Easy Paleo Chow, and Ethics, Reason, and the Erosion of Government Relevance

No more than a single iron skillet and a few minutes of prep time for these two.  Grass-fed eye of chuck, butternut squash and cauliflower mix, free-range pork sausage, roasted free-range chicken quarters and a little sweet potato.  Good meals, and plenty of leftovers to boot.

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By the way, you’ll notice that there’s very little here — content or proportion — recommended by the USDA’s newly updated Dietary Guidelines for Americans report.  *Sigh*…what is there to say about this document?  Selling-out the American people to perpetuate the vicious cycle of lobby-subsidy is not what I consider — how to put this? — ethical? There’s just too much freely available knowledge out there (with experts to explain it) for me to believe that this “guideline” was the end result of a lack of intelligence.  No, this is all about greed at the expense of the nation’s health.

Jimmy Moore has a good summary of the new guidelines, here.  No surprise, really — high carb., low fat, yada, yada, yada…

Now, combine these brain-trust “guidelines” with the reality that is the state of America’s physical readiness, and we have the makings for an immanent, healthcare disaster on our collective hands.  And make no mistake, everyone will suffer the hit — physically, financially, in loss of personal freedom via increased government “interaction”, or a combination of all of the above — you name it.  And, unfortunately, no one will be immune — even the most healthy and knowledgeable among us will feel the sting.

And speaking of America’s (lack of) physical readiness, Mary Collins — author of American Idle (love that title!) — sums-up the topic nicely in the clip below.  Hat tip to University of North Dakota S&C coach Aaron Schwenzfeir for the clip find.

Just makes me shake my head, wondering how we ever sunk into such a mess.  How is it that any entity, government or otherwise, can perpetuate such pseudo-science over a populace?  How does a populace become dumbed-down and weakened (spiritually, and physically) so?  Well, here’s an oldie-but-goodie (yeah, 2-years is old in the internet age, I suppose) from one of my favorite current political “thinkers”, Susan Jacoby.

Ignorance may very well be bliss, but it’s sure as hell costly — in more ways than one.

The thing is, truly intelligent people see through this lobby-subsidy, greed-and-graft inspired smokescreen.  And established organizations — whether it’s the government as a whole, the USDA, or other establishments/organizations (for example, the NSCA) — are becoming increasingly more irrelevant as clearing houses for credible, non-biased, information.  I just want the truth, warts and all, whether it agrees with my preconceived notions or not.  Spun “truth”, filtered “truth” does me no good.  Of what relevance are these organizational filters to me, when I can search out credible information on my own?  The Paleo movement is the poster child for this loosely-grouped, n=1 information sharing.  Who needs these other “official” entities/middle-men when I’m fully sufficient in the art of reason, and plugged into a network of intelligent, n=1 “scientists”, each willing to share their findings for no more the cost than for me to do the same in return?

A Letter in Opposition to the Proposed NAIS (National Animal Identification System) Regulations

“Excess on occasion is exhilarating. It prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of habit.”

Somerset Maugham

The following letter will go out Monday to my United States Congressional Representative, G.K. Butterfield.  Suggested edits are always welcome.  And feel free to plagiarize any or all of this letter to send to your own representative.  As I’ve commented on before (here), the proposed provisions of the NAIS, along with House Resolutions 875 and 759, must be stopped if we are to continue to enjoy the Paleo benefits of locally-grown foodstuffs.  The bottom line is that I know best of all how to properly fuel my body; the last thing I need is a government agency dictating what I can or cannot ingest.  Lets just say that government doesn’t necessarily have a good track record over the last 60 years or so in promoting nutritional health, and leave it at that.

Here’s the letter.  Again, any and all editing suggestions are welcome.

Dear Congressman Butterfield:

I am writing, as both a proponent and as a consumer of locally farmed and ranched food options, to ask that you vehemently oppose the United States Department of Agriculture’s proposed regulations under the National Animal Identification System (NAIS).

