turn our backs on that, and eat unnatural foods, modified grasses, and diets wholly unsuitable to human health. If you choose to do that, I wish you the best of luck. But perhaps you should refrain from coming on to a website and verbally attacking people who have chosen to follow a different path than you. I will do the same, and not go to any “meat is bad” sites and verbally attack them.

    I have tried eating the way the government suggests, and now have 80+ pounds to lose. I am over half way there, just by going back to what worked all those years ago. Fresh butter and meat. As much as I need to stop my hunger. My hypoglycemia is just a memory, I feel more energetic than I have since I was 20 and in Ranger school (Army, not park), I am gaining lean muscle daily it seems, a skin condition I had is cleared up… well, I could go on. The fact is, humans have worked to the top of the food chain, and we did it as primarily carnivores. All the good feelings in the world will not change that.

    No apology needed — I can use all the help I can get. If you’ve been following along, though, you’ve probably noticed that rational discussion doesn’t really work with the vegetrollians.

    Hey, I just invented a word!

    Congratulations on getting your health back on track, and thanks for your service. The Middle Son (Tom’s nephew) is somewhere in the of the swamps of Georgia right now looking to earn his Ranger tab. We haven’t heard from him for a couple of weeks, so that’s a good sign.

    Hooah!

    Reply
  17. Mike P.

    I was just going to log on and write Tom an email about how I have missed his humor amongst all the other websites and blogs I follow [very few, of which, are humorous]. And low-and-behold…big brother steps up to the plate and hits a home run. Perfect timing. Keep up the good work!!

    Thanks. I think of it as a sac fly to keep moving the runner.

    But what would I know — we’re Cubs fans!

    — The Older Brother

    Reply
  18. Stingray

    < "Thank you. After all of the mayo ideas, it’s definitely going on my “to do” list. Especially after a quick look at the label in my fridge. Ingredient #1 — soybean oil. Gak!"

    This is funny. I have been in search of mayo without soybean oil for weeks now. I don&#039t mind making my own mayo, but if I could find something else it would be a time saver. I immediately checked out Hellman&#039s made with olive oil and the olive oil is the fourth or fifth thing in the ingredients list. The first thing? Soybean oil. I was not happy.

    Our subsidized, mis-incentivized, bureacratized food system has been stacked toward cheap Big Food. Cheap means you drive down costs by focusing on low input costs — like using industrial waste products as a main ingredient (soy oil) — and stuff that will ship easily over long distances (hard, square tomatoes), and keep on the shelf much longer than fresh, natural food.

    And I don’t want anyone telling Big Food they can’t do any of that. I just want to let the market work again, then we can all sort it out individually.

    Cheers!

    Reply
  19. reduceCrapohydrates

    Hi Tom and older brother,i figured out why those vegan zealots are attacking you.2Oz of Spam contains 7g of protein and 15g of fat so by leaving malicious comments they are fufilling their daily protein and fat needs.Poor guys if it wasn’t for your blog they’d be malnourished.

    I’m not sure about their Spam intentions. Based on their apparent fixation, they must be craving “rump roast.”

    — The Older Brother

    Reply
  20. JC

    Sorry to reply directly to another poster, but on this particular topic…

    Phil C. I grew up on a cattle ranch in Montana. I have been in on the butchering process since I was 7 years old. I still joke how I could see dinner from the back door. I have also seen pigs and chickens butchered. I personally have shot, dressed and eaten elk, moose, deer, rabbit, bear…

    Now, lest you think I am some horrible beast, I am also an animal lover, who goes out of his way to do whatever I can for creatures. One summer, I helped my grandfather (on e of the greatest men I have ever met. He seemed to know more about animals than any “trained” individual I have ever met) nurse back to health a wounded skunk (it had been caught in a trap. Not something we had set)

    The fact is we are descendents of hunters. You seem to think somehow we should turn our backs on that, and eat unnatural foods, modified grasses, and diets wholly unsuitable to human health. If you choose to do that, I wish you the best of luck. But perhaps you should refrain from coming on to a website and verbally attacking people who have chosen to follow a different path than you. I will do the same, and not go to any “meat is bad” sites and verbally attack them.

    I have tried eating the way the government suggests, and now have 80+ pounds to lose. I am over half way there, just by going back to what worked all those years ago. Fresh butter and meat. As much as I need to stop my hunger. My hypoglycemia is just a memory, I feel more energetic than I have since I was 20 and in Ranger school (Army, not park), I am gaining lean muscle daily it seems, a skin condition I had is cleared up… well, I could go on. The fact is, humans have worked to the top of the food chain, and we did it as primarily carnivores. All the good feelings in the world will not change that.

    No apology needed — I can use all the help I can get. If you’ve been following along, though, you’ve probably noticed that rational discussion doesn’t really work with the vegetrollians.

    Hey, I just invented a word!

    Congratulations on getting your health back on track, and thanks for your service. The Middle Son (Tom’s nephew) is somewhere in the of the swamps of Georgia right now looking to earn his Ranger tab. We haven’t heard from him for a couple of weeks, so that’s a good sign.

    Hooah!

    Reply
  21. Mike P.

    I was just going to log on and write Tom an email about how I have missed his humor amongst all the other websites and blogs I follow [very few, of which, are humorous]. And low-and-behold…big brother steps up to the plate and hits a home run. Perfect timing. Keep up the good work!!

    Thanks. I think of it as a sac fly to keep moving the runner.

    But what would I know — we’re Cubs fans!

