What is it that we need to focus on today in order to fix our broken food system? Listen to this podcast episode and hear my own thoughts on the changes I want to see start happening.
After traveling on back-to-back trips for two weeks straight, it was grossly apparent to me just how broken our food system is.
Taking care of yourself well while on the road is extremely difficult. I had forgotten just how many people either don't have available to them the better food choices or herbal remedies that I do on our homestead.
There were little things that I noticed:
- I wish I had raw milk available to add to my coffee (or even just an organic milk option).
- A fast-food option with fresh, healthy, organically grown ingredients.
- At home, I have all my herbal remedies at the ready when someone starts to come down with a virus, but on the road, if I don't bring my remedies with me, there's nowhere convenient I can go to purchase herbal tinctures, I was able to find elderberry syrup and echinacea tincture, but by no means a full herbal supply on what I'd normally use.
- It's frustrating for people even to read labels. The word “natural” doesn't mean anything anymore.
In This Episode
- The small changes we can make will become the change we want to see in the future. But we have to get more people on board. Those who aren't aware of the danger of our food supply are more than those of us who are. We have work to do!
- We need more and more people to step up and be small producers so more local families have access to healthy farm-raised food.
- Azure Standard (the sponsor of this podcast) partners with smaller farms to make their food accessible to most of the United States. Get 10% off your first-time order of $50 or more with code “Melissa10”.
- We can control if we share this message with our friends! Send them this link so they can watch or listen to today's podcast: https://melissaknorris.com/podcast/our-broken-food-system/
- Raising Beef Cattle
- Building Your Medicinal Herb Cabinet
- Homemade Elderberry Syrup
- My Health Journey
- My Health Update & Need for Surgery
Hey Pioneers. Welcome to episode number 410. Today's episode is going to be a little bit different. In a lot of the episodes we have a very specific topic, usually very practical in nature, a lot of takeaway. And today's episode will have some takeaways and also a few practical points, but it's more of a topic that I think we just need to talk about. Amongst homesteaders, I'm assuming if you are listening to the Pioneering Today Podcast, you are either a homesteader, you are getting close to being a homesteader, you're kind of venturing in. You're already very aware that our modern food system, our modern health system, but especially our modern food system, is very, very broken. And so I think a lot of times I probably don't bring up this topic a ton because I kind of feel like I'm preaching to the choir, however I'm bringing it up right now because I think it is something that I feel it's our duty, our calling if you will, as homesteaders to continue this message.
And so if we don't talk about it every now and then in the manner that I'm going to approach it today, then we aren't probably getting this message out as much as we need to. So what am I talking about? Well, over the past 14 days, if you're a member of the Pioneering Today Academy then you know this, I shared this in our life, but in the past 14 days, I ended up having three back-to-back trips and was traveling out of state, across country actually. And so out of the past two weeks, I've literally been home for three days. So hallelujah I am now officially home and I have no more travel plans until March in the new year. But what was really interesting is when I'm at home, and this is I'm sure the case for a lot of you, I've got a lot of my systems set up at home.
I've got my raw milk, I've got everything that I really need on our homestead, in my pantry, in my fridge, and I've got all of my local networks as the way to fill that if we're not producing it ourselves. So I know locally and by locally I'm talking about of course my immediate community and my home, but also the greater range of about 100, really even 150 mile radius because I've lived here my entire life and we live so rurally, so it's about an hour for me to get to a Costco or any place like that. So I really know in our area, if I am traveling and away from home where I can go to get the quality of food that I want for myself and my family and the types of businesses that I want to support. And yes, I know I mentioned Costco and some of you're like, well, Costco is a business that you want to support.
Costco is a large company, but in my area sometimes Costco has things that I can actually only get Costco if I want to actually buy them locally. And our Costco does employ local people. Actually people I went to high school with work at our local Costco, so I get to run into them. So that's probably a whole nother soapbox that we could get on and talk about that and supporting larger companies versus very small companies, et cetera. And there's validity on both sides. But what I want to talk about today is I was traveling, so outside of my normal realm obviously where I didn't know anything and I had forgotten because I'm insulated with the people I interact with online, a lot of times even the people in my immediate life and in my local community, I'm very insulated and I had forgotten to a degree how many people don't know or don't have these readily available resources to them for better food choices.
And so when I was traveling a couple of days of eating off the farm or not eating what I would consider ideally that happens. But for two weeks, and this was, as I said, I was in multiple states, multiple airports, and then also driving across a couple of states too for a road trip my husband and I went on. I was amazed, and not in a good way, how little the choices are when you are truly traveling and trying to eat healthy. For me it was traveling, but for so many people it is their everyday life. So I was like, man, what I wouldn't give to just find a place where I could get raw milk on the go when you're traveling as an option in my coffee or just to grab or even organic coffee at that when you're traveling. And when I was on one of the trips, some of the people who are with me, they started to come down with a virus, cold virus, not feeling well.
