Can You Avoid Foodborne Illness?


About 48 million people become sick from a foodborne illness every year in the U.S., or about 1 of every 6 Americans, the CDC says.

Many cases are mild, causing simple discomfort up to misery from nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps for 24 to 48 hours. But 128,000 of the people affected need to go to the hospital, and 3,000 die.

Any food can be infected with more than 250 foodborne diseases. Bacteria, parasites, viruses, chemicals, and toxins can contaminate food.

Pregnant women, young children, older adults, and people with a weakened immune system (such as people with diabetes, liver or kidney disease, or HIV or getting cancer treatments) are especially vulnerable.

“People think of foodborne illness as short term, as something that may sicken them for 24 or 48 hours,” says Barbara Kowalcyk, PhD, assistant professor of food science and technology at Ohio State University, Columbus, and co-founder of the Center for Foodborne Illness Research and Prevention. While that may be the extent of it for many, ”there may be long-term health outcomes like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and reactive arthritis that have been associated with foodborne illness.”

While it’s unlikely you can avoid foodborne illnesses entirely, you can greatly reduce your chances by:

  • Knowing which foods are most likely to be affected.
  • Knowing where the most risk lies.
  • Learning safe food-handling techniques.

On the ”Most Likely” List

Foodborne illnesses are linked to certain foods more than others. On the CDC’s most likely list:

  • Chicken, beef, pork, turkey
  • Vegetables and fruits
  • Raw milk, cheese, other dairy products
  • Raw eggs
  • Seafood and raw shellfish
  • Sprouts
  • Raw flour
Food can become contaminated in the fields, during processing, or at other places  in the food production chain. Animal feces may contaminate produce. Poor conditions in a manufacturing plant may allow bacteria to grow. Restaurant workers who don’t wash their hands properly can spread disease. A field irrigated with contaminated water can affect fruits and vegetables before harvest.

Cross-contamination can lead to foodborne illness, too. For instance, if you prepare raw chicken on a countertop, then use the unwashed surface to prepare vegetables, bacteria or other toxins from the raw chicken may contaminate the produce.

Among the common germs leading to foodborne illness are norovirus, salmonella, campylobacter, Clostridium perfringens, and Staphylococcus aureus.

Probably the biggest surprise for most people is that  produce is on the “most likely” list, says Dana Hunnes, PhD, MPH, senior dietitian at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. “Raw produce is the most common [cause], in my experience, followed by animal protein not cooked to the proper temperature.”

Eating In vs. Eating Out: What’s Riskier?

According to the CDC, foodborne illness outbreaks are more likely to begin at restaurants than at home.

But Hunnes says some foodborne illnesses occurring at home may be mild and passed off as something minor.

To dine out smarter, check a restaurant’s inspection score, which many are now required to post, Kowalcyk says. If you order a dish with eggs, meat, fish or poultry, be sure it’s thoroughly cooked, she says. ”When in doubt, send it back.” And if you send it back, be sure to ask the server also to give you a new, fresh plate with the fully cooked dish, she says.

If an outbreak involves a food from a certain region, ask your server where the ingredients in the dish you want come from. If they can’t tell you, reconsider your order, she says.

Larger chain restaurants tend to be more aware of outbreaks and recalls, Kowalcyk says. “They have food safety staff that are often monitoring.” However, she says, it doesn’t necessary mean they always follow through.

Staying Safe at Home

Staying aware of outbreak and recall news is vital, Kowalcyk says. Once you hear of one, “check the pantry and refrigerator to be sure you don’t have recalled products in your home.”

Kitchen habits count.

  • When preparing meat, poultry, and eggs, always use a food thermometer, Kowalcyk says. She prefers a digital model, which she says is more sensitive. To know the temperature needed to cook different foods thoroughly, refer to this chart.
  • “If you are handling raw eggs, make sure you wash your hands and clean the surface,” Kowalcyk says.
  • If you use a sponge to clean up, ”throw it in the dishwasher daily to sanitize it.” Sponges are an excellent breeding ground for germs, she says.
  • Between handling different foods, wash your hands with soap and water.  “Using a paper towel is best,” Kowalcyk says. “Bacteria that isn’t sticky will come off during the washing, but others will come off with the friction of the paper towel.”
  • “Keep cold foods cold” and vice versa, Hunnes says. “Don’t freeze, thaw, and freeze. Once a food is thawed, use it.”
  • Produce should be washed with soapy water and rinsed well.
  • “Wash all utensils extremely well.”
  • Refrigerate food that is perishable within 2 hours, the CDC says, or 1 hour if the outside temperature is 90 degrees or more.

