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Food Security

written by

Ben Simmons

posted on

August 30, 2021

Before our discussion regarding "Food Security" I would like to have a quick follow-up to last weeks email "Building Community" around your favorite recipes using Nature's Gourmet Farm products. We had several replies to include:

Stephanie wrote - "Y'all never cease to amaze me. I learn so much from your emails".

Shelley wrote - "I love this! Ok, my Summertime favorite way to cook your chicken can be found at this link . Later this week she wrote: OH, and I made the chicken and gravy from the recipe you shared (find it here) since it sounded so good...OH MY!!! DELISH!

Rob said more than once during the evening after we ate "That sure was a good supper!" and we can't wait for leftovers!

It will be in the rotation...and SO easy!

I think you started something! Thanks!

I know that a lot of our customers are great cooks because we hear about some favorite dishes all the time. So, if you have a "bragging" dish that you would like to share let us know and we can add to our website so others can enjoy as well.

Next week I hope to share a Boston Butt (Pork Shoulder Roast) recipe from our good customers Stephen & Vicki in Natchez.

In the recent Stockman GrassFarmer, Joel Salatin had a lot of great points about just how vulnerable our food chain really is. Joel, as most of you know, is one of the best known and respected regenerative farmers in the U.S.A.

He started off by reminding us of the $11 million payoff JBS sent to hackers in June - closing plants that handle a quarter of the beef & a fifth of the pork produced in the U.S.A. Experts interviewed by the WSJ say this is the tip of an escalating problem!

How about those on the East Coast that lived through a week of gas shortages and panic due to the Consolidated Pipeline attack that ended after a $4.4 million bribe. Or, the Ever Given container ship that plugged the Suez Canal for several weeks this spring creating shortages of all sorts of things.

And, then there is the climate meeting that took place this week! Two topics on the agenda include the amount of global warming caused by methane from cows! Really!!!! The cow is NOT THE PROBLEM - IT's THE HOW! The problem is that she is being tightly confined and forced to eat a diet that is not healthy for her. Creating all sorts of ecological problems. Oh, and it is not just cows. Pigs and chickens are just as bad. The SOLUTION is grass fed and grass finished regenerative farming that includes treating the animals like God intended in the first place.

The second agenda topic is about how evil the West is and that we must reduce our carbon footprint. Many people would be surprised to know that in the U.S.A. there are only 23 coal fired electrical plants. Where in China there are more than 3500 coal fired plants and approximately 500 under construction. And, India is a close second behind China in the number of plants. Combined - China and India are responsible for 90% of the worlds pollution.

Lastly, Ronnie Cunningham with the Organic Consumers Association brought out how the Gate's Foundation is pushing a plant based diet grown with synthetic fertilizers, GMO seeds, and toxic chemical sprays. Yes, basically replacing meat as a consumers choice.

Please - I am not writing to incite fear! You - our customers - are reading and hearing about many of these risks. You see the disruptions, price spikes, market panic and dire forecast. These issues and many more threaten our food security as well as our choices.

Most of you are thinking about your children and how you are going to secure the most nutritious and safe food for them. And, your wondering about dependence on longshoreman, geopolitical events, and the ever increasing threat of cyber terrorism. Have you noticed how the cyber attacks have all been on large businesses? It gives me comfort that our farm is smaller than a gnat in the food industry.

Many of our customers like Stephanie's comments above are interested in what we do. And that is great! Still others are only interested in what we can do for them.

This past year Beth and I have worked very hard to position our farm to serve our loyal customers in both the good times and hard times. This includes helping others who are looking for a way to get started on their own farm.

We do this because the greatest way to have FOOD SECURITY is to have tens of thousands of small farms across America selling their products direct to consumers verses a few mega corporations. Small direct market farms like Nature's Gourmet Farm offer one less thing for you to worry about in these troubling times.

As always, we thank you for rewarding our hard work with your trust and support.

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Farm Visitors

Since we started selling via our online store in 2016, the number of visitors to our farm increased. Then, building the on-farm USDA poultry plant in 2019 spurred a lot of interest from folks who were interested in raising pastured poultry and were looking for a way around the MS Department of Ag regulation limiting the number of chickens per farm to only 1,000 per year. Most of the folks visiting were potential customers looking for naturally raised meats to feed their families.

Farmer Musings!

Beth & I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving - and turkey if you purchased one our our pastured turkeys. For our family the turkey did not disappoint. I spatchcocked (removed the backbone) so the turkey would lay flat. Beth then brined it for a day before smoking. It turned out tasty and juicy. Before our Thanksgiving meal each of us shared something we were thankful for. Beth's sister Debra shared the following:

A Day Processing Ground Beef!

Overall rain this week on our farm was about ONE inch! Not a lot in the big scheme of things, but very appreciated. It was enough to make a difference for our winter grass as you can see from this picture. In some areas of other pastures it appears that the seedlings died after germinating back in October. An observation that the heavy dews was not enough to keep them alive.