And at home I've got my elderberry syrup, I've got my tinctures, I have everything at the ready to fight those things. Yet when you're traveling or not making or growing these items yourself to fight those things holistically, luckily in the one town that we were at, they had a co-op, and so I was able to find elderberry syrup and an echinacea tincture. They didn't have the other tinctures or herbs that I wanted, but at least I was able to find those two things and they were able to start using those. And they were very impressed with how well they worked. So that was really fun to get to evangelize in that way. But I realized how little there is still available to people, especially those who are new and you don't have existing sources, you're just kind of immersing yourself into finding better options for your food choices.
And even being able to read labels. Because with the labeling laws that we have in this country, they are so misleading at times. The word natural, it literally means nothing when it comes to labeling. You can throw the word natural on there, but that doesn't actually have a true definition or mean that the product you're getting is truly natural. When you're even looking at buying eggs for goodness sake or meat, especially poultry, and it says cage free. Unless it actually says pasture raised, very little chicken both eggs or buying chicken meat, poultry, is truly raised how homesteaders want to raise or how we want our meat and our livestock taken care of. They are not out on pasture and being moved in chicken tractors or free ranging. They may be cage-free, but they are still crammed into disgusting conditions. And while that might bring a cheaper price to our food in the moment, is that really cheaper in the long run on our health, on the impact that that has on the ground and the land in that area. And obviously it's very cheap life for those chickens, horrible conditions. I think most people, if they were forced to actually walk through how a lot of the food, especially when it comes to livestock, a large agriculture is being raised and they were to truly see that they would be [inaudible 00:08:02]
And would actually make changes on their buying habits, raising it themselves, et cetera, even if it cost more. Because that cost would be worth it if you actually saw what was happening, that cost would be worth it. But so many people are so far removed from their food and just seeing things slapped on a label and readily available on the store shelf that they truly have no idea. And unless they're actively seeking, a lot of folks just don't know what they don't know. And so I felt this just very heavily up on my heart as I was traveling. And so much so that I knew if I did this episode that you would hear the emotion. For those of you who are watching this on YouTube, you probably see that I'm starting to tear up because it is so important and we have an opportunity to make a difference.
And I know a lot of times we hear that term make a difference or be the change, all of these different things, but it really is true. But honestly, it comes down to each one of us and how we choose because that's really the only thing that we can truly control. I mean, yes, we can vote in legislature or we can call different congressmen on certain bills, that type of thing. And I'm not saying not to do that, but that doesn't have an impact. But truly the only thing that you and I can really, really control is the choices that we make within our home and on our homesteads and what we decide to buy and to purchase. And so I get frustrated because oftentimes I think people feel defeated or I don't know what to do and they feel overwhelmed, and so they don't necessarily do anything.
I don't really even mean that within necessarily the homestead crowd. In one of the near little rural towns that I live by. It's a little bit a ways from us because pretty much everything is a little bit a ways from us. We live this far out there is talk about a Dollar General going in that town. And right now they have a local, independently owned grocery store that has been there and owned by the same family for decades. And there's a whole back and forth on what people think. Some people are very excited about it. Some people are like, "no, we need to support small business. We need to support local independent business". And you can guess probably where I stand on that. But it's really interesting because a lot of the comments were, "well, yeah, supporting local businesses sounds great, but they just don't get enough support and I can't fix it, so I'm just going to shop at the Dollar General". It was kind of the gist of some of the comments.
And I thought so many people actually do think that way, but for me, if some of us don't step up and make those changes, and each of us can only do that change within our own household and with what we do, but if nobody steps forward and does that, then nobody else will. If we all decided to do differently with our spending dollars, and I can raise my hand and say over the past actually, oh gosh, 11, 12 years now, that is what we have done. Was I able to do that with everything right off the get go? No, it's one of the reasons that we started raising even more of our own food because I couldn't afford to buy the quality of food and the way that it was raised that I needed for my health. And I've got videos on that and podcast episodes that you can dive into where I talk more about my health journey and having my esophagus and upper stomach biopsied for cancer and the changes I made to my food that was able to bring healing to that. And one of the reasons I'm so passionate about it.
And so it's a long journey, but we each have to make that decision and some people will make the decision not to. And of course that's each all of our own decisions, but all we can control is what we decide to do. And that's why I'm sharing this with you, just kind of sharing a little bit of my thought process. And I don't know all the things, like the way forward necessarily to make more local communities where we are supporting the farms and the food systems and the way that the farms... Supporting farms that are doing so in a manner that builds carbon back into the soil and is supporting animals that are on pasture but not just on pasture, but are truly being grass fed and grass finished when we're talking about beef. What is truly best for those animals? And you know what, it does cost more.
There is no way around there, dollar wise that costs more. And there's lots of reasons for that from the subsidies on grain products and corn products that the government subsidized that drives those feed costs down, large scale, how fast the animal gets, which is the reason that in larger industrial farming that so many of them have went to using those grain products instead of using grass fed in the example of beef. And we're going to talk more about that because a lot more about that that I don't know if you're not farming or raising beef or that type of thing that even the greater public is aware of. So I'm going to have some more episodes that dive into that and some of the nuances and different things like that. But bottom line is to buy animals, especially at the time of this episode when it will released, we're in November, so we're close to Thanksgiving and looking at turkeys and the cost of truly pasture raised turkeys versus the cheapest you can get for the pound turkeys in the grocery store.
