Well, fellow Fat Heads, Tom is headed off to the Belly of the Beast (Washington, D.C.) to give his presentation to the folks at the Office of Research Integrity on why more and more people don’t trust doctors, nutritionists, government committees and other “experts.”

I sent him an outstanding draft that was, all modesty aside, concise, educational, and pithy.  However, he insisted on writing his own.  Here’s my text:

“Because you’re freaking liars.  And you suck.  Thanks for the chicken dinner.  You can keep the rolls.  Goodbye.”

I understand why he wanted to stretch his version out a little, and do some slides.  I’m hoping he gets to record his presentation to see how it compares to my version.  We’ll report, you decide.

I imagine the people at ORI will appreciate Tom’s and the rest of the panel members’ presentations, but I don’t expect to see any measurable change in how the aforementioned experts conduct business.  The ORI would have to get all of the people at the USDA, the CDC, the FDA, and the rest of the alphabet soup that comprises our government and its ancillary industry touts to understand how corrupted the science they claim to represent has become.  But, to quote Upton Sinclair, “it’s hard to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on him not understanding it.”

(Which is kind of ironic since Sinclair is the commie-pinko-socialist who wrote “The Jungle,” which detailed conditions in the then “modern” meat-packing industry.  It didn’t sway people to throw off capitalism as he had intended, but it did put them off Big Meat, resulting in Congress passing new regulations for meat to be inspected by the USDA and FDA.  We’ll get back to that.)

I’m not planning on just hanging around waiting for the government to go all honest on us.  In fact, I expect things to keep getting worse. So I’ve started stocking up on items and know-how in case there’s a sudden escalation in the stupid index.  No, I’m not talking about guns, ammo, gold, etc. — although you should probably have some of those, too.  I’m talking about making sure you can source some items that strike terror into the hearts of bureaucrats across the regulatory system.  Things they lie awake at night worrying about.  Items that they will tell you can spread disease, destruction, and excruciating death across any population.

Behold, my fearsome Weapons of Mass Destruction:

 

 

Takes your breath away, doesn’t it?

Now some of you may be thinking these look fairly harmless, but our government expends vast resources protecting you from these insidious weapons.  A couple of them have been in the news over the last couple of months.  Let’s review…

First, there’s the “Death in a Jar” cherry jam.  The news part of this is actually a bit hopeful in a kind of “hey, this doesn’t suck as bad as it did before!” way.  Illinois has actually joined a growing number of states that have passed “Cottage Foods” Bills.  Generally, these bills remove the requirement for small vendors (<$25k/yr) of baked goods, jams, and jellies to prepare their products in a government inspected commercial kitchen.  They still have to register and take a food service course, but they don’t need to spring for a $100,000 kitchen to sell you that jar of homemade jam. 

This slight deregulation probably isn’t due to some sort of spontaneous enlightenment among the legislative class.  The more likely explanation is the growing urban/suburban “real food” and locavore movements have been able to make this a political “little guy vs. Big Food” hot potato.  Nice win, guys.

The professional nanny-staters, however, aren’t changing their tune.  Someone from our local health department, when asked about this major breach in the food safety chain, ominously warned:

“ We can’t inspect people’s homes.  You don’t know what the conditions are.”

Woooooo.  Scary.  Keep in mind that your local homesteader could give away her homemade jam all day long.  It only becomes a major public health risk if she sells it.  Something about money being exchanged must increase pathogenicity.

Here’s something that doesn’t seem to bother our food safety overseers.  The USDA is letting some of the major chicken processors oversee themselves.  This consists of employees visually “inspecting” the chicken carcasses as they go by on automated hanging racks.  At 200 birds per minute.  What could possibly go wrong?  And I’m not saying I’ve got a major problem with that.  My question is, if that’s a good idea, what in the hell is so incredibly scary about me buying a locally prepared food — from someone who lives within an hour’s drive of me, whose name and address I know  – that the government has to insert itself into that transaction?  How about if my vendor could just say they inspected themselves?

