Thursday, December 11, 2014

Preparing Ourselves

One of our goals at the new farmstead is to one day eat only foods that we grow, such as vegetables or fruit, eggs from our own chickens and raw milk, butter and cheese from our dairy cow and food, such as meat, that can be locally sourced and where we know the farmer and his farming practices.

I don't know about you but the 'food' that is sold in grocery stores stores today kinda scares me.  Most of it is not even real food but a mixture of poor quality ingredients and chemical additives to make it taste like food.  yuck.  Not to mention all the recalls nowadays...

But, let's not go there right now.

In preparation for the days ahead of hard work at the new farm I am concentrating on preparing foods that will nourish our bodies.  Foods that are simple yet loaded with lots of health benefits.

One such food is bone broth. (If you're so inclined, you can read more about all the health benefits of bone broth HERE.  If not, just keep reading.)

On Monday morning I threw some beef and oxtail bones. water and some veggies into the crock pot to start the simmering process of making bone broth.  I ended up needing two crock pots which thankfully I had.
Before long, the smell was driving me crazy!  You know, that smell of a pot roast cooking?  Yea, THAT kinda smell!

I let it simmer for about 32 hours then turned it off before going to bed to let it cool down overnight so that in the morning I could remove the bones and veggies and pick off any meat that was on the bones.

Then, I poured the broth through a strainer into quart jars.

Normally, after removing the bones and veggies, I would've chilled the broth then scooped the layer of fat off the top before putting it in jars.  And, if I was at home (rather than in the fifth wheel) I would then can the broth so it could be stored in the pantry.  But, since I don't have the kitchen space and canning would use up a lot of propane I have been freezing the jars.  Which is fine, but frozen glass doesn't travel well and we usually never know when we'll be pulling out until a few days before which doesn't give me much time to use up the frozen broth.

I recently read where the broth could be kept in the fridge for several months if there was a layer of fat over it.  Evidently, the layer of fat keeps air away from the broth thereby preserving it.  Thankfully, I have an extra fridge in the cargo trailer so I am going to give this method a try.  Although, with the cooler temperatures comes soup-eating time so I don't foresee the broth lasting very long!

Here you can see the layer of fat already forming on the top.

The jars have been in the fridge for a day now so the layer of fat will be nicely congealed.  Tonight, when I get ready to make some soup (cuz it's cold and drizzly here), I will scoop the layer of fat off and discard it leaving only the nice, rich, healthy broth.

If you read up on the health benefits of this broth then you know that it helps reduce inflammation which causes all sorts of ailments; heart disease being one of them which is a concern for us.  You also hear on television about all these ailments and diseases caused by inflammation and to ask your doctor about such and such medication and if it's right for you BUT, you never hear what causes the inflammation in the first place!  Again people, let's get to the root of the problem not put a bandaid on it.

In case you're wondering, here's the definition for inflammation from Medical News Today:

Inflammation is the body's attempt at self-protection; the aim being to remove harmful stimuli, including damaged cells, irritants, or pathogens - and begin the healing process.

My theory about inflammation?  Much of it is caused by foreign substances entering the body, either by our environment and/or the foods we intake.  God skillfully and wonderfully created our bodies and He also created the plants and animals for us to eat that would help sustain and heal the bodies He created.  Man stepped in and created 'food' but that 'food' has little to no nutritional value whatsoever so our bodies have become malnourished even though we are consuming more than our ancestors ever dreamed of consuming.  God also designed our bodies to fight infections, foreign substances and toxins using inflammation but it can only eliminate so much.  The rest?  Again, this is my theory, but I believe what is unable to be eliminated becomes various ailments and diseases and affects each individual differently according to genetic makeup.

It's well known that heart disease is linked to inflammation but according to Medical News Today they have no idea what causes inflammation:

Although scientists know that inflammation plays a key role in heart disease and several other illnesses, what drives inflammation in the first place is still a mystery.

Really?  Try looking at all the chemicals that are allowed in today's so-called food.  I know the government (FDA) says that the amount of chemicals allowed in each 'food' is tolerable in a body.  But, multiply that magical amount by the number of times ingested (before elimination) plus the addition of other chemicals such as sodas and energy drinks that are consumed throughout the day by most individuals.  Simply put, they have no way of knowing the amount of chemicals ingested in any one individual at any given time.  Most people are on chemical overload with very little nutrition which the body needs to fight the chemicals that were just ingested.  If the body can only eliminate a certain amount of foreign substances (chemicals & toxins) then where do the rest go? 

It's not rocket science.  It really isn't.  And again, these are my opinions but I think if we would really stop and think about all the new diseases that weren't around even thirty years ago we would have to wonder why.  And when I get to wondering the only common denominator I can see is food.  We all eat and much has changed in the food industry over the years.  I think it's just what we eat that makes a difference.

Our goal at the farmstead is to eat what we grow and know what we eat so that we can give our bodies the nutrition it needs to sustain and heal us from whatever ails us so that we can live healthy lives.

Sorry.  I really didn't want to get into this on this post but there ya have it.

When I started writing this morning, I just wanted to share with y'all how we are preparing and nourishing ourselves for some hard work once we get to the new farm and how I am concentrating on food preparations that are simple yet nourishing and are how we intend to eat once on the farm but, I got carried away.  I honestly had no intention of 'going there' so I hope you'll forgive me but at the same time, I do hope you will at least think about my theory.  Read labels.  Know what you're eating.  And, if you have any theories as to why there is so much inflammation these days I'd love to hear them!

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