Tag Archives: industrial food system

Activism Green Living Healthy Living Healthy Meat Real Food

My Radio Interview With Lisa Davis From It’s Your Health


In this day of computers, television, and Internet, it’s nice to know that radio broadcasts are still around. We have so many different ways of communication than just 30 years ago when I was a child.

With the advent of other new technologies like chatting on Facebook, posts on Twitter, e-mail, and text messaging on cell phones, it somehow feels like our communication gets further and further removed from real, human interaction.

The value of radio interviews
While radio may not be face-to-face, there is a very human element to this way of communication, and that is the sound of the human voice. The human voice can convey feeling and meaning in a way that texting or email simply cannot. It also provides the listener with something to imagine and think about while hearing the people who are talking – which I like tremendously.

A few months back, I was contacted by a woman named Lisa Davis, MPH, CNC of WUML 96.9 FM Boston Talks who hosts and produces the radio and television shows by the same name called “It’s Your Health“. Lisa had seen my web site and wanted to interview me for a radio broadcast in her city, Boston, Massachusetts.

Guests on “It’s Your Health” include Suzanne Somers, Michael Tucker, Mariel Hemingway, Jill Eikenberry, Bethenny Frankel, Mayim Bialik, John Elder Robison (author of Look Me In The Eye: My Life With Aspergers), Temple Grandin, Harold Kushner (author of Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People), and Marco Borges (celebrity trainer to Beyonce and Gwen Stefani).

Lisa Davis, MPH, CNC
I was very interested in guesting on It’s Your Health because like me and many other people in the sustainable food community, Lisa is passionate and excited about teaching people how to improve their health through real food and other positive lifestyle changes. As well as being a Certified Nutritional Consultant and teaching yoga to children, Lisa has worked in some aspect of the complimentary health field for 20 years. She has a keen understanding of the challenges people face when it comes to health, and also a fantastic awareness of the concept of sustainability as it applies to the larger health model. Her radio show features a wide variety of guests – something for everyone – authors, celebrities, cooks, fitness trainers, and health experts of different types – and of course, regular, ordinary people like me who are trying to make a difference in the world by teaching people about sustainable and slow food.

Listen to our conversation!
During the interview we talk briefly about the health problems I experienced which lead to the creation of this site, and how real food solved many of my problems. We also discuss the importance of traditional foods – foods that our ancestors ate for thousands and thousands of years before the industrial revolution.

Lisa and I also have a conversation about the concept of paleo diets and how the consumption of grains can adversely affect human health. Then we talk about how to find a good source for eggs from hens on pasture. A lot of our discussion centers around the importance of slow, sustainable foods I share my experiences of buying local food from farmers in my area. Finally I talk about thethe myth that sustainable food can’t feed our populations. A repeating theme in our conversation is making the switch to grass-fed meats, an important part of getting healthy proteins and fats in your diet from a clean, nutrient-dense source.

To listen to my interview with Lisa follow this link. Click on click on Radio Shows, then click on audio archives. Once in audio archives, click on Special previews and that will take you to the interview. This is a preview chance to hear this broadcast, and the interview will be featured on the air in early December. I want to extend a warm thank you to Lisa for doing what she does and for having me on her show. Keep up the great work, Lisa! :)

Here’s more information about the topics Lisa and I cover in my interview:

Sustainable farming – is it practical and can it feed us all?
Deciphering egg and poultry labels
The Grass-fed meat challenge – busting myths about meat, part I
The Weston A. Price Wise Traditions Conference, 2010
Locavore’s shopping tour – local farms, local food

Activism Healthy Living Real Food

The Time To Act Is Now – Oppose Bill S.510 – The Food Safety Modernization Act

Please take a few moments to read the information below regarding S.510 Food Safety Modernization Act. I received this bulletin in my Inbox today, and the time to act is definitely now.

Congress is in recess until September 10th, 2010 and it is urgent that you contact your local representatives and senators to keep this bill from going through and becoming a law.

  • Talk With Your Senators and Congressman in Person!
  • Tell your Senators to Amend or Oppose S. 510, the Food Safety Modernization Act
  • Tell Your Senators and Congressman to Support USDAs Proposed Rules for Fair Play in Livestock and Poultry Markets

An in-person meeting with your legislators is one of the best ways to make an impact on them. And you dont have to go to DC to do it! Congress is in recess from August 9th through September 10th, which means that the legislators are heading back to their home states and districts to meet with constituents and attend public events. Town hall meetings and other public events are great opportunities to ask questions and to inform policy makers and their staff of your concerns.

Find your legislators’ public meetings schedules by calling their district office. Go to www.Congress.org and type in your zip code. In the column for President & Congress, click on the legislator’s name, and then on the contact tab for the phone number for the district office. Call and request a meeting to talk about food safety and fairness for farmers. If the Senators and/or Congressman do not have time available for an individual meeting, ask their offices for a schedule of any town hall meetings and public events. Let them know you would like a moment to speak to your legislator about food safety and fairness for farmers at one of the events.


S.510, the Food Safety Modernization Act, continues to be delayed. But pressure from consumer groups also continues to mount, and there will be yet another push to bring the bill to a vote when the Senate reconvenes in September. Even if you have already called and written about this bill, talking with your Senators during the August recess can make a difference!

S. 510 poses a very serious threat to the local, nutrient-dense food movement. Farmers would be subject to FDA regulation of how they grow and raise their crops, while processed food producers (including people making products such as cheese and kombucha) would be buried in the red tape of HACCP plans. The bill does not outlaw backyard gardens or organic methods, but the long-term effect will be to drive local food sources out of business through unnecessary burdensome regulations and deprive consumers of their options to buy healthy foods from producers they know and trust.

