When and How to Use Activated Charcoal

When and How to Use Activated Charcoal

activated charcoalToday at the farmer’s market speaking from one herbalist to another, I was reminded that activated charcoal is a simple treatment to use. That will be my topic for today. It has been years and years since I’ve been sick with anything and even longer since I’ve had any kind of stomach or gastrointestinal illness. Activated charcoal can help.

But first, welcome to all the new listeners and welcome back veteran homestead-loving regulars. That you so much for stopping by the FarmCast. I appreciate you all so much. First up on the agenda, I’m so excited to share with you all the great activity going on at the farm this week.

Today’s Show

  • Homestead Life Updates
  • Stomach Virus – Traditional Remedy
  • Ginger Tea with Honey and Lemon

Homestead Life Updates

The Quail

We have 47 quail eggs in the incubator. These little guys are a joy to raise. They are so hardy. We started with 24 hatchlings and still have 23. The only one we lost was due to a snake. With baby chicks, almost always you lose one or two – or more – due to failure to thrive or some early disease. Not so with quail. We had them outside before they were 2 weeks old. Almost fully feathered, they were fine with the temps in the 70s during the day and high 50s and low 60s at night. They are hardy birds.

In less than three weeks we will have new babies.

The Creamery

The concrete block walls to the milking parlor are complete. There is a video on Facebook with a short tour of that part of the building. Scott has spent quite a bit of time today moving the milking parlor equipment into the area. For the longest time it has been stored just waiting for this moment. Who knows when the actual installation will happen, but it is exciting to see the first portion of the creamery coming into being? In addition to the milking parlor equipment installation, it still needs a roof. There is still so much to do.

The Cows

The cows are moooving along nicely and munching down on all that grass. If you’ve never been around cows you are missing the perfect example of peace in action. One of the reasons that I wanted a milk cow in the first place is the sense of peace that comes from working with them and there is no closer relationship that when you are milking them. They are truly beautiful creatures. Smelly but beautiful.

We still have one more bull calf available. You can call us at 276-694-4369 to get more information on these guys. There are two to choose from, but we are only selling one. The last one we will keep for beef. He will take a couple of years to grow out, but these Normande cows make some great steaks and roasts.

Speaking of beef, we have a limited quantity of beef available. This will be the last for a while so get in touch with us now if you are interested in a quarter or a half.

The Lambs

The lambs and goat kids are frolicking in the grass and growing like weeds. It is amazing how fast they grow. The lambs and kids are nearly the height of their mothers already. Watching them get down on their knees to nurse is comical. Well, it doesn’t look like so much fun for mom, but they seem to patiently endure. They are all old enough to be weaned and we will separate them in the next couple of weeks. It is important to get the boys out for sure. Otherwise, we end up with unauthorized breeding and we can’t have that. No we can’t have that.

The Garden

Let’s talk about the garden. The tomatoes are coming on strong. I have lots of them sitting on shelves ripening. I would prefer to pick them when they are already ripe but the raccoons make that impossible. Every night they go out into the garden and pick a few and take a bite or two out of them. Then they get another one and take a bite or two out of that one and so on. These guys are grabbing them before they even get all the way red. I wonder if they would like fried green tomatoes. No matter. I’ve taken things into hand and am just circumventing their intrusiveness and picking the tomatoes as soon as they show any sign of ripening. The plan is to make lots and lots of tomato sauce. I made some last year for the first time. It was much easier than I thought and I look forward to making more this year. I use tomatoes in stews. I use a lot of tomatoes in stews. Up to four quarts in a 4-gallon batch. If I use tomato sauce instead, I think I can use 2 pints instead. Much less storage space for the tomatoes.

Last night we shelled Mississippi Silver Crowder peas. There is a large bowl ready to be cooked and eaten. There will also be some left over to be canned. I love growing these. The plants are resistant to everything and they put on lots and lots of pea pods. The pods are 7-8 inches long with about 20 peas per pod. They shell easily and they taste of good. They can be dried and cooked similar to black-eyed peas, but I prefer these to be green and I like to add a few snapped green pods. Again, these are very easy to grow and produce very well.

The Orchard

We had a neighbor come over and pick some blackberries a few days ago. I simply do not have time to pick them and process them. Blackberries are a lot of work. I don’t like the seeds and always take the extra steps necessary to get the seeds out. It’s not really hard, but it is time consuming. Besides the issue of time, I still have tons of blackberry jam and blackberry syrup from last year. Our blackberries are always prolific. We grow several varieties of thorn-less and the berries are large and juicy.

