January Healthy Eating Newsletter
We are excited to put 2020 behind us and look forward to a new, hopefully more normal year in 2021. As a livestock farm we do have animal care chores year round, but our typical winter chores are much less demanding than summe,r as we do not have pasture rotations to manage, nor do we raise broiler chickens or turkeys in the winter. We do still have to milk the Moo Crew twice a day, and bring hay out to the beef and dairy herds, and clean out their shelters and put down fresh straw. Plus feeding and watering the laying hens and pigs, and collecting and packing eggs.
With this reduced winter workload we have the crew repairing equipment, cleaning and fixing up the barn, and working on special projects. I use the downtime to get caught up on financials, and setup plans for the new year which includes livestock processing dates, poultry purchasing and delivery schedules (chicks and turkey poults), and updating our website with new ordering information and pickup dates for the year.
ONLINE BEEF AND CHICKEN ORDERS OPEN
We were fortunate to secure some additional beef processing slots for 2021, and with the expanded grazing capacity at our new Wisconsin farm we have opened up a limited number of custom beef orders (quarters and sides of beef) each month for the remainder of the year, as well as most of the beef packs. Given the number of callers and store visitors asking about custom beef in recent months these slots may fill up quickly, you can learn more about bulk beef orders on our grass fed beef page.
We are making a few changes to our pasture-raised broiler (meat) chicken production this year as well. For many years we have raised several batches of soy-free chickens for those customers that have issues with soy and soy-based feed, but haven't been happy with the resulting taste. Sometimes there could be a fishy taste due to the high concentrations of fishmeal used to replace the soy as a protein source in their feed. This year we will be trying another organic soy-free protein source which includes sesame seeds, field peas, flax, and linseed oil. This feed will be shipped in from a Pennsylvania mill so more expensive than our regular organic feed supplier in Wisconsin. Consequently we need to raise the price on the soy-free chickens for the first time since 2015... for more info and our 2021 chicken processing dates visit our pastured poultry page.
And for our popular free range Thanksgiving Turkeys, we are reducing the number of fresh turkey pickup days to 2 (down from 4 last year) due to the crazy long lines and handful of grumpy customers that were hard on our farm store team. However, we will process two additional batches of turkeys a few weeks before Thanksgiving and have those available in the store frozen on a first come, first serve basis. (no preorders) The two fresh turkey pickup days will be the Tuesday and Wednesday of Thanksgiving week, so if you really want that fresh bird probably best to order one soon.
FARM STORE UPDATE
Our egg supply is tight nowdays with the cold, cloudy days and long nights. We hope the hens will start producing more eggs soon, until then we are sourcing pasture-raised organic eggs from a few other local farms to supplement our supply. As always we have some new items in the farm store to keep things interesting:
Buckwheat and whole kernel bread flour from Janie's Mill
Organic hummus from our neighbors down the road at Organic Rootz
New books - including Thomas Cowan's "Cancer and the New Biology of Water" and Sandor Katz' new book "Fermentation as Metaphor".
All Grass Farm's Animal Memory Game (fun for kids and adults)
PureRemedy Healing Salves (on order - should be in soon)
HEALTH NOTES - OMEGA-6 LINOLEIC ACID PRIMARY DISEASE MAKER IN OUR DIETS?
There has been much research in recent years linking excessive OMEGA-6 fatty acid consumption to a number of chronic health conditions associated with the western diet - obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancers. New research indicates the primary culprit is Linoleic Acid (LA), which makes up about 90% of the Omega-6 fatty acids consumed, and processed vegetable oils are a major contributor to the high levels of LA in our modern diets.
Consider cooking with one of the low LA seed oils on the chart below, or better yet grass fed butter or beef tallow, which have the lowest levels of Linoleic Acid:
To learn more about the research on Linoleic Acid and the way's it can damage your health please read this interview with health researcher Tucker Goodrich.
RECIPE OF THE MONTH - STUFFED PEPPERS
One of my favorite dishes!
6 green peppers
1 pound ground beef or other red meat
1/4 lb. ground heart (optional)
2 tablespoons coconut oil or butter
1 medium onion - peeled and finely chopped
1 small can tomato paste
1 cup beef stock
1/2 teaspoon each of thyme, rosemary, and oregano (fresh or dried)
2 cups rice
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 cup grated Parmesan or Cheddar cheese
sea salt and pepper to taste
Carefully remove stems from the peppers, slice in half lengthwise and remove seeds. In a heavy skillet, brown meat in oil until crumbly. Add onion, tomato paste, stock, and herbs. Bring to a boil and cook until liquid has reduced by about one half. Stir in rice and pine nuts and season to taste. Set the pepper halves on a buttered pyrex dish, fill each with stuffing and top with cheese. Bake for about 1 hour at 350 degrees. Serves 6.
Thats it for January, try to stick to those healthy eating goals! Stay warm, we look forward to seeing everyone in the store soon.
Cliff, Anna, and the Farm Team