The other two items in my terrorist toolkit are pastured poultry eggs and raw milk.

Ok, the eggs don’t look that dangerous.  In point of fact, they remain relatively benign – and legal – if I go out to my supplier’s farm and purchase them.  They would only become lethal if that person were to, for example, call me up and say “I’m coming into town on some errands today, so I can drop your eggs off if you want.”  That’s why he can sell them to me on the farm, but there are tons of prohibitive regulations and paperwork involved if he were to want to deliver those eggs to a house across the street.  Which makes perfect sense.

No wait, that’s completely insane.

As every USDA inspector knows, despite my being able to dodge a toxic bullet with the fresh (and delicious, and healthy) eggs, the correct way to get quality chicken eggs is to house thousands of chickens in a big USDA approved building, packed several to a cage.  Since this tends to cause stress and aggravation, you cut off their beaks so they don’t peck each other to death (don’t worry — they’re working on GMO chickens that alter their genetics so they won’t feel stressed).  It’s a great system brought to you by the folks looking out for us.

Last, but certainly not least, is the granddaddy of poisonous foods, that white vessel of doom, the potent pillager of pasteurization — raw milk.  The big RM.  Nothing strikes terror in the bosom of our overseers like this bad boy.  Government folks get the vapors just at the mention of its name.  Seriously.

(In Illinois, I can at this time legally procure raw milk in the same way I can buy real eggs.  That is, it’s legal for me to go to the farm and buy it.  I also have to provide my own container.  My granddaughter loves a cold glass of this “creamy milk.”)

One of the latest news items on this was in early February, where there was an outbreak of illness due to people drinking raw milk.  Of course, the supplier tried to weasel out of it by contacting all of their customers and posting an open letter on their website that said:

“Food from our farm has made people sick.”

Isn’t it irritating how some people will say anything to avoid taking responsibility?

Of course, the entire regulatory apparatus has an orgasm whenever there’s an event like this, or more accurately, an event that can plausibly be blamed on raw milk.  To read any of the ominously worded press releases and reports from the CDC, the FDA, et al, one would think that people have been dying by the thousands.

Here’s the thing…

In 2010, there were 2,465,936 deaths among inhabitants of our country.  Not counting deaths from raw milk, there would’ve been 2,465,936 deaths.  In other words, no one died from drinking raw milk.  Or the year before.  Or the year before the year before.  Actually, in the last decade, of the 24 million plus Americans who died in one fashion or another, exactly zero died from drinking raw milk.  The USDA doesn’t really say how many people drink raw milk.  That’s because the latest estimates are around 12 million people and growing.  Regularly.  Without dying.

Not that food can’t be deadly.  Over the past decade, people have “assumed room temperature” due to eating cantaloupes, peanuts, spinach, celery, green onions, strawberries, papaya, turkey, and probably a few other things.  There were even a couple of people who died from milk in 2007, but that was pasteurized.  Hundreds of people have been hospitalized (including a very few from bad raw milk), tens of thousands have reported illnesses, and hundreds of thousands of people suffer some type of food-borne illness each year.

Oddly though, the USDA, and FDA haven’t been seen coming in with SWAT gear and drawn weapons to close down peanut farms, vegetable farms, strawberry operations, etc., like they have with raw milk sellers.  They seem to consider the Amish in particular a distinctly dangerous and subversive group.

So why aren’t the storm troopers busting down the doors of the CAFO operations that require massive amounts of chemicals and antibiotics to keep pathogens at barely acceptable levels?  Why is me buying a cheesecake at the farmers’ market made in an on-farm kitchen (still not legal) considered too risky for me to be able to enter into a free-will transaction; but there’s nothing wrong with buying a container of spinach that’s been shipped 1,500 miles after being picked by laborers who won’t make money if they walk all the way to the bathroom and back when nature calls?