I’m probably leaving out a bunch of other stuff that is happening here, but I’m going to close off the farm updates for this time.

The Farmer’s Markets

Oops I almost forgot to mention the Farmer’s Market. Come see us at the Wytheville Farmer’s market on Saturday mornings 8 am to noon. Starting this Friday you will also find us at the Independence Farmer’s market from 9 am to 1 pm. I’ll have lamb, beef and goat as well as lots of information on herd shares. Who knows, maybe even some cheese samples.

I was going to start at the Independence Farmer’s market this past Friday, but I had an incident that has not happened in many, many, many moons. I had a stomach virus or perhaps it was that salami. I don’t know. It was one or the other. In any case, I was sick as a dog for a good 12 hours. Let me tell that story and provide some info on the perfect remedy.

Activated Charcoal – Traditional Remedy for Nausea and Vomiting

And as I mentioned earlier, while at the Wytheville Farmer’s market I spoke with another herbalist and she reminded me of activated charcoal when having issues with stomach upset. In the heat of the sickness I was trying to think of what to do and I was so sick I couldn’t remember what I had on hand to deal with it. When she promptly said “activated charcoal”, it was one of those face-palm moments. Of course, I have tons of it on hand for exactly that purpose. Number one, I’m almost never sick and number two, my head hurt so bad I couldn’t think straight.

I did act on the headache. My sinuses were inflamed and I don’t know why. I was sure that a massive head cold was about to take me out for days. Well, I took out my trusty echinacea and goldenseal formula and dripped some directly into my nasal passage. It burns. Only a couple of drops but POOF, gone. No more sinus issues. If I could only have thought so quickly about the activated charcoal. It’s a matter of what I use more often and what I have never had the occasion to use. Now I’ve had the occasion to use it but didn’t but it’s unlikely I will forget next time. Let me give you the goods on activated charcoal.

Activated charcoal

Charcoal isn’t just for your backyard grill. Even though charcoal makes most of us think of glowing embers and yummy barbecued kabobs or steak, it has stomach soothing medicinal properties too. The CDC reports that 19 to 21 million Americans will get the stomach flu, and charcoal might just help you get back on your feet faster.

What is the Stomach Flu?

What’s often referred to as stomach flu, stomach bugs, or even food poisoning can be caused by bacterial infections or viruses. This inflammation of your gastrointestinal tract might be referred to as gastroenteritis or norovirus, but in either case the symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea. The illness comes on quickly and can have you off your feet from one to three days. Common treatment recommendations include drinking fluids, getting rest, and following the BRAT (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast) diet. None of those are on my eating list so an old Native American remedy would have been a much better option.

What is activated charcoal?

Activated charcoal is made with a variety of burned materials including bamboo, wood, coal, or coconut shells. This treatment was used by Native Americans hundreds of years ago, and there’s even some record of it being used by Egyptians. Activated charcoal is processed at high temperatures and results in a black powder that is incredibly effective at absorbing a variety of substances. Charcoal is “activated” when a high temperature is used in combination with an activating agent that expand its surface area. This is what gives activated charcoal its incredible absorbing powers.

Why do people take activated charcoal?

Most commonly used to treat poisoning and drug overdoses, activated charcoal is now gaining attention as a remedy for stomach bugs that cause nausea and vomiting. The theory is that activated charcoal can absorb the bacteria responsible for causing stomach flu (the same way it is used to absorb poisons). You can also have a virus that can cause the same sort of tummy troubles, and activated charcoal may help with the symptoms.

How should I take charcoal?

You can buy activated charcoal online in capsules or powder. If you feel the nauseating symptoms of a stomach bug coming on, or if you are actively vomiting, you can put the powder in some applesauce, if you have capsules you can open them up. A common recommendation is 500 to 1,000 mg, two to three times per day. It is recommended that you take other supplements at different time as the charcoal can absorb good nutrients as well as the bad stuff. If you notice any worsening symptoms after taking the supplement stop taking and call your doctor.

It’s important to note that activated charcoal should be bought from pharmacies and health food stores, it is not the same as regular charcoal. Activated charcoal, unlike regular charcoal, is food grade and safe to take internally.

