Direct Action


The assault on Organic by Agribusiness is intense. We need a business model to help share natural farming practices:

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With your help we can promote and support free range chickens, green fed beef, organic wholesome cheese and so much more.

Clean Eating Magazine

You may not be able to spa in Ojai, California, this winter, but take advantage of the next best thing with an exclusive recipe from the Oaks at Ojai health resort.

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Our interview with Sustainable Dave made us start thinking about how much plastic we use and throw away each day. We wanted to know exactly how hard it would be to change our habits. So starting Thursday, August 14th, I’m attempting to go seven full days without using any new plastic at all.

I won’t try to avoid plastic I already have, I’ll just try to stop bringing in NEW plastic. When you think of all the plastic containers, wrappers, liners, cups, bags, etc. in our daily lives, it’ll be tough! It’s very probable that I’ll acquire some new plastic over seven days, so I will make sure to log and keep track of it all.

I’ll be posting daily behind-the-scenes videoblog updates on the EPIC FU blog to let you know how it’s going. But this page will be the place where all the blog posts, videos, photos, and updates will be kept to make it easier to track my progress.

If you want to join in on the project, that would be great too — there’s nothing better than a support team! Start getting mentally prepared and on August 14th start posting your videos, photos, and updates to MIX, your blog, or any place you can. Then send us links or tag it “7dayswithoutplastic” on Flickr or YouTube, so we can include it here and in the show. You don’t have to do it for seven days like me — post information or tips about anything you’re doing to help limit your use of plastic. Every little bit helps!


Written by John Moody

Real Food from Real Farms

The time for locally oriented food distribution systems has never been better. With dramatically rising food costs threatening to break old inflation records, deadly tomatoes and other contaminant-ridden produce filling the shelves of conventional mega-stores, and inhumane animal practices resulting in pollution, disease and consumer danger all garnering more and more mainstream media attention, the average person is finally waking up to the reality of our impoverished, impersonal, imbecilic and unsustainable food system.

More important, many are now searching for alternatives. Weston A. Price Foundation chapter leaders, members, supporters and friends, with their accurate knowledge regarding nutrition, farming and other issues, are in a perfect position to help build these alternatives in their communities. We just need to think about how.

In the following few pages, we will offer a brief summary of how our local foods buying club started, has grown and changed, and how we handle finding members, farmers and companies to work with, how we manage distribution, share the workload, cover the expenses and structure the leadership. This article is by no means exhaustive, but we hope it will be instructive and encouraging as to what can happen when average individuals band together to bring about community change on many levels.

Small Beginnings with a Large Animal

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So, how do you tell your body to start burning stored body fat?” my friend and fellow mother asked.
“Cut the carbs,” answered another mom. “I go into ketosis just about every afternoon.”

“Ketosis? Isn’t that bad for you?”

The short answer? No.

I talk to a lot of people who want to lose weight. They try all sorts of things — exercise, calorie restriction, you name it. Sometimes, they lose the weight. Inevitably, they gain it back. That’s because what they’re doing is going on a diet — a temporary fix at best. What they need is a lifestyle change, a perspective shift, a new paradigm. Of course, you all know the paradigm I espouse — a conversion to eating real, traditional foods.

Yet even a conversion to eating real food won’t necessarily help the pounds melt away. If you’re still eating 200 grams of carbohydrates a day — even if they’re “traditional” carbohydrates like sprouted or soaked grains, unrefined sweeteners, etc, you’re not going to lose weight without making some serious changes.

If your body is regularly storing body fat (you gain a little bit of weight each year), then something is wrong with how your body metabolizes food. Let me introduce you to a new concept: the body fat setpoint.

The body fat setpoint is the mass of body fat that your body attempts to defend against changes in either direction. It’s your body’s attempt to maintain homeostasis. This is why if you exercise more, you eat more. It’s also why if you restrict calories, your metabolism slows down to compensate.

Why should you care about the body fat setpoint? From Stephan at Whole Health Source:

We care because this has some very important implications for human obesity. With such a powerful system in place to keep body fat mass in a narrow range, a major departure from that range implies that the system isn’t functioning correctly. In other words, obesity has to result from a defect in the system that regulates body fat, because a properly functioning system would not have allowed that degree of fat gain in the first place.

So yes, we are gaining weight because we eat too many calories relative to energy expended. But why are we eating too many calories? Because the system that should be defending a low fat mass is now defending a high fat mass. Therefore, the solution is not simply to restrict calories, or burn more calories through exercise, but to try to “reset” the system that decides what fat mass to defend. Restricting calories isn’t necessarily a good solution because the body will attempt to defend its setpoint, whether high or low, by increasing hunger and decreasing its metabolic rate. That’s why low-calorie diets, and most diets in general, typically fail in the long term. It’s miserable to fight hunger every day.

So, how do you “reset” the system? How do you train your body to start burning stored body fat?

One word: ketosis.

Ketosis is the state that your body enters into when it starts converting stored fat into ketones to use as fuel for your cells. If you eat plenty of carbohydrates, you will never enter into ketosis. Instead, your body will simply use all that glucose as a fuel.

Is Ketosis Dangerous?

Ketosis has earned a bad name, though. For one thing, your body enters a ketogenic state when it starts starving itself. But if you’re eating plenty of calories and sticking to a nutrient-dense diet, you need not fear starvation. Ketogenesis doesn’t destroy muscle tissue, but is rather the process by which stored fat is turned into ketones — a perfectly usable energy source for every major body system. Others object to ketosis because it gets confused with ketoacidosis, a dangerous state in which the body not only becomes ketogenic, but also causes the blood to become too acidic. If you’re still getting your limited carbohydrates from vegetables and fruits, you need not fear ketoacidosis.