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The Dangers of Raw Milk: Unpasteurized Milk Can Pose a Serious Health Risk


Milk and milk products provide a wealth of nutrition benefits. But raw milk can harbor dangerous microorganisms that can pose serious health risks to you and your family. According to an analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 1993 and 2006 more than 1500 people in the United States became sick from drinking raw milk or eating cheese made from raw milk. In addition, CDC reported that unpasteurized milk is 150 times more likely to cause foodborne illness and results in 13 times more hospitalizations than illnesses involving pasteurized dairy products.

cows and a glass of milk

Raw milk is milk from cows, sheep, or goats that has not been pasteurized to kill harmful bacteria. This raw, unpasteurized milk can carry dangerous bacteria such as Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria, which are responsible for causing numerous foodborne illnesses.

These harmful bacteria can seriously affect the health of anyone who drinks raw milk, or eats foods made from raw milk. However, the bacteria in raw milk can be especially dangerous to people with weakened immune systems, older adults, pregnant women, and children. In fact, the CDC analysis found that foodborne illness from raw milk especially affected children and teenagers.

“Pasteurized Milk” Explained

Pasteurization is a process that kills harmful bacteria by heating milk to a specific temperature for a set period of time. First developed by Louis Pasteur in 1864, pasteurization kills harmful organisms responsible for such diseases as listeriosis, typhoid fever, tuberculosis, diphtheria, and brucellosis.

Research shows no meaningful difference in the nutritional values of pasteurized and unpasteurized milk. Pasteurized milk contains low levels of the type of nonpathogenic bacteria that can cause food spoilage, so storing your pasteurized milk in the refrigerator is still important.

Raw Milk & Pasteurization: Debunking Milk Myths

While pasteurization has helped provide safe, nutrient-rich milk and cheese for over 120 years, some people continue to believe that pasteurization harms milk and that raw milk is a safe healthier alternative.

Here are some common myths and proven facts about milk and pasteurization:

  • Pasteurizing milk DOES NOT cause lactose intolerance and allergic reactions. Both raw milk and pasteurized milk can cause allergic reactions in people sensitive to milk proteins.
  • Raw milk DOES NOT kill dangerous pathogens by itself.
  • Pasteurization DOES NOT reduce milk’s nutritional value.
  • Pasteurization DOES NOT mean that it is safe to leave milk out of the refrigerator for extended time, particularly after it has been opened.
  • Pasteurization DOES kill harmful bacteria.
  • Pasteurization DOES save lives.

Raw Milk and Serious Illness

Symptoms and Advice

Symptoms of foodborne illness include:

  • Vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain
  • Flulike symptoms such as fever, headache, and body ache

While most healthy people will recover from an illness caused by harmful bacteria in raw milk – or in foods made with raw milk – within a short period of time, some can develop symptoms that are chronic, severe, or even life-threatening.

If you or someone you know becomes ill after consuming raw milk or products made from raw milk – or, if you are pregnant and think you could have consumed contaminated raw milk or cheese – see a doctor or healthcare provider immediately.

The Dangers of Listeria and Pregnancy

pregnant womanPregnant women run a serious risk of becoming ill from the bacteria Listeria which can cause miscarriage, fetal death or illness or death of a newborn. If you are pregnant, consuming raw milk – or foods made from raw milk, such as Mexican-style cheese like Queso Blanco or Queso Fresco – can harm your baby even if you don’t feel sick.

