We had dinner this week with a couple from another country. The husband is a virologist , meaning he is a biologist that studies viruses. During our deep and meaningful discussion he talked about how overworked he has been this year with Covid 19.
This doctor studies the human microbiome, which lit me up. I have studied it and been so fascinated by the idea of how important our biome is to our health. This is a really good TED talk that explains how our microbe is like a second brain by Dr. Ruairi Robertson. He says, “The ecosystem of microbes in our gut is like an Amazon rainforest with thousands of different species with different functions. Our health is incredibly dependent upon the life and vibrancy of this rainforest. “
During our dinner together, the virologist told us how they have tested meat in his laboratory. He thought there would be some antibiotics in the meat and was shocked at how much there was. He said the amount was a lot higher than he would have thought. He said that ten or fifteen years ago, European countries tested their citizens and Denmark had the highest amount of antibiotics in their people. Denmark got the message and completely restructured their farms and their whole food system and now, as a country, are on board with many more organic meats being raised and less pesticides on their fruits and vegetables. They changed their food to change the health of their country.
Later in the conversation he said that he and the other doctors in his lab have gone in on a farm about an hour from where they live. They are raising beef, sheep, pigs and goats to be range free. He said the chickens were problematic because if they are range free, predators get them. If they are kept in a coop together about a third die from being too close together. He said it is hard to raise chickens without antibiotics, so they aren’t raising chickens. He said that he and his partners have freezers full of this range free meat.
I think it is interesting that a man that studies viruses, has worked out this way to eat hormone free/antibiotic free meat.
Because I like learning about people’s debt free stories, this young mother caught my eye. She posts about paying off her mortgage in five years. They also have a large family. All of this is remarkable given her husband’s salary as a utility worker in their small town. What is more astonishing is that even though she sacrifices a lot and does without many comforts she pays for organic meat and produce for her family to eat.
We can’t wait for our country to completely rehaul our farming and food practices. We have to decide how to protect ourselves and our families.
I own this cookbook and recommend it:
We can also start to grow our own food with a few tomato plants in pots, and buy fruit and vegetables in season when it is cheap. Costco’s organic frozen fruits and vegetables are very inexpensive, and I also like their organic hamburger there. I love supporting local agriculture by going to fruit stands and farmers markets. It is hard to take the time and effort to do this. I get it. For me, I will long remember the look of alarm on the virologist’s face when he described the meat he was tested, in the middle of a global pandemic.