Thoughts About Food & Freedom for 2012

Well here I sit on December 29th writing my New Years blog post. This New Years we have rented a Yurt at a Provincial Park and are going camping with some friends in the winter in Ontario so I won’t be near a computer to post this. I love camping and this will be a new adventure to start a new year. I’ve walked the Camino de Santiago twice and was on the trail with my back pack for 30 days each time.  The first time I was alone and the second time I led a small group of women.   I’m planning to walk the Northern route in Spain in the next couple of years so adventure is not a new thing for me. I just turned 58 this year and feel like new adventures are around every corner these days.  There is a paradigm shift happening on this planet and I am excited to be alive during these turbulent but extremely interesting times.

First let me comment on New Years resolutions.  We all make them and by the time you get to my age and have dealt with as many clients as I have you realize that these resolutions are a lot of smoke and mirrors for the vast majority of people.  Without commitment they are just words and don’t last for more than a couple of weeks.  My opinion is that we would all be better off looking outside ourselves at this time in the history of the world and making resolutions to contribute in some way to the larger good.  Because food is my business, my passion and what creates our bodies and our brains, this blog post is about resolutions related to food.

Do you know that if every person in the province of Ontario spent just $10 a week on local food that our economy would boom?  Our farmers would finally make more than a pittance for all their hard work.  How hard a resolution is that really?  $10 is chump change to most people and that $10 would also reduce health costs overall because local food is inherently healthier.

2011 brought an upsurge in the Food Freedom Movement and I decided it was about time I got involved in a more active way. I spout every day in my nutrition practice about real food and make it a point to buy local, organic and naturally grown foods. To that end I became more vocal about raw milk and about buying from local farmers. The local food movement has been growing for a few years now and yet the general public doesn’t realize that while we are all patting ourselves on the backs for buying local, our government is making it very difficult for small farmers to stay in business and make a living. The rules and regulations, many of them imposed because of supply management in Ontario, hold small farmers back from making a decent living and get in the way of new farmers starting up.  We have limits for small farms on the number of chickens and turkeys they can raise without buying quota for instance.  We have lost many of the small abattoirs because of regulations that are meant for mega plants and make no logical sense for small operations.   Our small farmers depend on small independent abattoirs to process their lovingly raised animals and provide us with high quality meat and fats.  Without them we will lose a lot of our small farms and along with them the ability to buy truly superior meat.  For those of us on real food diets that will mean no access to organ meats and healthy fats from grass fed animals.  It amazes me how often I speak to people so proud of themselves because they buy from a small farmer who raises superior quality animals on grass and yet they have no idea that we could lose those farms if we don’t help farmers by speaking up to our politicians.

Raw milk sales are still illegal even though every other G8 country in the world has access to it in various ways and in spite of an outcry that was unprecedented in the fall of 2011 when Michael Schmidt was on a hunger strike. The Food Freedom movement involves people from all walks of life and many groups are lobbying for better labelling of processed foods, removal of GMO’s from the food chain, removal of chemicals from farming, legalization of raw milk and the right of consumers to eat whatever they want and buy from whoever they want.  After all nobody is telling us we can’t feed our kids cola drinks or smoke cigarettes and yet we are told that a whole food like raw milk is a huge danger and GMO loaded foods are safe in spite of evidence to the contrary on both issues?

Late in 2010 I became a chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation www.westonaprice.org and then in 2011 I took part in a nation wide movement to help Michael Schmidt in his battle with government to gain us the right to choose to drink raw milk.  That movement is still working to educate politicians and change the regulations around the sale of raw milk.  I’ve spent a lot of time over the last year meeting farmers and educating myself on what it takes to produce the kind of real food that I and many like me, wish to feed to our families.   Most urbanites don’t have a clue what it takes to produce their food and that is where  change needs to happen in 2012.  One of my resolutions is to educate as many people as possible about the need to meet their farmers and know where their food is coming from.  We need to heal the gap and misunderstanding that has developed between farmers and consumers.  I do believe some of that gap has happened because corporations creating processed pseudo foods have gotten in the middle and done some quiet mind control through commercials on television and ads in magazines and papers.

All over the world people are questioning the “wisdom” of those very people we have looked up to and trusted with our health for many many years.  If you believe that Health Canada and the Departments of Agriculture across this country have your personal wellbeing in mind when they deny you the right to choose raw milk, when they allow GMO’s to be in the food chain and not labelled and when they fail to educate doctors and other health professionals on the value of real food as medicine, then please do some of your own research before it’s too late.  Much of what we have been told is funded by corporations who don’t give two hoots about whether you and I are healthy or not as long as they can make money selling their pseudo foods.  I am planning on doing my best in 2012 to affect change in the belief systems that hold us stuck to believing everything we are told on TV and in the papers about food and diet.  So much of it is not holding up in the health results we are seeing in people that it makes me angry when I hear the propaganda about cholesterol, about vegetable oils, about puss filled and adulterated processed milk, about artificial sweeteners.  Do I need to go on?