From Mark’s Daily Apple:

Finally, ketogenic diets, which are generally lumped together by critics, have gotten a lot of bad press. While experts have generally recognized their effectiveness for weight loss, very low carb diets that result in ketosis (like the Atkins) have been criticized on health grounds. The problem with these criticisms? They’re based on diets that allow for 20 grams or less of carbohydrates a day. While I believe we are not meant to run primarily on carbohydrate energy, I do believe we depend on the nutrients offered by low carb vegetables and even some low glycemic fruits. A diet of 20 carbohydrate grams simply can’t allow for the plentiful intake of nutrient-rich vegetables.

When your carb intake is low enough, say 50-80 grams a day, ketosis kicks in when it needs to. Over time, this process becomes efficient as the body “unfolds” in its genetic expression. Yet this carb intake is high enough that you can freely include copious amounts of nutrient- (including potassium) rich vegetables to offer the body sufficient nutrition, fiber, and alkalizing minerals.

In other words, when you cut your carbohydrate intake to 50-80 grams per day and still include plenty of vegetables and fruits in your diet, then your body can safely enter into ketosis when it needs to.

Once you’re at your desired weight and you don’t hope to lose anymore body fat, then sticking to anywhere between 100-150 grams of carbohydrates per day will help you maintain your new body fat setpoint.

The glory of thinking this way is that you absolutely never have to count calories! In fact, you probably don’t even have to count grams of carbohydrates. Just avoid grains, sugars, and sweet fruits. If you start craving those foods, eat more saturated fat from traditional sources like ghee, coconut oil, tallow, and lard. (I swear this works!) When you reach your desired weight, give yourself more grace to eat sweeter fruits and the occasional properly treated grain, tuber, or legume.

When you’re in your “maintenance” mode, what you’ll discover is that you’re eating a diet much more in line with traditional cultures around the world — a diet devoid of artificial and processed foods, a diet full of healthy fats from quality sources, a diet rich in fermented and living foods, a diet absent sugar, you get the picture. The exact quantities of meats, vegetables, and fats you eat can vary greatly depending on your cravings and preferences, but one thing will be sure: you won’t ever want to go back to how you ate before.

Liked what you read? You may find these other posts interesting:

Glycemic Index vs. Glycemic Load

Fat Is Where It’s At

Eat Fat to Lose Fat: A Real-Life Example

Good Fat, Bad Fat — A Video Tutorial

Health Benefits of Raw & Fermented Foods



Thanks to my facebook friend Tim Hamilton for the link to this site

Tim, this is such an amazingly data rich site. It’s native living at its best. Fermentation of food is something to try to add more valuable nutrition back into our eating habits. I’m 57 so I caught the tale end of home cooked meals as Great Grandma Irene and Grandma Hazel used to spend their days cooking breakfast, then preparing lunch and finally Dinner.

It took all day of preparation and clean up as every food and every dish was prepared from scotch by hand. No mixes, no dish washers, and no processed store bought except for the store bought natural ingredient which we then prepared at home.

If meat was bought at the store, the store butcher was part of your life as he was selling your family food needed to keep the family strong and healthy so local grocery stores had followers not just customers but regulars. Switching grocery stores was a heavy decision back then, unlike today where we shop different groceries for their special sale items.

Sorry to start on about the old days…

Anyway, here part of the data from Tim’s website link:
Every culture has a long tradition of fermented and raw foods — foods that provide for healthy intestinal flora and decrease the load on your pancreas and liver.

Sadly, because of today’s industrial food model, these traditional foods have morphed into something unrecognizable. Corned beef is no longer raw and preserved with salt and spices. Cheese is made from devitalized pasteurized milk. Bread makers rarely use real fermented sourdough starters in their so-called sourdough loafs. And homemakers hardly ever soak their freshly ground whole wheat flour overnight in buttermilk to create the light and fluffy pancakes and biscuits we love to love.

The modern equivalents of age-old fermented foods are nutritionally empty when compared to their historical counterparts.
Take grains, for example. Did you know that traditional societies either soaked, sprouted, or fermented their grains prior to consuming them? While the reasons our ancestors practiced this level of grain preparation are debatable, we do know that sprouting, fermenting, and soaking grains can increase vitamin and mineral content availability by 300-500%
That’s quite the nutritional kick!

Books on subject:

Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods

==========–===============–========== Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats (9780967089737): Sally Fallon: Books


This is one of the reasons Farm Aid puts on a concert every year to help small farmers stay in business and be able to compete with the Factory farms by offering cleaner, healthier food. Factory farms are why we have so much salmonella — at one time you could actually use raw eggs in making Caesar salad and not worry about disease. Those were the days before chickens were crowded into buildings by the thousands with no sunlight and no room to even move causing stress and illness. All this illness is why factory farmed animals are fed antibiotics and probably why so many antibiotics no longer work on humans. So even if you don’t care about animal cruelty you should understand that factory farms are not the healthiest way to get your food. They are in business for investors and profit is all it is about. Every new factory farm puts a score of family farms out of business, and whereas factory farms generate money for investors that probably don’t even live in the same state, family farms generate money for the local economy. They spend money in their neighbors’ stores and communities.

Plus Farm Aid puts on a really good concert, this year it is on October 4 in St. Louis — you can listen to it online if you can’t get there.

The 2009 Lineup:
Willie Nelson
Neil Young
John Mellencamp
Dave Matthews
Jason Mraz
Jamey Johnson

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