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Why Support Local Farmers

Think about all the items you put in your cart at the supermarket or megastore. Do you feel you paid a fair price for that product? If you have questions about a particular item, would you know who you could speak to for answers? Where did those potatoes come from, how old is that carton of eggs, and who is being supported by your hard earned dollars?

Chances are, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to get satisfactory answers to those questions. However, when you buy from local farmers, it’s a completely different story.

The following are some reasons why you should support your local farmers whenever possible.

Price

With a big family that includes three teenage girls and two preteen boys, keeping everyone fed at my house is certainly a challenge. Just to make a taco dinner usually requires 4 pounds of ground beef to fill everyone’s belly. With the average price of $3.99/lb for ground chuck, that is $15.96 for just one element of one meal! Yikes! One taco dinner could easily total over $35!

Obviously the grocery bill could quickly get out of hand if the average meal totaled that high every night. Fortunately for my family, we are able to purchase a half beef every spring for an average cost which totals way under what can be found at the grocery store. Even better, this low cost not only applies to ground beef but to all wonderful things beef, such as steaks, ribs and roasts. Honestly, without the benefits of buying from local farmers, my family would be eating a lot of Ramen noodles and five-dollar pizzas.

Get answers from local farmers

Of course there are many other benefits of buying from local farmers other than just price. Buying local means I can talk to the farmers about the feed and medicines used for the market beef we purchase. I can visit the facilities where the animal was raised if I wish and speak to the actual human being who was in charge of raising the animal that feeds my family. I can find out if any chemicals were sprayed on my vegetables and if so, which ones. I can ask them if they genetically modify anything I am purchasing or even ask for recipe suggestions! Farmers love to discuss their products and they should; they invest hours, days and months to get their products perfect for purchase!

Personal experience

In the summer, I can buy produce directly from roadside markets. Nothing makes you feel more like a domestic goddess than selecting fruits and vegetables so fresh you have to shake the dirt off.  I enjoy rummaging through the baskets and bins of product and selecting ears of fresh sweet corn or the perfect melon without another hurried patron with shopping cart road rage pressuring me along.

Tradition

From these stands, I can see the fields of crops being handpicked and brought by the bushel full to the small, family-owned stands. Many times, these farms allow you to pick your own produce for an even cheaper rate. The family farmers are usually on site and although extremely busy, they’re usually willing to answer questions about the fruits of their labor. By purchasing from local farmers, you help keep tradition alive. Many farmers today are third or fourth generation or even greater! This is a great reason to support local farmers whenever possible.

Memories

The two farms located on each side of the small town where I live have been there as long as I can remember. I remember going to the north farm with my grandma and picking up bushels of cabbages and tomatoes. She would buy one bushel of tomatoes just for the family to eat that afternoon and a couple others for canning and stewing. I remember sitting under the shade of the big pear tree in the front yard and grabbing tomatoes straight from the bushel and eating them like apples with my grandma, aunts, uncles and cousins. I remember my grandma rounding up the entire family to go pick strawberries from the south side farm and spending the rest of the day eating them right out the little green quart containers.

It is important to take our children along to local farms and let them see how the food gets to the table. With the convenience of super stores and online shopping, little ones today might not grasp the concept of farming that may be a common mindset to older generations. Ask a farmer to talk to them or even show them around. A farm can be an exciting place with tractors, bright and beautiful colors of the produce and all the hustle and bustle of the workers planting, sorting or harvesting.

Local economic support

It is a rewarding feeling knowing the money you spend in your community stays in your community. Fresh produce at prices often lower than what is found in grocery stores is certainly a perk of shopping local farms, but supporting these local farms is important for the livelihood of our community as well. Both of the farms in our town have been in operation for as long as I can remember and are an important pillar of our local economy. Each farm provides summer employment to many local teens and adults needing a seasonal job or supplemental income.