    — The Older Brother

    Reply
  22. Melinda P

    Okay, first off, loved this post. I wish we had a few more farmers markets and farms we could buy directly from around here. Sad, cuz there are plenty of farms around here, but they are almost all factory farms. I think if the bureaucratic alphabet soup collapsed, supermarkets would STILL figure out how to get food on their shelves. They are, after all, businesses who want to make money and who do not want to go bankrupt or have to close up shop. It might just look a bit (or a lot) different than what the average American is used to. And – gasp – they might even work more with local food, and be able to offer lower prices for better quality because the food hasn’t had to travel thousands of miles and it’s not weeks old by the time it hits the shelves. One can dream, can’t one…

    Second, I about fell out of my chair at your response to the “vegetrollian” commenter! Made my morning, thank you! Not to mention, “vegetrollian” is now my new fav word. 🙂

    Third, mayo with a stick blender is amazingly easy. It literally takes like 20 seconds once you pour all the ingredients into the cup. I learned how to do it from a Youtube video and got the technique perfect on my first try. I could literally turn the cup upside down, it wasn’t runny at all – and really, mayo should be pretty firm, so whatever fat is used, I’m sure works fine. It’s all about the emulsification process. The hardest part is actually finding the correct balance of spices and oils that suit your taste. But for those more culinarily inclined than I, I’m sure that’s not a problem at all.

    I agree, and many of our local supermarkets do seem to be making more of an effort to support locally grown food. That business operates on pennies-on-the-dollar margins, so a major disruption could put some of them on the ropes if they have high fixed costs. They do need to make a profit, and can’t offer local if we’re buying the mega-brands to save a few cents. As always, I just want the market to be allowed to work.

    I have to admit, I was pretty tickled with myself for coming up with vegetrollian, especially since it’s the kind of thing I would’ve expected Tom to think of before me. It also helps differentiate the bozos from the lots of very nice people among the vegetarian and even vegan ranks who we can just mutually agree to disagree with.

    Thanks for the tips on the mayo.

    — The Older Brother

    Reply
  23. Stingray

    < "Thank you. After all of the mayo ideas, it’s definitely going on my “to do” list. Especially after a quick look at the label in my fridge. Ingredient #1 — soybean oil. Gak!"

    This is funny. I have been in search of mayo without soybean oil for weeks now. I don't mind making my own mayo, but if I could find something else it would be a time saver. I immediately checked out Hellman's made with olive oil and the olive oil is the fourth or fifth thing in the ingredients list. The first thing? Soybean oil. I was not happy.

    Our subsidized, mis-incentivized, bureacratized food system has been stacked toward cheap Big Food. Cheap means you drive down costs by focusing on low input costs — like using industrial waste products as a main ingredient (soy oil) — and stuff that will ship easily over long distances (hard, square tomatoes), and keep on the shelf much longer than fresh, natural food.

    And I don’t want anyone telling Big Food they can’t do any of that. I just want to let the market work again, then we can all sort it out individually.

    Cheers!

    Reply
  24. jim

    Right, its the government inspectors that are the problem. Not the greedy mega corporation that either buy out or destroy small competition. Its the reason why in some places your only choice is some big blue mega store. And yes, I want Government to tell Big Food they can’t use sludge to fertilize their crops, or give questionable feed to the animals I eat. Without Government, how am I supposed to know whats in my food? Perhaps I should just trust the corporations to tell me.

    Government isn’t the problem. Its electing people who hate Good government then expecting them to do a decent job.

    Did you miss the part where factory chickens, feedlot grain fed beef, etc. that are fed their own offal, “cleaned” in tanks of fecal soup, and “santized” with industrial chemicals, ARE given passing marks by government inspectors?

    If industrial-strength ammonia, fertilizers, weedkillers and other chemicals that exhaust the earth, destroy the topsoil, annihilate beneficial microorganisms, and create fish kills and dead zones as big as some countries — all subsidized, approved, and made profitable due to the efforts of your benificent and beloved government — doesn’t rise to your definition of “sludge,” what possibly could?

    Doesn’t it register with you that highly regulated markets (Big Food) compete against the minimum passable standard (we can cut back on disinfectant cost by 10% and still keep our pathogen count is below the reg — ship it!); while in freer markets (the local Farmer’s Market) the competition is won with higher quality and service?

    My whole post was exactly about how to know what’s in your food. GO LOOK AT IT. Talk to the person you’re buying it from. If they won’t let you see it, why would you want to buy anything from them? Just try to get a walk-through in one of your government inspected, grade-A approved factory farms.

    I don’t expect you to trust the corporations. How is it that you trust the government? If a corporation screws up or screws their customers over, they can lose their reputation, lose business, get sued, and/or lose money. You may not be able to visualize how that can affect behavior, but it does. Maybe it’s greed, maybe it’s enlightened self-interest, maybe they really, really do just like you and want you to be happy. If the government screws over or screws up on less than 50% of its “constituents,” there’s no reason to change — and do you think you have any recourse?

    Think this through just for a moment… If I create a tool (government) that allows me to dictate prices, create barriers to entry, and write regulations, who can maximize the profit of “owning” that tool? A well meaning person or a greedy mega-corporation? Who do you think will own that tool in short order?

    When those regulations get written, who has the recognized “experts?” How much can you spend on lobbyists to make sure your interests are fairly represented? How much do you think Big Business can spend? Do you think your “elected representatives” will be watching out for you? How much did you donate to their campaign? How much did Big Business donate?