Protect Your Family with Wise Food Choices

Most milk and milk products sold commercially in the United States contain pasteurized milk or cream, or the products have been produced in a manner that kills any dangerous bacteria that may be present. But unpasteurized milk and products made from unpasteurized milk are sold and may be harmful to your health. To avoid getting sick from the dangerous bacteria found in raw milk, you should choose your milk and milk products carefully. Consider these guidelines:/p>

Okay to Eat

  • Pasteurized milk or cream
  • Hard cheeses such as cheddar, and extra hard grating cheeses such as Parmesan
  • Soft cheeses, such as Brie, Camembert, blue-veined cheeses,Queso Fresco cheese and Mexican-style soft cheeses such as Queso Fresco, Panela, Asadero, and Queso Blanco made from pasteurized milk
  • Processed cheeses
  • Cream, cottage, and Ricotta cheese made from pasteurized milk
  • Yogurt made from pasteurized milk
  • Pudding made from pasteurized milk
  • Ice cream or frozen yogurt made from pasteurized milk

Unsafe to Eat

  • Unpasteurized milk or cream
  • Soft cheeses, such as Brie and Camembert, and Mexican-style soft cheeses such as Queso Fresco, Panela, Asadero, and Queso Blanco made from unpasteurized milk
  • Yogurt made from unpasteurized milk
  • Pudding made from unpasteurized milk
  • Ice cream or frozen yogurt made from unpasteurized milk

When in Doubt – Ask!

Taking a few moments to make sure milk is pasteurized – or that a product isn’t made from raw milk – can protect you or your loved ones from serious illness.

  • Read the label. Safe milk will have the word “pasteurized” on the label. If the word “pasteurized” does not appear on a product’s label, it may contain raw milk.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask your grocer or store clerk whether milk or cream has been pasteurized, especially milk or milk products sold in refrigerated cases at grocery or health food stores.
  • Don’t buy milk or milk products at farm stands or farmers’ markets unless you can confirm that it has been pasteurized.

Is Your Homemade Ice Cream Safe?

Each year, homemade ice cream causes serious outbreaks of infection from Salmonella. The ingredient responsible? Raw or undercooked eggs. If you choose to make ice cream at home, use a pasteurized egg product, egg substitute, or pasteurized shell eggs in place of the raw eggs in your favorite recipe. There are also numerous egg-free ice cream recipes available.

Source:www.fda.gov

Drug-resistant “nightmare bacteria” are quickly spreading through US hospitals


Researchers have found evidence that drug-resistant superbugs, which have been labelled “nightmare bacteria”, are spreading faster and more stealthily inside US hospitals than previously thought.

In the US, the bacteria, known as carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae(CRE), infect roughly 9,300 people per year, and kill around 600. And now researchers think they might spread from person to person asymptomatically – which explains why doctors are often unable to detect it.

“While the typical focus has been on treating sick patients with CRE-related infections, our new findings suggest that CRE is spreading beyond the obvious cases of disease,” said William Hanag  from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health.

“We need to look harder for this unobserved transmission within our communities and healthcare facilities if we want to stamp it out.”

CRE are a class of drug-resistant bacteria that are even able to withstand carbapenems – last-resort drugs that are administered after all other antibiotics fail.

Enterobacteriaceae are a large-family of bacteria that include bugs such as SalmonellaE. coli, and Shigella –all of which are common causes of food poisoning and stomach bugs.

When they’re not drug-resistant, these bacteria can easily be treated by antibiotics, but antibiotic resistance has increasingly been spread within the family.

The bacteria are known to thrive in hospitals and long-term care facilities, where they evolve and pass genes back and forth over time, eventually becoming deadly CSE superbugs that drugs cannot treat, and earning the researchers’ title of “nightmare bacteria“.

 

An official report last week showed that a US woman has already died from one superbug – an antibiotic resistant strain of pneumonia (not a type of CSE), which was resistant to all available antibiotics in the US.

Now, Hanage and his colleagues have discovered that CSE superbugs, at least, might be spreading at a much faster rate than expected, and are starting to avoid our normal ‘surveillance’ methods by spreading asymptomatically.

“You know the phrase ‘Shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted?’ The horse has not only bolted, the horse has had a lot of ponies, and they’re eating all our carrots,” Hanage told Helen Branswell at Stat News.

To figure out how rapidly CRE was diversifying and spreading, the team analysedover 250 samples from hospitalised patients in three different Boston-based facilities and one in California.

When finished, they found that CRE populations were way more diverse than previously thought, meaning that drug-resistant genes had spread more rapidly and easily between the strains than expected.

The team called it a “riot of diversity“.

Sometimes the species they found didn’t even carry the genes known to supress carbapenems, but  were still able to survive them, suggesting that they’ve found new ways to avoid these antibiotics that we don’t even know about yet.

