Polyface Hen House http://polyfacehenhouse.com The farmchicks of Polyface write out! Sat, 07 Jan 2017 18:12:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.10 Kick the Supermarket Habit! 10 Tips for Identifying Nutritious, Life-Giving Foods http://polyfacehenhouse.com/2017/01/kick-the-supermarket-habit-10-tips-for-identifying-nutritious-life-giving-foods-7/ http://polyfacehenhouse.com/2017/01/kick-the-supermarket-habit-10-tips-for-identifying-nutritious-life-giving-foods-7/#comments Sat, 07 Jan 2017 17:57:41 +0000 http://polyfacehenhouse.com/?p=8654 Read the Rest]]> Tip #10 – Ignore the food pyramid… and the “My Plate”

Let’s take a look at the role of the USDA in this mess we’re in.  Why does it continue to recommend Dietary Guidelines that make people obese, sick, and sterile? Adele Hite from the Healthy Nation Coalition said that “our dietary recommendations have been based as much on politics as on science. The first set of dietary goals was written by political staffers, not scientists or nutritionists.” She explained that “the USDA creates the policies that control nearly every aspect of our food environment. Its primary mandate is to increase consumer demand for US agricultural products. The primary promotional tool for US food products is the Dietary Guidelines”.

She goes on to say that when patients in her clinic ate foods that the USDA had been telling them not to eat – eggs, broccoli with butter, greens with fatback, and even the occasional steak – they felt better, lost weight, and got healthier!

The same week that the USDA released their new dietary guidelines, the Weston A. Price Foundation held a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. In their statements, the Weston A. Price Foundation and five scientists reacted to the guidelines saying that the recommendations are not based on science.

Morton Satin of the Salt Institute said he was concerned that the Dietary Guidelines “may have negative unintended health consequences.” He said, “As a food scientist, I base this assertion not on opinion or ideology, or because my employer, the Salt Institute, represents the salt industry. I base my concern upon peer-reviewed medical literature that for some reason never made it into the Dietary Guidelines.”

Peter Farnham of the Nutrition and Metabolism Society spoke about how the Society has reviewed the USDA guidelines and finds them to be “unclear and overly long, but worst of all, the recommendations are not in accordance with the evidence.”

Registered Dietician Pam Schoenfeld told about how she discovered the information taught by the Weston A. Price Foundation while researching “soy” on the internet. She said, “My first reaction was that it was contrary to everything I had learned and everything that I was hearing in the media.” She did an in-depth investigation to find out if science could back up what the Foundation teaches. “The more I read,” she said, “the more I realized that the weight of the evidence supported the fact that animal products, including the fats, are vital for human health, along with other principles that the Weston A. Price Foundation teaches. I believe that the research literature now even more strongly supports Weston A. Price Foundation principles.”

Dr. James Carlson had much to report on his clinical experience with the health hazards of the USDA’s low-fat high-carb diet.

Then the Weston A. Price Foundation took it a step further by introducing their own dietary guidelines, called “Healthy 4 Life”, based on science, traditional wisdom and common sense. It is available as a free download from their website at this link http://www.westonaprice.org/wp-content/uploads/Healthy4LifeEnglish.pdf, or in hard copy for $10.

Where do you find these foods? Either raise it yourself if you can, or buy it from your local farmer. Join a buying club or sign up for a CSA program. Join a raw milk cow share. Get to know the people who supply you with life-giving nutrition.

I hope you have enjoyed these 10 tips and will use them for your food procurement. I hope you have gained some new insights that will stimulate discussion and further investigation. May it also inspire you to take action, moving ever closer to the robust health and wellness that you were born to enjoy.

My next article will be the story of how someone in my family returned to health by adjusting their diet.