    And please save the tripe about “Good government.” It consists of human beings, remember? If we ever even had “good government,” that was over $14.5 trillion dollars back in the mists of time. I’d like to think you’ll seriously reflect on all of this, Jim, but I’ve found that people who pine for good government are no less naive than the vegans who propose to fence off the savannas to keep the lions from eating the gazelles.

    Here’s a last mental exercise to try. Imagine that instead of the USDA (government) being in charge of meat inspection, it was a private sector not-for-profit like Underwriters Laboratory. Do you think they’d put their stamp on chickens that had their beaks cut off? That were dunked in multiple chlorine baths to kill the inevitable pathogens that develop from around-the-clock assembly-line operations?

    Would an outfit like like give its seal of approval to cattle that are fed corn that completely compromises their digestive systems, then gives them constant doses of antibiotics to mask the pathogens that develop?

    There. Found a couple more feet of soapbox in the pantry.

    — The Older Brother

    Reply
  25. Phyllis Mueller

    @Stingray–Whole Foods sells a couple of brands of mayonnaise that do not contain soy oil. Some of them do contain canola oil, however. Some stores carry the DeLouis fils brand, which is French. I think it has sunflower oil and olive oil. It’s the one Sally Fallon recommends if you’re not making your own.

    There’s an interesting recipe on Mark’s Daily Apple that includes ghee. I used it and substituted coconut oil for the ghee. It was good. I find that mayonnaise is a hit-or-miss proposition–sometimes it comes out great, sometimes it just doesn’t. Batches that don’t work out made a fine salad dressing or topping for baked fish, I’ve discovered.

    Botched mayo on baked fish — nice.

    Surgeons have to bury their mistakes. We get to eat ours!

    Cheers!

    Reply
  26. JaimeW

    I love this blog and I like older brother’s guest posts and I feel bad that I have never posted before because my first post will be a bit of a criticism.

    My husband and I work in a research capacity with hundreds of beekeepers around the country, both commercial as well as hobbyists. We also keep a few hives ourselves, even though we eat low carb and don’t really eat the honey anymore. The facts are that both the large commercial as well as the small operation hobbyists have been affected by colony collapse disorder. It affects the commercial beekeepers more dramatically of course because it can wipe out their livelihood so it is more of an issue for them as opposed to the hobbyist who might lose his one or two hives and not report it to anyone (besides us).

    Also, perhaps the beekeeper you talked to knows of some, but we know of no beekeeper who “destroys his bees at the end of the pollination season …and starts with new bees next year”. Holy smokes, do you know how expensive that would be?!?!

    And finally, yes, some (but not all, as was insinuated) beekeepers have fed their bees HFCS in the past but that practice has diminished considerably since research was presented a few years ago at the beekeeper conventions showing the poorer results compared to supplementing their diets, when neccessary, with cane sugar instead.

    Again, sorry my first ever comment here was an “argument” because I have had such great encouragement from this site. I’ve been low carb since March and have lost 25 lbs!

    Around here, you never have to apologize for adding information.

    I was operating off of information from one person and probably should’ve been more circumspect. I suspect he’s probably right about Illinois being spared so far — do you have any data on that?

    I know that Mother Earth News, which I occasionally admit to reading, has reported on colony collapse disorder, and they don’t tend to concern themselves with the problems of large commercial interests.

    I did find the following in a paper titled “The Case of the Missing Bees” from an outfit called National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, which seemed fairly recent and addresses the HFCS:

    “Commercial beekeepers, called apiarists, keep hundreds or even thousands of honeybee colonies… At appropriate times, these colonies must be moved… the bee hives are covered with nets, stacked four levels deep on trailer trucks, and shipped… The typical commercial bee colony is reported to travel an average of 5,500 miles per year (Benjamin,2009). In a sense, honeybees are now being used as if they were inanimate pollination machines.
    While being transported, the bees have no access to pollen and must be fed. Prior to the mid-1970s, apiarists used concentrated syrup made from sucrose dissolved in water to feed the bees while they were in transit. After that time, HFCS-55 has largely replaced sucrose as the bees supplementary feed because it is cheaper and easier to handle than sucrose, and it is acidic, making it fermentation-resistant and capable of being stored for long times (LeBlanc, 2009).
    This practice continues today.”

    And on the colony destruction, there’s this from a site at beeclass.com that appeared to be an extract from a web-based educational text titled “Beekkeping Made Easy — Year Around Management” …

    “… Some beekeepers (commercial) kill all the bees in the fall of the year, harvest all the honey, and buy packages to put back into their hive equipment in the spring. The 60 to 90 pounds of honey the bees would have used over winter is sold and a profit made between the cost of the honey and the price to replace the bees. Additional savings include: not have to pay labor to check hives in the winter or make splits in the spring, not having to medicate hives, and knowing exactly how many packages of bees they need and no fear of winter loss.”

    … Again, I can’t vouch for the integrity of any of this information, but it appears that sources are out there for it. “Some beekeepers” may have meant three or three hundred. Any industry of that size in this country is probably going to see a spectrum of practices.

    Thanks again for the input.