Tell your Senators that you want them to amend or oppose S. 510. Senator Tester (D-MT) continues to work on amendments to exempt local and small-scale producers from some of the worst provisions of the bill, and we need your Senators to support this effort!

Over 150 organizations have signed a letter of support for the Tester-Hagan amendments to exempt small-scale and local producers from the more burdensome provisions of the bill. You can borrow some talking points from the letter (posted at http://farmandranchfreedom.org/sff/Amend-S510-June-7 ) or use the ones below:

  1. The major foodborne illness outbreaks and recalls have all been caused by the large, industrial food system. Small, local food producers have not contributed to the highly publicized outbreaks. Yet S. 510 subjects the small, local food system to the same, broad federal regulatory oversight that would apply to the industrial food system.
  2. Increased regulations and record-keeping obligations could destroy small businesses that bring food to local communities. In particular, the reliance on hazard analysis and risk-based preventative controls, a concept similar to HACCP, will harm small food producers. HACCP has already proven to be an overwhelming burden for a significant number of small, regional meat processors across the country. Applying a HACCP-type system to small, local foods processors could drive them out of business, reducing consumers options to buy fresh, local foods.
  3. FDA does not belong on the farm. S. 510 calls for FDA regulation of how farms grow and harvest produce. Given the agencys track record, it is likely that the regulations will discriminate against small, organic, and diversified farms. Although language calling for flexibility may be included, but there are no enforceable limits or protections for small diversified and organic farms from inappropriate and burdensome federal rules.
  4. Food safety and security both come from a diversified, vibrant local food system. Local foods give consumers the choice to buy from producers they know, creating a transparent, accountable food system without federal government oversight. State and local laws, which are often size-specific rather than one-size-fits-all, are more appropriate for local food producers.

You can also get more information about the bill in our earlier action alerts, posted at http://realmilk.comwww.westonaprice.org/action-alerts/2010-alerts.html


While youre talking with your Senators or at a meeting with your Congressman, ask them to stand with family farmers on fair competition and fair contracts.

Today, a tiny handful of meatpackers and poultry processors dominate the livestock industry, making it hard for an individual farmer or rancher to get a fair deal or equitable price for cattle, hogs, or chickens. Packers are able to use their monopoly-like power to manipulate prices paid to livestock producers. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is finally taking action, proposing rules to identify practices that are illegal under the Packers & Stockyards Act. These rules:

  • Prohibit packers from selling livestock to each other
  • Make it easier for ranchers to sue companies accused of using deceptive trade practices or offering unfairly low prices
  • End discrimination against producers based upon size alone
  • Restrict livestock buyers from buying for more than one packer

In addition, the rules contain improvements for contract pork and poultry growers.

The consolidation of the livestock markets in the hands of a few large corporations hurts everyone. Together with bad regulations, consolidation is one of the main reasons it is so hard for small farmers to find local slaughterhouses to process their animals independently. Consolidation also makes it harder to buy and sell animals at fair prices even if the farmer is raising meat for direct sales. Ultimately, all farmers and all consumers are impacted by the control the meat packers exert. So its important that we stand together and support fair markets for family farmers.

Urge your legislators to support the USDA proposed rules that restore competition and contract fairness to livestock and poultry markets. Tell them we need a level playing field for family farmers and ranchers. Ask them to contact USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and let him know they support the proposed rule.

More information:

The Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921 makes it unlawful for meat packers and companies that contract with farmers to raise hogs and poultry from engaging in any “unfair, unjustly discriminatory, or deceptive practice or device,” or to “make or give any undue or unreasonable preference or advantage.” But, until now, USDA has never issued the regulations necessary to properly enforce the protections for livestock and poultry farmers. In the 2008 Farm Bill, a majority of the full Congress voted to direct USDA to define these prohibitions and to clarify how the Act should be applied to give individual farmers and ranchers a fair chance when dealing with the large corporate entities that control our nation’s meat and poultry processing.

For more information on how the USDA rules help livestock producers, go to the Western Organization of Resource Councils (WORC) website: http://www.worc.org/Unduepref

For more information on how the USDA rules help poultry producers, go to the Rural Advancement Foundation International USA (RAFI) website: http://www.rafiusa.org/programs/contractag/gipsa2101rules.html


The USDA and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) are holding hearings around the country on the issue of the lack of competition in livestock and poultry markets and potential anti-trust violations. The hearing on the beef cattle industry will take place in Colorado on Friday, Aug. 27, 2010. The official purpose of this meeting is to provide the DOJ and USDA with information on the state of the cattle industry. Unofficially, the meeting will show the agencies whether cattle producers and consumers demand that the government take immediate, aggressive action to restore competition to the U.S. cattle industry.

If you are within traveling distance, please come! Even if you don’t speak, your attendance at this historic event will help send a powerful message to Washington, D.C.

WHEN: Friday, August 27, 2010, beginning at 8 am MDT

WHERE: Lory Student Center, 1101 Centre Avenue Mall, Fort Collins, Colorado, 80523

MORE INFORMATION: The Department of Justice has a page dedicated to the hearings at http://www.justice.gov/atr/public/workshops/ag2010/index.htm

TRAVEL: Several organizations are coordinating buses to the event and special room rates at a nearby hotel. For more information, please contact jerilynn@worc.org or sam@fwwatch.org