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Where We’re Headed http://polyfacehenhouse.com/2016/11/where-were-headed/ http://polyfacehenhouse.com/2016/11/where-were-headed/#comments Mon, 21 Nov 2016 13:00:47 +0000 http://polyfacehenhouse.com/?p=8648 Read the Rest]]> Gardening has always been alluring to me. There’s just something about nurturing the earth, getting your hands good and dirty, pruning and training, and finally harvesting a fresh product from a plant that you grew!
For that reason, I began reading a book today about building better soil for better crops. Within the first chapter I was struck with the magnificence of soil itself. That thought thread led me to deeply ponder some of the statements made within that chapter. I’ve pasted one of them below for your consideration as well:
“As farmers and scientists were placing less emphasis on soil organic matter during the last half of the 20th century, farm machinery was getting larger. …[This was] creating severe compaction and sometimes leaving the soil in a cloddy condition, requiring more harrowing than otherwise would be needed. Soils were left bare and very susceptible to wind and water erosion. …
 A new logic developed that most soil-related problems could be dealt with by increasing external inputs. This is a reactive way of dealing with soil issues—you react after seeing a “problem” in the field. If a soil is deficient in some nutrient, you buy a fertilizer and spread it on the soil. If a soil doesn’t store enough rainfall, all you need is irrigation. If a soil becomes too compacted and water or roots can’t easily penetrate, you use an implement, such as a subsoiler, to tear it open. If a plant disease or insect infestation occurs, you apply a pesticide.
Are low nutrient status; poor water-holding capacity; soil compaction; susceptibility to erosion; and disease, nematode, or insect damage really individual and unrelated problems? Perhaps they are better viewed as symptoms of a deeper, underlying problem. The ability to tell the difference between what is the underlying problem and what is only a symptom of a problem is essential to deciding on the best course of action. For example, if you are hitting your head against a wall and you get a headache—is the problem the headache and aspirin the best remedy? Clearly, the real problem is your behavior, not the headache, and the best solution is to stop banging your head against the wall!”
That idea spun off others in my mind… I recently finished reading The Marvelous Pigness of Pigs by famous farmer Joel Salatin. In this, his 10th book, he proposes that the natural default position of this awe-inspiring earth is not broken, but whole; constantly refreshing and renewing itself, if we but follow and encourage the patterns set in nature.
All day this has been going over and over in my head…
  • Perhaps the way we nurture and care for the pieces of earth that we touch can determine whether or not they are whole, forgiving, welcoming, flourishing, fruitful, and lush.
  • Perhaps the way we use or abuse the earth can also determine whether or not it is raped, degraded, ugly, bare, wounded, and dying.
  • Perhaps our job as inhabitants and caretakers of this planet is simply to nurture and caress and aid the processes already created to replenish the earth.
  • Perhaps we’ve been given a big brain and opposing thumbs in order to nurture and massage the earth rather than “commandeer” it.

We can, by changing the way we care for the earth (whether it be our house-plant, our lawn, our garden, our pasture, or our ranch), change the direction the Earth is headed. There’s an old Chinese proverb that says:

“If we don’t change our direction, we’ll end up where we’re headed.”
Many people say we’re headed for desertification, limited food sources, and not enough land to produce enough food to feed the world… Is that our main problem? Is Aspirin our best remedy? I submit that the real problem is our behavior, and the best solution is to change our actions and follow a path that will heal land, nurture animals, and feed the world!
Supporting local, sustainable, dedicated farms is one of the best ways to perpetuate this already blooming change. When people say “yes” to grass-fed, sustainably raised, pastured, non, GMO products offered by local farmers, they are sending a message. That message goes to friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, doctors, scientists, – you name it- . That message is shouting “We care about our health. We care about the Earth. We care about the future.”
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Kick the Supermarket Habit: 10 Tips for Identifying Nutritious Life-Giving Foods http://polyfacehenhouse.com/2016/11/kick-the-supermarket-habit-10-tips-for-identifying-nutritious-life-giving-foods-6/ Sat, 12 Nov 2016 06:00:05 +0000 http://polyfacehenhouse.com/?p=8645 Read the Rest]]> Tip #9 – Buy Local and in Season

Technology allows us the luxury of buying almost any food at almost any time, year round. Our society has become disconnected from the rhythm of the seasons. After generations of easy availability, we have come to believe that without modern technology we would be unable to feed ourselves, especially in the winter.

But we belong to the Earth and her life cycles. By seeking local foods in season we become reconnected with nature and the wisdom of our ancestors. Our very cells instinctively know that food is most delicious and most nutritious when it is grown on a small scale, locally, and harvested in season. This is because it is raised in soil that is nutrient-rich instead of nutrient-depleted. Contrast this with some organic foods that are grown in large quantities, picked before ripening and travel long distances to sit in storage for months before they reach the supermarket shelves. Which do you think is more nutritious?

So how do we know what’s in season? One way to know is to visit your local grocer and the farmers market on a regular basis. If it’s in season, it will be for sale there.

You may find foods that you’ve never seen before. Local grocers and small farmers love when you ask about them. Buy something that’s completely unfamiliar to you. Find out what it is and jot down the name on a piece of scrap paper so you won’t forget it by the time you drive home. Type it into your search engine, add the word “recipe” next to it and see what comes up. Be adventurous! Have fun experimenting with your taste buds!

Local, sustainably raised produce and meats are less expensive than certified organic. However, they are still somewhat more expensive than conventionally produced foods. Tell yourself you’re worth it.