    — The Older Brother

    Reply
  27. Melinda P

    Okay, first off, loved this post. I wish we had a few more farmers markets and farms we could buy directly from around here. Sad, cuz there are plenty of farms around here, but they are almost all factory farms. I think if the bureaucratic alphabet soup collapsed, supermarkets would STILL figure out how to get food on their shelves. They are, after all, businesses who want to make money and who do not want to go bankrupt or have to close up shop. It might just look a bit (or a lot) different than what the average American is used to. And – gasp – they might even work more with local food, and be able to offer lower prices for better quality because the food hasn’t had to travel thousands of miles and it’s not weeks old by the time it hits the shelves. One can dream, can’t one…

    Second, I about fell out of my chair at your response to the “vegetrollian” commenter! Made my morning, thank you! Not to mention, “vegetrollian” is now my new fav word. 🙂

    Third, mayo with a stick blender is amazingly easy. It literally takes like 20 seconds once you pour all the ingredients into the cup. I learned how to do it from a Youtube video and got the technique perfect on my first try. I could literally turn the cup upside down, it wasn’t runny at all – and really, mayo should be pretty firm, so whatever fat is used, I’m sure works fine. It’s all about the emulsification process. The hardest part is actually finding the correct balance of spices and oils that suit your taste. But for those more culinarily inclined than I, I’m sure that’s not a problem at all.

    I agree, and many of our local supermarkets do seem to be making more of an effort to support locally grown food. That business operates on pennies-on-the-dollar margins, so a major disruption could put some of them on the ropes if they have high fixed costs. They do need to make a profit, and can’t offer local if we’re buying the mega-brands to save a few cents. As always, I just want the market to be allowed to work.

    I have to admit, I was pretty tickled with myself for coming up with vegetrollian, especially since it’s the kind of thing I would’ve expected Tom to think of before me. It also helps differentiate the bozos from the lots of very nice people among the vegetarian and even vegan ranks who we can just mutually agree to disagree with.

    Thanks for the tips on the mayo.

    — The Older Brother

    Reply
  28. JC

    @Older Brother,

    Glad I could be there for the birth of a new word! Vegetrollians! You will have to pass that along to your sibling!

    As for your middle son, well good for him. He is being tested in ways he cannot imagine, and should he get that tab, well, he does not have to prove anything to anyone again. You will noticed a changed man when he gets home. Oh, a word of advice, have lots of food handy! One of the many lesson in that training is learning how far you can go on very little food and sleep. He will want to sleep for a week, and anything edible will be fair game. If he begins to get a funny look in his eye when the family pet wanders buy, get some burgers in that boy, stat!

    We’re planning on having steaks nearby! We did hear from him a couple of weeks ago and he was already down 10 pounds on an already lean mean killing machine build. I know he’s being tested, but he’s already done two tours in Iraq. He earned his CIB about a month into the first go round in Sadar City when it got very unfriendly.

    He also earned an Expert Infantry Badge a couple of months ago and made sergeant. He told me right after he went in, “Dad, when you’re Infantry, everybody thinks you’re a turd. They call us ‘grunts’ and we call all of them POGs (Person Other than Grunt). But if I make sergeant, get my CIB and can earn a Ranger tab, nobody gives you any crap because they know you’ve walked the walk.”

    He’s walked more walk in a few years than me and most people I know have in a lifetime. I detest about 97% of our government and what it’s done to America, but we love every grunt that ever tied on Army boots.

    Hooah!

    Reply
  29. jim

    Right, its the government inspectors that are the problem. Not the greedy mega corporation that either buy out or destroy small competition. Its the reason why in some places your only choice is some big blue mega store. And yes, I want Government to tell Big Food they can’t use sludge to fertilize their crops, or give questionable feed to the animals I eat. Without Government, how am I supposed to know whats in my food? Perhaps I should just trust the corporations to tell me.

    Government isn’t the problem. Its electing people who hate Good government then expecting them to do a decent job.

    Did you miss the part where factory chickens, feedlot grain fed beef, etc. that are fed their own offal, “cleaned” in tanks of fecal soup, and “santized” with industrial chemicals, ARE given passing marks by government inspectors?

    If industrial-strength ammonia, fertilizers, weedkillers and other chemicals that exhaust the earth, destroy the topsoil, annihilate beneficial microorganisms, and create fish kills and dead zones as big as some countries — all subsidized, approved, and made profitable due to the efforts of your benificent and beloved government — doesn’t rise to your definition of “sludge,” what possibly could?

    Doesn’t it register with you that highly regulated markets (Big Food) compete against the minimum passable standard (we can cut back on disinfectant cost by 10% and still keep our pathogen count is below the reg — ship it!); while in freer markets (the local Farmer’s Market) the competition is won with higher quality and service?

    My whole post was exactly about how to know what’s in your food. GO LOOK AT IT. Talk to the person you’re buying it from. If they won’t let you see it, why would you want to buy anything from them? Just try to get a walk-through in one of your government inspected, grade-A approved factory farms.

    I don’t expect you to trust the corporations. How is it that you trust the government? If a corporation screws up or screws their customers over, they can lose their reputation, lose business, get sued, and/or lose money. You may not be able to visualize how that can affect behavior, but it does. Maybe it’s greed, maybe it’s enlightened self-interest, maybe they really, really do just like you and want you to be happy. If the government screws over or screws up on less than 50% of its “constituents,” there’s no reason to change — and do you think you have any recourse?

    Think this through just for a moment… If I create a tool (government) that allows me to dictate prices, create barriers to entry, and write regulations, who can maximize the profit of “owning” that tool? A well meaning person or a greedy mega-corporation? Who do you think will own that tool in short order?

    When those regulations get written, who has the recognized “experts?” How much can you spend on lobbyists to make sure your interests are fairly represented? How much do you think Big Business can spend? Do you think your “elected representatives” will be watching out for you? How much did you donate to their campaign? How much did Big Business donate?

    And please save the tripe about “Good government.” It consists of human beings, remember? If we ever even had “good government,” that was over $14.5 trillion dollars back in the mists of time. I’d like to think you’ll seriously reflect on all of this, Jim, but I’ve found that people who pine for good government are no less naive than the vegans who propose to fence off the savannas to keep the lions from eating the gazelles.