You can give it to children, but check with your pediatrician beforehand. If you get the okay, start with ¼ of a capsule (about 200 mg) in some applesauce and repeat no more than 2 times a day. If you or your child continue to have abdominal pain or persistent fever, you must see your doctor. Home remedies are great but they are not the be-all, end-all for medical treatment.

Side Effects & Safety

Activated charcoal is safe for most adults when used short-term. Side effects of activated charcoal include constipation and black stools. More serious, but rare, side effects are a slowing or blockage of the intestinal tract, regurgitation into the lungs, and dehydration.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Activated charcoal might be safe when used short-term if you are pregnant or breast-feeding, but consult with your healthcare professional before using if you are pregnant.

Don’t use activated charcoal if you have any kind of intestinal obstruction. Also, if you have a condition that slows the passage of food through your intestine (reduced peristalsis), don’t use activated charcoal, unless you are being monitored by your healthcare provider.

Medications taken by mouth (Oral drugs) interact with Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal absorbs substances in the stomach and intestines. Taking activated charcoal along with medications taken by mouth can decrease how much medicine your body absorbs, and decrease the effectiveness of your medication. To prevent this interaction, take activated charcoal at least one hour after medications you take by mouth.

Alcohol Interacts with Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal is sometimes used to prevent poisons from being absorbed into the body. Taking alcohol with activated charcoal might decrease how well activated charcoal works to prevent poison absorption.

Syrup of Ipecac Interacts with Activated Charcoal

Ipecac is taken by mouth to cause vomiting after suspected poisoning. It is also used to treat bronchitis associated with croup in children, Amoebic dysentery (a severe diarrhea), and cancer. Ipecac is also used as an expectorant to thin mucous and make coughing easier. Small doses are used to improve appetite.

Activated charcoal can bind up syrup of ipecac in the stomach. This decreases the effectiveness of syrup of ipecac.

For lesser stomach issues there are lots of teas that can help.

Ginger Tea with Honey and Lemon

Ginger tea has been used for thousands of years as a cure for nausea and digestive problems. It offers a variety of health benefits and healing compounds to alleviate upset stomach. Many people reach for the ginger ale when feeling symptoms of stomach pain or nausea, but ginger tea contains higher concentrations of the compounds that alleviate these digestive issues; making it the better choice for feeling better faster.

This tea is made using fresh ginger root and packs a punch when it comes to healing symptoms of upset stomach. Ginger is a natural remedy for nausea and is often used to treat morning sickness in pregnant women and motion sickness caused by planes and boats.

In fact, a Thai study examined pregnant women with symptoms of morning sickness and found that 28 out of the 32 individuals saw an improvement in nausea when given a daily dose of 1 milligram of ginger root. As a rule of thumb, one cup of ginger tea contains about 250 milligrams of ginger so aim to drink two to four cups of this tea to alleviate feelings of nausea.

What You Need

  • 1” Fresh ginger root, grated
  • ½ Lemon
  • Honey, to taste
  • 2 cups water

Equipment

  • Grater
  • Glass container or teapot
  • Strainer

What To Do

  1. Peel one-inch piece of fresh ginger root and grate into a glass container with a filter.
  2. Thinly slice lemon and add it to the container with the ginger.
  3. Add honey.
  4. Pour boiling hot water into the container and steep for five minutes.
  5. Strain and serve hot.

Final Thoughts

Are you keeping up with all the stuff going on at the homestead? It’s a lot to handle but we love it. The cows, sheep, goats, donkeys and quail are a barnyard variety that keeps us in a constant state of wonder and amusement. These guys are a hoot. We love sharing it all with you. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram and come see us at the Farmer’s markets in Wytheville and Independence. Or heck, come see us on the farm. Tuesday mornings and Saturday afternoons. We’d love to share some of this more directly.

Get some activated charcoal and keep it on hand for that occasional stomach upset. It doesn’t to bad. There is no expiration date. It is the porous form that absorbs the toxins and that doesn’t change once created.

And remember that mild upsets can be alleviated with a little ginger tea.

If you enjoyed this podcast, please hop over to Apple Podcasts, SUBSCRIBE and give me a 5-star rating and review. Also, please share it with any friends or family who might be interested in this type of content.

As always, I’m here to help you “taste the traditional touch.”