How come I can’t have milk delivered by someone whose land I’ve walked across, and whose cows I’ve seen; but the USDA doesn’t see any reason McDonald’s should have to tell people their hamburgers are part Pink Slime?  That’s where scraps from around the digestive tract and connective tissues from butchering are mixed with ammonia, rinsed, then ground up and used as filler.  Of course, McDonald’s stopped that once it started to go public.  Don’t worry about the poor Pink Slime makers, though (Big Slime?).  The USDA, the agency in change of protecting our food supply, is buying 7 million pounds of it.  To use in school lunch programs.

Notice how each of the examples where the government doesn’t see any problem – “move along folks, nothing to see here” – is in an area controlled by huge businesses that the agencies are supposedly regulating?  Notice also how each of the ones where government is malicious, overbearing, and acts as if consumers are helpless morons involves businesses that not only aren’t controlled by Bigs (Big Business, Big Ag, Big Pharma), but that couldn’t possibly be controlled by them?  You can’t build a national raw milk operation, or a national pastured chicken operation, or a national “home canned peaches” operation.  You have to patronize local folks to do that, and all of your dollar goes to them, instead of most of it going to middlemen.

So be subversive.  Buy local.  Visit your farmer.  Have a nice big glass of milk.  Feed your body, starve a bureaucrat.

See you in the comments!

Cheers,

The Older Brother

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37 Responses to “The Older Brother picks up some Weapons of Mass Destruction”
  1. Susan says:

    I love being a subversive. It has been keeping me pretty healthy!

    Susan M.

  2. Chrisnpiggies says:

    “Feed your body, starve a bureaucrat.” I can fit that on a bumper sticker. Excellent post, Older brother.

    Thanks!

  3. Becky says:

    Loved it, Older Brother! (hahaha, I almost called you “Big Brother”!).


    I hear the Pink Slime is quite good in Oceania.

    Actually, I’m only bigger if you’re measuring width. Tom is taller.

    Cheers

  4. Claeg says:

    Quit being reasonable and logical. Government is trying to pop it’s cherry and solve it’s first problem. Ever.


    So there’s a chance.

    Not!

  5. DaiViet says:

    Another weapon of mass destruction has been outed!???!

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=10791737

    Bang.Head.On.Desk.


    Looks like another re-release of a rehash of the same or similar studies Tom’s already debunked. (Search on Red Meat to get some of his previous posts).

  6. Bex says:

    OK, I’m being a bit thick here……’pastured’ eggs? This is like free range, right?

    The milk thing I get – even England, Northern Ireland and Wales (Scotland has more restrictive laws), we can only buy it from the actual producer (though they can sell it at farmer’s markets and even deliver it, though apparently they can’t sell it from a vending machine in Selfridges….)

    Oh, but maybe not for long….this is quite timely http://www.food.gov.uk/news/newsarchive/2012/mar/rawmilk

    I’m not sure what the law on eggs is here, but one major supermarket sells only free range (apart from the ‘value’ line )….they’re pretty easy to get hold of, not sure about the jam thing tbh, there are probably all sorts of rules and regulations (I believe you are supposed to get a hygiene certificate and register with your local council but they rarely check)


    Pastured is to Free Range what Real Food is to Organic. Free Range and Organic (in the US) are government-defined criteria. As a result, they have been co-opted by the Bigs in many cases to give the impression of something desirable.

    A bare feedlot CAFO style bird that’s been allowed into an outdoor pen for a certain number of hours a day can legally be packaged as “Free Range,” but that’s probably not what a buyer has in mind when they pay a premium price for one at the mega-mart.

    Organic is similar in that it has a number of strictly defined, inflexible criteria that may or may not mean what you think it means. For example, if Joel Salatin buys some extra hay to supplement his pasture-fed beef from a neighbor who used fertilizer , it can’t be labelled “organic.” If he has feed trucked in from 1,000 miles away that wasn’t fertilized, that is organic. Again, the label is creating and reinforcing an assumption that probably doesn’t jive with a reality the consumer would value.

    Specifically, pastured chickens are raised (and rotated) on open pasture where they have access to the coop for protection from the elements and predators, and get part of their nutrition from all of the wonderful bugs and pasture they spend their days in.