    Here’s a last mental exercise to try. Imagine that instead of the USDA (government) being in charge of meat inspection, it was a private sector not-for-profit like Underwriters Laboratory. Do you think they’d put their stamp on chickens that had their beaks cut off? That were dunked in multiple chlorine baths to kill the inevitable pathogens that develop from around-the-clock assembly-line operations?

    Would an outfit like like give its seal of approval to cattle that are fed corn that completely compromises their digestive systems, then gives them constant doses of antibiotics to mask the pathogens that develop?

    There. Found a couple more feet of soapbox in the pantry.

    — The Older Brother

    Reply
  30. TonyNZ

    Kind of off topic, but was just perusing this article about Robert Winston (Child of Our Time fame) saying beware the dark side of good ideas when this little gem popped up:

    Even farming, one of our earliest inventions and still of huge importance to economies such as New Zealand’s, had resulted in a pandemic of diabetes. “That has come about because we stopped being hunter-gatherers. We started to eat more carbohydrates and live more sedentary lives.”

    Sense from a well regarded, moustached scientist can’t be a bad thing, though NZ is more prominent with meat, dairy, fruit and wine than grains…

    Slow but steady progress, as people open their eyes, take a look around them, and realize the emperor has no clothes.

    Cheers.

    Reply
  31. TonyNZ

    Although this quote…

    “Scientific advice does affect and should affect every part of government.”

    …shows that not all that glitters is gold.

    Reply
  32. kennyMik

    Around here, you never have to apologize for adding information.

    Well that’s a bold-faced lie. I regularly point out how bad your butt smells due to over eating of red meat, as well as the gas you get from eating so many veggies/legumes, and you get agitated 🙁

    Also, if you hate the government so much, you’re free to leave.

    Interesting. So you’re against meat and plants? There hasn’t been a luftmenschen (air people) sighting in quite a while.

    And Tom and I both give you dipwads plenty of space to showcase your intelligence. Sorry it’s not working out for you.

    Also, we’re not leaving. I’m sticking around to to wave goodbye as the vegetrollians, welfare staters, and sundry tax-eaters swirl the drain and drown. That will be me you hear laughing. Then we’ll clean up the mess and start a new country based on individual rights and the rule of law. Maybe we’ll call it “America” in honor of the last time a bunch of radicals thought it would be worth trying.

    Cheers.

    Reply
  33. Phyllis Mueller

    @Stingray–Whole Foods sells a couple of brands of mayonnaise that do not contain soy oil. Some of them do contain canola oil, however. Some stores carry the DeLouis fils brand, which is French. I think it has sunflower oil and olive oil. It’s the one Sally Fallon recommends if you’re not making your own.

    There’s an interesting recipe on Mark’s Daily Apple that includes ghee. I used it and substituted coconut oil for the ghee. It was good. I find that mayonnaise is a hit-or-miss proposition–sometimes it comes out great, sometimes it just doesn’t. Batches that don’t work out made a fine salad dressing or topping for baked fish, I’ve discovered.

    Botched mayo on baked fish — nice.

    Surgeons have to bury their mistakes. We get to eat ours!

    Cheers!

    Reply
  34. JaimeW

    I love this blog and I like older brother’s guest posts and I feel bad that I have never posted before because my first post will be a bit of a criticism.

    My husband and I work in a research capacity with hundreds of beekeepers around the country, both commercial as well as hobbyists. We also keep a few hives ourselves, even though we eat low carb and don’t really eat the honey anymore. The facts are that both the large commercial as well as the small operation hobbyists have been affected by colony collapse disorder. It affects the commercial beekeepers more dramatically of course because it can wipe out their livelihood so it is more of an issue for them as opposed to the hobbyist who might lose his one or two hives and not report it to anyone (besides us).

    Also, perhaps the beekeeper you talked to knows of some, but we know of no beekeeper who “destroys his bees at the end of the pollination season …and starts with new bees next year”. Holy smokes, do you know how expensive that would be?!?!

    And finally, yes, some (but not all, as was insinuated) beekeepers have fed their bees HFCS in the past but that practice has diminished considerably since research was presented a few years ago at the beekeeper conventions showing the poorer results compared to supplementing their diets, when neccessary, with cane sugar instead.

    Again, sorry my first ever comment here was an “argument” because I have had such great encouragement from this site. I’ve been low carb since March and have lost 25 lbs!

    Around here, you never have to apologize for adding information.

    I was operating off of information from one person and probably should’ve been more circumspect. I suspect he’s probably right about Illinois being spared so far — do you have any data on that?

    I know that Mother Earth News, which I occasionally admit to reading, has reported on colony collapse disorder, and they don’t tend to concern themselves with the problems of large commercial interests.

    I did find the following in a paper titled “The Case of the Missing Bees” from an outfit called National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, which seemed fairly recent and addresses the HFCS:

    “Commercial beekeepers, called apiarists, keep hundreds or even thousands of honeybee colonies… At appropriate times, these colonies must be moved… the bee hives are covered with nets, stacked four levels deep on trailer trucks, and shipped… The typical commercial bee colony is reported to travel an average of 5,500 miles per year (Benjamin,2009). In a sense, honeybees are now being used as if they were inanimate pollination machines.
    While being transported, the bees have no access to pollen and must be fed. Prior to the mid-1970s, apiarists used concentrated syrup made from sucrose dissolved in water to feed the bees while they were in transit. After that time, HFCS-55 has largely replaced sucrose as the bees supplementary feed because it is cheaper and easier to handle than sucrose, and it is acidic, making it fermentation-resistant and capable of being stored for long times (LeBlanc, 2009).
    This practice continues today.”