“There are many different ways in which they can be resistant,” Hanage told Stat News.

To make things worse, the team wasn’t able to see a clear pattern of transmission for these CRE strains – the resistance seemed to be spreading even without any obvious cases of illness or infection.

“The best way to stop CRE making people sick is to prevent transmission in the first place,” Hanage said.

“If it is right that we are missing a lot of transmission, then only focusing on cases of disease is like playing Whack-a-Mole; we can be sure the bacteria will pop up again somewhere else.”

The team hypothesises that these transmissions might be happening from person to person asymptomatically, though they will need to carry out further studies to verify this is the case.

The Truth About Eggs – What Commercial Egg Farmers Don’t Want You to Know.


A massive scale egg producer in Pennsylvania has made the news for inhumane treatment of chickens and unsanitary conditions.

Kreider Farms, which houses seven million hens, appears to be the next sickening example of what allegedly happens behind the scenes at CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations).

The Humane Society recently released an undercover video that exposes the horrific conditions endured by the birds in this operation.

This includes filthy living conditions, overcrowding with up to 11 birds per cage, dead birds apparently left untended, and a severe fly infestation capable of spreading salmonella across the chicken population.

The worker capturing the video reports mummified corpses were lying on the ground under other hens that were laying eggs.

Kreider Farm’s owner, Dave Andrews, claims the allegations are false and that three state agencies have given the farm a clean bill of health. He did admit, however, that one of the farm’s buildings tested positive for salmonella but has since been cleaned up.

This egg industry news comes on the heels of a number of egg recalls, including a massive one in 2010 in which the feds recalled 550 million eggs when officials found samples of salmonella matching a strain linked to an outbreak in the feed and barns of one Iowa egg producer.1

It was further revealed that the Iowa egg producer knew about his salmonella problem months before the outbreak, which sickened nearly 2,000 people… but he continued to sell them, nonetheless.2 Another salmonella outbreak associated with live poultry from a mail-order hatchery in Idaho sickened 37 people in 11 states.3

It’s no mystery why these diseases take hold in henneries. Massive numbers of chickens in deplorable living conditions become stressed, then become sick and contaminated, spreading illness up the food chain. And the next step up the food chain is you.

Proof that Salmonella Contamination can be Related to Farm Conditions

The raising of egg-laying hens indoors and in cages in ever larger commercial operations has detrimental effects on animal welfare, the environment, and the nutritional value of the eggs. The size of the hens’ confinement space is directly related to salmonella risk: the smaller the space, the higher the risk of contamination. A 2010 British study4 found that eggs from hens confined to cages, as they often are in CAFOs, had 7.7 times greater odds of harboring salmonella bacteria than eggs from non-caged hens.

Another study found that while more than 23 percent of farms with caged hens tested positive for salmonella, this dropped to just over four percent for organic, i.e. free-range pastured flocks. The highest prevalence of salmonella occurred in the largest flocks (30,000 birds or more), which contained over four times the average level of salmonella found in smaller flocks.

Inhumane Treatment of Hens Challenged by Proposed Legislation

When I say “insufficient space,” that’s really an understatement. Many egg-laying hens are confined to cages with fewer square inches than one sheet of notebook paper – too small for them to even stand up straight or raise a wing – which prevents them from engaging in natural self-comforting behaviors, such as stretching, preening or bathing.

The birds are further stressed because they are prevented from building nests. Instead, their eggs drop through cage wires for collection, resulting in great frustration.

Constant laying leaches calcium from their bones, so they can get severe osteoporosis, leading to pain and broken bones (known as Cage Layer Fatigue5). They also experience injuries from standing in one place their entire lives, on wires that eventually cut into their feet. Stress-induced maladaptive behaviors, such as injurious pecking and cannibalization, soon follow. Complications arising from these abysmal conditions lead CAFO operators to resort to a number of inhumane practices. For example:

  • A painful mutilation of baby chicks called debeaking (or “beak trimming”) is performed in order to prevent injurious pecking and cannibalism
  • Hens are starved for the purpose of forcing them to molt, which forces them to lay eggs longer than normal
  • Male chicks are destroyed (usually inhumanely) because they’re of no use to the egg industry

Sparked by the Kreider Farms video, the Humane Society is endorsing and promoting new animal handling legislation specific to the egg industry. The Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments of 2012 (H.R. 3798)6, proposed in January, is supported both by the Humane Society and the United Egg Producers, and has a total of 53 sponsors. The bill, which proposes a new housing system that would double the space each hen is allotted, has the meat industry in a tizzy, as it represents stricter oversight of how livestock and poultry producers raise and care for their animals.