    Cheers

  7. Kevin says:

    Great post older brother!!! One of MY older brothers is a vegetarian!!!! Head Bang On Desk. I’m trying an intervention, but it’s not easy!!!


    You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him think. Good luck, but all you can do is offer the information.

  8. janet says:

    Sending in my deposit today for a beef CSA-grass fed cattle living about 2 miles from me in northern illinois. I am giving up garage sale trolling this year to pay for it. Illinois is doing some things right here. My towns Farmers Market got rolling last year. I am looking for a raw milk supplier locally now. I know a dairy farmer personally so i guess i will give her a call & get the scoop. I love giving Big Food Biz the local stick in the eye.


    The woman I buy my milk from has told me she’d keep a beef on pasture for me at a very reasonable rate, so I’ve been trying to find one that’s small breed, pasture friendly. I’m going to name him “T-Bone.”

  9. Elenor says:

    Bravo, Older Brother!! Lovely to have you holding down the fort while Tom is off at the war… I WISH I could try raw milk (I quit drinking “regular” {shudder} milk several years ago) but in Georgia, raw milk is illegal except “as pet food” … I make do with almond milk (the kind without guar gum and other ‘stuff’ in it).

    I remember from my childhood the (actual) milk truck pulling up to the house to deliver (real glass) bottles of milk (with paper caps!) from Randall’s Farm (and to pick-up the empties for re-use). (Randall’s Farm was a small farm about ten miles away. And yes, owned by Mr. Randall…) And the driver would let the three of us girls take a ride through to the next street where he delivered more milk. (What? No seatbelts?! Guy must’ve been a terrorist!) And he’d give us chips off the big-old ICE blocks that kept the milk cold while he delivered it. (And I’m not really all THAT old, either!) The local elementary school used to take field trips out to see the cows in the field and the milking set-up in the barn…) (Okay, so, maybe I AM that old!) {sigh}


    Unfortunately, when we got rid of the back-breaking ice blocks and other manual farm labor, we seemed to have lost the quality food along with it. Raw milk can be sold on the farm here, but fresh cheese and (I think) butter and ghee can only be sold as “pet food.” Our cat hates my guts.

    Cheers

  10. smgj says:

    Love your post!

  11. Davida says:

    Now pink slime is “healthy”: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/03/12/pink-slime-is-good-for-americas-schoolchildren-manufacturers-claim/?intcmp=obinsite


    Yep, and it must be true because otherwise the USDA would make them stop saying that, right?

    The USDA official who ruled that Pink Slime was good food is named Joann Smith. She came to the USDA as an undersecretary after being president of the National Cattlemans’ Association; and after leaving the USDA got appointed to Beef Product Inc’s (manufacturer of Pink Slime) board of directors and has received over $1.2 million in compensation.

    Move along, folks. Nothing to see here.

  12. Jan says:

    Raw milk is an iffy proposition in Ohio – it is only available via herdshares. We can, however, get milk from a local dairy farm that grass-feeds their cows, pasteurizes at the lowest legal temps and does not homogenize; it’s an acceptable compromise for now.

    Bex, pastured is not the same as free-range; free-range is a term made up by, yes, the government to fool people into thinking they’re getting something they’re not. Free-range chickens merely have access to the outdoors – sometimes by means of one small door in a huge chicken house. Nor does it qualify what kind of outdoors the chickens have access to; it could be grass, it could also be cement lot. Pastured eggs come from chickens that roam around free on pasture, doing what chickens are naturally supposed to do, eating what their supposed to naturally eat.

    And don’t get me started on the whole canned goods thing – I’ve already written one post about it, and I’ll probably write another this summer when my water bath and pressure canners become a seasonal fixture in my kitchen again: http://www.janssushibar.com/?p=12176

  13. Bruce says:

    After watching the various restaurant disaster shows like Kitchen Nightmares, I can see where our health is being protected by the government “health” inspectors. The things that go on in some of those kitchens is disgusting. The people that do the inspections at those facilities should be, at the very least, fired.


