Category Archives: everything

living on the edge : a raw milk melodrama

I guess you could say i live on the edge. I take vitamins with labels i sometimes can’t understand. I go to doctors that talk to my aura. I put raw egg yolks in my smoothies.

All of that pales when compared to my most daring pastime: drinking milk that has not been pasteurized.

ooooh yeaaaaah

For real though, I’m kidding. I play it pretty safe, so you know if I’m doing it, everyone can do it. Let’s talk about that raw stuff. Many of you might know about the raw dairy revolution that’s caught on throughout the nation – from states where glorious raw milk sells in stores to states where you have to buy your dairy from the neighboring state and pick it up from unmarked vans behind run-down steakhouses. there are people that are absolutely crazy about it, and there are folks that tout it’s unhealthy, dangerous potential [these folks, coincidentally, are the ones that make the rules, and therefore the consumption of raw milk is usually shunned].

all over Massachusetts, next to the "maple syrup for sale" signs.

Raw milk is where all of this began, for me. I visited my parents in North Carolina when i was in college and was surprised to find my refrigerator littered with different-sized jars of white liquid labeled “FOR PET CONSUMPTION ONLY.” My mother went on to explain that i was raw milk, and that it was perfectly safe for humans but only legal to sell if it was labeled as such. I had tried raw milk once before and was shocked by how real it tasted, how wonderfully smooth, crisp and rich it was, so hearing my mom explain the laws governing the sale of raw milk was incredibly fascinating. A year later I spent a short month in the Berkshires of Massachusetts, purchasing gallons of raw milk and fresh raw dairy from a shack down the road*. This milk was not labeled. Everyone knew it was safe and there was usually none leftover for the pets.

Since then I have moved to Northern Virginia, where the sale of raw milk is illegal. Purchased milk from other states is available, but there is a lot of legal jargon that makes it a little dangerous for farmers. They soldier on, though, and provide us with fresh, cold milk from grass-fed cows and goats. Unfortunately for the farmers and the consumers, though, the FDA [our big brother neighbor] is constantly spying on this process, planning midnight farm raids and actively cutting off family farm income sources.

Why does everyone care so much, you may ask? Raw milk is a polarizing topic for many reasons – but it really boils down to this: the product is safe and so incredibly beneficial, but broadcasting this information could cause financial harm the large milk-producing farms that congest the shelves of every grocery store. If you follow the money, the truth soon appears.

I think it’s important that everyone understand the true benefits of raw milk, and also be aware of why it is safe.

Understanding the Benefits of Raw Milk [in a nutshell] Continue reading

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word of [what-goes-in-your] mouth

When i get “lost in thought,” i usually find myself in the land of why. For instance, the other day i caught myself wondering why don’t people care more about recycling? followed by why do some people still drink Mello Yello? I got a little frustrated, wandering between why’s, until I backed up and allowed myself to peek at the bigger picture. I stumbled upon an answer that has been plaguing me – that the modern American is only aware of it [the mello yello, the empty beer can] as long as they can see it.

It’s the old dust-under-the-rug theory, that once it’s out of sight, it doesn’t actually exist anymore. And who can blame us? We’ve got advil for our headaches, fillings for our cavities, surgery for our obesity, and landfills for our waste. We are no longer forced to deal with the dust, we just get to sweep it under the rug. When that rug fills up, we head to ikea and buy a new rug.

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recipe : what i eat for lunch almost every day

let’s be real: very few people have time to think long and hard about every meal they cook. oh, and then, of course, cook it. i try to cook most of my meals in-house so that i eat the hoards of vegetables that i keep in the fridge, which sometimes leaves my options pretty limited. i find myself saying the same thing to myself nearing every breakfast and lunch:

*opens fridge* “hm…gots me some vegetables…and 6 dozen eggs…and some butter.”

awesome. I could make a huge omelet? instead, I usually opt for something a little less overwhelming for my belly.

-my lunch-

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recipe : crackers

I have Mondays off. Recently I’ve been spending them doing research and writing for this blog. The other portion of the day is spent cleaning, facebooking, drinking copious amounts of coffee and tea, and eating. I love Mondays.

Today, while preparing lunch, I realized I still haven’t opened my latest gift from my mom: Kudzu Bakery Sweet Orange Marmalade – one of my favorite treats. I began fantasizing about pairing the marmalade with the Cherry Glen fresh fermented goat cheese (chevre) that I get at the farmer’s market where I work on Saturdays…what a dreamy duo!

the most delicious items in my kitchen right now

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sweet-tooth : a breakdown

sugar babies

I’ve got a wicked sweet-tooth. Many of my friends [especially my lady-friends] claim they suffer from the same post-meal craving. Lately I’ve been eating fruit to satiate the sweet urge, but healthy as that may seem I’m pretty sure I’m overdoing that, too. Limiting my intake of sugars [natural, refined, or completely human-generated] has not necessarily changed the way I feel about sweet foods – I just know the importance of maintaining my a] teeth, b] bod c] blood-sugar levels.

My interest in this phenomena spurred me to do a little research about sugar. After all, sugar is derived from a natural source, so how has it [like every other food] turned into the artificial [it’s in the name] junk in our drinks and low-cal foods? The research I did brought me to a very simple conclusion: sugar, like every other element of a natural-based diet, is important and productive when consumed with its natural counterparts. The sugar [or whatever you call it] we consume [all 170 lbs per person, per year] doesn’t do anything it’s supposed to because it lacks nutrients and assistance due to the way it is served.

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our rights : it’s time to get serious

I am a card-carrying member of the Communities’ Alliance for Responsible Eco-Farming. This card allows me to buy delicious raw dairy, meats, eggs, cheeses and other fresh products directly from a farmer. I know this farmer’s name, I’ve spoken with him on the phone, and I write personal checks to him weekly. The food is delivered to a home not far from mine weekly and I pick it up the same day. Sometimes my egg cartons have feathers in them.

i wasn't kidding about the card

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the legend of salt

Low sodium products have recently emerged in the grocery store as a way to achieve a healthy blood pressure and weight. These products, in combination with the amount of publicity low-sodium diets have received, have created a low sodium empire that affect the way we season our meals, cook and preserve food, and buy. Unfortunately, salt has been given an all-over bad rap based on the modern product, refined salt, that is so incredibly marketable, long-lasting and easy to produce.

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recipes : quick breakfast

Recipes : Breakfast [quick and easy]

Smoothie

note: smoothie may or may not turn out this green. mine are usually pinkish/brown.

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the making of margarine : a behind the scenes look at hydrogenation

Margarine has a lot of shelf-appeal. For one, it’s spreadable. Anyone who has attacked a stick of butter straight out of the fridge knows that the butter will put up a huge fight before spreading cleanly on the [now mutilated] toast. Margarine, right out of the fridge, spreads as if it had been sitting on the counter for hours. Secondly, margarine has been proclaimed “healthier for your heart” by medical experts and the American Heart Association, a big-hitter.

margarine: the pleasant end-product of a series of terribly unfortunate events

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the dangers of modern soy

The condemnation of soy products is a touchy subject due to the fact that many people, vegetarian or not, substitute essential dietary elements with soy under the belief that it is a healthier alternative. The heavy inclusion of soy in one’s diet can be attributed to the positive media attention it has received, resulting in soy’s popularity in healthy recipes and grocery stores. What is touted as a complete protein is actually the opposite, but the soybean industry-funded press promoting soy keeps it a growing force in the health food industry.

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