We need wholesome, seasonal food, raised organically, procured locally, prepared lovingly, and eaten with a reverence for the circle of life

November 4th, 2011 by Center Street

Virginia farmer Joel Salatin is a man with a message for all of us in his book, ‘Folks, this ain’t normal: A Farmer’s Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World’ published by Center Street and available from Amazon UK.

(click on book cover to go to book website)

Imagine, four generations of a family living on a farm surrounded by verdant fields and blooming gardens; feasting on compost-grown, pasture-raised food freshly picked or straight from the over-flowing basement larder then minimally prepared in the home kitchen; working together in the barn and fields during the day and gathering around the table at night.

You are probably thinking that this is a scene out of the American TV series ‘Little House on the Prairie‘ or ‘The Waltons‘.

Modern Americans don’t live like this today, but nationally acclaimed farmer Joel Salatin and his family does. For them, this is normal. This is connection, foundation, heritage, and tradition.

Today, the United States now has too few farmers to merit counting on the national census form. As a culture, we don’t cook at home. We don’t have a larder. We’re tuned in, plugged in, addicted to electronic gadgetry to the exclusion of a whippoorwill’s midsummer song or a herd of cows lying down contentedly on the leeward side of a slope, indicating a thunderstorm in the offing. Most modern Americans can’t conceive of a time without supermarkets, without refrigeration, stainless steel, plastic, bar codes, and potato chips.

Virginia farmer Joel Salatin, hailed by The New York Times as “high priest of the pasture,” has become the new voice of clean, local, healthy eating by urging people to take a better look at their food: What’s in it, where is it coming from and how did it get the table?

Joel Salatin was the farmer featured in Michael Pollan’s bestselling book, ‘The Omnivore’s Dilemma‘ and he and his beloved Polyface Farm was also featured in the critically acclaimed, Academy Award-nominated documentary Food, Inc. Salatin believes that the answer to rebuilding America and curing some of its ills is to start with the family farm. And, for those farms to thrive, we all need to learn how to eat naturally again. Salatin’s solutions as presented in the book are very simple and easy to implement in any American household—whether in the suburbs of Chicago, the mountains of Colorado, or the metropolis of New York City.

“When it comes to food we can make a big difference by putting our money where our mouth is,” says Salatiin. “All it takes is desire, education, shopping skills, and cooking savvy. Statistics say that 25 percent of all food in America is consumed in automobiles.” Now that’s a statistic that Salatin wants to change!

Ask Salatin how to effect this change and he will answer that we need to seek wholesome, seasonal food that are raised organically, procured locally, prepared lovingly, and eaten with a profound reverence for the circle of life.

Hailed as the modern-day renaissance farmer, Salatin humbly says he is merely a dirt-under-the-fingernails family farmer. Whatever, you choose to call him, his wealth of first-hand experience coupled with his passion for the subject has convinced him that small, diverse farms and real, “slow” food represent the only viable strategies for ensuring a safe, secure, sustainable, and genuinely nourishing food supply for our hungry planet.

Whether praising the plusses of lawn farms and kitchen chickens to the dishing the dirt on Genetically Modified Foods and Tyson Chicken Farms, Salatin’s wit, wisdom, storytelling magic and down-home philosophy shines through in his book ‘Folks, This Ain’t Normal’.

Joel Salatin is a third generation family farmer working his land in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley with his wife, Teresa, son Daniel, daughter Rachel and their families.

The Salatin Polyface Farm, an organic grass-fed farm, services more than 3,000 families, ten retail outlets and 50 restaurants through on-farm sales and metropolitan buying clubs.  Joel Salatin writes extensively in magazines such as Stockman Grass Farmer, Acres USA, and American Agriculture.

Please visit the Amazon USA website for reviews or the US book publisher’s website for more information.


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