    So do you think after we fire the ones who’ve been doing it, we’ll get some good ones? What would be different?

    Here’s a totally “out there” idea — what if there was zero government involvement in food. Anywhere. So you couldn’t walk into a restaurant, see the inspection certificate, and then assume based on seeing one that the place must be safe.

    What would you do? What would your local restaurant do?

    Maybe there would be a market for a Underwriters Laboratories type certification agency. BTW, do you think UL (or any free market operation whose sole market value is a reputation for unbiased integrity) would even consider signing off on Pink Slime?

    Maybe when you walked into a restaurant, you’d say “mind if a take a look at your kitchen?” I know that sounds weird in this universe, but how long would an operation afraid to let its customers see its back room last in this pretend universe. How long would you want them to last?

    I can walk out to my egg vendor’s or raw milk vendor’s land any time and walk around. Think I could walk up to a Tyson processing plant and tell them “don’t get up, I’m just going to walk around the operation for a little bit to see how my food’s being treated”?

    So I’m with you on firing those inspectors. Except I mean ALL of them. Then stop.

    Cheers

  14. LCNana says:

    Gee thanks for that bit about the pink slime! I was going to take a friend (little girl) to McDonald’s for lunch…guess I’ll buy some stuff and we’ll eat here….you big meanie!!! If you think you’ve got regulation problems you otta live in Canada!!!


    McDonald’s and Taco Bell stopped using it last fall, but they didn’t announce it until the Pink Slime story went viral. Their cover story was that they were aligning their products globally, and of course Pink Slime is forbidden in Europe. My guess is they saw the writing on the wall and didn’t want to get caught with millions of pounds of it in inventory.

    So I’m disappointed in McDonald’s because I didn’t expect them to lower their standards to level that regulators allow them to, but you can order that Happy Meal and know that it’s now slime-free.

  15. Great post, “older brother”. Are you coming on the low carb cruise? Would love to have you join us!!


    I wavered back and forth, but it didn’t work out. Maybe Tom will let me sit in the big chair while he’s cruising so us landlubbers won’t all be lonesome!

  16. Eric says:

    Awesome post Older Brother! Makes me laugh out loud and get pissed off all at once! :-)

    Last night my in-laws watched some “report” on the nightly news about how we should only eat beef three times a week and that each time the serving size should be about the size of a deck of cards. I did not see this but they informed me of it later. I just smiled and nodded. Maybe we should add beef to the WMD file.

    The in-laws are scared of red meat, would faint at ANY fat intake….yet, I saw what they have for breakfast and it basically adds up to a huge MOUND of sugar…yet most people would consider it a healthy breakfast. Granola cereal, orange juice, etc. The orange juice proudly displays a heart healthy logo and says “low in saturated fat and cholesterol”. I thought to my self, hmmmm, both things that are critical to our health. Then I turned back to my three eggs over easy that were cooked in butter, then took a bit of my bacon. mmmmmmm, bacon.

    Oh, and all this healthy eating has them still with a decent amount of flesh around the middle….and tired…..and REALLY weak. Meanwhile my 33 inch jeans are starting to be uncomfortably loose on me and every time I go lift heavy things at the gym I can lift more….and my energy is great. But yeah…..I’ll probably drop dead in a few years!

    Eric


    I’ve got mixed emotions on the beef thing. I want people to understand the truth, but on the other hand, that’s more steak for me.

    Cheers

  17. Angel says:

    Great post, Older Brother.

    I wrote a blog post a few years ago somewhat similar to this, entitled “Dangerous Food Quiz.” Raw milk, pastured eggs, butter, toast … which one of these foods is the most dangerous? :)

    http://www.divinemind.biz/blog/2009/07/09/dangerous-food-quiz/

    (Grrr … all the Weston A. Price Foundation links no longer work, since they switched over the website sometime after I wrote the post. I’ll fix the links someday.)


