7. Preservation, Processing, Preparation
7. Preservation, Processing, Preparation
Well, we are seriously shopping for a new member to our family here on our little country acre. We are going to get a milk cow. Seems like a crazy idea for a family that doesn't even go through a gallon of milk a week. But part of that is because I don't like giving pasteurized milk from factory farms to my children to drink, and here in Iowa it is illegal to sell raw milk. I personally feel they are healthier without it. But if I could give them fresh milk from our own pastured cow - now that's another story entirely. I still think they are better off drinking water, and they now ask for it instead of juice all the time - hooray! (in fact they usually say it like this: "Mom, can I have some healthy water?") But having some fresh milk, home-made butter and cheese, I'm totally up for that. :)
So I started researching milk cows. The more I read up on them, the more I fell in love with the idea of a mini breed. Mini breeds are ideal for someone in our situation where we just have one acre. They eat and drink a lot less than their larger counterparts and are easier on the pasture. Maintenance of fences and structure is easier too as they are not as destructive as full size cattle. Some people don't even use a lot of fencing. With a mini-cow you can put them on a lead tied to a tire and let them graze in your yard. When you are ready to move them to another section you just roll the tire to another area. Our lawn tractor may get a lot less use once we get a cow!
But aside from the great price, Dexters have quite a few qualities that make them a great choice for us:
Temperament - they are known for being docile and friendly, making them easy to handle and train. They are really great for kids to work with.
Hardy - Dexters thrive in all climates, which is good since we can have hot, humid summers followed by sub-zero winters. They also are easy calvers with little need for human intervention.
Thrifty - they are a good dual purpose cow, being good milkers and good beef. They also are considered very efficient at turning feed into milk and beef. They put out 1-2 gallons of milk a day that is 4% butterfat. (comparable to Jersey's) They dress out at 55-60% and have a high quality, nicely marbled meat.
If you want more information on Dexters, there is a great article on Mother Earth News.
And here is a great little informational video about mini cows.
(scroll down and pause player at bottom of page to view video)
Today was the day. Finally. After waiting a year!
The annual end of school year field trip with HUGS, one of our homeschooling groups. The girls had such a great time last year, that this was a much anticipated day. I could have asked them to eat breakfast while standing on their heads and they would have done it so we could go.
Without any further ado, here are the pics from today.
So I ordered the online movie and really enjoyed watching this documentary. I feel it is well done with good nutritional information and a good look into the problem with our current health care system as it relates to nutrition. Anyone wanting to understand a little more about why to eat more raw foods in your diet should get their questions answered in this movie. They go into a wide arrange of connected issues: nutrient loss in our produce, vitamin supplementation, pharmaceuticals, our health care system, and government regulation.
Here is some information that you are probably not aware of:
LEADING CAUSES OF DEATH
#1. Heart Disease 631,636
#2. Cancer 559,888
#3. Modern Medicine 225,000
Now you aren't going to see number three on the chart with the center for disease control, but that number represents the number of deaths each year from unnecessary surgery and other hospital errors, infections obtained at the hospital, and medications. (and that is only medication that is prescribed by a doctor and taken as directed) It comes in number three - isn't that really a staggering reality? It comes in above stroke, chronic lower respiratory disease, accidents, and diabetes. That number should cause concern.
On a more positive note, David Wolfe gave some great information about raw cacao beans and their nutritive quality. Raw cacao are the highest natural source of magnesium, chromium, zinc, and copper. It is likely the highest natural source of iron and manganese, has all the cofactors necessary for a healthy metabolism, is high in vitamin C and has the highest antioxidant content of known foods. Ever heard commercials touting the high antioxidants in blueberries? Here is how they stack up:
ORAC values per 100g
Raw Cacao 26,000
Acai Berry 18,500
Spinach, raw 1,260
Broccoli florets 890
Red grapes 739
And can I say, I just love David Wolfe in this show?! He talks about things no one wants to talk about in polite society, but he is right on. :) For those of you who aren't familiar with David Wolfe, he is a leader in the raw food movement and wrote one of the classics, The Sunfood Diet. Just listening to him and all the speakers in this documentary really inspires me to keep eating lots of raw food. I have slacked off in the last couple of weeks and have been eating more cooked food. (the cold weather didn't help!) And just so you know, in this film he highlights eating at least 51% raw food, not all raw, so there is no excuse not to try.
What this movie really has done for me is bring me full circle to the initial thought - you are what you eat. Americans have gotten away from eating based on what your body needs to function and be healthy, and moved to eating what tastes good. Unfortunately, with MSG, high-fructose corn syrup, caffeine, and lots of salt, we have learned to create desire for foods that are extremely nutritionally deficient. We are a society that is fat and happy, but slowly starving our bodies to death and we see this playing out in the increase of disease and death due to our lifestyle choices.
And since you will learn that you need to be supplementing your healthy diet with vitamins, I want to recommend a source of really good ones - Optimal Health Systems. I used to work for this company and I know that their products are of the highest quality. You can get a great wholefood vitamin from them. Here is the ingredient list:
Antioxidant Blend Includes:
Grape Seed Extract, Grape Skin Extract, and Pine Bark Extract
Opti-Blend (tm) Delivery System Includes:
Amylase, Protease I, Protease II, Lipase, Invertase, Maltase, Cellulase, Lactase, Hemiseb,
Zinc Amino Acid Chelete, Copper Amino Acid Chelete, Manganese Amino Acid Chelete, and Molasses.
Take time to read the research/education information on their site. It is a great resource.
Now, watch the movie and go eat something raw! ;)