There’s nothing like the taste

Food grown in its ideal season and picked at the perfect point of ripeness tastes much better than product mass-produced in a greenhouse in the off season. Of course this is a matter of opinion, but I am confident that the majority will agree. The one item I can tell a vast difference in taste between prime season and off season is tomatoes. I love fresh tomatoes off the vine. This most likely stems from that warm, fuzzy memory I mentioned earlier. Image those warm, juicy and flavorful tomatoes sliced for that charbroiled cheeseburger, diced and mixed with fresh basil and extra virgin olive oil for that perfect bruschetta topping or cut in chunks for that garden fresh salad; nothing beats tomatoes at their prime. Personally, I think tomatoes grown in the off season with manufactured growing processes generally result in a waxy, flavorless tomato-like substitute.

Nutrition

Buying produce from local farmers’ markets and roadside stands generally means you are getting an amazingly fresh product. Often times, produce is picked in the early morning and delivered straight to the stand for sale that same day. When produce is picked at the peak of freshness, the nutritional value is also at its peak. Each day that produce is off the vine, tree, plant, etc., the nutritional value, as well as taste, decreases.

Think about the produce in big markets and find out where it comes from. I know I have seen tomatoes from Mexico and bananas from Brazil. I am sure much of our produce comes from afar. Even with today’s sophisticated logistic methods, the produce you buy at chain stores and larger markets could be days old by the time you put it in your cart. Some industrialized farms harvest produce like tomatoes while they are still green so they do not bruise or spoil in transit and then distribution partners use gas to ripen them for market! Not only is the product picked before it reaches its nutritional peak, but the product itself is not up to par when compared with from field to table product.

Small farms across the land are what helped build our nation. Hard working folks who work 365 days a year growing and raising food the old-fashioned and natural way are finding it hard to keep their farms running when the consumer dollar is thrown toward mega-marts and superstores. Why not support local farmers when you can take advantage of the better taste, price, nutritional value and other intangible gifts of those delicious fruits, veggies, meat and eggs!

As the commercial says, “On the eighth day, God created the farmer.”

(Source: The Survival Mom; March 20, 2015; http://tinyurl.com/o5tlhz4)

Make Your Own Non Toxic Deodorant

It’s easy to use and make, you can add essential oils for a “pretty smell”,  if you want.

Deodorant Recipe

Ingredients:

6-8 Tbsp Coconut oil (solid state)
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch (arrowroot is preferred)

Directions:

  1. Combine equal portions of baking soda & arrowroot powder.
  2. Slowly add coconut oil and work it in with a spoon or hand blender until it maintains a firm but pliable texture. It should be about the same texture as commercial deodorant, solid but able to be applied easily. If it is too wet, add further arrowroot powder/cornstarch to thicken.
  3. You can either scoop this recipe into your old deodorant dispensers or place in a small container with lid and apply with fingers with each use. Makes about 1 cup. This recipe lasts about 3 months for two people with regular daily use.

 BMSS Addendum: Be sure to use unrefined, organic cold pressed extra virgin coconut oil!

(Source: bodymindsoulspirit.com; March 25, 2015; http://tinyurl.com/p4apg42)

Eggshells ideal for Healing Tooth Cavities

Eggshells contain the perfect amount of the ideal substances for healing cavities – massive amounts of calcium and 27 other minerals. The composition of eggshells resembles our teeth. Eggshells provide the necessary amount of calcium to remineralize teeth. Just boil shells from one organic free range egg for about 5 minutes. You can add them daily into your smoothies or grind them into a fine powder and add it to your food.

Eggshells have unique beneficial medicinal properties

  • Bone tissue is composed of calcium.  Actually, human bones and teeth are very similar to an eggshell’s composition. One of the benefits of eggshells is the calcium contained in the shell (93 %), the bone marrow is fulfilling its hematopoietic function better.