Thank you so much for stopping by the homestead and until next time, may God fill your life with grace and peace.

Recipe Link

Ginger Tea with Honey and Lemon

To share your thoughts:

  • Leave a comment on our Facebook Page
  • Share this show on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

To help the show:

Website

www.peacefulheartfarm.com

Patreon

www.patreon.com/peacefulheartfarm

Facebook

www.facebook.com/peacefulheartfarm

Instagram

www.instagram.com/peacefulheartfarm/

Ginger Tea with Honey and Lemon

Ginger Tea with Honey and Lemon

Ginger tea has been used for thousands of years as a cure for nausea and digestive problems. It offers a variety of health benefits and healing compounds to alleviate upset stomach. Many people reach for the ginger ale when feeling symptoms of stomach pain or nausea, but ginger tea contains higher concentrations of the compounds that alleviate these digestive issues; making it the better choice for feeling better faster.

Ginger Tea with Honey and Lemon

This tea is made using fresh ginger root and packs a punch when it comes to healing symptoms of upset stomach. Ginger is a natural remedy for nausea and is often used to treat morning sickness in pregnant women and motion sickness caused by planes and boats. In fact, a Thai study examined pregnant women with symptoms of morning sickness and found that 28 out of the 32 individuals saw an improvement in nausea when given a daily dose of 1 milligram of ginger root. As a rule of thumb, one cup of ginger tea contains about 250 milligrams of ginger so aim to drink two to four cups of this tea to alleviate feelings of nausea.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Course: Beverage
Cuisine: Herbal Health and Healing
Servings: 2 cups

Equipment

  • Grater
  • Glass container or teapot
  • Strainer

Ingredients

  • 1 ” Fresh ginger root grated
  • ½ Lemon
  • Honey to taste
  • 2 cups water

Instructions

  • Peel one-inch piece of fresh ginger root and grate into a glass container with a filter.
  • Thinly slice lemon and add it to the container with the ginger.
  • Add honey.
  • Pour boiling hot water into the container and steep for five minutes.
  • Strain and serve hot.
This Week at Peaceful Heart Farm

This Week at Peaceful Heart Farm

Hello everybody,

We have a new market that we are trying out — the farmer’s market in Independence, VA. It’s a little over 50 miles from us and a beautiful drive through mountains. Look for us on Fridays from 9 am to 1 pm. We look forward to talking with you there. 

It’s happening. Finally!! This week at Wytheville Farmer’s market we will be including cheese in the herd share. The first wheel of Peaceful Heart Gold is ready. Let us know how much you love it!!

Cheese will now be available year-round. Fresh products such as milk and yogurt are only available during the milking season, 1st of May through last of October. 

Herd Share product deliveries are being fulfilled every Saturday at the Wytheville Farmer’s Market. Pick up at the farm is also an option.

Send me an email with your desire to participate or if you have questions.  

Please go HERE to learn all about it. Download the jar cleaning protocol and FAQs.

I’m harvesting tomatoes from the garden. We will have lots and lots of them. I plan to make a lot of tomato sauce this year. Late last year I figured out how to do it and this year I planted a ton a tomatoes so I will have plenty to cook down into sauce. 

Tomato sauce is the base for pasta sauce, barbecue sauce, ketchup and so much more. Some people can each of these products separately. I prefer to can the tomato base and make the others as I need them. What about you?


News This Week

  • Products Available to This Week
  • This week’s FarmCast is The Traditional Family Cow. The desire for a family cow was the gateway fro us to now have our small creamery where we make hand-made artisan cheese.
  • Most Recent Recipes

Products Available to Herd Share Owners

Choose 1 per week 1/2 Share Whole Share
Whole Milk 1/2 gal 1 gallon
Skim/Low-Fat Milk 1/2 gal 1 gallon
Full Fat Yogurt 1 quart 2 quarts
Butter 1/2 pound 1 pound
Cream 1/2 pint 1 pint
Peaceful Heart Gold Cheese 1/4 pound 1/2 pound