Kick the Supermarket Habit! 10 Tips for Identifying Nutritious, Life-Giving Food http://polyfacehenhouse.com/2016/10/kick-the-supermarket-habit-10-tips-for-identifying-nutritious-life-giving-food-3/ Sat, 08 Oct 2016 11:40:40 +0000 http://polyfacehenhouse.com/?p=8642 Read the Rest]]> Tip #8 – Avoid refined sugars and carbohydrates.

You already know this one. You were waiting for it. You’re probably wondering what took me so long to mention it.

This category of foods includes many types of bread, bagels, pasta, crackers, chips, grains, sugars, and anything that is made with them. Trying to avoid sugar in a supermarket is difficult not just because sugar is in almost everything, but also because it’s often difficult to even identify sugar on a label.

There are over 50 different names for sugar, some are familiar and some not. I doubt if even the savvy shopper can name them all. If you aren’t aware of these names, when you see one of them on the label you might not even recognize it as a sugar. So you could be inadvertently consuming more sugar than you realize, more than you intended. Here are most of them:

barbados sugar

barley malt

beet sugar

brown sugar

buttered syrup

cane-juice crystals

cane sugar


carob syrup

castor sugar


confectioners sugar

corn sweetener

corn syrup

corn syrup solids

date sugar

dehydrated fruit juice

demerara sugar




diastatic malt

ethyl maltol

evaporated cane juice

free flowing brown sugar


fruit fructose

fruit juice

fruit juice concentrate

fruit juice crystals



glucose-fructose syrup

glucose solids

golden sugar

golden syrup

granulated sugar

grape sugar

high-fructose corn syrup


icing sugar


invert sugar



malt syrup



maple syrup





powdered sugar

raw sugar

refiner’s syrup

rice syrup


sorghum syrup



sugar cane crystals


turbinado sugar

yellow sugar.

You may know that anything ending in “-ose” is a sugar – sucrose, fructose, lactose. But are you aware that alcohol is a sugar? Anything ending in “-ol” like xylitol, manitol, sorbitol, is also a sugar. Each time you have a glass of wine or a shot of liquor you’re ingesting a sugar. Every time you chew gum made with xylitol, you’re ingesting sugar.

Until very recently in human evolution, our adrenal glands were engaged to respond to emergency situations when we needed to raise glucose levels. The emergency always called for increasing blood sugar. Never before in the history of humnakind have we ever had an emergency need to lower blood sugar. That’s the state we’re in now. Every day we have an emergency need to decrease our glucose levels.

So what’s the easiest way to avoid high-sugar, high-carb foods? Buy whole, unprocessed food, and food with only a few ingredients that you can identify. Sound familiar? See tip #1 – be a holistic shopper! You can’t go wrong if you let nature produce your food.

Kick the Supermarket Habit! 10 Tips for Identifying Nutritious Life-Giving Foods http://polyfacehenhouse.com/2016/08/kick-the-supermarket-habit-10-tips-for-identifying-nutritious-life-giving-foods-5/ http://polyfacehenhouse.com/2016/08/kick-the-supermarket-habit-10-tips-for-identifying-nutritious-life-giving-foods-5/#comments Sat, 27 Aug 2016 05:00:14 +0000 http://polyfacehenhouse.com/?p=8634 Read the Rest]]> Tip #7 –Buy raw dairy products from grassfed animals.

Drink whole, full-fat raw milk, not skim, 2%, or 1%. Avoid powdered and condensed Humpty-Dumpty milk. Again, be a holistic shopper. Whole raw milk in its original, unprocessed state has cofactors and enzymes that are necessary to digest it and absorb the nutrients in it. Milk fat is necessary for the absorption of vitamin D; and vitamin D is necessary for the absorption of calcium; the enzyme lactase is needed to digest lactose (yes, there is already lactase in raw milk, which is denatured when milk is pasteurized).

Raw milk is legal in 37 states. Virginia is one of them. In Virginia, it is legal to drink raw milk, but it is illegal to buy or sell it. So in order to gain access to raw milk in Virginia, one must participate in a cow share or herd share program. By owning a share in a cow or a herd, you can drink the raw milk from your own animals.

Pasteurization was originally developed for distilleries, not for dairies. It was used to extend the shelf life of wine and prevent souring. An informative book on this subject is The Untold Story of Milk by Dr. Ron Schmid.

In the 1800’s, illnesses spread when cows were taken off pasture and brought into the city, fed swill (byproduct of the distilleries), and allowed to live in unsanitary conditions. Similarly today, commercial cows are kept on feedlots and are fed grains, expired food from supermarket shelves, byproducts of citrus processing, and other substances too obscene to mention. So you see, we’ve learned this lesson before: Dairy cows that are unhealthy and mistreated produce milk that is unsafe fort human consumption.