    That was an easy one for a Fat Head. I’d never eaten fried eggs without toast before going LCHF, but I was very pleasantly surprised at how little I missed it as long as I have some bacon or sausage along for the ride.

  18. tess says:

    “Something about money being exchanged must increase pathogenicity.”

    LARGE SUMS of money being exchanged DOES seem to make things go toxic, doesn’t it?

    Older Bro, do you have a blog of your own? :-) i like your style.


    I actually had the same thought right after I wrote that. If you look at the large sums of money swirling around the Bigs, it certainly has had dramatic health consequences.

    The My Brother’s Blog link on the left side of the screen will take you to my site — jerrynaughton.com. I occasionally hit nutritional topics, but it’s mostly economics and politics rants from the libertarian viewpoint (in case you hadn’t guessed!). Please check it out!

    Cheers

  19. Saultite says:

    Great post, Older brother.
    I live in Canada where the milk and egg cartels control everything. Its illegal to get raw milk unless you have a cow, and i believe Canada is the only g8 country to outlaw raw milk completely. I wanted it anyway, so I decided to start promoting a local farmer for his beautiful raw milk. Take that, Bigs!


    Best of luck.

  20. Bruce says:

    I agree on taking out all food inspectors. For what little they look at, there is no way they are doing anything for food “safety”. I have worked for various food industry manufacturers through the years. You know when the inspectors come, so you make sure everything is perfect that day. One of the companies that I worked for did their own internal audits. These were done over a 3 week period and much more difficult to hide the problems. Plus, it could cost you your job if things were not right. But, you still knew when they were coming.

    I went to Buca de Beppo (sp) a week ago, and was talking to the server about Kitchen Nightmares. He told me if we wanted to see the kitchen there we could and took us back!! It appeared to be clean, of course I didn’t snoop around a lot. They also offer a chefs table in these kitchens, so they are probably under the corporate gun to keep them clean.


    That’s awesome. I know a lot of upscale restaurants (Commander’s Palace in Ne wOrlean comes to mind) have a table in the kitchen that you can’t get a reservation for less than a year in advance. I’d say it’s a very safe bet that any restaurant that lets customers look around in the kitchen is way above the standard of any kitchen that merely passed a government mandated inspection.

  21. Stephanie says:

    As I was watching the news this morning and the story came on about the “deadly red meat” a few thoughts crossed my mind.
    1. This is probably the same study they talked about last year, just re-booted.
    2. They are bringing this out as “news” the day after I received my copy of “In Search of the Perfect Human Diet”.
    3. All of the Paleo bloggers who would comment on the nonsense are gone to Paleo/ FX.
    Coincidence? I don’t know, maybe I am just too cynical.


    My rule of thumb is to never assume a well-planned, perfectly executed, successful conspiracy that no one is talking about when it can be covered by the explanation that the general media is a bunch of ignorant, lazy, herd followers that wouldn’t recognize real science if it smacked them in the face and stole their donut.

  22. Concerned Citizen says:

    Great post. I and my family were subversives when I was young. Our family got raw milk and eggs from a local farmer, along with corn (which we usually picked ourselves). Sometimes we had fun collecting the eggs ourselves directly from the nests of the hens who sometimes would attack us. We never got sick. The Commonwealth of PA put him out of business when it severely restricted raw milk sales.


    Sad, and increasingly common.

  23. Dani says:

    I totally agree with everything you say..I recently saw a special on eggs from Egglands ans was shocked at what they were doing to the eggs. I don’t buy them anymore..I buy cagefree and trying to find local farmer’s market. Florida has some interesting laws with Raw Milk. Love the blog…your advice had woken me and my husband up..I only wish others could heed your advice.


    Thanks for Tom and me. I find that just being able to see through the government and industry FUD is liberating. You can tell others, but a lot of the time you’re pushing up against a near religious belief in government or the hearthealthywholegrains/arterycloggingsaturatedfat cultural elite.

  24. Bridget says:

    I really want to raise a couple of chickens for eggs/possibly eating. I hope the government doesn’t have a conniption. Or maybe I do!