In October I became a Certified GAPS Practitioner.  Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride has developed a food program that heals the human gut and relies heavily on animal fats from healthy animals on pasture.  Much of what I learned goes completely against the main stream ideas of how we should eat and yet I’ve seen real change in children and adults on this program in the few short months since I was certified.  People get better eating real food and staying away from chemicals and garbage that we are told is healthy.  To read about Dr. Natasha’s credentials and program please go to her website at www.gaps.me.  Without the wonderful small farmers who are breaking new frontier with their old is new again farming techniques, it would be hard to heal the gut and see real health change for people.  News flash folks!  Disease is not a drug deficiency, it’s a nutrient deficiency!

Every year on December 31st people across the country of Canada make New Years resolutions.  Usually they involve losing weight, stopping smoking, spending less money, making changes in jobs etc.  As society is shifting into a higher state of consciousness about all things, I am hoping that this year even more people will join the Food Freedom Movement and yell really loud at government bodies who limit our access to real food.  We need voices and we need them now.  Our children and grand children are looking to us to ensure that their food future is assured.  Are we going to let them down?  Instead of making personal resolutions that usually don’t last past the end of January, how about making a resolution to take part in a movement that is growing across the world and help us affect real change?  Saving small farms and the real food they provide is a way to ensure a safe future.  If you are new to all this then make a resolution to educate yourself about the issues on both sides and come to your own conclusion.

If you decide you want to become involved in any aspect of the Food Freedom Movement and don’t know where to start, message me through this blog and I’ll point you to a group you can contact.  Also, have a look at this blog post and see the need to get political in the battle for your rights.  http://civileats.com/2011/12/26/2012-the-year-to-stop-playing-nice/  The author of this blog post is seeing all the defeats the food movement has seen in 2011 and there certainly have been many.  There have also been some steps forward.  The USA has had more gestapo type raids on farms than we have in Canada but we certainly have had them and both countries are dealing with the same basic rights deterioration.  It seems to me that Health Canada tends to do exactly what the CDC in the US does without questioning it.  In 1970 Henry Kissinger said “Control oil and you control the nations; control food and you control the people”.  Chilling thought but of course he’s right.  Think about it.  If we are dumbed down because our bodies and brains are not able to fuel with healthy food, how much easier can it be to control us?  I have not thought of myself as a conspiracy theorist in the past but I sure have started to wonder in this past year.  Monsanto is trying to control the worlds seeds and by so doing we will eventually have no way to propagate seeds and grow food without their scientifically tampered with GMO seeds.  The Canadian and American governments are treating raw milk farmers like drug dealers and terrorizing their families while they take away their livelihood and our ability to access a pure food straight from nature.  Huge food corporations are doing a mass media campaign to convince people that pseudo foods like factory made margarine and many others are healthier than the food Nature has supplied for thousands of years.  These are only a few of the food issues that we need to pay attention to before it’s too late.   The Canadian Constitution Foundation has been defending our rights and many of you probably don’t even realize they exist.  If it was not for this group, Michael Schmidt may not have been able to fight for our right to access raw milk for as long as he has.  Karen Selick, the Litigation Director of the CCF wrote this excellent article on rights http://www.canadianconstitutionfoundation.ca/files/24/The%20Right%20that%20Dares%20not%20Speak%20its%20Name%20-%2001-28-10.pdf  Shawn Buckley, who also is a lawyer working with the CCF speaks about raw milk at this link http://balanceyourapple.com/2011/12/15/shawn-buckley-on-michael-schmidt/  At this link is an excellent video of Shawn Buckley speaking about the state of health freedoms in Canada http://www.freedomhealthcanada.ca/politics/117-shawn-buckley-in-restricting-our-freedoms  I am hoping that once you read and watch these that you will be inspired to dig deeper, to educate yourself on what is going on around you with regards to your right to wholesome foods and think about joining the Food Freedom Movement in some context.  ”Be the change you want to see”.

So my new years resolutions this year are more about helping society than about doing anything for myself.  That doesn’t mean that I won’t be making more changes to my own life this year but it does mean that I’m taking on things more important to the long term than some simple personal resolutions that will be forgotten by the end of January.  The only personal resolution I am making is to learn to use my new camera and get more pictures on this blog as well as the one I’m starting for my recipes.  What about you?  What will you do to contribute to the world?

Margo

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