A Quick Guide To Shopping For Healthy Aged Cheese

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New research highlights the benefits of aged cheeses – such as cheddar, brie, and parmesan – in helping boost life expectancy and preventing conditions such as liver cancer. A Texas A&M University study, for instance, found that these cheeses contain a compound called spermidine, which stops damaged liver cells from replicating.

But how should one go about shopping for aged cheese? According to the Weston A. Price Foundation, it is best to opt for whole raw cheese made with milk from grass-fed animals, using animal rennet or non-GMO vegetable rennet. If the cheese is smoked, it should be done naturally – many important and artisan cheeses are of this kind.

As other good options, there’s whole raw cheese made with milk from animals not grass-fed, as well as whole milk cheese made from heated or pasteurized milk (preferably from grass-fed animals). Note, however, that some cheeses labeled “raw” are made from milk that has undergone heating. Some are heated to just below the pasteurizing point, which prompts the foundation to list them under “Good” instead of the “Best” category.

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Now, what should be avoided? Steer clear of low-fat and processed cheese, cheese slices, cheese spreads and other cheese-like substances, imitation cheese coming from stuff such as soy and almonds, cheese made from homogenized milk, and smoked cheese made with smoke flavoring or liquid smoke.

Keep these tips in mind when buying the next batch of gouda, gruyere, swiss, and some mozzarella.

Geoffrey Morell co-founded the Weston A. Price Foundation, a nonprofit organization that specializes in researches for better meat and dairy products. Today, he is part owner of the P.A. Bowen Farmstead, a company specializing in the provision of high-quality meat and dairy products. For similar reads, click here.


Sustainable agriculture: An interesting trend

The concept of being sustainable isn’t new-age. In fact, the belief that certain processes and structures have a quality of sustainability, meaning that they can sustain themselves with minimal outside help, has been around for quite some time. However, it is only recently that researchers have found that sustainability may also have huge benefits for the environment.

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In agriculture, sustainability is an intriguing trend since it not only affects the environment, but it also has a say in the economics of farming businesses. It should be noted though, that a sustainable farm still shares the same responsibilities of a normal farm, to both the community it serves and the hands that it employs.

Sustainable agriculture involves keeping the soil in tip-top shape and managing the water more efficiently while minimizing pollution in the air and water. Farmers practicing sustainable agriculture are also urged to promote biodiversity in their farms, which is key to developing its very own ecosystem.

The development of sustainable agriculture can be witnessed through ever-improving practices of crop rotation, intercropping, minimization of tillage and plowing, minimization of the use of pesticides and antibiotics, and introducing agroforestry.

All these contribute to the improvement not just of the farming industry, but nationwide agriculture and environmental protection as well. Who knows what new sustainable agriculture practices will be developed in the future. And who knows the heights it can achieve.

Image source: growingmagazine.com 

Geoffrey Morell is the owner of P.A. Bowen Farmstead, a 95-acre property that is dedicated to raising pasture-fed livestock and organically-grown species. For more farming, visit this blog.

More Dangers Of Slash-And-Burn Agriculture

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The farming method known as slash-and-burn involves the cutting of trees and other plants and leaving them on the ground until they’ve dried up. The area is then set on fire, and farmers plant crops on the left-behind soil.

Environmental conservationists understand that this traditional agricultural technique destroys the land and its ecosystem, depleting the soil of nutrients and making the area useless for a period of up to 20 years. And farmers just leave to pursue the same method in unburned places, replicating the same unhealthy practice and ruining the environment even further.

While soil quality is improved by ash and fire in the immediate aftermath of slash-and-burn, this is but a temporary boost. The soil is deprived of essential moisture, and the natural interaction between flora and fauna is halted. In fact, one other crucial repercussion of the method is that it leads directly to the destruction of plant and wildlife species. Many animals in tropical rainforests have lost their habitat and sources of food due to massive slash-and-burn practices. Tigers, elephants, and various insects and birds that are native to these rainforests are now critically endangered.

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Lastly, without plant life to provide oxygen and filter the air pollution, local inhabitants are plagued by sicknesses. Villages and communities proximate to areas where slash-and-burn agriculture has been done suffer from respiratory illnesses caused by smoke from the blazing fires, which can travel for miles.

Geoffrey Morell is the owner of P.A. Bowen Farmstead, a 95-acre property that is dedicated to raising pasture-fed livestock and organically-grown species. For more farming, visit this blog.

Why We Should Use Soy-Free Animal Feeds

The frank answer as to why soy is very popular as animal feed is that it’s cheap. It’s not about nutrition: soy is just a toasted, fiber by-product of the vegetable industry. Soybeans are processed to extract the oil for inexpensive cooking use.

Most animals now being fed soy-based feeds won’t even touch soy in the wild, because by instinct they know that it’s not meant to eaten. Raw soybeans are toxic, and the plant itself is considered poisonous.

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A lot of essential nutrients vital for our farm animals’ health are lost in processed soy, leading to Vitamin E, zinc, and iron deficiencies. Soy likewise contains harmful, toxic levels of manganese and aluminum. It is also loaded with “anti-nutrients,” natural toxins that interfere with the digestion of protein, as well as isoflavone, a type of phytoestrogen. Phytoestrogens can lead to breast cancer and cause infertility.