    It’s always best to stay under the radar. They get to use your money to persecute you.

    Backyard chickens regs are usually handled at the municipal level. Where I’m at in Springfield, IL, it took some phone calls but it turns out there’s no rules against chickens per se, but you can’t butcher them or let them run loose. I’m okay with that! A rooster could create a public disturbance, so you’d want to avoid them.

    There’s lots of info, books, and websites around. Check motherearthnews.com if you’re serious. Backyard chickens are becoming pretty popular. Again, largely due to the Real Food and Locavore folks.

    Cheers

  25. Dave, RN says:

    “but you can order that Happy Meal and know that it’s now slime-free.”

    Wonderful news. Except that the pink slime ended up in our schools.

    7,000,000 — The number of pounds of “Lean Beef Trimmings” that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is reportedly buying for school lunch programs. Many refer to the product, which is the result of a chemical treatment to remove bacteria from meat, as pink slime. Source: “Report: USDA School Lunch Meat Contains ‘Pink Slime,’” CBS News.


    Yep, as I mentioned. So who do we think the USDA is looking out for?

  26. Richard says:

    Its so disgusting, seeing what big gov will do with the help of big pharma and big wheat.

    I’m starting to think that in 50 years kids will be zombies, on the upside those of us that read and learn might be like super men among them.


    It’s not possible for us to continue down this path for another fifty years. Or ten. It’s also not possible for government to reform itself. Since there’s no way to predict when and how our global failures will manifest themselves, all one can do is stay healthy, learn to discern reality, and prepare. To echo a recurring theme from my blog,

    The situation is hopeless, but not serious!

    Cheers

  27. Rebecca Foxworth says:

    Not to worry! In addition to all the “protecting” listed above, the government is further “protecting” us from the evils of covert video operations in food processing and animal farming facilities. Many states, such as Utah, are outlawing these “whistleblower” videos.

    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/opinion/53626155-82/video-public-undercover-whistleblowers.html.csp

    I’m sure we’ll all be SO much safer without these secret videos surfacing. These “ag gag” bills address videos are clearly problematic, and what with the companies in question turning themselves in so regularly for their own violations (?!?), everything should be much safer and calmer without those pesky videos to annoy and frighten us, right?

    (Seriously? Why don’t they just put a big “For Sale” sign on the office of the legislature?)


    How about this:

    What if, instead of people sneaking cameras onto private property, people starting asking everyone not to buy, say, chickens from Tyson until Tyson allows internet cameras inside their operations 24/7?

    You’re never going to get the government to make Big Food be nice. To use a response Marcia Angell (former editor of the New England Journal of Medicien) received on an article she did entitled “Is Academic Medicine for Sale”:

    Of course they’re not for sale. Their current owners are quite happy with them.

    Cheers

  28. Robert says:

    Hey Tom,

    I accidentally posted this comment under last week’s item. Needless to say, love your documentary. It was very eye opening. Having said that, I stumbled upon this article this morning and I was curious what your thoughts were:

    http://news.yahoo.com/red-meat-unhealthy-study-suggests-200206218.html

    Many thanks,
    Robert


    See my newest post. Maybe Tom will do a proper shredding of this one when he gets back. In the meantime, I’d suggest you enjoy your bacon.

    Cheers

  29. Nick says:

    Another study touting the dangers of red meat. Is “regular” bacon even considered red meat since it comes from pigs?

    http://shine.yahoo.com/healthy-living/eating-processed-meat-red-meat-significantly-raises-risk-162800549.html


    Got so many references to this that I fired up another post.

  30. Love the article. I do enjoy your writing, Older Brother.

    Younger Brother is up in my neck of the woods. I live just south of DC. I shoulda invited him down for a steak…


    Thanks. I’m guessing Tom has been hanging out with his fellow panel members.