Eggs from Pasture-Raised Hens Proven Superior

Without question, this legislation is very important and long overdue. But there is something you can do right now to improve your own health and the lives of these animals, without having to wait for the legislative process to unfold.You can buy your eggs from farmers who raise happy, healthy chickens the natural way… which allows chickens to express their “chickenness” – as Joel Salatin, a pioneer in sustainable agriculture, would say! In addition to being better for the environment, eggs from pastured hens are also nutritionally superior, as demonstrated in Mother Earth News‘ 2007 egg testing project. Compared to official U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrient data for commercial eggs, eggs from hens raised on pasture and allowed to freely forage outdoors may contain:

  • Two-thirds more vitamin A
  • Twice as many omega-3 fats
  • Three times as much vitamin E
  • Seven times more beta carotene

Eggs contain some of the highest quality protein you can eat, as well as beneficial fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Two raw egg yolks contain nearly twice as many antioxidants as an apple, but be aware that cooking them will reduce that by half. Cooking your eggs can also increase your likelihood of developing an egg allergy. Heating the egg protein actually changes its chemical shape, and this distortion can easily lead to allergies.

If you consume your eggs in their raw state, the incidence of egg allergy virtually disappears. I also believe eating eggs raw helps preserve many of the highly perishable nutrients such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which are powerful prevention nutrients for age-related macular degeneration, the most common cause of blindness.

Beware of consuming raw egg whites without the yolks as raw egg whites contain avidin, which can bind to biotin. If you cook the egg white, then the avidin is not an issue. Likewise, if you consume the whole egg raw (both yolk and egg white), there is more than enough biotin in the yolk to compensate for the avidin binding.

If you choose to cook your eggs, then soft-boiled would be your best option. Scrambling your eggs is one of the worst ways to eat eggs as it actually oxidizes the cholesterol in the egg yolk. If you have high cholesterol this may actually be a problem as the oxidized cholesterol may cause some damage in your body.

How to Raise Healthy, Happy Chickens

Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms is a pioneer in sustainable agriculture and has mastered the art of raising healthy, happy chickens that produce outstanding eggs. I recently visited Joel Salatin at his farm in Virginia. He practices the local, sustainable model of food production, which is in stark contrast to the more prevalent model of large-scale mass food production that’s seen today. The “bigger is better” food system has reached a point where its fundamental weaknesses are becoming apparent, and foodborne disease and loss of nutrient content are just two of the most obvious consequences.

The question is, what kind of food system do YOU want? If every American decided to not eat at a fast food restaurant tomorrow, the entire system would collapse overnight. It doesn’t take an act of Congress to change the food system. All that’s required is for each and every person to change his or her shopping habits.

Beware of Misleading Claims on Your Egg Carton Labels

You can’t always tell everything about the quality of your eggs or the treatment of the hens that produced them by reading your egg carton label. In fact, egg labels have become quite confusing. Descriptors like “natural” and “cage-free” make eggs sound like they came from happy little chickens running about in a lush field, eating bugs and dandelions like Salatin’s chickens at Polyface Farms.

But that’s rarely the case, unless those eggs came from a small, local farm practicing sustainable farming.

If you can’t visit your egg farm or meet with the farmer face to face, then you can at least choose your eggs based on some factual information. The Humane Society7 has outlined some of the most common egg carton claims and certifications and what they actually indicate, which I’ve summarized in the following chart. Also check out the Cornucopia Institute’s Organic Egg Scorecard that rates egg manufacturers based on 22 criteria, and see how our brand measures up.