Products Available to the General Public

Beef Price / Pound
1/4 Beef (approx 100 lbs) $7.00
1/2 Beef (approx 200 lbs) $6.50
Whole Beef (approx 400 lbs) $6.00
Ground (approx 1 lb) $6.00
Marrow Bones (approx 2 lbs) $2.00
Lamb Price / Pound
1/2 Lamb (approx 20 lbs) $10
Whole Lamb (approx 40 lbs) $9.50
Ground Lamb (approx 1 lb) $10
Lamb Soup Bones (approx 1 lb) $3
Chev (Goat) Price / Pound
Ground Chev (approx 1 lb) $12
Meaty Goat Bones (approx 1 lb) $3
Meaty Goat Bones (approx 10 lb) Ask about discount

Let’s Get Together
As always, we’d love to meet you in person. Come see us at the Independence Farmer’s Market on Friday or the Wytheville Farmer’s Market on Saturday. We can talk about Herd shares and I will have the required documents at hand so you can sign up right away. The summer season is in full swing and we will be there every Saturday from 8 am to 12 noon.

Visit our dairy farm in Claudville, Virginia Tuesdays from 10 am to 12 noon and Saturday afternoons from 3 pm to 5 pm. Come visit us in person, find out how we raise our animals and why you will love the taste of tradition that is inherent in all of our products. Herd share holders will be able to see up close how their cows are cared for and where the cheese is made and stored. 


Peaceful Heart FarmCast

The heart of the reason we now have an artisan cheese operation stems from my desire to have a family cow. In the very recent past it was a common feature of most families. For the entire history of the human species until the mid-20th century it was a central part of feeding the family.

Today the practice is nearly extinct. Dairies have consolidated into larger and larger operations. The inclusion of dairy in the idea of “commodity” rather than a valuable product requiring loving hand care has led to the cheapening of food. Across the board, the powers that be have developed the idea that food is a commodity. For us, food is an art form.

Listen to “The Traditional Family Cow” here

Free Downloads

I want to follow up on a previous FarmCast, The Taste of Cheese where I talked about developing your expertise with using descriptive words. The FREE downloads of Classifying Cheese by Type and Category and Expand Your Cheese Vocabulary are still available at our website. Please stop by and get your FREE resources. 

You can LISTEN TO THE PODCAST HEREOr, if you have an Alexa device, just say:Alexa, play podcast Peaceful Heart FarmCast.

And don’t miss an episode! Subscribe to the Peaceful Heart Farm podcast on Apple PodcastsAndroidTuneIn, Stitcher or Spotify


Recent Recipes

Click the links and check them out. All of my recipes are printable.

crab and artichoke dipCrab and Artichoke Dip: This recipe calls for our Peaceful Heart Gold aged raw milk cheese. However, you can substitute a nice Havarti when we are sold out. Our Peaceful Heart Gold is only available beginning about July and lasts through January or February.

Dip into this rich and creamy snack and a favorite bottle of wine. Use your slow cooker to make this recipe—it’s a perfect fit for a relaxed “friends” night. This recipe is keto-friendly if you leave off the crackers and dip your bacon in it.

keto chocolate ice creamKeto Chocolate Ice Cream: Just in time for your 4th of July Independence Day celebration. There is nothing better than a cold dish of ice cream with friends and family. Use our wonderful A2A2 cream with this recipe.

Dairy, used properly, can be a great part of a ketogenic diet. I love my ice cream. This recipe does not use an ice cream maker. With egg whites and heavy whipping cream whipped to soft peaks, the result is similar to a fluffy chocolate mousse.

parmesan peasParmesan Peas: Peas are not exactly peace but close. Especially peas straight out of the garden. And don’t forget that wonderful cheese. You can use frozen peas if you need to. However, this time of year, fresh peas make all the difference in the world.

Let that flavor of fresh Parmesan peas bring peace to your tongue and tummy. This recipe calls for fresh, but feel free to use frozen in the off season. If you don’t have Parmesan, try another cheese that grates well. Be creative and use what you have on hand.

gourmet burgersGourmet Chevon (or other ground meat) Burgers: Try gourmet chevon burgers instead of hamburgers. Goat is the most widely consumed meat in the world. Our goats graze in the pasture for their entire life. It makes succulent chevon patties and a great addition to a paleo or keto diet plan.

Our chevon meat is processed at a local USDA inspected facility. It is ground and then frozen in vacuum sealed bags.


The Traditional Family Cow

The Traditional Family Cow

the Traditional Family CowThe Traditional Family Cow is the topic of today’s podcast. She has just about been pushed out of existence. Lots of us are trying to revive this wonderful, quality food source.