Louis Pasteur supposed that his process would work on milk in a similar way that it worked in the distillery. Although pasteurization made unsafe milk safe to drink, it also killed probiotics, denatured enzymes needed to digest it, and decreased vitamin and other nutrient content. Even worse, pasteurization became a requirement for safe milk from cows that were still being raised on pasture!

Here is a summary of some of the differences between raw milk and pasteurized milk.

Raw Milk and Pasteurized Milk Compared:

Raw Milk (Grassfed)
Cows eat grass.
No hormones given.
No antibiotics used.
Cows live 11 to 13 years.
Small herds (25 to 50 head)
Stirred gently in holding tank (no homogenization).
No pasteurization necessary.
Contains vitamins and minerals.
Contains enzymes and probiotics.
Contains CLA.
Shelf life is 10 to 14 days.
Immune booster.

Pasteurized Milk (Conventional)
Cows eat grains and other substances.
rBGH used to increase milk production.
Liberal use of antibiotics.
Cows live 3 to 5 years.
Large herds (15,000 head)
Heat is used to pasteurize.
Vitamins and minerals added.
No enzymes or probiotics.
Shelf life 3 to 4 weeks.
Linked to allergies and intolerances.

The first important difference is that raw milk dairy cows are grassfed. Conventional dairy cows eat grains and other substances. We discussed the detriments of a grain diet, for both cows and humans, in tip #5 – Consume meats from grassfed livestock, and eat the fat along with the meat.

Raw milk dairy cows are not given hormones, as conventionally raised cows are. Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH) increases milk production by 5 to 7 times the norm. There is concern that rBGH may contribute to certain cancers and premature breast development in girls.

Antibiotics are rarely needed by raw milk dairy cows. Some farmers will use them only if an animal becomes ill. On a conventional farm, antibiotics are routinely used to control mastitis and other infections that are ubiquitous in concentrated animal feeding operations. Many of the cows get mastitis anyway, and they are still milked. This results in contamination due to pus from the infected teat.

There’s a significant difference in life expectancy between raw milk dairy cows and feed lot cows. Healthy cows raised on pasture live 2 to 3 times as long as feedlot cows.

There’s also a big difference in herd size – 25 to 50 head in raw milk herds vs. 15,000 head or more in conventional herds.

In pasteurization facilities, homogenization breaks down the fat into molecular units that remain suspended in solution. Homogenization is linked with heart disease. Rather than homogenize, raw milk is gently stirred by a rotating arm inside the raw milk holding tank, which keeps the cream from rising to the top.

Milk from conventionally raised cows is pasteurized. There are now strains of pathogens that can survive the heat of pasteurization (see the realmilk.com website for more details).

Microbiologist Dr. Ted Beals explains that beneficial bacteria in raw milk is so powerful that if you inoculate a sample of it with a pathogen and wait a few days, then test the milk for the pathogen, it will be gone. The beneficial bacteria attack and eliminate it.

Because it is not pasteurized, the vitamins and minerals in raw milk remain intact. Conventional milk, after pasteurization, is fortified with vitamins and minerals in an attempt to compensate for what was destroyed by the heat of pasteurization. The result is vastly inferior to the unprocessed.
Trying to put milk back together again is not effective, since enzymes, probiotics and co-factors are also diminished by pasteurization. Raw milk contains enzymes, co-enzymes and probiotics. The relationships among all of these components and co-factors is so complex that scientists have only a partial understanding of how they interact to nourish the body. Adding back a few nutrients to heat-treated milk is not enough to make Humpty-Dumpty milk digestible and useable to the body.

Conjugated Linoleic Acid is present in raw milk, because the animals were raised on pasture. CLA is absent in grain fed animals.

Raw milk stays fresh for about 2 weeks, then it will pleasantly sour as a result of the growth of beneficial bacteria. Because the bacteria are beneficial, you can still drink the soured milk, or use it to make sauces and salad dressings, cheese and other cultured dairy products.

Pasteurized milk has a longer shelf life, but it is already a week or two old before it makes its way to the supermarket shelf. So it lasts about the same amount of time from the date of purchase as raw milk lasts. After this time period, pasteurized milk putrefies. Drinking putrefied milk carries health risks.

Probiotics in raw milk and cultured raw dairy products boost your immune system. Most probiotics are transient — they must be ingested daily because they are eliminated through the digestive process. Native probiotics, on the other hand, colonize your gut and remain there for a longer time without being replenished daily. Kefir contains native probiotics. In addition to boosting immunity (85% of your immune system is in your gut), these probiotics help you to digest your food, and they actually create additional vitamins in the process which are absorbed by the intestine (B1, B2, B6, B12, K).

Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest lactose, the sugar in milk. People who are lactose intolerant do not make lactase, the enzyme used to digest lactose. Raw milk contains the enzyme lactase. Pasteurized milk does not, because lactase is denatured by heat. Many people who are lactose intolerant to pasteurized milk would be able to drink raw milk because it contains the enzyme lactase.

