• BJ

Unprocessed vs Processed Foods...and Nature's Multivitamin

I hope the heat isn't getting to you like it's getting to me. Ugh! -40 actually sounds wonderfull right now... haha I'm greatful the Wyoming seasons change rapidly!

We actually got so much hail here the other day that it looked like it had snowed! It killed all of our tomatoes unfortunately, because I was at work and I had left them on the porch, (dang) but other than that it was great!

I have been getting back to my old podcast listening/audiobook obsessing self again, which has been SO NICE!

When I have a brainless, mundane, inside job to do, (right now that is housekeeping) listening to an educational and entertaining subject can be an absolute game-changer. I absolutely love learning and I can't stand doing things that don't really contribute positively to the future in more ways than one, so listening to books and podcasts really helps form the perfect solution!

This week, I want to share my most recent audio-discoveries with you.

Audio Books:

I recently finished Atomic Habits. What a fascinating book! I get a little underwhelmed with self-help books at times. One-size-fits-all solutions can make my eyes roll involuntarily, but this book was just plain intriguing. There is so much to the human mind and this book has so many little tips and tricks based on what science tells us about habits- both the good and the bad.

For example, did you know that our brain responds more dramatically to an anticipated reward than it does to an actual reward??? We can use this to our advantage when trying to form new habits too. This book breaks down how we can do this, in lehman's terms. I will definitely be purchasing a hard copy and re-reading this one in a setting where I can take notes.

I am currently about half-way through a book called Deep Nutrition. I don't usually recommend books until I have finished them, but this one is SO GOOD that I have to spread the word about it ASAP. I have heard several folks mention the phrase "you are what your grandmother ate," and I have been wondering for weeks what this actually means. This book explains it thoroughly in the context of Epigenetics. Sounds dense right!? Well this book has kept me easily captivated since I started it. I love how scientific it is too, not just a bunch of fluff and assumptions. I cannot wait to get back to work so I can keep reading! Haha- hey look at that, I'm habit stacking now- something I learned in the Atomic Habits book... how neat!


If you know me, you know I LOOOOOVE podcasts. I gobble them up while driving and working. I am getting back into the grove on many of my favorites about health, religion, history, fiber arts, farming, permaculture, business, marketing, and current global happennings. It feels good to be getting my inner Nerd on again HAHA!

Chris also loves listening to audio books and radio talk shows and he recommended a new one he heard on the NPR station, that I have thoroughly enjoyed so far. It's called Intelligence2 Debates (that's intelligence squared, I just can't figure out how to type that correctly on my computer keyboard at the moment).

The most recent episode was relevant to a lot of my recent listening. It is called, "Should We Eat More Processed Foods?"

I found the debate compelling and even a bit confounding at times. What one of the experts says about folic acid and folate goes completely against what I have learned while trying to make good decisions about my diet before and during pregancy, so a lot of fact checking is in order before I can really draw any conclusions from this debate. I do like how they weigh convenience with social advancement of our culture. This sparked some interesting thoughts and my mind is still buzzing.

I like to chew on things for a while and discuss them with others before I allow myself to form opinions, and I would be so curious to know what your thoughts are after listening to this debate as well.

Give it a listen HERE and let me know what you think!

These resources are pretty dang relevant when it comes to Nutrition in the U.S. as we have a public hearing coming up in September during the White House's Convention on Hunger, Nutrition and Health. Dariush Mozaffarian who developed a food scoring system called "Food Compass," which is considered by some to be the most comprehensive and science based nutrient profiling system available.

You can see the lineup of Partner-Led Convenings and sign up to participate HERE. At this link, there are also opportunities to leave feedback and submit ideas for the strategies the Whitehouse is aiming at developing for the future of Food accessibility and affordability, and nutrition and activity-based health in our country.

You can read the article linked on the food compass website HERE.

Check out this chart of examples:

This chart seems ok to me... except for peanut butter and jelly on white bread ranking as healthier than a grilled cheese on wheat bread???? And a non-fat cappuccino ranking healthier than a chicken breast? And why is the skin removed....this is bringing back bad memories of counting calories and the fat-phobia of my middle school and high-school years.

There seems to be an underlying trend against animal products in this indexing effort. If you read the article, you will see more examples from their studies so far.

I have a really tough time accepting that sugar-sweetened energy drinks should rank higher than ground beef!?

HELLO!? What a world we live in! And this is one of the projects scheduled to influence our national strategy on HEALTH?

After reading their methods it all made sense. This study is based on health recomendations made by the FDA, who promotes toxic vegetable oils as "heart healthy" even though numerous studies have proven otherwise. There are many health claims I don't agree with from the FDA, mostly because of my personal experience growing up on a diet that followed very similiar recommendations totally wrecked my health until I was lucky enough to be exposed to a different way of eating and living in my college years, and was able to heal myself.

