Medical Chef’s? on February 15th, 2014
Johnson and Wales University and the Tulane Medical School are taking steps in what many may perceive as an awkward direction. They are creating a joint program between the medical school and the culinary school to teach future doctors how to cook, and future chefs about nutrition. While it may make some think twice when they hear their doctor spent several semesters learning how to make gourmet meals, to me, it only makes sense.
Nothing has more everyday influence on our body then the food we eat. Most of us eat three meals a day, every day, for most of our lives. It only makes logical sense that little could affect our bodies more, nor have a longer lasting effect than a long term change in diet. In addition, training the next generation of chefs about nutrition could raise the standards of nutritional quality across the nation.
As a nation, we fail to fully recognize the complex connection between food and our health. By bridging the connection, and showing doctors their duty to having a working knowledge base of food, and giving chefs an understanding of nutrition, we can bring the two together to help create a healthier nation.
For a link to the NPR article, click here
For Johnson and Wales University’s program page, click here
Crop Planning Meeting on February 15th, 2014
Imagine seeing green as far as the eye can see. That is the picture Joe Cardinal here at This Old Farm, Inc saw when he visited a Texas farm specializing in leafy green production. Leafy Spinach was being cut at 7 miles/hour and blown into the back of a clean and sanitized dump truck. That dump truck was then traveling to a nearby processing center or Food Hub to be triple washed and sanitized. We at This Old Farm are working to bring a similar image to the landscape of the Midwest. Wouldn’t we all like to see green right now? While we may choose to hand harvest or hand sort our greens, we are working to scale up our specialty crop production in Indiana to bring local foods to the forefront of everyone’s mind. 80% of Americans buy lettuce greens which was a $2.2 Billion dollar industry in 2005. Why not buy lettuce mixes from a local Midwestern farm returning that revenue right here to the state? The obvious answer is right out our door in white powdery form, yet the growing season is right around the corner.
We at This Old Farm make an effort to help others gain access to healthful, locally raised food, but not without the support of area farmers and omnivores alike! From Farm to Fork they need the support of all interested in ensuring a Good Food community and network into the future. Each month, they sit down with 1st and 3rd generation farms alike looking to raise Good Food as part of the alliance of farms. If you are a farmer of produce or livestock or an agricultural representative that works with farmers, they need you to join them on Monday, February 17th at 10:30am. The meeting will be located at the Parke County Extension Office in Rockville, IN. Please RSVP at (765) 324-2161.
Only the Passionate Will Speak on February 8th, 2014
January 21st through January 23rd, Jessica Smith attended and spoke at the Horticulture Congress in Indianapolis. Though I was unable to attend due to my school schedule, these conference events are by far my favorite aspect of being involved in a small business. They allow for a sense of unity, in that many people are getting together to discuss local food, health foods, small business or horticulture (not to mention you can occasionally find some sort of tasty food sample).
In addition, they make for wonderful opportunities to meet and educate new farmers. Processors and marketers are the face of the good foods movement, but farmers are the real power behind it. It is our job to support these farmers by helping to educate them and the consumer so that we can sell their product.
We plan to continue our outreach at several conferences throughout the year. Farmer outreach and consumer education are fundamental principles in our business plan, and we take them very seriously. We help others learn, as we learn ourselves, as we continue our work in good food!
Valentines Day! on February 8th, 2014
Valentines day is quickly approaching, which means date night for couples everywhere! We understand not everyone is able to get out of the house for a date, so all our beef steaks are 10% off to help you make a wonderful dinner by candlelight (and guys, our chocolate truffles are 10% off as well, so you can appropriately thank your loved one for being so wonderful). We hope you all have a wonderful Valentines Day!
“Good Bacteria” vs. “Bad Bacteria” on February 1st, 2014
Symbiosis (the act of one organism utilizing another organisms resources in order to better it’s chances of survival), is extremely prolific in any given ecosystem. Though macroscopic symbiotic relationships do occur, they are massively dwarfed in quantity by their microscopic counterparts. The relationship between any macroscopic organism, and the millions of microorganisms on the surface of the skin, and in the depths of the digestive system, is crucial not only to the survival of the microorganism, but the macroscopic organism as well. As with any ecosystem however, we as humans tend to disregard how much power and influence we really have.
Why is it necessary to administer antibiotics to feedlot cattle? It has to do with the diet. Cows are relatively large animals. In order to grow to such sizes, they need a large amount of proteins and various fatty acids. Green material is very low in both of these nutritional requirements for large size, so how do cows reach the size they do?
They reach this size through a symbiotic relationship with bacteria. In exchange for being allowed to live in the cows digestive system, feeding off of the food the cow eats, bacteria aid in the production of enzymes that break down Starch and Cellulose matter into their base components (glucose, carbon dioxide gas, methane gas, and basic organic compounds). The organic compounds can further be processed into the fatty acids and proteins cows need to reach their size. This chemical reaction initiated by the bacteria is responsible for cows being able to maintain their size on a low protein diet (and the reason the belch so often).
If cows are switched to a high protein diet (such as grain), the “good” bacteria present in the cows digestive system starve to death (they feed off of fibers found in roughage such as grass), leaving a large empty home for new bacteria. As the “good” bacteria starve to death, “bad” bacteria move into the cows digestive system. This (coupled with living quarters in which they are very close to other cows attracting “bad” bacteria), leads to a vastly increased rate of disease, and is why antibiotics are necessary in confined feedlot operations.
Bacteria are essential to human health as well, both physically, and mentally for some parents. It turns out that when baby’s are colicky, and thus cry uncontrollably, it is extremely stressful for the parent! A recent study found that oral supplements of Lactobacillus Reuteri to infants reduced the chance of the infant developing colic, and even reduced the amount of time infants spent crying at all.
It turns out bacteria aren’t all bad at all. In fact, they can be quite beneficial. They can help cows grow big, help babies develop functioning digestive systems much faster, and therefore even help parents hold onto a little more of their sanity!
Fort Lewis College (n.d.). Ruminant Digestive System. Retrieved from http://faculty.fortlewis.edu/LASHELL_B/Nutr2-Rumdigestion.pdf on February 1, 2014
Flavia Indrio, MD; Antonio Di Mauro, MD; Giuseppe Riezzo, MD; Elisa Civardi, MD; Cristina Intini, MD; Luigi Corvaglia, MD; Elisa Ballardini, MD; Massimo Bisceglia, MD; Mauro Cinquetti, MD; Emanuela Brazzoduro, MD; Antonio Del Vecchio, MD; Silvio Tafuri, MD, PhD; Ruggiero Francavilla, MD, PhD (2014, January 13). Prophylactic Use of Probiotic in the Prevention of Colic, Regurgitation, and Functional Constipation. Retrieved from http://archpedi.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1812293&resultClick=3 on February 1, 2014