    And on the colony destruction, there’s this from a site at beeclass.com that appeared to be an extract from a web-based educational text titled “Beekkeping Made Easy — Year Around Management” …

    “… Some beekeepers (commercial) kill all the bees in the fall of the year, harvest all the honey, and buy packages to put back into their hive equipment in the spring. The 60 to 90 pounds of honey the bees would have used over winter is sold and a profit made between the cost of the honey and the price to replace the bees. Additional savings include: not have to pay labor to check hives in the winter or make splits in the spring, not having to medicate hives, and knowing exactly how many packages of bees they need and no fear of winter loss.”

    … Again, I can’t vouch for the integrity of any of this information, but it appears that sources are out there for it. “Some beekeepers” may have meant three or three hundred. Any industry of that size in this country is probably going to see a spectrum of practices.

    Thanks again for the input.

    — The Older Brother

    Reply
  35. JC

    @Older Brother,

    Glad I could be there for the birth of a new word! Vegetrollians! You will have to pass that along to your sibling!

    As for your middle son, well good for him. He is being tested in ways he cannot imagine, and should he get that tab, well, he does not have to prove anything to anyone again. You will noticed a changed man when he gets home. Oh, a word of advice, have lots of food handy! One of the many lesson in that training is learning how far you can go on very little food and sleep. He will want to sleep for a week, and anything edible will be fair game. If he begins to get a funny look in his eye when the family pet wanders buy, get some burgers in that boy, stat!

    We’re planning on having steaks nearby! We did hear from him a couple of weeks ago and he was already down 10 pounds on an already lean mean killing machine build. I know he’s being tested, but he’s already done two tours in Iraq. He earned his CIB about a month into the first go round in Sadar City when it got very unfriendly.

    He also earned an Expert Infantry Badge a couple of months ago and made sergeant. He told me right after he went in, “Dad, when you’re Infantry, everybody thinks you’re a turd. They call us ‘grunts’ and we call all of them POGs (Person Other than Grunt). But if I make sergeant, get my CIB and can earn a Ranger tab, nobody gives you any crap because they know you’ve walked the walk.”

    He’s walked more walk in a few years than me and most people I know have in a lifetime. I detest about 97% of our government and what it’s done to America, but we love every grunt that ever tied on Army boots.

    Hooah!

    Reply
  36. TonyNZ

    Kind of off topic, but was just perusing this article about Robert Winston (Child of Our Time fame) saying beware the dark side of good ideas when this little gem popped up:

    Even farming, one of our earliest inventions and still of huge importance to economies such as New Zealand’s, had resulted in a pandemic of diabetes. “That has come about because we stopped being hunter-gatherers. We started to eat more carbohydrates and live more sedentary lives.”

    Sense from a well regarded, moustached scientist can’t be a bad thing, though NZ is more prominent with meat, dairy, fruit and wine than grains…

    Slow but steady progress, as people open their eyes, take a look around them, and realize the emperor has no clothes.

    Cheers.

    Reply
  37. TonyNZ

    Although this quote…

    “Scientific advice does affect and should affect every part of government.”

    …shows that not all that glitters is gold.

    Reply
  38. kennyMik

    Around here, you never have to apologize for adding information.

    Well that’s a bold-faced lie. I regularly point out how bad your butt smells due to over eating of red meat, as well as the gas you get from eating so many veggies/legumes, and you get agitated 🙁

    Also, if you hate the government so much, you’re free to leave.

    Interesting. So you’re against meat and plants? There hasn’t been a luftmenschen (air people) sighting in quite a while.

    And Tom and I both give you dipwads plenty of space to showcase your intelligence. Sorry it’s not working out for you.

    Also, we’re not leaving. I’m sticking around to to wave goodbye as the vegetrollians, welfare staters, and sundry tax-eaters swirl the drain and drown. That will be me you hear laughing. Then we’ll clean up the mess and start a new country based on individual rights and the rule of law. Maybe we’ll call it “America” in honor of the last time a bunch of radicals thought it would be worth trying.

    Cheers.

    Reply
  39. theHawk

    vegetrollians have you ever stopped to think that maybe EVERY single possible diet has the potential to be offensive to another person.Even tea,coffee and alcohol are banned for mormons.We have no problem with you guys being vegans once you don’t send endless spam.Eat and let eat…

    My new word seems to be enjoying popular support. Someone notify Websters!

    Cheers.

    Reply
  40. Jay

    You know, I have spent a couple hours mulling over how to start this comment while doing other things, and I’m tired of waiting, and saying that seems as good a way to start as any. =P

    Anyway, on to the questions at hand. I’m working on trying to clear out bushes and such and get the property back into a working farm (for my own use if not commercial use) I’ve already got a copy of ‘You can Farm’ by Joe Salatin (your mother pointed me towards him when I asked a few questions on his other blog) and can’t wait to get into it, though right now I am working my way methodically through ‘Good Calories Bad Calories’ when I have the time.

    Thing is, I have thumbed through the book a bit, and while it looks very useful in regards to infrastructure and farm management, it seems to be a bit lacking in the department of soil enrichment, at least for soil that has been semi-abused with ammonia-nitrate. My grandfather, who has passed on as of a year ago this recent May was a farmer all of his life, and I picked up as much as I could from him, though by the time I was able to learn he was already far along in years. Still, I must have been around enough to pick up something, I run the tractor by ear, knowing just how much gas to give it by how it sounds (it’s an old ford 4000, lovely thing). Despite how much he knew about farming, he relied alot on ammonia nitrate and periodically liming the soil. I do not know the shape it was in when he bought this place 50+ years ago, but the garden plot is fairly sandy now. Maintenance is all well and good, but how do you restore farmland that is currently in poor condition? I had considered going to the extension office….but……yeah…..