At first glance, the provisions of NAIS provide for a technologically advanced level of food-borne illness security, whereby farmers tag every head of livestock and poultry in the country, and with the USDA then provided access to the electronic tracking of said livestock and poultry. In the event of a disease outbreak, applicable government agencies would then require notification within 48 hours of (1) which specific animals were involved, (2) where these animals are currently located, and (3) other animals that may have been exposed (due to proximity to the “diseased” animal). In this way, any future livestock/poultry related disease outbreak could be identified, tracked, and sequestered. Reality, though, paints a much different picture.

Under the USDA’s proposed NAIS regulations, the following would be required:

1. Premises Registration: Every person who owns or manages locations where livestock and poultry are handled would be required to register in a government database, or a government-accessible, private database. This includes people who own even one horse, chicken, goat, sheep, cow, pig, deer, or elk.

2. Animal Identification: Every animal would be assigned a unique 15-digit number by the government when said animal is moved from its herd of origin and/or commingled with other animals. Each animal would be required to bear permanent identification in the form of radio frequency identification (RFI) tags or microchips, rather than the less expensive, traditional forms of physical tagging. While the USDA claims that poultry and swine will get “group numbers,” most small farmers and companion-animal owners do not keep animals in ways that would allow exemption from these provisions.

3. Animal Tracking: Owners would be required to report, within 24 hours, every instance of an animal’s being tagged or having lost a tag, every death, slaughter or missing animal, and any and every “commingling” event, including public and private sales, shows, and exhibitions.

Please note that the verbiage and structure of the proposed NAIS regulations allow for large-scale, industrial animal processing operations, due to the nature and organization of these operations, to side-step the single animal identification provision by providing a “group identification number” in lieu of a single-animal identification. Also note that it is the very conditions in which animals are bred and raised in such large-scale, close-confine, industrial operations that not only promote, but propagate the spread of the very diseases that NAIS regulations are ostensibly aimed at preventing. In addition, any proposed animal tracking system is rendered useless in tracking and/or preventing post-slaughter diseases (such as salmonella, for instance), in that (1) said tracking devices are discarded at the time of slaughter (i.e., do not follow the carcass through processing), and (2) the spread of post-slaughter disease is a function of poor slaughter house hygiene and food handling practices – concerns the USDA is supposedly already monitoring.

In short, the proposed provisions of NAIS represent an unprecedented expansion of government bureaucracy into citizens’ private lives, and infringes on property and privacy rights. The program will impose onerous monetary and logistical burdens on small-scale livestock owners, driving many of these family-run operations out of business. Cost estimates for implementation of NAIS range into the hundreds of millions of dollars; a cost burden that will have to be shouldered collectively by the livestock owners themselves, either out-of-pocket or via taxpayer subsidy. And for all this added cost and government intrusion and oversight, the provisions of the NAIS will provide little in the way of animal health, food safety or consumer protection.

I urge you, Congressman Butterfield, to lead Congress in putting a stop to the USDA’s continuing attempts at pushing for implementation of the NAIS, and I ask that you call for Congressional hearings into this issue. Small poultry flocks, livestock herds, and family farms in general are not the source of food born disease, as the animals thereon are not raised in overcrowded conditions, fed substandard feed, or living in their own filth. This explanation is exactly, though, the case with animals raised in industrial, close-confine, animal operations; the same operations exempt from the most onerous and cost-heavy of the proposed NAIS provisions.

Thomas Jefferson championed the small, independent farmer as the backbone of a strong and healthy America. I urge you not to allow these proposed onerous regulations to further dismantle the America that Jefferson envisioned. He who controls the food, Congressman Butterfield, controls the populace. Control of the food supply should rightly remain with the people and with the small, independent farmer and rancher, and not be placed squarely in the hands of government entity or profit-hungry, agri-business.

I look forward, Congressman Butterfield, to your written response.

Please do your part to actively engage your representatives, either via snail-mail, email, or phone.  Let your voice be heard.

In health,

Keith