Thursday, March 17, 2011

Health Benefits of Grass Fed Products

This is just a short and sweet blog......I go on a lot about grass fed meat and this link tells it much better than I could. So if you are interested in knowing more about why it's better this should help.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Our Western Diet

I've been on a journey of discovery over the last few years. Our food is killing us. When you look at people today and the health problems - obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, cancer......the list goes on and it is so depressing! More so because it is so unnecessary! These are all relatively modern problems - well the dramatic rise in the incidences is a modern problem. Primitive societies all over the world are gradually catching up due to the explosion of the western diet into their societies. Everyone wants a Macca's don't they? Aside from the obvious cause coming from the explosion in the fast food industry, there are other causes. Low-fat, good fats and bad fats, carbohydrates, protein and just good old nutrients. We are so aware of what's good and bad, health authorities have even changed the food pyramid to make it easier for why aren't we getting healthier instead of un-healthier! (I know that's not a word).
Nutrition is probably the problem. The scientists that come up with all these good and bad food ideas think that food is just nutrients! They want to take a good food apart to find out the nutrients and then they think that will work in isolation. A good diet is one that is well balanced, that has a mix of fruit, vegetables, grass fed meets, whole grains and of course good fats/oil, but most importantly is food that you have evolved to eat. (eg Eskimos, Kalahari Bushman, Aborigines all had different diets, but were good for them) We have not evolved to eat junk food! Maybe in 100 years, we will all cope with this diet, but should we want to do that?
I have recently begun to wonder if I’m gluten intolerant. I’m not really sure what it is, but if I go away and eat food from cafe’s or restaurants I get sick. I often think that it’s because I’ve started eating so much food that I’ve either grown myself or is organic, that when I eat conventional food, my body can’t cope. I’ve cut back on bread and this has helped but I don’t think it’s just gluten – is it our western diet! Everytime I go to a meeting/conference/workshop, you get the usual fair of white bread sandwiches and packaged cakes or biscuits. I just cannot eat this. I don’t even know why white bread is not a banned substance! We can’t buy raw milk because there’s a “health risk”. Isn’t there a greater known health risk with most of the packaged food that we buy in shops! I think I better stop on that note – will take it up again later........ 

Thursday, March 3, 2011


I have got so many eggs at the moment. The chooks are laying so well that we're having trouble eating all the eggs, although there is so much you can do with eggs. I'll have to do some baking on the weekend - like a big rich fruit cake - that will use about a dozen! I made an egg custard tonight for desert to go with an apple and pear crumble. I had some apples and pears getting past their best-by date and they certainly tasted nicer in a crumble than fresh! Because I'm trying to cut back on wheat, I made a gluten free crumble and was pretty pleased with the way it turned out.
Once you have your own chooks, you'll start thinking about what else you can do with eggs and honestly there are lots! We were away last weekend, so Sunday night dinner ended up being eggs, but the kind of eggs you would eat all the time if you could. Fried eggs - not the usual ones, this was a recipe I pinched (and altered a little) from Kylie Kwong and it really is worth trying. I've put this and a few others on the Recipe Page. They really are delicious and if you cook them in some grass fed lard, and serve with brown rice, it's all good! 
So what are some other ways to do eggs? Frittata, quiche, bacon and egg pie, mayonaise, ceasar salad, egg and potato salad (using homemade mayo of course - my daughter's favourite!), clafoutis, bread and butter pudding (use the scraps from some fancy sour dough bread - waste not want not). I won't put recipes up for all these, but if you want one, let me know.....
I have two flocks of chooks - 4 rhode island red hens, 1 rhode island rooster and 1 aussie game hen live in one large chook pen with 3 ducks and a drake. The chook pen is so overgrown with grass, that my daughter thinks I should put some sheep in there (she likes lamb). I also have a moveable chook dome in the vegie garden for 7 standard laying hens. As these get old, I will replace them with (hopefully) my own rhode island red chickens. I move the dome every couple of weeks, and the idea is that the shooks do the digging, mulching and ferilising before you plant the next garden bed. It's a great idea and works pretty well, although sometimes the grass is a little bit much. We grow big clumps of grass in CQ! But by the time they are finished I only have a little bit to dig out and then I just plant it out. I do add quite a bit of hay towards the end of their time in each bed. I'll take a photo in the next couple of days.
So think about keeping your own chooks and if they're in a moveable pen, all the better. Chooks, like every other farm animal, love eating grass, so if you can move their pen around the eggs will be so much more tastie and nutritious. Just be careful about letting them out, as they will end up on your back patio, or digging up your garden!