There's a big difference on that dollar amount and what you're paying for, but there's so much more there and... We can make a difference. I feel like it's not too late, it's not too late, but we need more and more people to be aware of it and to step up honestly and be the small producers in your community or to support those that are doing that and to just get the greater awareness out because the more people that are aware of it, then the more minds you have coming up with better solutions and putting those into action.
Some of the trips that I was on are going to be hopefully helping to do that, and I'm very excited for them. But each one of us, you and I, we can do that by sharing posts and sharing things about what we're doing and why we're making different decisions on what we're purchasing and what we're consuming. And even with doing all of that, all of us will still have people in our lives that don't make the same choice as us. And that's okay because again, all we can control is what we do. And I came home and this has just been kind of going through my head and it's just something that I want to talk about, I want to have more conversations about, but also to give people hope and more solutions and some very concrete ways that I want to be able to do that as well.
But just to start the conversation and to encourage you to continue looking and sharing about your journey and what you're discovering and companies that you're buying from. And also for myself, like I said, I sometimes look at the price on the items that we're not raising ourself, and then when I go to seek those out from other places, and it is a bigger dollar amount. At this point in time, there's no way around that. But again, the cost when we think in the immediate right now, this costs more per pound than this, but there's so much more to what it truly costs when we're buying that super cheap item and the impact that it has on our community, on our planet, on our health. All those things that we don't look at in the immediate, and we really need to. We need to look at what it's doing down the road for our own health, for the land and for the future generations so much. We need to think about those things and stop just focusing on the here and now.
So I'm kind of preaching to the choir. But it was something that I needed to be reminded of and to experience in a way that I haven't for a long time because we have built so much of the infrastructure already in. And one of those things is the sponsor of today's podcast episode, which is Azure Standard. And I am so grateful that there are companies out there like Azure Standard that do believe in regenerative agriculture. That if they're not growing it themselves, and they actually have quite a few farms, Azure Standard does where stuff is growing, but that they're partnering with other small companies that have the same ethical standards when it comes to raising your food. And they've brought it together in a way that makes it accessible for the whole US right now or almost all of the US. And so I am super grateful for that because I can order those items and I do. So what we're not raising ourself or what I'm not getting locally, I'm able to still have a source for those and to still support some small, wonderful companies and those types of foods.
And I hope to see that spread out so that when we are traveling that there are those options no matter where you go that we can find those things. And right now, there's not easily a way to find those, especially if you're way outside like in a different state, you don't know anybody, you don't know the area and you're just passing through. That can be really difficult. But Azure Standard is a sponsor of the podcast, and you can use coupon code Melissa10 and get 10% off your first order from them if you're a first time customer and your order is more than $50. And they have everything from fresh produce, they have organic raw milk options, A2/A2 options. I get most of my bulk food is what I get from them. So almost all of my spices, my flour, my sweeteners, my oils, just the things that we're not able to produce here on the farm. I supplement and get with Azure Standard and have used them for years.
And I'm very grateful that they support this podcast, but also have been pioneers in taking a stance and supporting food choices for those of us that care about the quality of the food, but also the way that it's raised and being good stewards of the land. So this is more of an inspirational podcast as I shared a more food for thought, if you will. But it's something that I think we really as a homesteading community need to talk about even more and help spread that message out even more. Because oftentimes so many of the people that we surround ourselves with think like we do, that's why we're naturally drawn to them. And so sometimes I think with homesteading, or maybe it's just me, I could be speaking for myself, but so many of my friends online, my online community and even my friends that I talk and message with back and forth, they think like me and it's this echo chamber and I forget truly how small we still are and how much more the greater world needs this message so that they can also join it. But also need the options that so many of us has been able to cultivate and to be able to take that to more and more people, even if that more and more people is literally your neighbor.
You can get fresh good eggs to your neighbor. Having more and more of those options locally where we can connect that with other people, I think is just such an important thing. And seeing our small rural communities having more of these options... I've got a lot of thoughts, but I'm going to leave you with that today. I just really felt the burden to share my emotions with you, to share my thinking and how much work we have to do. But it's such a beautiful thing to be able to [inaudible 00:21:33] life in this type of work because I firmly believe that it is going to make a difference in the longterm in ways that we can't see in the immediate. Though making these changes in the immediate, if you listen to my Health journey, has made an incredible difference in so many people.
I think if they really knew and believed if you just can change the food that you're consuming in comparison to just modern Western society diet, if they really understood the difference that they would have in their lives by making those changes, so many more people would. And so I feel like it's mine and yours mission, if you're listening to this still this far, it's our mission to share that with folks. Now we can't control who will listen to it, but we can control if we're sharing it with people. So my friends, I leave you with that and I look forward to being back here with you next week. Blessings and Mason jars for now.
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