Regardless, I would be curious to hear what you think about the Food Compass project and this nutrient/food ranking system that may become more engrained into our country in the coming years.

On a similar note, have you ever heard the phrase, Nature's Multi-Vitamin?

Along the same lines of processed food is processed and synthetic vitamins and minerals. I read a book several months ago called Vitamania, which talked about the evolution of vitamins around the world and why most vitamins/supplements just aren't what they claim to be when it comes to promoting healthy body function.

It all comes down to how bioavailable these nutrients actually are. Once we ingest them, our body has to break these nutrients down to make them usable for vital processes. The problem is that synthetic forms of certain vitamins do not break down into the same components as the natural forms found in foods and our bodies have to work extra hard to make these nutrients usable, or they are simply discarded and we end up peeing them out.

Human's evolved getting our nutrients from our diet, not isolated and synthetic vitamins and minerals, so it makes sense that certain nutrients have to be ingested in specific ratios with other nutrients in order to be absorbed well. One of these nutrients is Vitamin A. It must be consumed with adequate fat or it cannot be absorbed. Ratios of consumption are important for many vitamins especially the fat-soluble ones.

What are some foods that contain high ratios of valuable and harder-to-find fat soluble nutrients in ratios to other nutrients that make them bioavalable and easily absorbed???

Here is a list:

Fish Liver Oil

Beef Liver

Egg Yolks

Dairy Products

Leafy Greens

Seeds and Nuts

My favorite of these, because it is easier to access locally and therefore is a pretty sustainable option is Beef Liver.

When consuming organ meats it is really important to mind the source of these meats, since they are the filters of the animals we are consuming. Depending on the health of the animal, any toxins those animals may have consumed in their lifetime have the chance of being present in the liver. If the animal is healthy and the liver is doing it's job or removing and processing toxins, it should be clean. If the animal is unhealthy (which we believe it to be if it is being fed a diet of mainly corn, soy, or other simple-carbohydrate-rich concentrates) toxins back up in the liver and are not processed and removed like they should be.

Because of this I NEVER eat the organs from sick animals, or animals finished in a feedlot.

The use of growth hormones and antibiotics is totally legal in beef cattle in the US. I also don't want to eat a liver full of artificial growth hormones, antibiotics, and possibly even pesticides from the feeds that animal was finished on.

So when it comes to beef organ meats especially, I specifically look for 100% grass fed and grass finished cattle that are younger as opposed to older cattle (younger animals are less likely to be exposed to toxins because they have been exposed to less in their shorter lifetime). I want these meats to be raised by someone I can trust. So when I ask the questions I need to ask to find the product I am looking for, I can trust that I am getting honest answers.

Liver is choc-full of nutrients. Check out this chart comparing beef liver to eggs and a regular cut of beef:

This is why Beef Liver is one of the things I have included in the Giveaway I am hosting with Meghan Badger- Fertility and Hormone Nutrition Practitioner- this month.

If you have not entered yet, you can do so HERE.

I interviewed Meg on my podcast this past week and I learned SO MUCH about how our Nutrition is linked to our overall health and ability to have a healthy family.

Subscribe to the Taste of the Wind podcast to be among the first to know when that new episode is published, (it will be in the next two days!).

Let me know what you think, and share the epsiode and this giveaway with someone you think it would benefit.

Speaking of organ meats BJ, did you know that our Bulk Beef Packages come with FREE Organ Meats and Broth Bones if you want them?

What is Bulk Beef?

The Cheapest, Easiest, and most Sustainable way to buy beef from our local ranchers of course...

Deposits will open on September 1st for FALL BULK BEEF SHARES.

These bulk beef packages will be ready October-December of this year so you can keep your freezer full of nutritious, wholesome meat until we have more meat available next growing season (starting at the end of next summer!)

How easy would it be if you:

-Didn't have to go to grocery store?

-Could just walk into your garage or basement where you keep your chest freezer, and pull out a couple of steaks and voila- you have dinner planned.

-Could know exactly where your beef comes from, who raised it, and how it was raised?

That's what life looks like when you purchase a bulk beef share from Taste of the Wind.

Deposits open for Fall Bulk Beef on September 1st. Once deposits close we will not have bulk beef available again until Summer of 2023, so please plan accordingly!

Well that was nutrient-dense email, wasn't it?

I hope you have a wonderful week packed full of great food, summer enjoyment, and sunshine.

Until next week...

-BJ and the Taste of the Wind Crew

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Often-times people don't want to think about the last day their food lived. I get it. It's heavy and it can leave us feeling guilty for sustaining ourselves as meat-eaters. AND it often-times leaves p