    I’m starting to ramble a bit here, so let me wrap this up with something a touch more personal regarding the vegetrollians and the stinking. I cannot speak for everyone, only my own experiences, but since starting a low-carb/high-fat diet about two months ago I have noticed a significant lessening of my B.O. My mother has as well. yeah, not the most savory thing to talk about, but it matters to me. Whereas before I could take a bath, sleep well, and get up and she told me I reeked, I’m no longer bothering her whatsoever. Not to mention the psoriasis on my face has cleared up, among other improvements. If anything, I’d say a high carb diet makes you stink, but that’s just personal experience, an ‘experiment of one’, if you will.

    Take care!

    Can’t remember which book it was in, but Salatin said that when his parents bought the farm he’s on now, it was completely tapped out. He considers what he does as being in the soil restoration business, where spots that they had to prop posts up on for their fences because it was so rocky now have built topsoil almost covering those same posts.

    That’s if you’ve got years, of course. The extension offices, depending on which office and who the staff is, do have some people supporting the small/local cause. The woman in my post is part of an educational program at the extension service to encourage and support people who want to get into small sustainable farming. I’d suggest talking to any local folks you can find who are doing it for suggestions, and go ahead and call the extension service to see if they’ve got anyone sympathetic to what you’re trying to accomplish. You’re already paying for it. Might as well see what they’ve got.

    Congratulations on the improving health. The number of successful n=1 experiments we see here isn’t science, but is compelling, no?

    — The Older Brother

    Reply
  41. theHawk

    vegetrollians have you ever stopped to think that maybe EVERY single possible diet has the potential to be offensive to another person.Even tea,coffee and alcohol are banned for mormons.We have no problem with you guys being vegans once you don’t send endless spam.Eat and let eat…

    My new word seems to be enjoying popular support. Someone notify Websters!

    Cheers.

    Reply
  42. Jay

    You know, I have spent a couple hours mulling over how to start this comment while doing other things, and I’m tired of waiting, and saying that seems as good a way to start as any. =P

    Anyway, on to the questions at hand. I’m working on trying to clear out bushes and such and get the property back into a working farm (for my own use if not commercial use) I’ve already got a copy of ‘You can Farm’ by Joe Salatin (your mother pointed me towards him when I asked a few questions on his other blog) and can’t wait to get into it, though right now I am working my way methodically through ‘Good Calories Bad Calories’ when I have the time.

    Thing is, I have thumbed through the book a bit, and while it looks very useful in regards to infrastructure and farm management, it seems to be a bit lacking in the department of soil enrichment, at least for soil that has been semi-abused with ammonia-nitrate. My grandfather, who has passed on as of a year ago this recent May was a farmer all of his life, and I picked up as much as I could from him, though by the time I was able to learn he was already far along in years. Still, I must have been around enough to pick up something, I run the tractor by ear, knowing just how much gas to give it by how it sounds (it’s an old ford 4000, lovely thing). Despite how much he knew about farming, he relied alot on ammonia nitrate and periodically liming the soil. I do not know the shape it was in when he bought this place 50+ years ago, but the garden plot is fairly sandy now. Maintenance is all well and good, but how do you restore farmland that is currently in poor condition? I had considered going to the extension office….but……yeah…..

    I’m starting to ramble a bit here, so let me wrap this up with something a touch more personal regarding the vegetrollians and the stinking. I cannot speak for everyone, only my own experiences, but since starting a low-carb/high-fat diet about two months ago I have noticed a significant lessening of my B.O. My mother has as well. yeah, not the most savory thing to talk about, but it matters to me. Whereas before I could take a bath, sleep well, and get up and she told me I reeked, I’m no longer bothering her whatsoever. Not to mention the psoriasis on my face has cleared up, among other improvements. If anything, I’d say a high carb diet makes you stink, but that’s just personal experience, an ‘experiment of one’, if you will.

    Take care!

    Can’t remember which book it was in, but Salatin said that when his parents bought the farm he’s on now, it was completely tapped out. He considers what he does as being in the soil restoration business, where spots that they had to prop posts up on for their fences because it was so rocky now have built topsoil almost covering those same posts.

    That’s if you’ve got years, of course. The extension offices, depending on which office and who the staff is, do have some people supporting the small/local cause. The woman in my post is part of an educational program at the extension service to encourage and support people who want to get into small sustainable farming. I’d suggest talking to any local folks you can find who are doing it for suggestions, and go ahead and call the extension service to see if they’ve got anyone sympathetic to what you’re trying to accomplish. You’re already paying for it. Might as well see what they’ve got.

    Congratulations on the improving health. The number of successful n=1 experiments we see here isn’t science, but is compelling, no?

    — The Older Brother

    Reply
  43. Erik

    An additional note to the vegitrollian above: I’ve noticed that I’m relatively smell-and-gas-free these days, except for when I do some social eating and there’s pizza involved… fascinatingly enough, the toppings of the pizza seem to make no difference. Pepperoni? Gas. Mushrooms? Gas. Green peppers? Sardines? Pineapple? Ham? Cheeseless pizza for the dairy-allergic friend? All spur the bloat and its inevitable offensive release.