I want to take a minute and say welcome to all the new listeners and welcome back to you veteran homestead-loving regulars who stop by the FarmCast every week. I appreciate you all so much. I’m so excited to share with you what’s going on at the farm this week.

Today’s Show

  • Homestead Life Updates
  • The Traditional Family Cow
  • Crab & Artichoke Dip Recipe

Homestead Life Updates

The cows are doing great. Every day, twice a day, I walk out there and find them grazing peacefully on the grass. I circle around behind them and start calling out, “let’s go, let’s go” and they all start toward the milking shed. They walk pretty slow. Sometimes inside I’m all raring to go and I want to push them a little faster—as if the milking machine would go any faster—and they never really cooperate. They move pretty much at their own pace no matter now anxious I might be. Scott has Butter already up in the shed hooked up to the portable milker. So these guys are just mozying along at a slow pace on their way to the lounging area. That’s where they will hang out until Scott gets done milking Butter. No need to hurry. I’ll take a lesson from them and endeavor to maintain my inner peace. It’s a nice daily ritual.

Lambert does not come running anymore. We weaned him off the bottle about a week ago. I still feel like I’m missing something when I go out to the field. Shouldn’t I be doing something else before bringing in the cows? Oh well, it will pass. And every once in a while, he still comes running up looking for a bottle and I can give him a little petting.

The donkeys sure love their petting. All four of them got their hooves trimmed a few days ago. Daisy and Sweet Pea just stand their placidly—for the most part. They do shimmy a little bit every now and then. But Johnny and Cocoa still dance around a lot. They try to lay over all of their weight on Scott while he is holding up one of their hooves. Or they jerk that hoof around while he is trying to hold it. Cocoa had a little mishap when she did that. The grinding tool that Scott uses to file their hooves nicked her. We put some pine tar on it to keep the flies out and it looked to be a small enough scrape to heal in a few days.

We weaned the one boy kid from his mom a couple of days ago. He’s merged in with the other boy goats. We have six in there now and four sheep. One ram and 3 lambs that will go to the processor soon. Let us know if you are interested. I know I always talk about Wytheville, but if you are in the Winston-Salem or Greensboro, NC area we can help you there too. Pass this along to anyone you know who might be interested.

I still haven’t got the onions out of the garden. Perhaps this week I can get to that. The tomatoes are looking really good as are the black, red, and white beans and the Mississippi Silver crowder peas. Yum, yum.

I wonder how the blueberries are doing. The birds are probably having a field day out there. It has been more than 4 or 5 days I think since I picked them last. I canned eight 24-oz jars of blueberry pie filling and froze two quarts of fresh blueberries that will go in pancakes and yogurt. More yum, yum.

Let’s get on to the topic of the day.

The Traditional Family Cow

In a previous podcast I talked about The Tradition of Dairying. I gave a brief history and finished up with the growth of the large dairies in the 20th century. Today I want to follow up on that and talk more specifically about small dairy farms and the family cow.

What was happening to the family cow while commercial dairying was being conformed to the 20th century model of food as commodity? Along with small farms of every sort, she was being priced out of existence. If you talk to old-timers you will hear the statement, “it doesn’t pay to keep a cow.” American food is cheap, or at least appears to be. Starting early in the 20th century, an elaborate system of subsidies has kept food prices artificially low, part of a cheap food policy that brands food as a commodity and the cheaper, the better. Quality is an afterthought if it comes up at all.

This policy has been continued by every administration. Perhaps you are familiar with farm subsidies, payments to farmers designed to assist them in producing their products at predictable levels. Among the less frequently recognize effects of subsidies is that by covering part of a farmer’s costs, he or she is then able to accept a lower price for the crops or milk, so you pay less for food. Pointed out even less frequently is the government assistance that goes to processors. Everything from special university research projects to tax-deferred production plants may be paid for wholly or in part by tax dollars. Highway costs are shared by all taxpayers but benefit truckers—and the food industry—disproportionately. This is sometimes referred to as corporate welfare. These are some of the hidden costs of cheap food. In reality, you are paying more for your food from the grocery store than you may have realized. It’s just harder to see it because it is in the form of taxes. It is you and I, the taxpayers, that are paying the money in the form of taxes that then goes to the farmer, the processor and the transportation industry all via subsidies.

