There was a time, just a few generations ago, when all food was local and organic. In the videos below, shared by the team at Cooking Up A Story, a third generation organic dairy farmer named Jon Bansen tells about how his grandfather did business. This was before pesticides & fertilizers, before milking machines & hormones & antibiotics.
Years later, modern day industrialized agriculture had taken over his farm. In the second video, Jon shares about his own journey towards transitioning to an organic dairy and producing real milk.
I hope you like these videos as much as I did. The cows are adorable, and Jon has a great perspective on how to work with them. He also has a deep sense of the underlying reasons to choose sustainable and organic agricultural practices over industrialized ones.
Here he talks about the work of being a dairy farmer and his grandfather’s legacy:
And here he speaks about his journey towards embracing the old-fashioned organic dairy practices, his initial reservations and how he overcame them, and the benefits he’s experienced since making the switch:
Most notably, by going organic and feeding his cows their natural diet of green grass, he doesn’t have to be dependent on feeding them antibiotics to keep them healthy. Did you know 70% of the antibiotics used in the U.S. are used in agricultural operations? Common sense tells us that has the potential to increase antibiotic resistant strains of infectious diseases. But did you know that it can make antibiotics less efficient in treating you if/when you actually need them?
That’s because the antibiotics come out in the milk, so we ingest them every time we have a glass milk or eat a slice of cheese from one of these cows. This low-level continual dosing of antibiotics builds up our own resistance to them.
Thankfully, organic standards require that cows not be given any antibiotics. To accomplish this feat, farmers have to give the cows plenty of exercise, sun, and access to green pastures. Cows who are able to actually act like cows are surprisingly healthy & resilient creatures.
I think that in some ways, that idea applies to us as well. If we get to act like humans instead of cogs in an industrialized machine, if we get to eat a real diet of real food our bodies were designed to eat, if we get to exercise the way our bodies were designed to exercise, then we can be surprisingly healthy & resilient, too.
This post is part of today’s Real Food Wednesday blog carnival, hosted by Cheeseslave.