    If we take a rare moment to conduct some logical thinking (you might welcome the change of pace) it becomes plain that the only non-variable factor in this equation is the wheaty, high-carb crust that’s screwing up my intestinal membrane and making the gassier bacteria go nuts. Since none of those toppings (meat or veggie) make me smelly when eaten in other situations, I’d say the culprit is pretty obvious…

    Inane unsupportable ranting =/= Information.

    Reply
  44. Erik

    An additional note to the vegitrollian above: I’ve noticed that I’m relatively smell-and-gas-free these days, except for when I do some social eating and there’s pizza involved… fascinatingly enough, the toppings of the pizza seem to make no difference. Pepperoni? Gas. Mushrooms? Gas. Green peppers? Sardines? Pineapple? Ham? Cheeseless pizza for the dairy-allergic friend? All spur the bloat and its inevitable offensive release.

    If we take a rare moment to conduct some logical thinking (you might welcome the change of pace) it becomes plain that the only non-variable factor in this equation is the wheaty, high-carb crust that’s screwing up my intestinal membrane and making the gassier bacteria go nuts. Since none of those toppings (meat or veggie) make me smelly when eaten in other situations, I’d say the culprit is pretty obvious…

    Inane unsupportable ranting =/= Information.

    Reply
  45. LXV

    More mayo advice!

    If your batch turns out completely wrecked, don’t throw it out. The ingredients are basically the same as a hollandaise sauce. Put it on top of asparagus, eggs, steak, or anything else that would complement a creamy, fatty sauce.

    Didn’t think of that, although we’ve got hollandaise sauce down pretty good.

    Cheers!

    Reply
  46. LXV

    More mayo advice!

    If your batch turns out completely wrecked, don’t throw it out. The ingredients are basically the same as a hollandaise sauce. Put it on top of asparagus, eggs, steak, or anything else that would complement a creamy, fatty sauce.

    Didn’t think of that, although we’ve got hollandaise sauce down pretty good.

    Cheers!

    Reply
  47. Jo

    Vegetrollians – great word. Their posts are only furthering your cause! LOL.

    The Older Brother gets credit for that one. Great word indeed. — Tom

    Reply
  48. Jo

    Vegetrollians – great word. Their posts are only furthering your cause! LOL.

    The Older Brother gets credit for that one. Great word indeed. — Tom

    Reply
  49. Justin Boyd

    On the subject of the government screwing up nearly everything they get involved with… Dr. Ron Paul FTW!!!

    I have to admit that the lecture I watched on youtube and the actual documentary “Fat Head” that I watched really clicked with me for two reasons. The first is that it coincided with everything I already knew from my college biology classes. It really surprised my that I was able to draw these conclusions when everyone else didn’t even seem to notice. The second reason is that I am a Libertarian and the food industries love/hate affair with the USDA, EPA, etc is another example of bloated government busy bodies that really need to learn the basic childhood lesson of “Mind your own business”. (On a sidenote I also already knew Morgan Spurlock was an idiot from my own assessments and Penn & Teller did an episode where they covered his “documentary” a little, those guys are great too)

    In summary, great job exposing lies and spreading the truth and thanks. Benjamin Franklin once said “Any society that would give up a little liberty for a little security will deserve neither and lose both” I think this applies rather well…

    I supported Ron Paul the first time he ran for president — on the Libertarian ticket!

    I considered nutrition somewhat off-topic as a libertarian, until Tom did Fat Head. As bad as government is in almost everything else it does, it’s mind-boggling how much damage they’ve done in the nutrition and health fields. For most folks, the debt is an abstract concept, but they’re eating terrible food and poisoning themselves every day.

    There are plenty of Fat Head folks who still think government just needs to be improved instead of recognizing that it metasticized beyond any legitimate capacity several trillion dollars ago, but generally you’re among friends here.

    For a more overtly libertarian take on things not related to nutrition, see Tom’s other blog (and mine!) — links are on the left.

    — The Older Brother

    Reply
  50. Justin Boyd

    On the subject of the government screwing up nearly everything they get involved with… Dr. Ron Paul FTW!!!

    I have to admit that the lecture I watched on youtube and the actual documentary “Fat Head” that I watched really clicked with me for two reasons. The first is that it coincided with everything I already knew from my college biology classes. It really surprised my that I was able to draw these conclusions when everyone else didn’t even seem to notice. The second reason is that I am a Libertarian and the food industries love/hate affair with the USDA, EPA, etc is another example of bloated government busy bodies that really need to learn the basic childhood lesson of “Mind your own business”. (On a sidenote I also already knew Morgan Spurlock was an idiot from my own assessments and Penn & Teller did an episode where they covered his “documentary” a little, those guys are great too)

    In summary, great job exposing lies and spreading the truth and thanks. Benjamin Franklin once said “Any society that would give up a little liberty for a little security will deserve neither and lose both” I think this applies rather well…

    I supported Ron Paul the first time he ran for president — on the Libertarian ticket!

    I considered nutrition somewhat off-topic as a libertarian, until Tom did Fat Head. As bad as government is in almost everything else it does, it’s mind-boggling how much damage they’ve done in the nutrition and health fields. For most folks, the debt is an abstract concept, but they’re eating terrible food and poisoning themselves every day.

    There are plenty of Fat Head folks who still think government just needs to be improved instead of recognizing that it metasticized beyond any legitimate capacity several trillion dollars ago, but generally you’re among friends here.

    For a more overtly libertarian take on things not related to nutrition, see Tom’s other blog (and mine!) — links are on the left.

    — The Older Brother

    Reply

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