With food costs comparatively low, even the formidable efficiency of the cow is hard put to offer an obvious fiscal advantage. Milk prices are low because dairy farmers, even taking rapidly diminishing subsidies into account, are paid at a rate that barely covers costs and they cannot market their milk freely. They must sell to consortiums under fixed contracts that are government regulated. And processors have certainly made milk conveniently available to markets. If a plot had been hatched to eliminate small farmers, place milk production and distribution in the hands of a few, and permit almost everybody to forget what milk was meant to taste like, a better plan could not have been devised. Consider also that in terms of buying power, American wages were high during the first 60 years of the 20th century and our dollars still buy more food than in any other westernized country. So keeping a cow does indeed cost more than buying milk at the store.

Most people considering getting a family cow are no longer motivated by the old-timer view that the object of a cow is to “pay”, reasonable as this may be. Quality dairy products and the desire for a more centered way of life are what people now want. Cost is secondary.

Treatment of commercial milk

Pasteurization has its detractors and I am among them, but there is no doubt that milk distribution as we know it today would otherwise be impossible. The creation of the current distribution network ensured the destruction of the small, local dairy farm.

Pasteurization destroys all bacteria including benign strains and it destroys enzymes, besides physically altering milk protein. In addition, by the 1950s virtually all milk was also homogenized. ‘Pasteurized and homogenized’, which appear on every container of milk, are not really related at all. They came about for different reasons. “Homogenized” means the milk is subjected to pressure and agitation which knocks apart the butterfat globule and stops it from doing what cream would naturally do: rise to the surface. This, too, was presented to you, the consumer, as a great advance but first and foremost it served the distributor. Back in those days everybody wanted cream, but after its pasteurization treatment with heat the cream was lumpy and unimpressive. Homogenization offer the advantage of distributing the cream evenly throughout the milk.

The advantage for distributors was less charming. Once pasteurization made it possible to sell milk two or even three weeks after it left the farm there emerged a problem with a sort of sludge settling to the bottom of the bottle. This sludge largely consisted of dead bacteria and the macrophages that consumed them, and the longer the bottled milk sat, the more evident the sludge. With homogenization it becomes invisible along with the cream. Don’t let me put you off store-bought milk all together. Worst things are in ketchup and peanut butter.

This might seem reason enough to get a cow herd share with us, but wait. There is more. Now we have BGH, bovine growth hormone, to consider. Consumers have expressed virtually unanimous objection to the fact that milk may now legally contain BGH which is passed into the milk as a result of the cow’s daily injection. The history of milk distribution does not offer much reassurance that your concerns will end the practice. Antibiotics, contrary to widespread belief, are never fed to dairy cattle; nonetheless, they sometimes do find their way into milk following teat treatment.

The cow as security

Does the future seem uncertain to you? One of the best ways to take charge of your own future that of your family is to raise and grow your own food. This is a life-affirming choice of action and one that may well offer better odds than going about armed to the teeth. Inasmuch as this is hardly a new idea, many schemes for self-sustaining food systems have been devised and revived from traditional methods. One method involves growing algae in vats on the roof. Another promotes earthworms and other insects as ideal basic food. There are systems for backyard fish ponds capable of growing many pounds of fish called tilapia by adding manure and other waste to their water. Some people advocate growing family size patches of soybeans along with other vegetables to provide food security. All of these approaches offer food security of a sort, along with major problems. Algae tastes awful, insects don’t appeal to the Western palette, tilapia are nourishing but boring. An all-vegetable diet is seriously boring and is extremely labor-intensive. I recommend the cow.

If the biggest animal you’ve ever known personally was a golden retriever, the cow may seem like a giant step into the unknown. We can help with that. With a herd share we will do all the work and you still get the benefit of raising your own food.

Amazing cow magic that most people don’t know about

An overarching truth about the traditional family cow is that she drives your small farm economy. By living on a constantly renewing resource, grass, she is able to support herself and her calf and still provide milk for you. And a cow does this on a free resource made of water and sunshine. Through her sovereign ability to convert grass, which otherwise has no value, to milk and meat, which does have value, the cow produces a wealth of nutrition.

Crab & Artichoke Dip Recipe

Dip into this rich and creamy snack and a favorite bottle of wine. Use your slow cooker to make this recipe—it’s a perfect fit for a relaxed “friends” night.

This recipe is keto-friendly if you leave off the crackers and dip your bacon in it.