Enzymes (such as lactase) are proteins. Proteins denature (loose their form and function) at 117 degrees F. This is the temperature at which when you touch a hot object the reflex reaction to burning is engaged – nature’s built-in mechanism for preventing your own protein from denaturing! In order for enzymes to remain functional, a food must not be heated to the point of burning one’s mouth when eating.

Those who have a true milk allergy are allergic to protein in the milk. The protein that causes most of the problem is casein. Two types of casein are A1 and A2. A1 casein is highly allergic. A2 casein is not. A1 casein is predominant in holstein cows. Commercial herds are comprised of holsteins.
A2 casein is found in Jersey, Guernsey, Dutch Belted, Belted Galloway, and other older breeds of cows. Raw milk herds are predominantly non-holstein breeds. Many people who are allergic to the A1 casein in pasteurized milk would be able to drink raw milk from cows that produce milk with only the non-allergic A2 casein.

Some farmers are very particular about this issue, and they strive for 100% A2 casein milk. They genetically test their cows (by tail hair analysis) for the A1 and A2 alleles, and then cull their herds so that all cows are A2A2. These farmers only accept sperm from A2A2 bulls. (Neither the A1 or the A2 allele is dominant, so if an animal has A1A2 casein, both proteins will be present in the milk. The presence of the A1 allele in the A1A2 protein may be enough to cause an allergic response.)

In conclusion, raw milk is safer, more nutritious, and less allergenic than pasteurized milk. For more information about the health benefits of whole raw milk, see http://www.realmilk.com and http://www.raw-milk-facts.com.

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Free Range Saturday tomorrow 8/27!! http://polyfacehenhouse.com/2016/08/free-range-saturday-tomorrow-827/ Fri, 26 Aug 2016 13:04:11 +0000 http://polyfacehenhouse.com/?p=8639 Come spend the day with us tomorrow! Bring the kids! Pack a picnic or get lunch from the local food truck serving Polyface food!! Local artists, local food, fresh air! What are you waiting for! Market hours 10-2:00 Farm hours 9-4:00!13412040_10153506725186105_7338574307021570826_o

August Events! http://polyfacehenhouse.com/2016/07/august-events/ Sat, 23 Jul 2016 16:32:51 +0000 http://polyfacehenhouse.com/?p=8618 Read the Rest]]> Hard to believe August is almost here! We have a couple of exciting events coming up (and a couple we can’t share with you yet!!!) so mark your calendars and come see us and visit beautiful, historic downtown Staunton while you’re at it! One of the best little towns in the South according to Southern Living Magazine…and us 🙂

This August we are hosting our 9th Annual Food Freedom Fundraiser to help raise money for the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund! It’s a whole weekend packed with workshops, speakers, farm tours, locally sourced farm to table dinners, local music and much more! Learn all about it here… http://www.farmtoconsumer.org/food-freedom-fundraiser/ It’s a great way to support farmers all over the US!

Here are a few pics from last year! You won’t want to miss it! 12828350_10153306215491105_2374494959649289537_o (1)
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We also have our 4th Free Range Saturday Market on August 27th! It’s a combination pop up market/farmers market with local artists, food, tastings and much more! It’s a great excuse to come spend the day! Purchase lunch here from the food truck or pack your own picnic and spend the day! Market hours are 10-2:00 – farm store is open 9-4:00. AND if all goes well we’re going to start the day with YOGA ON THE FARM!! Email Wendy for more info at polyfacefarms@gmail.com if you want more info on becoming a vendor or if you just want more info!13412040_10153506725186105_7338574307021570826_o


Wreaking Havoc http://polyfacehenhouse.com/2016/07/wreaking-havoc/ http://polyfacehenhouse.com/2016/07/wreaking-havoc/#comments Mon, 11 Jul 2016 18:50:17 +0000 http://polyfacehenhouse.com/?p=8608 Read the Rest]]> “…GMOs are genetically altered beings. Now that the clever human mind has been able to learn about DNA and peer into the genetic code, we can splice genetic material from one species into another. In other words, we can take a trait from a pig and put it into tomatoes. … Aren’t we clever? … Folks, GMOs are wreaking havoc in our gene pool and human health. They’ve been linked by some one hundred studies and growing every year to everything from infertility to autism to cancer.” Joel Salatin- The Marvelous Pigness of Pigs

“GMOs combine species or genetic material that would never be created without blasting the DNA with gene cannons. This technology is born out of violence and hubris, and more studies are showing that kind of response in the animals and people who eat GMOs – sassier and more violent.” Joel Salatin – The Marvelous Pigness of Pigs

