Often it occurs to me throughout the course of my average day how fortunate I am to grow and raise the food that my family and I eat. Indeed this happens almost daily around breakfast time due to my ritual consumption of at least three fresh eggs.
Yes, you read that correctly. I eat at least three eggs every day. Often I consume more than three but always at least that number. And I’m not worried in the least. Along with my morning helping of gratitude to myself and my family for the self-reliant position we’re in, (not to mention gratitude for the hens!), I am also reminded how terribly our society has gone askew. For what a completely horrible thing it is to live in fear of food.
No matter where you look in our society we are constantly told we must be petrified of our food. From admonitions on menus that under cooked eggs will kill us to warnings on labels in the grocery store indicating that those same eggs must be refrigerated at a certain temperature immediately and indefinitely, we are surrounded by a sea of fear. It is not my intention with this post to undo the fear that accompanies and makes necessary those warnings. Indeed, you should be quite terrified if you’re eating ‘eggs’ you bought at the ‘super’market or ‘beef’ that sits idle in its ubiquitous styrofoam and plastic packaging. Study after study has shown all of it to be contaminated with a who’s who of the industrial food system’s most deadly creations including salmonella, campylobacter, e-coli 0157:H7 and others. But do you really need the studies? After all, just turn on the news. Not a week goes by it seems without an outbreak of one of these nasty little creations sickening and/or killing anywhere from 1 to thousands of people. Remember from my series of posts about the Food Safety Modernization Act that the CDC’s magical number is 48 million annually.
Yet there are very few studies showing the differences between ‘eggs’ found at the supermarket (produced by chickens that never see sunlight, breath fresh air, scratch at the grass or consume insects, roots, leaves, an omnivorous diet) and real eggs from chickens that are not only permitted but encouraged to live the way chickens evolved to live. Across the board these studies are glaringly absent from the scientific literature. Beef, pork, chicken, eggs, dairy and produce. But here again, do we need studies to tell us there is a difference? If you do, you could use the same one I use. There is, after all, a study that shows the obvious benefits of a diet based on plants and animals that live in harmony with their environment. It’s actually a fairly long and all encompassing study which, unique to any other scientific study I know tests multiple variables at once. It’s called human history.
All of human history tells us that the safest, healthiest diet to which we are most widely adapted, is an omnivorous diet consisting of plants and animals that lived and died within nature or, what we used to call, home. If, as the health, diet and agricultural ‘authorities’ would have us believe, these foods contain deadly pathogens and bacteria…how are any of us here writing and reading this very sentence?
The truth is the industrial versions of these foods contain those pathogens. But we have done just fine (what an understatement!) eating meat from pastured and woodland creatures and plants that naturally,or agriculturally grew in polycultural settings in living soil. Nobody ever got e-coli 0157:H7 from an animal before the industrialization of our food. Not one human ever died of salmonella from spinach raised in the family garden. But it goes further. Nobody ever developed diabetes from eating three eggs every day. Bacon never led to obeisity (seen the recent Time article highlighting the ‘new science’ about fat not being what’s killing us all?). Our food, real food, has never, ever been what’s dangerous. The industrialization of our food is.
So I sit, every morning enjoying my three or more eggs, smothered in raw milk cheese, sometimes over a bed of spinach or chard, and marvel at the wonder of a society that would see me eating them and gasp in horror. I eat beef and pork from animals I raised or that were raised outside in fields and forests. I eat vegetables that were raised outside and had among them such terrors as wild birds and the occasional deer. I have excellent blood pressure, perfect cholesterol and according to figures from the military (not known for lax physical standards) before World War II, the perfect weight for my height. None of this is meant to be bragging. Rather, it is meant to point out that I eat in exactly the opposite way our government and industry ‘experts’ and authorities tell us all to eat and not only do I live a life free of the physical problems associated with their dietary guidelines, but I do not suffer the long-term debilitating psychological affects of constant fear about everything I put on my plate. If you do, consider a return to the roots of your ancestral birth rite.
For an excellent read on this subject you can check out, “The Liberation Diet” by Kevin Brown and Annette Presley. You might enjoy a leisurely read of this book on a Sunday morning over a nice plate of scrambled eggs, as long as they came from real chickens, secure in the knowledge that you’re eating like millions of humans before you, none of whom contracted any of the diseases of civilization. Be sure to see our recipe page for tips on cooking the perfect plate of scrambled eggs. Local food. Eat well – be well.