TOTAL TIME: 

Prep: 20 min. Cook: 2 hours     

YIELD: 

3-1/2 cups.

What You Need

  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 can (14 ounces) water-packed artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and chopped
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups shredded Peaceful Heart Gold cheese (or substitute Harvarti)
  • 1 can (6 ounces) lump crabmeat, drained
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • Assorted crackers (or bacon if you go keto)

What to Do

  1. In a large saucepan, bring 1/2 in. of water to a boil. Add spinach; cover and boil for 3-5 minutes or until wilted. Drain.
  2. In a 1-1/2-qt. slow cooker, combine the artichokes, cheeses, crabmeat, sour cream, salt, pepper and spinach. Cover and cook on low for 2-3 hours or until cheeses are melted. Serve with crackers—or BACON.

Nutrition Facts

1/4 cup (calculated without crackers): 158 calories, 12g fat (8g saturated fat), 50mg cholesterol, 279mg sodium, 3g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 0 fiber), 9g protein.

Notes

Peaceful Heart Gold matches well with sugary fruits like figs, raisins, walnuts, hearty, rustic bread, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and light-bodied Pinot Noir wine.

Just as it accommodates spices and other flavors, Peaceful Heart Gold’s creamy-smooth, tangy flavor complements a wide variety of foods. You can shred it on a pizza instead of—or in addition to—mozzarella. It melts beautifully over burgers and in casseroles, and is fabulous in a grilled cheese.

Final Thoughts

That’s it for today’s farm updates and thoughts on the family cow. If you’re interested in that herd share, get in touch with me via email (give email address). You can also contact me through the website. www.peacefulheartfarm.com and go to the contact page. Call us at the farm at 276-694-4369. We’d love to talk with you in person. And give that recipe a try then go to the recipe page and provide your feedback in the comments. Let others know how you did with it and any modifications you made.

If you enjoyed this podcast, please go to Apple Podcasts and write a review. And don’t forget to subscribe. Also, please share it with any friends or family who might be interested in this type of content.

As always, I’m here to help you “taste the traditional touch.”

Thank you so much for stopping by the homestead and until next time, may God fill your life with grace and peace.

Recipe Link

Crab and Artichoke Dip

To share your thoughts:

  • Leave a comment on our Facebook Page
  • Share this show on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

To help the show:

Website

www.peacefulheartfarm.com

Patreon

www.patreon.com/peacefulheartfarm

Facebook

www.facebook.com/peacefulheartfarm

Instagram

www.instagram.com/peacefulheartfarm/

Crab and Artichoke Dip

Crab and Artichoke Dip

This recipe calls for our Peaceful Heart Gold aged raw milk cheese. However, you can substitute a nice Havarti when we are sold out. Our Peaceful Heart Gold is only available beginning about July and lasts through January or February.

Crab & Artichoke Dip

Dip into this rich and creamy snack and a favorite bottle of wine. Use your slow cooker to make this recipe—it’s a perfect fit for a relaxed “friends” night. This recipe is keto-friendly if you leave off the crackers and dip your bacon in it.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Servings: 3 cups

Equipment

  • Slow Cooker

Ingredients

  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 can (14 ouncewater-packed artichoke hearts rinsed, drained and chopped
  • 1 package (8 ouncecream cheese softened
  • 2 cups shredded Peaceful Heart Gold cheese or substitute Harvarti
  • 1 can (6 ouncelump crabmeat drained
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • Assorted crackers or bacon if you go keto

Instructions

  • In a large saucepan, bring 1/2 in. of water to a boil. Add spinach; cover and boil for 3-5 minutes or until wilted. Drain.
  • In a 1-1/2-qt. slow cooker, combine the artichokes, cheeses, crabmeat, sour cream, salt, pepper and spinach. Cover and cook on low for 2-3 hours or until cheeses are melted. Serve with crackers—or BACON.

Notes

Peaceful Heart Gold matches well with sugary fruits like figs, raisins, walnuts, hearty, rustic bread, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and light-bodied Pinot Noir wine.
Just as it accommodates spices and other flavors, Peaceful Heart Gold’s creamy-smooth, tangy flavor complements a wide variety of foods. You can shred it on a pizza instead of—or in addition to—mozzarella. It melts beautifully over burgers and in casseroles, and is fabulous in a grilled cheese.
0

Your Cart