“Americans fear food. … Why? Because too many of us don’t know anything about it. The official policy of the government food police at the FDA and USDA  is to fear food. Why? Because industrial food is a scary thing. Campylobacter, listeria, salmonella, E. coli, bovine spongiform encephalopathy. This brand-new lexicon that has only come into common use in the last couple of decades. Likewise, I never knew anybody who had food allergies. Now we have gluten problems, leaky gut syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and a runaway obesity epidemic. …” Joel Salatin The Marvelous Pigness of Pigs


…And yet we’re offered these genetically modified organisms daily, classified as “safe”.  I read an article recently that attributed the non-GMO stance to “anti-science fear-mongering.”  I agree with Joel when he says that there is a lot of fear surrounding our food systems today. I wouldn’t say that the non-GMO folks are taking their stance just to manipulate you  using your fears…. Not to disappoint, but we don’t live in a Batman movie… The science is there, and we’re not the ones ignoring it.

The United States has a “fast track” approval process for new GMO food products. What’s more, the government does not use its own experts to make the key determination of whether a GMO food is safe. (Not that they would listen to them if they did.) Instead, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) relies on the biotechnology companies to affirm that each new GMO food they create is “not materially different in any respect relevant to food safety.” The FDA accepts this assurance and informs the company that it has a “…continuing responsibility…” to ensure that the GMO food is safe, wholesome and in full compliance with regulatory requirements. The FDA and USDA, however, fear pastured chickens, raw milk, meat sold directly from farm to consumer, and even vegetables grown in your back yard.

We need to educate ourselves in order to grow confident in making food buying decisions and dissipate the fear around us. So today I’m going to be sharing facts that I’ve found in my research.

A study recently published by the Rodale Institute states that:  “the EPA approved a 20-fold increase in how much glyphosate (Roundup®) residue is allowed in our food in response to escalating concentrations.” Hmmm. Well that IS scary!

Joel mentions lots of health problems that are known to have risen with the popularity of GMOs, as well as ones that have been shown in studies to be linked to GMOs.

My research seconds Joel’s position. One of those health risks is increased food allergies.

“The genetic engineering of food creates two separate and serious health risks involving allergenicity.  The first is that genetic engineering can transfer allergens from foods to which people know they are allergic, to foods that they think are safe.  This risk is not hypothetical. A study by the New England Journal of Medicine showed that when a gene from a Brazil nut was engineered into soybeans, people allergic to nuts had serious reactions to the engineered product.  At least one food, a Pioneer Hi-Bred International soybean, was abandoned because of this problem.  There is another allergy risk associated with GE foods.  These foods could be creating thousands of different and new allergic responses.  Each genetic “cassette” being engineered into foods contains a number of novel proteins (in the form of altered genes, bacteria, viruses, promoters, marker systems, and vectors) which have never been part of the human diet.  Each of these numerous novel proteins could create an allergic response in some consumers.  The FDA was also well aware of this new and potentially massive allergenicity problem.  The agency’s scientists repeatedly warned that genetic engineering could “produce a new protein allergen. Once again the agency’s own scientists urged long-term testing.  However, the FDA again ignored its own scientists.  Because these foods were allowed to be marketed without mandatory testing for this kind of allergenicity, millions of unsuspecting consumers have continuously been exposed to a potentially serious health risk.  This FDA action is especially negligent in that the potential consequences of food allergies can include sudden death, and the most significantly affected population is children.” – http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/issues/311/ge-foods/ge-food-and-your-health#

One “pro-GMO” argument I’ve seen widely expressed is the fact that they are already resistant to so many herbicides, pesticides, etc. , and that these “can’t” or “don’t” transfer into the food that we eat. However, according to centerforfoodsafety.org,

“Another hidden risk of GM foods is that they could make disease-causing bacteria resistant to current antibiotics, resulting in a significant increase in the spread of infections and diseases in the human population.  Virtually all genetically engineered foods contain “antibiotic resistance markers” which help the producers identify whether the new genetic material has actually been transferred into the host food.  FDA’s large-scale introduction of these antibiotic marker genes into the food supply could render important antibiotics useless in fighting human diseases.  For example, a genetically engineered maize plant from Novartis includes an ampicillin-resistance gene.  Ampicillin is a valuable antibiotic used to treat a variety of infections in people and animals. [Ampicillin is a penicillin antibiotic that fights bacteria. Ampicillin is used to treat or prevent many different types of infections such as bladder infections, pneumonia, gonorrhea, meningitis, or infections of the stomach or intestines.]  A number of European countries, including Britain, refused to permit the Novartis Bt corn to be grown, due to health concerns that the ampicillin resistance gene could move from the corn into bacteria in the food chain, making ampicillin far less effective in fighting a wide range of bacterial infections. Again, FDA officials have ignored their own scientists’ concerns over the antibiotic resistance problem.  Meanwhile, the British Medical Association (BMA) addressed this problem in its own study of GM foods.  The BMA’s conclusion was unequivocal: “There should be a ban on the use of antibiotic resistance marker genes in GM food, as the risk to human health from antibiotic resistance developing in microorganisms is one of the major public health threats that will be faced in the 21st century.”