Cure Tooth Decay: Heal and Prevent Cavities with Nutrition, 2nd Edition

  • Additionally, eggshells also contain mineral elements: magnesium, phosphorus, silicon,  sodium, potassium, iron, sulfur, aluminum, etc.
  • There are 27 elements found in the eggshells.  Also the protein of a shell is composed of such essential amino acids as methionine, cysteine, lysine, isoleucine. Thus, properly prepared eggshells are the most balanced natural means to obtain calcium.
  • Eggshells are especially beneficial for small children because their bodies experience more intensively involved in the formation of bone tissue, which requires an uninterrupted flow of calcium. Shell’s included in baby food can be beneficial to prevent  rickets and anemia, which usually develops in parallel with rickets. Shell’s promote activation of blood in the bone tissue.
  • Studies also showed accelerated healing when using the shell for treating such orthopedic diseases as congenital dislocation of a hip or osteoporosis (softening of the bones).

To use  eggshells for medicinal purposes, you need to use organic eggs in order to avoid any chemicals or antibiotics.

How to prepare:
Take eggshells and put them in boiling water for about 5 minutes. The boiling will kill any pathogens. Then, air dry the shells and grind the shells in a coffee grinder. Take a 1/2 teaspoon a day. It is important to note that Vitamin D greatly aids calcium absorption.  So make sure to get enough sunlight or eat organ meats such as liver.

 

(Source: complete-health-and-happiness.com; April 3, 2015; http://tinyurl.com/nzzpz26)

Make Your Own Vitamin C Supplement At Home

For many years, people have used vitamin C supplements as a remedy for the common cold. Vitamin C is needed for the growth and repair of tissues in the body; it also contains antioxidants that help block free radical damage. (1)

Unlike vitamin D, which can be manufactured in the body from the sun, vitamin C must come from an outside source and cannot be stored in the body. (1) Thus, the only way to get enough vitamin C is through food sources and supplements, however, did you know that almost all of the vitamin C supplements on the market come from genetically engineered corn? (2)

You may be wondering how you can get enough vitamin C if you want to avoid store bought supplements. The simple answer is to make your own at no extra cost!

Importance of naringin and hesperidin flavonoids found in citrus peels

Homemade vitamin C has live enzymes, allowing for 100% assimilation in your body.  You needn’t bother with a dosage label or approval by the FDA. Your solution is citrus peels! (3)

In citrus, there are different types of flavonoids, a compound that exhibits antioxidant properties in the human body. Naringin, a powerful antioxidant, is a flavonoid found in the peels of grapefruit, mandarin, and lemons. Several studies have indicated that naringin is so powerful that it may reduce radiation-induced damage to cells. (4,5,6,7)

Hesperidin is another flavonoid found in the white inner layer of oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits. Studies have shown that hesperidin reduces the proliferation of cancer cells, induces programmed cell deaths (8), and plays an important role in helping those with hypoglycemia. (9)

Pharmaceutical companies and health food stores do not want you to know this!

It’s always best to purchase organic citrus fruits. After you eat the fruit, follow these four easy steps to make your own dried citrus powder:

  1. Save all your citrus peels and spread them onto dehydrator trays.
  2. Allow the peels to dehydrate at 100 degrees F for about 24 hours, or until dry and crispy.
  3. Grind the peels in a blender of your choice until they are as fine or coarse as you want.
  4. Store in an airtight container and leave in a cool location. (10)

When comparing gram for gram, there are higher levels of vitamin and minerals found in citrus peels than the fruit itself.  For example, there is double amount of vitamin C and triple amount of fiber in just 1 tablespoon of lemon peel compared to 1 wedge of lemon. (4)

After you’ve stored some dried citrus powder, try taking it by the spoonful on a daily basis or simply add into smoothies, soups, salads, juices, or raw desserts. Now that you know how to make Vitamin C, you can use this immune boosting remedy any time of year!

 

(Source: healthy-holistic-living.com; April 5, 2015; http://tinyurl.com/ksnyxqc)

‘Healthy Eating’ Labeled a ‘Eating Disorder?

Do you consider healthy, clean eating to be a priority in your life? According to the ‘psychiatric officials’ who want to add healthy eating to the extensive list of mental disorders, you have an eating disorder. ‘Orthorexia nervosa’ to be specific.