LABEL ANIMAL TREATMENT ANIMAL DIET CAN YOU TRUST IT?
Animal Welfare Approved Cage-free and have continuous access to outdoors; can engage in natural nesting, perching; allowed to molt naturally; space requirements for nesting and perching; debeaking prohibited Organic GE-free food encouraged but not required; antibiotics allowed if bird temporarily removed from operations Yes. Humane Society regards as highest animal welfare standard of any third-party program; annual audits
Certified Humane Cage free environment but not necessarily outdoors; adequate space must be allowed for natural scratching and perching Free of animal byproducts, antibiotics, growth promoters, arsenic; antibiotics only under supervision of vet Yes. But standards a bit less stringent than Animal Welfare Approved
American Humane Certified Cage confinement and cage-free systems allowed; so-called “furnished” cages are only the size of a legal sheet of paper; forced molting prohibited but debeaking allowed No restrictions Yes. However, the allowed cages are proven detrimental to these birds and are opposed by nearly every animal welfare group
Food Alliance Certified Cage-free and free access to outdoors or natural daylight; must be able to nest and perch; space density specified; forced molting prohibited but debeaking allowed No restrictions Yes. Compliance verified through third-party audits
United Egg Producers Certified Permits routine cruel and inhumane factory farm practices; 67 square inches per bird; cannot nest or perch or even spread their wings; forced molting prohibited but debeaking allowed No restrictions Yes. Compliance verified through third-party audits
Certified Organic Uncaged inside barn or warehouse, with outdoor access, but duration is poorly defined; debeaking and forced molting allowed Organic diet free from antibiotics or pesticides Yes. Compliance verified through third-party audits
Omega-3 Enriched May be caged Hens fed increased omega-3s from flaxseeds, fish oil or algae Maybe. Type of omega-3 inferior to beneficial EPA/DHA you’d get from fish or krill oil; pastured eggs have far superior omega-3 fat profile
Pastured Often housed on grassland in portable shelters for access to fresh grasses and bugs BEST natural diet possible, biologically ideal Maybe, if you know the farmer and his practices (no third-party inspection)
Cage-free Uncaged inside barns or warehouses, but no access to outdoors; can engage in walking, nesting, spreading their wings; debeaking allowed No restrictions No. Lacks third party auditing
Free-Ranging or Free-Roaming Chickens allowed outside, but for no specified length of time; debeaking and forced molting allowed No restrictions No. Lacks independent third party certification, so anyone can use this label
United Egg Producers Certified Many inhumane practices allowed, including forced molting, debeaking, battery cages Antibiotics, animal byproducts, and growth promoters are permitted No. Guidelines were developed by the food industry, NOT independent third parties; one of the most misleading claims on an egg label!
Natural Means absolutely nothing; may be raised in inhumane conditions Hens may be pumped full of antibiotics, fed GE corn or soy, or contaminated with arsenic No!

Resources for Finding Pastured Organic Eggs Near You

One of the best ways to ensure you’re getting the highest quality eggs is sourcing your eggs from a local farmer who practices sustainable agriculture and raises chickens humanely. Every state has a core sustainable agriculture organization or biological farming organization supporting the farmers in that state. There are also increasing numbers of “eat local” and “buy local” directories that list farms in your particular geographic area. The following organizations may help you locate farm-fresh foods close to home:

  1. Local Harvest: This website will help you find farmers’ markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area
  2. Alternative Farming Systems Information Center: Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
  3. Farmers’ Markets: A national listing of farmers’ markets.
  4. Eat Well Guide: Wholesome Food from Healthy Animals: A free online directory of sustainably raised meat, poultry, dairy, and eggs from farms, stores, restaurants, inns, and hotels, and online outlets in the United States and Canada.
  5. Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA): CISA is dedicated to sustaining agriculture and promoting small farms.
  6. FoodRoutes: Helps you connect with local farmers to find the freshest, tastiest food possible. On their interactive “Find Good Food” map, you’ll find listings for local farmers, CSA’s, and markets near you.

If you’re a farmer or interested in becoming one, I suggest reading some of the books Joel Salatin has authored, such as The Sheer Ecstasy of Being a Lunatic Farmer. You might also want to investigate a number of helpful organizations I have listed on my Sustainable Agriculture page.

The PolyFace Farms website also offers a wealth of information and resources for farmers and consumers alike, including an online store where you can obtain the actual physical hardware to make everything from fences to chicken feeders. Raising your own chickens and eggs isn’t as difficult as you might think, and there are ample resources out there. It may take a little time and effort, but it’s well worth it.

Joel’s slogan is: “We’re healing the land one bite at a time.” My thought is, you can heal your body one bite at a time as well, if you provide it with the highest quality foods possible.

Source: Dr. Mercola