One other health risk associated with GM foods is poor organ and immune system development. Once again, centerforfoodsafety.org tells us that

“The well-respected British medical journal, The Lancet, published an important study conducted by Drs. Arpad Pusztai and Stanley W.B. Ewen under a grant from the Scottish government.  The study examined the effect on rats of the consumption of potatoes genetically engineered to contain the biopesticide Bacillus Thuringiensis (B.t.).  The scientists found that the rats consuming genetically altered potatoes showed significant detrimental effects on organ development, body metabolism, and immune function. The biotechnology industry launched a major attack on Dr. Pusztai and his study.  However, they have as of yet not produced a single study of their own to refute his findings.  Moreover, twenty-two leading scientists recently declared that animal test results linking genetically engineered foods to immuno-suppression are valid.”

Stick with me here…

Along with its approval of GE foods, the FDA in 1993 also approved the use of genetically engineered recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH), used to induce dairy cows to produce more milk.  At the time the FDA assured consumers that the milk was safe.  Since then, however, regulatory bodies in both Canada and Europe have rejected the drug, citing numerous animal and human health concerns.  Perhaps of most immediate concern for consumers is that research shows that the levels of a hormone called insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) are increased in dairy products produced from cows treated with rBGH.  The Canadians and Europeans further found that the FDA had completely failed to consider a study which showed that the increased IGF-1 in rBGH milk could survive digestion and make its way into the intestines and blood streams of consumers.  These findings are significant because numerous studies now demonstrate that IGF-1 is an important factor in the growth of breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer.

Genetic engineering can also alter the nutritional value of food.  In 1992, the FDA’s Divisions of Food Chemistry & Technology and Food Contaminants Chemistry examined the problem of nutrient loss in GM foods.  The scientists involved specifically warned the agency that the genetic engineering of foods could result in “undesirable alteration in the level of nutrients” of such foods.  They further noted that these nutritional changes “may escape breeders’ attention unless genetically engineered plants are evaluated specifically for these changes.”  Once again, the FDA ignored findings by their own scientists and never subjected the foods to mandatory government testing of any sort. As Joel puts it, we’re “overfed and undernourished.”

Remember, there is already a lot of fear surrounding our food, but most of the fear comes from uncertainty and lack of information… After WWII, we as a culture separated ourselves from our food production, we became profoundly ignorant, and we began fearing the unknown. Now it’s time to fear the known… And DO SOMETHING about it! Know your food, know your farmer, know what you believe!

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Upcoming Polyfaces – The Film Screenings!! http://polyfacehenhouse.com/2016/07/polyfaces-film-screenings-this-weekend/ Thu, 07 Jul 2016 21:36:32 +0000 http://polyfacehenhouse.com/?p=8601 Read the Rest]]>  



We have 2 (that I know of…if you know of others please let me know!) Or contact me if you’re interested in hosting one! Joel will be attending both events which will host a Q&A after! For those of you who haven’t seen it…Watch the trailer here!

Joel will be attending both events which will host a Q&A after!

One is in Richmond, VA – only 2 hours from the farm! More info here…http://thevalentine.org/calendar/polyfaces-screening

The other is at Stack Farm and Food Co. in Milwaukee, WI – a farm near and dear to our hearts as Dan and his wife Tina were interns here then Dan ended up staying an extra year to plant, harvest AND cook for all of us and the interns! You can read more about them here…https://www.facebook.com/stackfarmfood and learn more about the screening here…https://www.eventbrite.com/e/stack-farm-and-food-co-presents-an-evening-with-joel-salatin-tickets-26156241021?utm-medium=discovery&utm-campaign=social&utm-content=attendeeshare&aff=esfb&utm-source=fb&utm-term=listing


A note from Joel… http://polyfacehenhouse.com/2016/07/a-note-from-joel-2/ http://polyfacehenhouse.com/2016/07/a-note-from-joel-2/#comments Thu, 07 Jul 2016 15:31:30 +0000 http://polyfacehenhouse.com/?p=8599 Read the Rest]]> By Joel Salatin
Many people in the integrity food movement call me unnecessarily pessimistic when I don’t share their
euphoria and assumption that our side is winning and will soon, in the parlance of Pinky and the Brain, “take
over the world.”  If we don’t appreciate that the industrial food fraternity, including the USDA, the president
(from either party) and nearly all elected officials absolutely hate our movement, we’ll consistently lose
ground in this great struggle for the heart and soul of land, personal, and societal health.
The American Pastured Poultry Producer’s Association (APPPA) alerted me to this current initiative.  Thanks
to them, we know what the enemy is up to.  And it’s chilling.  Essentially, the industry and its minions at USDA
are conspiring to outlaw pastured poultry and to own this agenda as scientific high ground.  First, a quick
background of the powers at play.