And while eating soy is bad enough both for our animals and us, the sadder thing is that about 90% of soy currently being produced in developed countries like the USA is genetically modified, containing pesticides and other bacteria that are not meant for consumption.

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If we are indeed what we eat, then by extension we should ensure that we give our livestock and poultry only healthy and natural feeds.

Back in 1999, the nonprofit organization Weston A. Price Foundation was co-founded by Geoffrey Morell. The foundation spends its efforts researching the best food source for farm animals. In 2009, Morell acquired a 95-acre property and turned it into present-day P.A. Bowen Farmstead..

The Dangers Of Using Antibiotics In Farms

Livestock are very much like people. The more antibiotics they receive in their system, the more resistant they become to drugs.

A number of disturbing facts have been discovered in farms throughout history. For example, strains that have become resistant to drugs could be passed not just from animal to animal, but also from humans to animals. These same diseases can also be transmitted to humans upon ingesting the meat or the milk of infected livestock. And the waste material excreted by infected livestock can also contaminate the environment.

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There have been studies showing that the antibiotics used in farms, and ultimately in food production, are roughly the same as the amount used in people. Sometimes, even more antibiotics are used in farms. In the United States, over 70 percent of the antibiotics used for people are also given to livestock.

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It has been projected that the use of antibiotics will continue to grow because of two factors: higher profits for Big Pharma and the ever-increasing world population (which translates to more people eating). It has been suggested that farmers switch to the managed intensive rotational grazing system, or the MIRG system, which requires less antibiotics.

Geoffrey Morell founded PA Bowen Farmstead. He shares with people the healthy way of eating, and with other farmers, a safer way of farming. Find out more about farming by checking out the official website.

Pesticide Alternatives For a Healthier Farm

People are becoming more and more health conscious nowadays. They are increasingly interested in what they eat. For vegetables, many health buffs have grown sensitive to the presence of “additives,” specifically pesticides. Most pesticides are usually frowned upon due to their chemical nature. Here are some alternatives to using pesticides that farmers could consider:

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Crop Rotation

Growing different types of crops in an area in a seasonal pattern not only reduces the need for pesticide, it also protects the farm from soil erosion, while boosting soil fertility, and ultimately the yield. This is also a good way to preserve nutrients that would otherwise be depleted if the same crops were planted over and over.

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Organic Farming

This is fairly new compared to other methods. Organic farming is in constant development, but it has a proven track record. The philosophy is that organic fertilizers such as compost, manure, and bone meal provide more nutrients than regular farming. It is often used in conjunction with crop rotation. Although biological pest control is recommended, the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides is not. Genetically modified organisms, plant growth regulators, sewage sludge, hormones, as well as livestock antibiotics are also not allowed during the process of organic farming. Organic farming has continually developed, and continues to be defined by novel methods.

Geoffrey Morell co-owns the P.A. Bowen Farmstead with Sally Fallon Morell. Follow this link for more information on the farm’s products and methods.

Rocking The Roquefort: Opening Up To Blue Cheese

Roquefort — it is at once a village in France and a species of fungus (Penicillium roqueforti). But it is most celebrated as a cheese, specifically, the dreaded blue that divides the opinion of gourmands. You either love or hate it, but there’s no two ways to see its health benefits.

Refined palates punctuate meals with a spread of cheeses, accompanied by select wines (preferably rosé). This explains the savory aspect of trying out blue cheese and its regional and global variations at least once. It goes with certain dishes like salads, or as an afterthought to a fine steak.

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Depending on provenance, combined with the manufacturing and aging process, Roquefort brings to the table anti-inflammatory properties, thanks to ingredients in the process of fermentation. This redounds to cardiovascular health.

But there’s more merit to Roquefort derived from the milk of grass-fed, pasture-raised cows and sheep. The ruminants’ feed in the pasturage, comprised of naturally grown grass and other herbs, facilitates the transfer of essential nutrients through the arising cheese: vitamins such as A, D, K2, and E, and minerals such as calcium and phosphorus. Moreover, such organic methods elude preservatives, GMOs, and artificial chemicals such as coloring agents.

Image source : Cheese.com

Consumption of blue cheese need not be so intimidating and faint-inducing all the time. Depending on the degree they have perfected their own manufacturing processes, cheese manufacturers can control the aroma and flavor from the resulting blue marbling. This is a sight to behold but can assault olfaction when the creamy character of the resulting cheese is neglected.

The best way to take up the Roquefort challenge is to find a cheese manufacturer enjoying fine word of mouth.

Geoffrey Morell and Sally Fallon Morell are the owners of P.A. Bowen Farmstead, which is dedicated to raising grass-based livestock and producing artisan cheese. The farm produces the award-winning Prince George Blue Cheese, produced from Penicillium roqueforti mold culture, Celtic sea salt, and organic rennet. It is a calm and creamy blue cheese to start with. For more information on the other cheeses produced by P.A. Bowen, visit its website.