About a year ago, a friend of mine was working her Pampered Chef table at our local Taste of Home Cooking Show and was providentially placed next to an Amish farmer who was advertising CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) shares for the season. She thought it sounded like something I'd be interested in, so she grabbed a couple of flyers. The rest is history. A history that I've been starting to blog and running out of time - so here's a short, very condensed version.
As I was filling out the forms, writing my letter (that I had to send in the mail - gasp! that took some getting used to!) and recruiting people to join the group to cut down on the gas costs, I noticed some fine print on the bottom of the page - "herd shares are available for those interested in raw milk, butter, and cream." Being the curious person that I am, I sat down at the computer to search for the answers to my sudden questions - what is a herd share, why do you need one and what is the benefit of raw milk? To make a very long story somewhat shorter, I found the Real Milk website, and through the farmer, was introduced to our local chapter leader for the Weston A Price Foundation. I honestly had no idea what I was getting myself into.
I picked up produce share boxes for the rest of the summer, and as summer wore on, tried raw dairy and came off again at the recommendation of my nutritionist - my system wasn't ready for dairy of ANY kind yet - and then went back on. By the end of the summer, I was bringing back herd shares for 6 families. We'd purchased pastured fryer chickens from the farm, I was getting soy-free pastured eggs, farm fresh butter, and we were looking at making some changes in our diet. Since then, the route has grown. There are 20 families in our group, and I bring back herd shares each week. Raw dairy has been awesome for us.
We've also switched to a more traditional diet in some other ways - adding in traditional fats like butter, olive and coconut oil, taking out most other vegetable oils like corn and canola. *Trying* to cut out refined sugar and a lot of things we'd been eating that are in packages. Eating more meat products (yes, I said more) that are pasture raised, antibiotic free, fed things they were created to be fed. Fruits and vegetables that are local when possible, organic or pesticide free when possible. In other words, more traditional.
We are still on the journey - the BEGINNING of the journey. A friend and I were recently chatting about how food preferences can quickly get out of hand - and become an idol in your heart. She mentioned that when God provides something for her family, she is learning that it is pride for her to turn that down or throw it out because it doesn't meet her high standards of acceptable food. I can see her point, especially after my interactions with some super food snobs. :-) Balance is key, right?
In fact, while you will find large tubs of several kinds of coconut oil at our house, raw milk in our fridge and pastured beef in the freezer, you'll also find some tortilla chips and processed american cheese, coffeemate in the fridge door, boxed cereal in our pantry and mini snickers bars stuck way up in the back of the top shelf. I made gluten free pasta last night from a box. And added pastured ground beef. Irony, yes. Progress? Also yes.
This summer I am hoping to try a few new things - like making homemade lacto-fermented pickles (again) and cutting out even more of our processed go-to items. I'm really wanting to try sourdough bread (hoping gluten is soon a GO for me) and I'm definitely looking forward to our produce shares starting up again. We all do better when fresh veggies are delivered to our door - a new box each week to hurry and use up.
If you are interested in learning more about how traditional eating can benefit you, here are a few links to get you started.
Fat Head (a good place to start - some very good animations about cholesterol and diabetes)
Why Butter is Better (and there are more great articles on this site)
Real Milk (keep clicking the links down the left sidebar to learn more)
I'm quite sure that more of you are also on this journey, and have more great resources also - please feel free to share your experiences and resources in the comment section. I will remove nasty comments so - fair warning! :-)