  31. Bex says:

    Re pastured chickens – that makes sense – much the same as here then……though what you know as pastured hen eggs have no restrictions on sale as far as I can tell……

  32. Judy says:

    Awesome post, Older Brother! (Like I need another one, three is enough :-P )

    “Specifically, pastured chickens are raised (and rotated) on open pasture where they have access to the coop for protection from the elements and predators, and get part of their nutrition from all of the wonderful bugs and pasture they spend their days in.”

    Thanks for the def of pastured. What gets me is when I see organic and/or free-range eggs along with the proudly displayed “vegetarian fed”! I just look for the nearest sharp object to bang my head on, since I don’t have a desk handy.


    If they’re really free range, they ain’t vegetarian! Ask any bug or worm.

  33. LisaKinVA says:

    Well, welcome to my neck of the woods, Tom. Your brother is doing just fine by all accounts.

  34. Walter B says:

    Dr. Frank B. Hu mentioned above as author of the paper has a series

    This is a part of my ongoing series, 10 Minute Vegetarian. I’m busy, you’re busy. We want to be healthy, but we don’t have a lot of time. In the 10 minutes it takes you to read this article, you can learn something about the health benefits of the vegetarian diet and how to implement it in your own hectic schedule.

    So yes, he is probably a vegetarian or a fellow traveler.

  35. LD says:

    Logically, you wouldn’t want the person producing the pastured eggs or raw milk to deliver to the person buying. What would producers know about keeping their product fresh and safe? What incentive would they have to do so if they did (beside losing their customers and getting sued)? Clearly, it’s only safe to let the person who doesn’t work with the product day in and day out transport it from farm to home. That’s logic.


    Guess I hadn’t considered that.

    Of course, if we just had a USDA inspector come to each of our homes after we bought some food, we’d all be healthy forever. It would be free because the government would be paying for it, and they could pay for it with all of the money they’d save on our free health care!

    They could maybe even bring us some free samples of lowfathearthealthypinkslime!

    Cheers

  36. Tracy says:

    Here in Ontario (Canada), one raw milk producer has been fighting the gov’t for years. His farm was actually raided by a SWAT team, guns drawn – completely ridiculous. He’s since been training other farmers how to produce raw milk safely, and I’m lucky enough to have found one of them and join their cowshare.

    Funny how here, the real food movement is mainly mobilized in larger cities. My milk guy can’t give the stuff away in his rural community, but can’t keep up with the demand from us city folk (same goes for his beef, his neighbours pastured eggs, etc). One of the farmer’s markets in my city has started a food co-op, is opening a storefront with all local foods, and runs canning/preserving workshops – they are innundated with people wanting to buy and to learn (myself included). Gives me hope that if enough people are passionate and involved in their local food community, the gov’t will (eventually) have to listen and butt out.


    Butt out, maybe. Listen, never.

    Cheers

  37. shums says:

    Here in Maine we can buy raw milk right in the grocery store as well as free range eggs. The state requires the milk to be tested every two weeks. It is much longer for pasteurized milk. When you consider we have cheap lobster and wild blueberries this is a paleo dieters nirvana.

    The small farm never really died here. We used to think we were just behind the times up here in a beautiful but often ignored (well not by vacationers) corner of America. Now it seems like we were not so much ignored by progress but saved from it. Because of that you have an abundance of local food available in several markets as well as farmers markets. It is pretty nice. While I live in a small town we have 5 stores nearby that sell these kinds of products and a farmers market in summer. My inlaws live in the suburbs of a very large midwestern city and they have fewer choices than we do in this area.

    In my family we have actually totally given up milk and now use heavy cream for everything we might have used milk for. Yes that heavy cream is raw. We do the local free range eggs too which are available at the stores or just go over to the farm where they come from which is also just ten minutes away. We even have a local butcher who processes nothing but local meat. The abundance of small farms here as well as the tradition that never went away has really helped the state to be friendly to that thinking. As a low carb eater that tilts paleo with a wife who is tilting even more paleo than I am we are finding we feel fortunate to be here. Oh yes in that midwestern state where my inlaws live has outlawed raw milk and dairy all together.

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