“The National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) was established in the early 1930’s to provide a cooperative industry, state, and federal program through which new diagnostic technology can be effectively applied to the improvement of poultry and poultry products throughout the country” according to their official website.  It is one of the many subdivisions under the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

“APHIS’ mission is to safeguard the health of our nation’s agricultural resources. Our many animal health experts work closely with other federal agencies, states, foreign governments, industry and professional groups, and others to enhance international trade and cooperation while preventing the introduction of dangerous and costly pests and diseases” according to the NPIP website.
Each year these powerful interests come together to update their regulations and protocols.  Some find
their way into mandates; others simply establish objectives that take awhile to become mandates.  In any
case, when these agencies speak, they’re not whistling in the wind.  Their ideas eventually become protocol
orthodoxy for our culture.  Here are a couple of proposed changes for this year:
Vegetation surrounding all poultry housing shall be excluded from or minimized in amount for at least three meters distance to facilitate control of vermin.

Now dear folks, those of you who have been to Polyface, how are we supposed to pasture poultry when pasture is illegal

around chickens?  You see the objective:  control vermin.  But that is assuming a factory, stationary house.  We don’t have
vermin around our pastured chickens.  In fact, if you’ve ever seen what a hen does to a mouse in the field, you’ll know that
mice don’t have a prayer.  This anti-pasture, anti-vegetation mentality is seriously anti-ecology.  But it’s being presented as
wholesome, secure, and hygienic.  Sigh.
Okay, how about the next proposal?  Here you go:

Poultry must be protected from vectors known to be in the wild and thus must be housed in enclosed structures during, brooding, rearing, grow-out or laying periods with no intentional access to the outdoors, creatures found in the wild, raised on open range or pasture or be provided with untreated open source water such as that directly from a pond, stream or spring that wild birds or vermin have access to for usage for drinking water, as a cooling agent, or during a wash down –clean out process.

This proposed change will add a requirement that participants within this subpart must maintain their birds within bio-security of walled, wild bird proofed and covered buildings for their entire life and not have access to outdoors or provided open sourced untreated water to increase overall biosecurity in these segments and place more emphasis on bio-security in general as well as improve control of Salmonella serotypes of human health concern in this subpart. There are several reasons we moved commercial poultry in off the range of which disease control was paramount. We desire to protect them from disease vectors roaming the outside and should be able to market products gaining consumer confidence for the reasons we continue to do this and excluded from participation in this subpart any poultry that do not comply with this definition. While it may be “Natural†to be infected with Avian Influenza from drinking pond water contaminated with wild goose or duck feces or to pick up an addition to the poultry microbiota additional strains of bacteria or parasites such as Salmonella from eating frogs and insects on the open range, it is not desirable in commercial poultry raised to produce products to feed human populations healthy protein in a predictable an economically reasonable manner. We have additional program subcategories
these animals belong in. (Such as “E†.) We should welcome and expand on the guidance and scientifically valid NPIP programs directed toward the improvement of Poultry in these subcategories raised in non-confinement, however at the same time we need to emphasize for the success of all of us that there truly can be no “middle ground†.

Joe Schultz
Cobb-Vantress, Inc.    HAVE YOU EVER SEEN ANYTHING THIS BLATANTLY ANTI-PASTURED POULTRY?  The meeting will be held in August and here is the information for it.  Be assured that while you and I go to work, gather eggs, and take the kids to soccer, powerful interests work tirelessly with a completely different mindset.  Their worldview sees wildness and nature as the enemy, people like me as the enemy, and those who patronize pastured poultry as backwards bumbling bums.  If this sounds harsh, try being on the receiving end of a gun-toting government agent when he comes onto your farm, without a warrant, and confiscates your poultry because it was exposed to a red-winged blackbird of goldfinch–perish the thought.

 Registration for the 43rd NPIP Biennial Conference is OPEN. Here is the online meeting registration link:http://form.cpif.org/capoultry/2016NPIPREGISTRATION <http://form.cpif.org/capoultry/2016NPIPREGISTRATION>.
>> · Meeting registration fees will be increased for anyone registering after August 1, 2016. So don’t be late!
>> · Hotel room reservation deadline for the rate of $202/night is August 1, 2016.

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