May 31, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
Concerns about the US food chain supply made their way into the mainstream this week, as more meat processing and packaging plants suspend operations temporarily due to coronavirus outbreaks in the workforce. When Smithfield Foods announced it was shutting its Sioux Falls plant indefinitely, CEO Ken Sullivan warned that doing so would create a ripple effect that would eventually hit grocery store shelves. The COVID-19 panic has revealed the weakness of our food system. Our current system is very fragile. It is estimated that the meals in the United States travel about 1500 miles to get from farm to plate.
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May 25, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
By the time you read this we will be fully into summer 2020. In many parts of the country it has been much cooler than normal well into the month of May. Even here in Mississippi we have had a very pleasant spring. Nighttime temperatures in the 40s and 50s with daytime highs in the 70s. Our cool-season perennials and annuals have persisted far longer than in most years. In the South we are full bore into our 2020 grazing season. Many of you in the northern states are just getting started. Regardless of when your grazing season begins, here are my top 10 tips for grazing success in 2020.
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May 17, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
Empty shelves and meat cases in grocery stores, oil at negative prices, record unemployment, skyrocketing national debt, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected many aspects of our lives.
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May 10, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
In my previous blog, I examined several institutional, philosophical and educational issues that have created unintended social distancing in agriculture. In this article, I want to shift the focus to examine another type of “social distancing.” This one involves the “relationship” we have with our food.
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May 5, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
“People are fed by the food industry, which pays no attention to health, and are treated by the health industry which pays no attention to food." -Wendell Berry It may have been this quote from one of my heroes, farmer and activist Wendell Berry, that inspired me years ago to become a healthcare practitioner and to start on a quest to investigate our food and healthcare systems. I remember thinking to myself in astonishment, “How can two obviously related industries continue to endure in a state of complete disconnection from one another?”
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May 3, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
Recently, I went to a local sandwich shop, hoping for a sit-down lunch. But instead I walked into a nearly empty restaurant. This empty area made me feel uneasy, like I had walked into a futuristic sci-fi movie displaying the de-population of humans by some strange pestilence. A sense of awkward consciousness enveloped all of us while we were waiting for our takeout lunch. It felt like we were the last surviving humans on the planet and our survival depended on this one outcome: that we stay six feet away from each other.
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April 23, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
It’s the time of the year when many of us are thinking about growing a garden. With the ongoing pandemic highlighting the importance of having a healthy immune system, it is more important than ever that we do what we can to ensure that we are growing and consuming nutrient-dense food.
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April 20, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
I want to preface this blog by stating up front that some may find the contents controversial. My intentions are not to belittle the current situation, anyone or anything an individual does. My intention is to promote thought and conversation as to how our country can move forward so we, as a country and as individuals, do not find ourselves in this situation ever again.
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April 19, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
The continuing COVID-19 pandemic is having a major impact on economies all over the world. Businesses are being closed, work hours reduced and many people have been laid off. The stock market has lost a full one-third of its value in a very short time. This is causing most of us to take a long, hard look at our financial situation, both the way we earn our money and the way we invest it.
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April 14, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
With corn planting underway in many parts of the country, I couldn’t help but think just how risky that decision is. I am not talking about risk from the standpoint of weather and concerns regarding growing conditions—I am talking specifically about the decision to plant corn, period.
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April 11, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
So here we are, in a situation that most of us have never been in: spending the majority of our time “in lockdown.” We are used to the frantic pace that is life. While the kids eat a quick breakfast of processed cereal, we make sure they have money for a school lunch where ketchup is considered a vegetable and then off to school they rush.
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April 5, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
We often think of ourselves as a single organism called a person. However, we are actually made up of a dazzling array of parts (arms, legs, ears, nose, eyes, etc.) and pieces (heart, liver, kidneys, pancreas, stomach, intestines, etc.). Somehow all these parts and pieces function as one intact organism, or so we believe. There are actually tiny, microscopic organisms that live in our gut, our mouth, our skin and many other places in our bodies. How many? More than 100 trillion of them. We have more microorganisms living on us and in us than the size of our national debt. Together, all these microorganisms are known as the human microbiome and they are ten times more numerous than the number of cells in our body.
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