We first told you about this back in February of this year, when major news outlets began pushing the term ‘orthorexia nervos’ non-stop in declaring healthy eating a mental disorder. The story, written by Jeffrey Jaxen for Natural Society, received over 57,000 shares on Facebook and several million viewers who could not believe the reality of the piece. Unfortunately for sane eaters who do place a priority on eating right, the story was entirely correct.

And now, we are seeing the emergence of orthorexia nervos in the news once more. This time, we are being told it’s the newest ‘eating disorder’ that we could all be ‘suffering from’. Because if you don’t want to eat things like Monsanto’s cancer-linked chemicals, artificial additives, and high-fructose corn syrup, you must be crazy.

The Daily Mail reports breaks down the latest declaration from ‘psychiatric officials’ who are heavily pushing the orthorexia nervos eating disorder:

“Some clinicians argue orthorexia nervosa should be recognised as a separate eating disorder and have proposed clinical DSM diagnostic criteria. They note distinct pathological behaviours with orthorexia nervosa, including a motivation for feelings of perfection or purity rather than weight loss, as they see with anorexia and bulimia.

Why healthy eating may be the new eating disorder: Raw food and paleo dieters at risk of a dangerous obsession with nutrition”

Did you catch that last part? Those who eat ‘raw food’ and ‘paleo’ diets are at risk of ‘dangerous obsession’ with nutrition. In other words, if you actually refuse to eat the standard American diet due to the realization that you’re eating your way to the grave, then you’re experiencing an eating disorder.

I wonder what the ‘psychiatric officials’ who created this eating order are consuming on a daily basis? If diet statistics tell us anything, they are most likely loading their plate with cancer-causing junk on a daily basis, and shoveling it down without regard.

At least they don’t have an ‘eating disorder’ because they never question the corporations that completely run our food supply with the cheapest and most toxic food ingredients you can imagine.

Do you have the ‘healthy eating disorder’?

By Anthony Gucciardi

Google Plus Profile Anthony is the Founding Director of NaturalSociety, whose writings on the subject of health and wellness have reached tens of millions of readers worldwide. A proponent of an organic lifestyle, the growth of alternative news, and a dedication to aiding various non-profit organizations, NaturalSociety was Anthony’s next step in what he calls “highlighting what you won’t be hearing about on the major news networks.” Anthony has appeared on both grassroots and established platforms alike, including routine appearances on Drudge Report, Daily Mail, RT, The Blaze, Infowars, Michael Savage’s Savage Nation, Coast to Coast AM, and many others.

(Source:  naturalsociety.com; April 13, 2015; http://tinyurl.com/khsf5st)

How To Dry Herbs For Cooking

How To Dry Herbs To Use For Cooking

1. Once you have collected your herbs to dry, clear a kitchen bench or similar wide surface, cover it with clean brown paper or lining paper. Wash the herbs in a bowl of pure water, lay them out on your prepared table, the proceed as follows:

Dried herbs hanging

(a) If you are hanging them to dry, find a really dry room that is above 18c. Tie them around with string in smaller bunches. Smaller bunches allow them to dry faster and not grow any mildew. Natural drying takes 4 to 6 weeks.

(b) If you are planning on oven drying them see note 2 below –

2. In humid or rainy climates, it is best to oven dry herbs. Put a layer of brown paper in your oven and spread the herbs thinly across the paper. Put the oven on the lowest heat setting. Oven drying means you can store your herbs hours after harvesting, rather than weeks. With this method your herbs will never go mildew.

3. You will know when your herbs are dried when they are completely crisp, dry and not too brittle. But they will still retain some, if not a lot, of their original colour. Never ever leave them to bake brown. If you over bake your herbs they will be useless and you will have to throw them and start again. Barks and roots will go darker in the baking/drying process.

4. When the herbs are dried, crumple them up and place in an air tight container out of sunlight. Your herbs should last several years this way, not losing any of their potency.